Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Don't Tell Me

by

Madonna



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

This was written by singer/songwriter Joe Henry, whose wife Melanie is Madonna's sister. Henry went to high school with Madonna and has a good relationship with her, but rarely tries to pitch songs to her. When Henry's wife heard this song, she took it to Madonna, who turned it into a dance hit.
Henry's original version has the same lyrics, but is called "Stop" and is more of a Tango. It appears on his 2001 album Scar
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Joe Henry explained: "I've got good friends who knew both versions of the song and it never occurred to them that it was the same words going by. It's been a really good lesson as a songwriter because I'm very lyric-oriented, but I realized when that song happened for her - she had a big hit with it - that it really doesn't matter what you're saying as long as the groove is convincing."

Henry added: "I thought the song was a complete throwaway. I had just moved and set up a studio in the guesthouse of my home and was looking to record anything to make sure my things were working. I needed something to record, so I wrote that song in about 25 minutes just to give myself something to do. I was a little embarrassed by it, it starts off a little spoon-in-June and takes a cryptic turn at the end. I thought it was a trifle, but in the right hands, a trifle has turned into some very handsome shoes that I'm wearing."
For Henry, this was a financial windfall, as he received royalties on Madonna's recording, in the same NPR interview, he said: "It had been a complete abstraction to me to see back end on anything. But I found I'm very adaptable."
Madonna
Madonna Artistfacts
More Madonna songs

Comments (2):

I agree with Theresa! Again, as with Crazy for You, Take a Bow, One More Chance, Nothing Fails and Love Spent, Don't Tell Me is a Sad and Beautiful Country Song. When Madonna Cries in Don't Tell Me, the result is magic. Miranda Lambert, Neko Case and Lucinda Williams have nothing on this Detroit Rebel! Even when Madonna is an Alt-Country Heartbreaker, she does it with sadness, beauty-and grace too.
- Leo, Westminster 1, MD
The video is so simple but it works. When Madonna works with Joe Henry - magic happens.
- Theresa, Murfreesboro, TN
You have to to post comments.
Steely DanSteely Dan
Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?
Francis Rossi of Status QuoFrancis Rossi of Status Quo
Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.
Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"
When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.
Band NamesBand Names
Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?