Amanda McBroom is a singer songwriter and cabaret performer. She wrote the standard called The Rose that was sung by Bette Midler for the movie of the same title. The movie was about the rocker Janice Joplin and her life. McBroom recounts the story of writing the song after hearing a lyric in the song Magdalena by Danny O’Keefe about how love is like a razor and it scars the heart. She did not agree with that feeling and then she started getting some words together while driving home. She got home and wrote it down as fast as she could and it took her only 10 minutes to write the song that is now a standard called the Rose. After hearing the song on the radio for years, I actually paid attention to the lyrics and was blown away by the wisdom of the written words and how they speak of love.
The first verse of this song speaks of what love is not and then it compares it to the seed of a rose. I love this analogy because it speaks of how we all have the capacity within us to love powerfully. Unconditional love is a choice and an action, not a feeling. The idea of a seed suggests controlled growth, not something out of control. Infatuation is not love, but a short-lived passion for another person. When the trials of life come about that “love” is lost. An unconditional love will be a slow growing flower that will blossom into an amazing flower.
The next verse of the song talks about different aspects of our lives that love can have a hand in making it better. Some people are afraid to love because they have lost too much when they have loved before. They may have had a bad experience with a broken heart. If you don’t get back on the horse you can miss a real blessing. Next love can play a big role in our dreams. You can have a dream, but if you don’t take a risk and follow that dream it will never happen. Failure is never trying to follow that dream. Loving yourself enough to follow your dream is a healthy way to live. Some people are just selfish and don’t want to give of themselves, whether to share themselves with another person or just lack generosity. Loving others is one of the best ways you can live and you will never be alone. Finally, some people are just afraid of taking a risk to love others and they never really learn how to live. Loving is living.
The last verse of the song says it all. Life is going to have its ups and downs, it’s going to be tough sometimes. We will suffer loss, we will get broken hearted, people will hurt us, but always remember that if we allow that seed within us to grow we will reap the benefits of love being this awesome flower. Life is full of seasons, and winter will not last (unless you live in one of the poles). Spring will burst forth with new life and time always heals all wounds. What causes that seed to grow? The light of the sun helps it grow. Having a great attitude no matter how deep the bitter snow is, can melt a ton of ice, provide water, and light for your small seed to grow. Loving others empowers us to empower others to empower us. When we share unconditional love, we will get it back tenfold.
Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed
It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love, in the spring
Becomes the rose
By Amanda McBroom
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.