The Rose (song)

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"The Rose"
Single by Bette Midler
from the album The Rose
Released March, 1980
Genre Pop, adult contemporary
Length 3:40
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Amanda McBroom
Producer(s) Paul A. Rothchild
Bette Midler singles chronology
"When a Man Loves a Woman"
"The Rose"
"My Mother's Eyes"

"The Rose" is a classic pop song written by Amanda McBroom and made famous by Bette Midler who recorded it for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits.

Background and Bette Midler version[edit]

"The Rose" was first recorded by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits. However the song was not written for the movie: Amanda McBroom recalls "I wrote it in 1977 [or] 1978, and I sang it occasionally in clubs...Jim Nabors had a local talk show, and I sang ["The Rose"] on his show once."[1] According to McBroom she wrote "The Rose" in response to her manager's suggestion that she write "some Bob Seger-type tunes" to expedite a record deal: McBroom obliged by writing "The Rose" in forty-five minutes. McBroom - "'The Rose' is...just one verse [musically] repeated three times. When I finished it I realized it doesn't have a bridge or a hook but I couldn't think of anything to [add]". McBroom's composition was one of seven songs selected by Midler from thirty song possibilities proffered by Paul A. Rothchild the producer of The Rose soundtrack album: reportedly Rothchild had listened to over 3000 songs in order to assemble those thirty possibilities.[2]

Released as the second single from the The Rose soundtrack album, "The Rose" hit number 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, it was number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks running. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for over a million copies sold in the United States.[3][4]

Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "The Rose", beating out formidable competition from Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer among others.[5]

There are two mixes of the song. The single mix features orchestration, while the version in the film (and on its soundtrack) includes an extended introduction while doing away with the orchestration in favor of piano-and-vocals only.

"The Rose" did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite not having been recorded prior to the soundtrack of the film The Rose, the song had not been written for the film. According to McBroom, AMPAS enquired of her if the song had been written for the movie, and McBroom answered honestly. McBroom did however win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "The Rose", as that award's governing body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), does not share AMPAS' official meticulousness over a nominated song's being completely original with its parent film.[6]

In 2004 "The Rose" finished #83 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of the top tunes in American cinema.

Preceded by
"Lost in Love" by Air Supply
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
May 10, 1980 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Little Jeannie" by Elton John

Conway Twitty version[edit]

"The Rose"
Single by Conway Twitty
from the album Dream Maker
Released January 17, 1983
Genre Country
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Amanda McBroom
Producer(s) Conway Twitty, Jimmy Bowen
Conway Twitty singles chronology
"We Did But Now You Don't"
"The Rose"
"Lost in the Feeling"

Country singer Conway Twitty recorded a cover version in 1983. His version, off his album Dream Maker, was a number one country hit in US and Canada. Conway Twitty's version was his 30th number one single on the US country chart.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey I Still Do)"
by Don Williams
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

March 12, 1983
Succeeded by
"I Wouldn't Change You If I Could"
by Ricky Skaggs
Preceded by
"Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning"
by Willie Nelson
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 26, 1983

Westlife version[edit]

"The Rose"
Single by Westlife
from the album The Love Album
Released November 6, 2006
Format CD Single
Recorded Studio 301, Stockholm, Sweden & Metropolis Studio, London
Genre Pop
Length 3:39
Label SonyBMG
Writer(s) Amanda McBroom
Producer(s) Quiz & Larossi
Westlife singles chronology
"The Rose"
"The Rose CD2"

"The Rose" was covered by Irish boy band Westlife and was released as the first and only single from their eighth studio album, The Love Album. It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for one week in November 2006. This became the group's 14th number-one single.[8] The single has sold over 140,000 copies in Britain so far.[9] The band gave their first live performance of the song on Miss World 2005 and later performed it on their Love Tour.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Rose" – 3:40
  2. "Solitaire" – 5:07
  1. "The Rose" – 3:40
  2. "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" – 3:47
  3. "If" – 2:42
  4. "The Rose" (video) – 3:55

Music video[edit]

The video for this single was presented in black and white and shows the emotions and events leading up to a couple's wedding procession. The band members are clad in suits and are shown in a checkered-floor room. During the initial period of the video's release, fans were given the opportunity to customise the music video by digitally adding their names to various elements such as the wedding invitation card. A coloured version of the music video was later made available.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 67
European Hot 100 Singles[11] 4
Irish Singles Chart 1
Sweden Singles Chart 4
Swiss Singles Chart 85
UK Singles Chart 1
Preceded by
"Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" by Fredde Le Grand
UK Singles Chart number-one single
November 12, 2006 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Smack That" by Akon
Preceded by
"The Saints Are Coming" by U2 and Green Day
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
November 16, 2006 (1 week)

The Dubliners version[edit]

"The Rose"
Single by The Hothouse Flowers and The Dubliners
from the album 30 Years A-Greying
Released 1991
Format Cassette, CD
Genre Celtic rock
Label London Records
The Hothouse Flowers and The Dubliners singles chronology
"Jack's Heroes"
"The Rose"
"Red Roses for Me"

The Dubliners recorded a duet with The Hothouse Flowers for Rose Week and released "The Rose" as a single in 1991, reaching no. 2 in the Irish Singles Chart.

Other versions[edit]

  • Skeeter Davis recorded the song and released it as a single in 1980.
  • Gheorghe Zamfir recorded a pan pipes version which was an album track as well as a single.

Cultural references[edit]

Kurt Cobain mockingly sang the first line of this song at the beginning of Nirvana's famed 1992 Reading Festival appearance. On the television show Family Guy, in the episode "Baby Not on Board", the Griffins sing an abbreviated version of "The Rose" in the style of Bette Midler after Peter suggests they sing a driving song. In the Two and a Half Men episode "City of Great Racks", a version of the song by LeAnn Rimes was played during a montage of Rose and Charlie. The song was also briefly played in the movie Napoleon Dynamite during the "Happy Hands Club" scene. The Kelly Family did a recording of "The Rose"[12] as well.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]