Story of Song The stories behind the hits Novellic
Lyric Music

The Rose

Bette Midler

Album The Rose

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.

Added by Slate

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    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

    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.

      Beverly Patterson

      November 10, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      My son passed at age 15, gunshot wound to the head. I was just thinking of this song this morning, singing and crying. I didn’t even know the history until I looked it up. I am so sorry for your daughter’s loss. We are in a club no one wants to be a part of!

      May God wrap his arms of love and compassion around you and your family and loved ones.

    Marie Maeder

    September 3, 2021 at 1:58 am

    I loved this song when I first heard it, and even more when I watched and heard Bette Midler sing it in a concert. But now I must see the text of the lyrics to better understand the meaning of the rose, a beautiful flower…with thorns.

    Elizabeth MacLeod

    November 17, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Today is my mums 2nd anniversary. I picked this song for my Mumma to be played at her funeral because she got Rhumatoid Arthritis when she was 23 and had 5 children
    She loved her husband and children furiously and suffered with pain and anxiety
    At the age of 80 she had a fall and went into a nursing home because she needed full time care. She hated the nursing home and being away from her beloved husband. Each and every nite and day became too lonely even though my family and i would visit. The road became too long forvMumma and im sure she thought love was only for the lucky and the strong.
    I was the only one with my mum when she passed away i held her hand and i know she was like the seed in the winter snow and in the spring would become the Rose.
    So tonight on her 2nd anniversary i sit with a picture of my beautiful mum , a lit candle, flowers and play ” The Rose” in remembrance of how strong she was.

    John jennings

    February 27, 2023 at 10:58 am

    I lost my daughter in 2020 in lockdown she took her own life 🥲 not long after I seen a man playing a trumpet on the top of a hill it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard and I’m sure it was in Llandudno (the last place I went with my michelle only a few weeks before she died)
    I found out the tune he was playing was actually The Rose by Bet Midler! It’s almost made for michelle because she could never find love and she died thinking love was for the lucky and the strong 🥲🥲💔 I’m going to plant a seed in the garden in her memory and watch the rose grow in the spring 🌹🥀

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