Papa Don't Preach



Lyrics

Papa I know you're going to be upset
'Cause I was always your little girl
But you should know by now
I'm not a baby

You always taught me right from wrong
I need your help, daddy please be strong
I may be young at heart
But I know what I'm saying

The one you warned me all about
The one you said I could do without
We're in an awful mess
And I don't mean maybe, please

Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby mmm

He says that he's going to marry me
We can raise a little family
Maybe we'll be all right
It's a sacrifice

But my friends keep telling me to give it up
Saying I'm too young, I ought to live it up
What I need right now is some good advice, please

Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby, ooh oh

Daddy, daddy if you could only see
Just how good he's been treating me
You'd give us your blessing right now
'Cause we are in love
We are in love, so please

Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby, ooh oh

Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep
Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep

(Papa don't preach)
Oh
(Papa don't preach)
I'm gonna keep my baby ooh
(Papa don't preach)
Don't you stop loving me daddy
(Papa don't preach)
I know I'm keeping my baby

Credits

Written by Brian Elliot
Additional lyrics by Madonna
Produced by Madonna and Steve Bray
Drums and keyboards by Steve Bray
Rhythm guitar by David Williams
Electric guitar by Bruce Gaitsch and John Putnam
Acoustic guitar by John Putnam
Additional keyboards by Fred Zarr
Percussion by Johnathan Moffett
String arrangement by Billy Meyers
Background vocals by Madonna, Siedah Garrett and Edie Lehmann


Album



Single

Papa Don't Preach, the singleThis second single followed the example of predecessor Live To Tell and became a huge #1 hit in the US (Gold), UK, Canada and Australia. In Japan it reached #2. The song heated discussions about abortion. Anti-abortion organisations wanted Madonna to speak up against abortion, while women organisations and parents criticized Madonna for encouraging teenage pregnancy. Madonna said she just wanted the song to be "a celebration of life, not a national controversy". In 1986 the song received a Grammy nomination for Outstanding Pop Vocal Performance.


Video

Papa Don't Preach, the videoThe video, directed by James Foley, visualises the story of the song: a teenage girl gets pregnant and is terrified to tell her dad (played by actor Danny Aiello). Romantic images of Madonna (with short blond hair) and the boyfriend are combined with images of her dancing alone in the dark - as if she's crying in the dark for help. In the end she tells her father. He reacts angry but in the final shot he takes her into his arms. At the 1987 MTV VMA the video received a nomination for Best Cinematography and Best Overall Performance, and it won an award for Best Female Video.




Tour

Papa Don't Preach @ Blond Ambition Tour On the Blond Ambition Tour, Papa Don't Preach closed off the church segment of the show. Wearing a black robe over her pointy bra, Madonna lipsynced most of the song while doing a choreography with six dancers.
Three years earlier, she premiered the song on the Who's That Girl Tour, this time singing it live. She jumped around on stage, wearing a white dress and a black leather jacket. The screen in the background showed several historical images.

Papa Don't Preach @ Re-Invention TourMany years later, Papa Don't Preach returned on the Re-Invention Tour. Her shirt referred to the original video, except that it didn't always read "Italians Do It Better"; on most shows it was "Kabbalists Do It Better", while the UK shows had their own "Brits Do It Better" and "Irish Do It Better". Her Scottish kilt suited the song well, 'cause she was spinning around a lot, just like a schoolgirl. At the end, she danced in a circle with 4 other girls (in Arnhem with 2 girls and 2 boys). While the others twirl away, Madonna's left alone on stage and the music is haunting. She walks to the front of the stage and sings the first verse from American Life: "Do I have to change my name? Will it get me far? Should I lose some weight? Am I gonna be a star?"

Papa Don't Preach @ MDNA TourIn a major contrast to its previous live incarnation, Papa Don't Preach on the MDNA Tour was no longer celebratory. At the end of Gang Bang, Madonna murders her lover and then robs him. With a burning cross in the background, she kneels down, seemingly asking God for forgiveness, but her redemption cannot be completed just yet as the dancers chain and abduct her. Because of that, Madonna only sings the first part of the song (ending with the first chorus) as it's performed in a medley together with Hung Up, which further indicates Madonna's fall into the darkness.

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