Living For Love
Album: Rebel Heart
Madonna won’t let another heartbreak stop her from falling in love again in the stodgy “Living For Love.”
Muffled synths open the single, setting a watery tone. He made her feel special in a way no one else had ever done in awhile. He encouraged her to try and supported her. Finally, she told him her secrets and all the things she was afraid to say. She lost her identity in him and denied that there was anything wrong between them. Until he told her it was over. (“First you loved me and I let you in/Made me feel like I was born again/You empowered me, you made me strong/Built me up and I could do no wrong/I let down my guard, I fell into your arms/Forgot who I was, I didn't hear the alarms/Now I'm down on my knees, alone in the dark/I was blind to your game/You fired a shot at my heart.”)
In the pre-chorus, it’s as though he let their relationship fail. He wouldn’t communicate with her. He stopped caring. However, she knows there are better guys out there for her. (“Took me to heaven, let me fall down/Now that it's over, I'm gonna carry on/Lifted me up, and watched me stumble/After the heartache, I'm gonna carry on.”)
In the chorus, her friends are offering to set her up on dates. She figures why not. Her ex obviously wasn’t right for her. Her soulmate is still out there somewhere. She’s going to keep looking. (“Living for love, I'm living for love/Not giving up
I'm gonna carry on/Living for love, I'm living for love/Not gonna stop/Your love's gonna lift me up/Love, lift me up/Love's gonna lift me up/Love, lift me up.”)
She could think of how their relationship was actually a lie. He lead her on and raised her hopes. However, she’s not going to give him any time than she already did. Once she found out how he really felt, it was a relief. She didn’t have any more doubts. She should have a guy in her life that truly loves her. Before he broke up with her, she was crying and didn’t know what to do. Without him, she has her confidence back. She doesn’t hate him but she wouldn’t take him back, either. (“I could get caught up in bitterness/But I'm not dwelling on this crazy mess/I found freedom in the ugly truth/I deserve the best and it's not you/You've broken my heart, but you can't break me down/I've fallen apart, what was lost, now I'm found/I picked up my crown, put it back on my head/I can forgive, but I will never forget.”)
The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.
In the bridge, she says she will be happy with someone else again. It closes the single. (“Love's gonna lift me up/Lift me up/Love's gonna lift me up/Up-up-up-up/Lord lift me up-up-up-up/Love's gonna lift me up/Up-up-up-up/Lord lift me up-up-up-up/Love's gonna lift me up/Lord lift me up-up-up-up.”)
Madonna might as well be leaving the single as a vocal message on her phone. Her voice has gotten rougher over the years. It’s gotten nasal, which highlights her shortcomings.
The fallible “Living For Love” craves immortality but has to settle for ordinary.