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The Rose

by

Bette Midler



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom. Midler recorded it for the 1980 movie of the same name, which she starred in. McBroom explained: "A song came on the radio. It was 'Magdalena' by Danny OKeefe, sung by Leo Sayer. I liked it immediately. My favorite line was, 'You're love is like a razor. My heart is just a scar.' I thought, 'Ooh, I love that lyric, but don't agree with the sentiment that love is a razor.' As I continued to drive down the road the thought came, "What, then, do I think love is." Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head. Words came pouring in. I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldnt forget them. I screeched into my driveway, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano. Ten minutes later, The Rose was there. A year or so later, a professional songwriter friend of mine said, 'Listen, there is this movie coming out called The Rose, based on the life of Janis Joplin. They are looking for a title tune. Do you want me to submit this to them? I had never really tried to submit a song to anyone. I didn't consider myself a songwriter at the time. So I said, 'Sure.' The producers hated it. They thought it was dull and not Rock And Roll and totally wrong. They put it in the reject box. But Paul Rothchild, who had been Janis Joplin's producer, and now the music supervisor on the film, hauled it out and asked them to reconsider. They again said no. So he mailed it to Bette Midler, the star of the movie. She liked it, lobbied in favor of it; and that's how it got into the film and changed my life forever."
This won a Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. It was Midler's second Grammy - seven years earlier she won for Best New Artist.
Roses show up a lot in titles of hit songs, often with very different meanings. Other Top-10 hits include "Bed Of Roses" by Bon Jovi, "Roses Are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton," "Eighteen Yellow Roses" by Bobby Darin, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison and "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal. Here's a photo that demonstrates the lyrical appeal of the rose.
The song appeared on the television show Family Guy in the episode "Baby Not on Board." The song is sung by the Griffin Family, as Peter, the father, tries to suggest a good driving song.
This song appeared in a very humorous scene in the movie Napoleon Dynamite, a 2004 cult classic, as the lead character performs the song in sign-language. (thanks, Logan - Troy, MT, for above 2)
Bette Midler
Bette Midler Artistfacts
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Comments (9):

My brother, who is hearing impaired, performed this song in sign language at his grade 8 graduation in the early 90s- my mother wept buckets.

When I saw the scene in Napoleon Dynamite I nearly split a gut over the irony.
- Megan, Toronto, ON
This song was translated into Japanese and used as the ending theme for the Studio Ghibli film Only Yesterday.
- Marty, Milwaukee, WI
This song i will definately play at my wedding. It's beautiful!!!
- Thomnesia, cape town, South Africa
I just heard this a few weeks back on the sing -off for I'd Do Anything and fell in love with it. Beautiful.
- Louise, Newcastle, United Kingdom
To Bonnie from DC: I'm happy to read your story.I also felt unlovely and unloved as a teenager (and well into my adult years), and this song helped me, too. But I'm not so sure I felt comfort so much as emotional nourishment from this song. Yes, it's sweet, but strength underlies it, both in the lyrics and the way Bette Midler sings it.
- MusicMama, New York, NY
WestLife have gotten to this song now...
- Mjn Seifer, Not listed for personal reason, England
In 1980 I was recovering from a near fatal illness (Guillian Barre Syndorme), divorced, and on disiability not able to return to my job and participating in an adaptive physical education class at our local college to recover my strength. My life was in a shambles and I was very depressed. One day the college counselor had me listen to a song, The Rose, sung by Bett Midler. The song struck me to tears, because it discribed my situation at the time. A year later I met the women who I would later marry. She also ralated to the song, because she was going through a divorce at the time. We were married in our garden before 100 guests in 1984 and used that song, The Rose, as our processional for the ceremony. That song is still our special song, after 21 happy years of marriage. We met Amanda McBroom at one of her performances and told her how much that song meant to us.

Barbara and Harvey Sperry, Novato CA.
- Harvey, Novato, CA
The Belgian singer Ann Christy who died of cancer in 1984 sang a Dutch version of this song. While in her lifetime she never sold a copy of the single (approx. 100 or so) since some years now it's rated the best Dutch song in Belgium ever! At the time the single came out Bette Midler had a concert in the Antwerp Sportpaleis where she said "Good evening Antwerp, Ann Christy couldn't come, so I came". More information about Ann Christy here: www.annchristy.info.
- Tim Peeters, Antwerp, Belgium
Long, long ago and far away, when I was a teenager, I took a lot of comfort in this song whenever I felt unlovely and unloved, as most teenage girls do from time to time. I have a lot more self-esteem these days, but I still think this is a very sweet song.
- Bonnie, Washington, DC
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