Magdalena

Album: Mer de Noms (2000)
  • Overcome by your
    Moving temple
    Overcome by this
    Holiest of altars

    So pure
    So rare
    To witness such an earthly goddess
    That I've lost my self control
    Beyond compelled to throw this dollar down before your
    Holiest of altars

    I'd sell
    My soul
    My self-esteem a dollar at a time

    One chance
    One kiss
    One taste of you my Magdalena

    I bear witness
    To this place, this prayer, so long forgotten
    So pure
    So rare
    To witness such an earthly goddess

    That I'd sell
    My soul
    My self-esteem a dollar at a time
    For one chance
    One kiss
    One taste of you my black Madonna

    I'd sell
    My soul
    My self-esteem a dollar at a time

    One taste
    One taste
    One taste of you my Magdalena Writer/s: BILLY HOWERDEL, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 13

  • Pereira.kara@gmail.com from United StatesWhy are people always taking things so literally? BLACK Madonna? Come on. What is common in all of the clothes people wear to a funeral? BLACK. Weddings? White. What is black magic? Magic performed by a BLACK PERSON? No. It's black magic. Black is dark is it not? Maynard is very smart. Black is what we see on an object when the light is fully absorbed. It's all colors in one. White is the reflection. White magic is good magic, and I know you will find this amazingly and surprising however white magic is also performed by "black" AFRICAN AMERICAN individuals. Whoever said "black woman" must not be esoteric enough, or at least have a high IQ enough to truly value and feel from the inside A Perfect Circle's beautiful artistic nature. Just kidding. Or am I.
  • Del from HollywoodHer name is Mary, she's black, and a suicide girl. They were together for about ten years.
  • Matt from Linton, InMight be coincidence but I am watching a Charles Manson documentary and Shorty Shay a ranch hand at Barker Ranch in L.A. had a wife who's name was Magdalena and she was a black stripper so made me think could be a connection to the song.
  • Alana from Cookeville, TnI think that Brianne from Windsor is right on the money. It has a very biblical feel. Even though MJK does not claim to be a Christian, I believe in this song, he touches upon the idea of sex being an overpowering desire for all of humanity, and not even Jesus was "immune".
  • Kayla from Alamogordo, Nmthis song is about a stripper and he uses biblical refences
  • Fred from Laurel, MdI've never heard this song, but it sounds like it's distantly related to a Danny O'Keefe song of the same title, from the 1970's. ("Oh, Magdalena / Nothin' like a saint you are.") His choice of title may have also been based on the story of Mary Magdalene, anybody know?
  • Goddyss from Detroit, MiThe APC website states that Maynard wrote this song, on a cocktail napkin, at a strip club, and that it does in fact have religious connotations as well.
  • Brianne from Windsor, CanadaTo say that this song is simply about strippers, Mary Magdalene, or black girls, is to look too closely at specifics and ignore the deeper meaning. As Joe says, Maynard uses religious connotations quite often in his lyrics, so it's not odd to see a reference to Mary Magdalene. But look more closely at the mythology and legend surrounding Mary Magdalene - there isn't a whole lot to say that she was really a prostitute; there is actually a lot to say she wasn't. There are many people who believe that she was not only one of Jesus' closest friends, but also his lover. For a very basic example, look at The DaVinci Code. The interpretation in that book/movie is that Mary Magdalene represented the divine feminine in contrast with the divine masculine of Jesus himself. Therefore, metaphorically, Magdalena (one of many variations of the name) would seem to represent a very vivid example of femininity and the object of intense desire. The Black Madonna reference, when following this interpretation of the song, suggests that Maynard's references to religion are being used in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way. The Madonna - Jesus' mother Mary - is also seen as representative of the divine feminine, the mother goddess. In many belief systems, there is a lot of ambiguity between the mother-goddess and the love goddess. To me, 'black Madonna' simply means that this woman is not pious or 'good' in the typical Judeo-Christian way, but is still viewed as a goddess by the one who desires her. Therefore, the stripper interpretation is probably also very correct. In short, it seems to me that the narrator of the song has fallen madly in love with a stripper or a prostitute. For added back-up to this point, if you look up the various interpretations of 'earth' and all things earthly, they are often tied with femininity, fertility and sexuality. So yeah, maybe it is about getting a show by a stripper, but there's so much more to it than that.
  • Kassandria from Steubenville, Wathis is about mary magdalens temptation of jesus, its about how that was who he worshiped not his father but a woman. his goddess the true spirit of the song is about love a love tht you would give all for
  • Megna from Liberty, Msdon't you guys think he's talkin about a stripper named magdalena? one dollar at a time. and clearly she's a black girl (my black madonna)? im not sure, that's just what goes thru my mind when i hear this song.
  • Joe from Eldred, PaMagdalena, take off the 'A'
    and what pfoffesion was Mary Magdalen???
    I'm sure I'm not the first to make this connection, and I'm not even sure if its neccesarily what MJK had in mind, but I think it is for several reasons...
    1.Magdalena is far from a common name, and I doubt he'd just pull that out of a hat of odd names.
    2.The song mentions words like "goddess" and "prayers" giving it a sort of religious, mythical flavor.
    3.The rest of the album also seems to be themed towards the songs being about important figures in the past, fictional or real, with a few exceptions, but I think he had her in mind when he wrote this.

    Just because Maynards not religious doesn't mean he doesn't use references to religious stories in his lyrics, he actually uses them quite a lot.
  • Amanda The Stampede from Cincinnati, OhJessica, it is. Listen to the song, clearly it's about that...
  • Jessica Marie from Palm Beach Gardens, FlI highly doubt that.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.