Sunday, May 12, 2013

Song Meaning: Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison

ARTIST: POISON | ALBUM: Open Up and Say... Ahh! | RELEASED: 1988
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" marked Poison at their best, highlighted by the fact that this is their only No. 1 hit on Bill Board 100. As a rock n' roll fan, but necessary a fan of the glam metal stuff, I'll admit that this indeed is a good song - both musically and lyrically.

It would be foolish to think that the song wasn't riding on the cocktail of the popularity of the glam metal scene of the 1980s. Poison was just one among many other successful glam metal bands, like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Motley Crue. By the way, glam metal is not to be confused with heavy metal; these two are as opposite as oil and water.

Check out my article I wrote about glam metal music the 1980s.

As for the meaning, the song explores the burden of love. The lyrics were based on frontman Bret Michaels' real life experience where he found out that, while he was on the road touring, his girlfriend at the time was with another man. Upon leaning this sad news, he quickly wrote the lyrics with the help of his acoustic guitar - which eventually turned into the acoustic riff that can be heard throughout the song.
Analysis of few interesting lines: 

We feel miles apart inside4 - this figuratively means the relationship between Bret and his girlfriend already starting to go south. "Miles apart" is very fitting given that Bret was always on the road touring in the midst of the popularity of the glam metal genre.

Every rose has its thorn13 - rose, actually rose stem, is an analogy that symbolizes both the good and bad things of the a relationship, where love can be as sweet as a rose, but loss of there of can be as harsh as rose prickles.

Roses are sweet but prickles are.... not so much
Just like every night has it's dawn14 - night and dawn, like rose and prickles, further emphasize the contrasting aspects of love.

Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song15 - well, Bret Michaels probably likes cowboys. At least he's wearing a cowboy hat on the promotional poster of the single. So this line is referring to himself.

I listen to our favorite song playing on the radio20 - in 1988, there was no MP3's, iPods, or iTunes... only radios. Time have certainly changed!
That's what I make of this song. It's a good song to say the least, well written. It's also got a nice guitar solo. I want to know what you think of this. Make a comment below and let me know if I missed anything interesting. 

P.s. I found out the name of the girl Bret is referring to in this song, it's Tracy Lewis and apparently she was a stripper at the time. So the moral of this song is that if you want to be friends with a stripper, it's going to last as long as a match that ignites fire.




  1. We both lie silently still
  2. In the dead of the night
  3. Although we both lie close together
  4. We feel miles apart inside

  5. Was it something I said or something I did
  6. Did my words not come out right
  7. Though I tried not to hurt you
  8. Though I tried
  9. But I guess that's why they say

  10. [Chorus:]
  11. Every rose has its thorn
  12. Just like every night has its dawn
  13. Just like every cowboy sings his same sad old song
  14. Every rose has its thorn

  15. Yeah it does

  16. I listen to our favorite song playing on the radio
  17. Hear the DJ say loves a game of easy come and easy go
  18. But I wonder does he know
  19. Has he ever felt like this
  20. And I know that you'd be here right now
  21. If I could have let you know somehow
  22. I guess

  23. [Chorus]

  24. Though it's been a while now
  25. I can still feel so much pain
  26. Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals
  27. But the scar, that scar remains

  28. I know I could have saved a love that night
  29. If I'd known what to say
  30. Instead of makin' love
  31. We both made our separate ways

  32. And now I hear you found somebody new
  33. And that I never meant that much to you
  34. To hear that tears me up inside
  35. And to see you cuts me like a knife
  36. I guess

  37. [Chorus]

Lyrics from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/poison/everyrosehasitsthorn.html

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