Talk:Like a Prayer (song)

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Good article Like a Prayer (song) has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Did You Know Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 28, 2011 Peer review Reviewed
September 20, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
December 25, 2011 Peer review Reviewed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on July 9, 2011.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Pepsi allowed Madonna to retain her $5 million dollar fee, despite cancelling their sponsorship deal following the controversy over the music video for "Like a Prayer"?
Current status: Good article

Pre-FAC comments[edit]

Legolas2186 asked me to look over the article and comment on its suitability for FAC. Here are some comments that should be addressed before bringing it to FAC, in my opinion:

  • A general copyedit will be needed. There are some strange turns of phrase that need to be ironed out for the sake of clarity and grammar.
  • The concept of double entendre should be mentioned earlier than "Composition" since it's a key lyrical concept.
  • Burning crosses are not Catholic symbols as far as a I know. Does the source say this? Later you say they are a Ku Klux Klan symbol.
  • The section on transubstantiation needs revising for clarity. I know what you are trying to say, but it's muddy.
  • Wine and wafer symbolize the blood and body of Christ.
  • Unclear why Andraé Crouch would not be offended by the lyrics. How was it that he agreed to perform the song after reading the lyrics? Did he not realize the sexual meaning?
  • "additional drummers" and then "the person cancelled"; how many people are we talking about?
  • "The actor only enacted the live scenes" needs clarity. Again, I know what you are trying to say, but I think we can state more elegantly that certain scenes would depict Robinson as a statue, and certain scenes would be as a human embodiment of the statue.

Hope this helps. --Laser brain (talk) 17:08, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

For expansion[edit]

Jivesh1205 (Talk) 08:04, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Prince[edit]

Why isn't there any mention of Prince, who played guitar on the record? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.221.182.227 (talk) 19:08, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Recording Dramas Unsubstantiated[edit]

Lucy O'Brien's "Like An Icon" (2007) is referenced as the source for all of the info about Madonna fighting with Patrick Leonard during the recording of the song, shouting at other people etc. etc. (pg. 119). However, not only is the page number incorrect, but NONE of this information appears in "Like An Icon". What is the true source of this info? If it can't be substantiated, it should be deleted.121.222.141.243 (talk) 06:11, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

O'Brien, Lucy (2008). Madonna: Like an Icon. Corgi Books. ISBN 978-0-55215-361-4.  I have this version of the book and everything is present from pages 188 to pages 197. Maybe you are looking at a wrong version, Or maybe we can update the version in the article to the version I listed above. —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 07:36, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, thanks for pointing out those pages. The part about Guy Pratt was referenced under the "Like A Prayer" album in the index, which is why I missed it, although I still can't find anything about "recording being halted" while Madonna and Pat Leonard fought over the bridge. Do you know where that is? Thanks again for clearing the reference up!121.222.141.243 (talk) 13:49, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
It is there. I have to see the page number again, but it is there. Recording halted and Madonna started crying if I remember correctly, which led to Leonard commenting in the beginning that Like a Prayer was her divorce album, denoting the impact of the divorce I guess. —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 07:53, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's all there, but I've read every page that mentions "Like A Prayer" (the album) and there's absolutely nothing about them fighting over the bridge.121.222.141.243 (talk) 11:24, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
He sorry, it seems you are right. That particular info is not there. Instead the fight and its continuation was for Madonna wanting to prove herself as a producer. I have deleted and replaced that false info. Thanks :) —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 15:41, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Spanish?[edit]

"The women of Spanish East Harlem in New York call their Church as la casa di momma (Momma's House)."

This sounds more Italian than Spanish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 148.87.19.194 (talk) 02:29, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracies[edit]

The section on the recording process is full of inaccuracies. Lucy O'Brien's book, "Like An Icon" is quoted as the source for much of this section, but many of the quotes attributed to Guy Pratt and Bruce Gaistch about the recording of the song actually refer to the recording of the album. For example, this article specifically states that according to Guy Pratt, Madonna gave specific instructions to the musicians concerning what she wanted them to play, after having run through the song once with them. Guy Pratt was referring to the recording session for "Oh Father", though, NOT "Like A Prayer". Similarly, according to this article, Bruce Gaistch told Pat Leonard that the song, "Like A Prayer", was as good as it was going to get, and that they were finished with it. Again, this is incorrect, as Bruce was referring to the album recording session in general, and not to the track, "Like A Prayer". This article needs to be reviewed and extensively edited to remove all of these incorrect and inaccurate statements.101.162.202.227 (talk) 13:00, 2 March 2014 (UTC)


I think the following assertion is inaccurate and unfounded: "The usage of choir and organ in the song was an unprecedented blend of pop with religious music, which paved the way for gospel music to be more mainstream than before." Obviously the cited author is ignoring the long association of gospel and choral music with rock and roll. There are numerous examples, from the Edwin Hawkins Singers "Oh Happy Day," to both Leon Russell's and B.B. King's versions of "Hummingbird," along with various songs from artists such as the Staple Singers and Stevie Wonder. This citation fallaciously asserts that Madonna was breaking new ground, when it obviously had been done many times before her. Just because he says it, doesn't make it so. Gil gosseyn (talk) 07:18, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Another MAJOR example of combining rock and gospel was the Rolling Stones' song "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which was recorded on 16 and 17 November 1968 at Olympic Sound Studios in London. It features the London Bach Choir. This precedes "Like A Prayer by a full TWENTY YEARS! If there are no further responses on this topic, I will delete the fallacious reference in a week. Gil gosseyn (talk) 17:15, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

I rephrased the lines and attributed it to the author's point of view, not as a general statement. —IB [ Poke ] 21:48, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I have nothing against Madonna, and think the John Wesley Harding cover of this song was amazing. I just don't like seeing people being slavishly praised for reinventing the wheel. Gil gosseyn (talk) 23:27, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Cross burning and Catholicism??[edit]

How is cross burning a symbol of Catholicism? All I've seen online is that it was widely associated with the KKK. There's no proof that it was a Catholic symbol. I'd like the person that wrote this to site where they got that idea from, otherwise I will edit that information out. I'm surprised no one got offended by that. Aaron Saltzer (talk) 21:06, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

It clearly says Klu Klax style cross burning, in the line "The clip depicts Catholic symbols such as stigmata, Ku Klux Klan-style cross burning, and a dream about kissing a black saint." There is nothing to get offended about except lack of reading comprehension —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 06:09, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

I saw that. I reread it. I misunderstood. Sorry. Aaron Saltzer (talk) 16:39, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Prince guitar at the start[edit]

Patrick Leonard says quite authoritatively that the guitar at the start, at least, is Prince. Should this be added? Was wondering if anyone has any counter-source in case this is memory playing tricks with him. Blythwood (talk) 10:21, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Billboard is a pretty reliable source so we should definitely add it. —Indian:BIO [ ChitChat ] 10:34, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Help needed with fixing the listed chord progressions in the article[edit]

In the Like_a_Prayer_(song)#Composition section, I noticed that the chord progressions were listed rather incorrectly:

"Like a Prayer" follows a Dm–C–D–Gm–D chord progression in the opening chorus, and a Dm–C–E–C7–B–F–A sequence in the verses.

which totally does not match what I hear in the official music video.

Looking at the referenced music sheet at http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0070693, it became clear to me that whoever first copied the chords to Wikipedia did not understand slash chords, and the initial three chords of "Dm, C/D and Gm/D" became five chords of "Dm, C, D, Gm, D"...

Another point of contention is that Madonna's opening solo is probably the "opening verse" rather than the "opening chorus".

Then, finally, the erroneously written Dm–C–E–C7–B–F–A, probably meant to be Dm–C/E–C7–B–F/A or Dm–C/E–C7/B–F/A, is neither the beginning of any verse or the chorus, but rather, seems like the continuation after Dm–C/D–Gm/D in the same opening verse.

But the actual chorus of "When you call my name, it's like a little prayer..." has the chord progression of F–C–B­–F/A–F/D–Gm/D–F (from http://pop-sheet-music.com/Files/abf97916e62bcde78f924d6ca4c75366.pdf, because the sample page on http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0070693 does not even reach that chorus...

And what is more saddening is that these errors in chord progressions have propagated to translations, e.g. French and Polish.

Anyhow, I decided to at least fix the slash chords first, as follows:

"Like a Prayer" starts with a Dm–C/D–Gm/D–Dm chord progression in the opening chorus, and a Dm–C/E–C7–B–F/A[verification needed] sequence in the verses.

I think a more accurate version would look something like:

"Like a Prayer" starts with a Dm–C/D–Gm/D, Dm–C/D–Gm/D, Dm–C/E–C7–B–F/A chord progression in the opening verse, and a F–C–B­–F/A–F/D–Gm/D–F sequence in the chorus.)

though I do begin to wonder if it is a good idea to list out all the chord progressions in the Wiki article.

But I am sure there are professional musicians here who know how to fix this paragraph properly, so that's why I am writing this help request.  :-) Many thanks!

Anthony Fok (talk) 11:59, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Pitchfork's Best Songs of the 80s[edit]

Like a Prayer was considered the 50th best song of the 80s by Pitchfork. Can you add this to the article? http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9700-the-200-best-songs-of-the-1980s/8/

Jimoincolor (talk) 20:47, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Pre FAC comments[edit]

  • "Like a Prayer" denoted a more artistic and personal approach to songwriting for Madonna - hmmm, meaning she took amore active role in songwriting? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 09:43, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • The song is noted for the mayhem surrounding the music video - mayhem?? "uproar" maybe but "mayhem" means more chaos/anarchy/craziness....

After its release, the Vatican condemned the video?[edit]

Where's the citation? I am skeptical because there is no citation this occurred. I honestly can't recall in my lifetime (and I'm in that "middle-age" demographic) when the Vatican has officially condemned any pop music video or anything else in the current media. There are groups of Catholics that will absolutely make their outrage public. I just find it very hard to believe that this video so offended the pope or any high-ranking clergy that it was even on the priority list of making official comment. Even by 1989, human nature and historical gaffs were common knowledge. Condemn a song, a video, a movie, or a book, and surprise, surprise! It's an advertisement. People who had no interest in these various works can't get to them fast enough to see what all the fuss is about. I'm pretty sure the Vatican had learned the futility by 1989 when this was released. A statement that the Vatican condemned this video should be easily cited via their massive website. I have good reasons for why I'm skeptical that would include opinion and possibly "original research" and shall be omitted. Hopefully I am allowed to say, "Citation needed!" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:E000:6341:600:31C5:97D5:B0EA:5061 (talk) 16:47, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

"When her video for the song "Like a Prayer" ... was released in 1989, the Vatican condemned it."[2] I'll add the cite. - SummerPhDv2.0 00:54, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks SummerPhD. I moved it to the religious protest section. —IB [ Poke ] 07:07, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

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Legacy[edit]

http://uproxx.com/sepinwall/the-leftovers-soundtrack-liza-richardson-interview/2/ Madonna refused her song to be used in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzakrA2NUpg&feature=youtu.be. Richardson reports "the licenser of Madonna, Warner/Chappell, [...] felt really bad that she said no, because that’s a very special song to her. She even said, “You can have any other song of mine but just not that one.” "

[1]


Aurbeh (talk) 09:05, 11 June 2017 (UTC)--Aurbeh (talk) 09:05, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

How is this related to the legacy of the song? Madonna does not allow any of her songs to be used in any programs or commercially. —IB [ Poke ] 09:50, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

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