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American Life (song)
"American Life"
Released April 8, 2003
Length 4:57
Writer(s) Madonna
Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Producer(s) Madonna
Mirwais Ahmadzaï

American Life Logo track listing

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Hollywood

"American Life" is a song by Madonna from her ninth studio album American Life. It was released as the lead single of the album on April 8, 2003.

Background

Madonna is an American success story who is skilled at manipulating the media and making good business decisions. She has taken many risks in her music and her image, and while many have proven very successful, this song wasn't a commercial success. The song is a criticism of the American way of life as being selfish and materialistic, and how while Madonna has achieved the typical American Dream, she's not sure this is what she wants.

Composition

The song starts with Madonna's voice multi-tracked questioning – "Am I gonna be a star?", "Should I change my name?" – the lyrics develop into what is a complaint about modern-day life. The repeated acoustic guitar riff adds "a touch of pathos" to the song. The lyrics accompany a "punchy octave synth figure" synchronized with a drum and bass beat. "American Life" is written in the time signature of common time with a moderate tempo of 102 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of F-sharp minor with Madonna's voice spanning from C3 to B4.

Music Video

Original Video (Graphic)

Music Video Information
Madonna - American Life

Madonna - American Life

Released February 6-7, 2003
Length 5:10
Director Jonas Åkerlund
Production Co N/A
Choreographer N/A
Filmed N/A
Location LA
VEVO views 1+ Million Views

Edited Video

Music Video Information
Madonna - American Life (Video)

Madonna - American Life (Video)

Released April 16, 2003
Length 5:10
Director Jonas Åkerlund
Production Co N/A
Choreographer N/A
Filmed N/A
Location LA
VEVO views 6+ Million Views

Lyrics

Do I have to change my name?
Will it get me far?
Should I lose some weight?
Am I gonna be a star?

I tried to be a boy
I tried to be a girl
I tried to be a mess
I tried to be the best
I guess I did it wrong
That's why I wrote this song

This type of modern life, is it for me?
This type of modern life, is it for free?

So, I went into a bar
Looking for sympathy
A little company
I tried to find a friend
It's more easily said
It's always been the same

This type of modern life, is not for me
This type of modern life, is not for free

American life (American life)
I live the American dream (American dream)
You are the best thing I've seen
You are not just a dream (American life)

I tried to stay ahead
I tried to stay on top
I tried to play the part
But somehow I forgot
Just what I did it for
And why I wanted more

This type of modern life, is it for me?
This type of modern life, is it for free?

Do I have to change my name?
Will it get me far?
Should I lose some weight?
Am I gonna be a star?

American life (American life)
I live the American dream (American dream)
You are the best thing I've seen
You are not just a dream (American life)
American life

I tried to be a boy
Tried to be a girl
Tried to be a mess
Tried to be the best
Tried to find a friend
Tried to stay ahead
I tried to stay on top
Fuck it

Do I have to change my name?
Will it get me far?
Should I lose some weight?
Am I gonna be a star?

A- fuck it
A- fuck it
A- fuck it
A- fuck it

I'm drinking a soy latte
I get a double shot-e
It goes right through my body, and you know I'm satisfied
I drive my Mini Cooper, and I'm feeling super-dooper
Yo, they tell I'm a trooper, and you know I'm satisfied
I do yoga and pilates, and the room is full of hotties
So I'm checking out the bodies, and you know I'm satisfied
I'm digging on the isotopes
This metaphysics shit is dope, and if all this can give me hope
You know I'm satisfied
I got a lawyer and a manager, an agent and a chef
Three nannies, an assistant, and a driver, and a jet
A trainer, and a butler, and a bodyguard, or five
A gardener and a stylist
Do you think I'm satisfied?
I'd like to express my extreme point of view
I'm not a Christian and I'm not a Jew
I'm just living out the American dream
And I just realized that nothing is what it seems

Do I have to change my name? (American life)
Am I gonna be a star? (I live the American dream)
Do I have to change my name? (American life)
Am I gonna be a star? (I live the American dream)
Do I have to change my name?
(American life)
(I live the American dream)
(American life)
(I live the American dream)
(American life)
(I live the American dream)
(American life)
(I live the American dream)


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