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interesting lyric for you to write. [Pause] Well, yeah, I wrote it! [Laughs] We out here in the world want you to be control. We want you to have the kind of the control that we’re not capable of. How does that kind of responsibility make you feel? I think I have great leadership qualities, but I don’t think I’ll ever be as in-control as people believe I am or want me to be. After all, I’m a human being. The nature of falling in love is that you have to compromise. I talked about this a lot when I was promoting my fi lm. A part of you has to go. A part of you has to die. I was reading a book called She. They were comparing the whole idea of being married, and the whole mythology of being married. The idea of walking down the aisle as a bride in some ancient times... it was considered a funeral march. In a primal way, you are giving yourself up to your other half.

are both mutually obsessed with Alain Delon, which is how the song ‘Beautiful Killer’ came about. A lot of people think of Martin Solveig as a DJ, but actually, he is a very talented musician. It was really easy to work with him. He accessed the ironic side of me: the love of language and the love of the rhythm of language; whereas William taps into, as I said before, the tortured soul. What comes out of both of those collaborations is quite diff erent, but I think equally interesting. I want to talk about my favourite songs from the record. ‘Gang Bang’... I don’t know who pissed you off, but to me, it’s like the ultimate... It’s the ultimate revenge song. It really is. There are so many layers. Listening, I thought, this person is a step away from ultimate, unbelievable sorrow. I love the whole imagery of dying for someone. I dated someone once who believed the ultimate profession of love... …would be death. Would be to die! It’s very nihilistic and romantic. The song is full of layers because on the one hand it sounds like I’m telling someone to go fuck themselves. On the other hand, it’s like I took on this character and the whole idea of telling somebody to drive, just to keep driving. And taking charge and calling a man a bitch. For a woman to call a man a bitch is, for me, the ultimate diss. But then there’s sorrow in it and there’s a broken heart in it and there’s humour. To me, the fl ipside of that is the song ‘Superstar’… It is totally the fl ipside! Is it fair to interpret that song as the next level from ‘Little Star’ from Ray of Light? Hmm... I wouldn’t have gone for that comparison, but I would say that it’s the antithesis of ‘Gang Bang’. It’s about fi nding a


man you can look up to, and comparing them to archetypes that I obviously adore, like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Bruce Lee, Abraham

“The nature of falling in love is that you have to


Lincoln. I name people who I look up to and admire, and they are superstars in my mind. And I compare the object of my aff ection to all of these people. I think I reached for ‘Little Star’ because of your daughter’s voice on the song. Ahh, I get it.

She sounds so lovely. Is it true that she’s going to tour with you? She has an incredible voice but she’ll never admit it. She’s like, “Mom, just take my name off the record.” I said, “Too late!” [Laughs] She’s defi nitely going on tour with me. I have to keep my eye on her. She’s 15. But she hasn’t decided what she wants to do. This is how we roll. [Laughs] This is how a Libra rolls. They can never make up their minds. She plays the piano beautifully. She’s an incredible singer. But she’s going through that ‘I don’t anyone to look at me’ phase, so she might be doing hair and make-up or dressing people in the wardrobe department. Let’s talk about the song “I Don’t Give A...” [Laughs] You’re focusing on my angry songs... They touch a chord in me... I’m sure you can relate to them. I hope everyone can relate to these songs. This heartbreaking passage... “I tried to be a good girl, I tried to be a wife, diminished myself, and I swallowed my light.” I lived that. I was in a relationship with a man I adored so that I found myself saying: “I don’t know who I am anymore. All I want to be is with you”… or... “all I want to be is who I think you want me to be”. That’s an

And then you are giving up your life in a way, and your married life takes over. It’s an incredible amount of power to give someone. It’s a valid sacrifi ce to make. You just have to make sure

you’re making it with the right person. There’s still a lot of

romance in your spirit about music, isn’t there? Of course! How could there not be?

How could you be a songwriter and not be romantic? As we’re talking, I’m now thinking of another song that I love from the new album, ‘Falling Free.’ It’s the perfect coda to everything we hear on this album. After moments of yelling “Die, bitch!”...

…and all of the blaming and all of the “it’s your fault!”...

...and all of the purging. You still believe in love?

Absolutely! Isn’t that neat? [Laughs] It’s amazing! That’s a neat feeling... a feeling where the emotion is so palpable. When you take the image that people have of you as an artist versus what they’ll hear if they really listen, it’s sometimes quite different, isn’t it? Yeah. Absolutely! Do you think you’re still fi ghting to be heard properly after all these years? I think I still have a lot to say, yes. I still get pissed off about things. And I still believe in love.

MDNA is out now. Madonna plays Hyde Park in London on Tuesday 17 July.

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