A Rose By Any Name

Album: Ghosts of Download (2014)
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Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from Blondie's Ghosts of Download album, this song features The Gossip's frontwoman Beth Ditto on lead vocals with Debbie Harry. It was released as a digital download on June 21, 2013.
  • The phrase "A rose by any other name" originates from a dialogue in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the name is of little consequence, what matters is the inherent qualities of the person or thing:

    "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes."
  • This was written by Blondie keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen and his wife Laurel Katz-Bohen. The couple previously penned the Panic of Girls single, "What I Heard."
  • The Ghosts of Download album title is an illusion to Blondie's viewpoints on how technology and connectedness impact on artists. "I wonder what is to become of the fact that everybody is now connected to somebody else all the time, 24/7," guitarist Chris Stein told NME. "As (sci-fi author) William Gibson said, the body language of how people used to smoke cigarettes has now become cell phone manipulation. It makes for a whole culture that is less centred, maybe, whereas no place that people are drawn to because they're always connected to somebody else."
  • Debbie Harry explained to EW that Laurel was expecting, but the couple didn't know what gender the baby was. So Matt Katz-Bohen "came up with this song about whether you're a boy or a girl, I'm gonna love you just the same."

    The song went on to become an anthemic for transgender people "and all sexes in every shape and form."

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