Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Album: Open Up and Say...Ahh! (1988)
Charted: 13 1
  • Poison lead singer Bret Michaels wrote this in response to a failed love affair with his girlfriend, Tracy Lewis. After playing at a bar in Dallas, Texas, Michaels called Lewis at her Los Angeles apartment and heard a man's voice in the background. The next day the disconsolate Michaels took his acoustic guitar with him to a Laundromat and wrote the song right there. He explained in Rolling Stone June 10, 2010: "I remember using a pay phone to call this girl I was dating. We were on the road, touring in our Winnebago, and my relationship was falling apart. I still have the yellow legal pad I wrote it on. There are, like, a bazillion verses that I later edited down."
  • In the US, this was #1 for the last two weeks in 1988 and also for the first week of 1989.
  • On a VH1 Behind The Music special, Michaels explained the metaphoric meaning behind the rose and thorn in this song. He said that the rose was his career taking off, and the thorn was the fact that it was costing him his relationship with his girlfriend Tracy.
  • On his 2010 album Custom Built, Bret Michaels recorded a new version of this song with Brad Arnold of Three Doors Down.
  • Miley Cyrus covered this song on her 2010 album Can't Be Tamed and performed it on her subsequent tour.
  • When the song first came out, it was a Dallas country station that actually spun it first, before the rock stations picked the tune up. Michaels recalled to Billboard magazine: "This was back before anyone thought about a crossover. We had 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' at #1 Pop, #1 Rock, and Top 40 Country, which was unheard of."
  • According to Rikki Rockett, Poison's drummer, the record label was hesitant to release this pop-leaning song because it didn't fit the rock image they had for the band. "But we had played it live a few times and it had already connected with people. So, we told them it's a ballad," he told AXS. "We wrote it. It's us and it's a great song. We wound up getting our way."
  • This was used at the end of the Schitt's Creek episode "Rock On!" (2019). It plays when the Jazzagals are on their way back from a casino where Poison was supposed to perform.

    It was also used on these TV series:

    Revolution ("Happy Endings" – 2014)
    Glee ("Audition" – 2010), sung by Chord Overstreet
    Supernatural ("Malleus Maleficarum" – 2008)
    South Park ("Guitar Queer-o" – 2007)
    The O.C. ("Rager" – 2005)
    Cold Case ("Maternal Instincts" – 2004)


    And in these movies:

    Tumbledown (2015)
    Rock Of Ages (2012)
    Cop Out (2010)
    500 Days Of Summer (2009)
    Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)

Comments: 24

  • Maxiel from Ft Lauderdale, FlIts about life and how everything that looks perfect from the outside isn't really perfect from the inside. At first , I thought it was about him and a girl that cheated on him, but the song has a deeper meaning. Its about all of our experiences in life, and that nothing is really picture perfect.... Not everything you see is what you think it is and everything beautiful has a flaw or something about them that makes them imperfect... I love this song, and still till this day I listen to it..
  • Camille from Toronto, Oh"Instead if making love, we both...made our separate ways..." so perfectly puts into words the rift that happens when love falls apart.
  • Sioraf from Macroon, IrelandWas referenced in Spoony's review of Make My Video.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhOne of my favorite sad songs. Puts perfectly into words what many of us have experienced at one time or another.
  • Jacob from Enosburg Falls, VtI lesson to this song when ever I have a bad relation ship.
  • Brian from Boston, MaThis song is played with the acoustic tuned down 1/2 step.I used to ply this without tuning my guitar down and I though it sounded right.Recently however I tried tuning the guitar down 1/2 a step as it was played on the original recording.This made a big difference it sound s mch better tuned down
  • Ryan from Anahola, HiThis song is in the music video game, Band Hero.
  • Nicole from Plymouth, Ma"Though it's been a while now I can still feel so much pain. Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals but the scar, that scar remains"....Then it goes into the nasty guitar solo.

    I think that pretty much anyone who has got there heart broken can relate to the pain he's talking about.
  • Tt from Columbia, ScThis song was my breakup song for every boyfriend
    my kids even know this song , another timeless memory , Poison wa smy very first record i ever bought back in 85 lol
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlJust as every cowboy sings a sad sad song, every rose has its thorn.
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmThe video for this is very heartfelt as well. It shows the highs and lows of being on the road.
  • Brandon Floyd from Gruetli-laager, Tnthat shows you how good of a songwriter he is and why this song is so good..the feelings were there and he knew exactly how to express them. nice fact.
  • Wade from Sydney, AustraliaI love this song its beautifal
  • Heather from Los Angeles, Ca"...Though it's been a while now I can feel so much pain Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals But the scar, that scar remains...."

    God, how true it is.
  • Sam from Y Do U Care, Nyyah now he has his own show rock of love and 1 of the final 3 is a stripper but i hope he picks that annoying phsyco path bi-polar lacey he deserves it
  • Shane from Boston, MaI like this song a lot. Even though i havent been through a lot of relationships, i have had my heart broke before. And i really know people who are touched by this. Its cool to think even though Poison are partiers they still have emotions
  • Dj from Assland, Ohthis song is amazing in concert as well but that is a given i mean ot os by poison what else would you expect
  • Michael from San Diego, Ca"Now I hear you've found somebody new, and that I never meant that much to you! To hear that tears me up inside and to see you cuts me like a knife!" Most people who have ever loved & lost can really realte to this tune. Any one of us can understand it, and feel it from our hearts!
  • John from Fairborn, OhI have had a personal experince with this, My girlfriend left me for my best friend, and used to me to get to him so It's kinda like this and "My Best Friends Girl" by the Cars
  • Emily from Ontario, CanadaI love this song! First Poison song I've ever heard:D
  • Nick from Houston, TxVery emotional song, the solos are just dripping with angst.
  • Sarah from Southport, Englandi didnt really no what the song meant at first but if u just listen it makes u think about stuff and its kinda depressin but its a really nice song n if u think about it the meaning is every good thing has something bad about it.- Sarah, england
  • Kyle from Lake Village, Inits a great song defeintly not one of their best but it has a lot of meaning and thats why i like it
  • Ruth from Toronto, CanadaI like this song it speaks about one of the risks connected to living and loving and then finding out that you were the only one who really loved. Though I have no personal experience with this I have dealt indirectly with it.
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