Story of Song

Amanda McBroom said: “A song came on the radio. It was ‘Magdalena’ by Danny OKeefe, sung by Leo Sayer. I liked it immediately. My favorite line was, ‘You’re love is like a razor. My heart is just a scar.’ I thought, ‘Ooh, I love that lyric, but don’t agree with the sentiment that love is a razor, as I continued to drive down the road the thought came, What, then, do I think love is. Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head. Words came pouring in. I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldn’t forget them. I screeched into my driveway, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano. Ten minutes later, The Rose was there. A year or so later, a professional songwriter friend of mine said, ‘Listen, there is this movie coming out called The Rose, based on the life of Janis Joplin (A talented singer/songwriter who died of a heroin overdose in 1971 at the age of 27). They are looking for a title tune. Do you want me to submit this to them? I had never really tried to submit a song to anyone. I didn’t consider myself a songwriter at the time. So I said, Sure.
“The producers hated it. They thought it was dull and not Rock And Roll and totally wrong. They put it in the reject box. But Paul Rothchild, who had been Janis Joplin’s producer, and now the music supervisor on the film, hauled it out and asked them to reconsider. They again said no. So he mailed it to Bette Midler, the star of the movie. She liked it, lobbied in favor of it; and that’s how it got into the film and changed my life forever.”

The song says that love can be a painful process that can leave a person feeling hurt and vulnerable if you’ve had a bad love experience. However, if you’re happily in love you will see it from a whole different perspective. She describes the wonderful moments that one might miss out on if they never take a chance on love, and encourages those without hope to remain optimistic.In 1979, Bette Midler made her first motion picture starring in The Rose and released her fifth studio album, ‘Thighs and Whispers’ the same year.

Release date

It was first released as a soundtrack for the movie “The Rose” in 1979. But officially released in Bette Midler’s album “The Rose” in March 1980.


Amanda McBroom



Chart Rankings

US – 1

UK – 1


“The Rose” was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Country Singles, the Cashbox Top 100, the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 3 weeks. It was certified Gold by the RIAA for over a million copies sold in the US. Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for it, beating Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer among others.

It stayed in the Top 100 charts for 25 weeks. It earned Midler her first Gold single and won the Grammy award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Artist’s age on release date

Bette was 35 years of age when she released The Rose.

Cover Versions

In January 1983, Conway Twitty released a cover version for ‘The Rose’.  Irish boy band Westlife also released it as the first and only single from their eighth studio album ‘The Love Album’. The Dubliners recorded a duet with The Hothouse Flowers for Rose Week and released “The Rose” as a single in 1991, it reached no. 2.

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  1. Kelly

    October 24, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Sang it every night while rocking my girls to sleep. 20 + years later the three of us have matching tattoos of a rose on our wrists. The song forever will be in my heart and part of my family, and I am sure future rocking of grandchildren to sleep. XO

  2. Julio Rodriguez

    April 4, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I want to include this song lyric in a book I going to publish because my daughter died at age 24 under overdose of medications (suicide) and I dedicated my book to her. I going to include a photo of my daughter at the end of the book with this lyric, and I will include the author of the song (Amanda McBroom).
    so, I would like to know if that will be ok, and no need any permission for do this.
    Every time I hear this song I cry because it make me to remember my daughter.

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