Single Review: Madonna “You’ll See”

You’ll See
Album: Something To Remember
Year: 1995

Madonna aims to prove her controlling, emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend wrong in the self-willed “You’ll See.”

A resilient drum and mocking guitar open the single, setting a stern tone. Madonna declares she will be able to continue living her life without him. Her ex told her she is a nobody. She vows that he will eat his words one day. (“You think that I can’t live without your love/You’ll see/You think I can’t go on another day/You think I have nothing/Without you by my side/You’ll see/Somehow, some way.”)

The drums and guitars speed up slightly for the second verse. Madonna will take pleasure in jokes and love again. Her ex thinks he has broken her down and damaged her beyond repair. But she’s only gathering her strength. (“You think that I can never laugh again/You’ll see/
You think that you destroyed my faith in love/You think after all you’ve done/I’ll never find my way back home/You’ll see/Somehow, someday.”)

In the chorus, she says she will rebuild her identity and self-esteem from scratch herself. She’ll pull through and make it without anyone’s help. It’s important to her that she is independent. (“All by myself/I don’t need anyone at all/I know I’ll survive/I know I’ll stay alive/All on my own/
I don’t need anyone this time/It will be mine/No one can take it from me/You’ll see.”)

Madonna sees him as a scared, fragile man who has to shatter a woman to feel good about himself. She tells him it’s natural to weep and not to be correct all the time. She’s honest and has credibility. People will be able to see through his manipulations and lies to smear her. (“You think that you are strong, but you are weak/You’ll see/It takes more strength to cry, admit defeat/I have truth on my side/You only have deceit/You’ll see, somehow, someday.”)

After chorus is sung once, Madonna says that he will find out how strong and confident she really is. (“You’ll see…you’ll see.”)

Madonna’s revenge is subtle in the empowering “You’ll See.” By becoming a woman he no longer will be able to dominate her, she will have defied his low expectations of her. Madonna does not want to be a victim. She prefers to walk away on her own terms and not have anyone hold her hand. Once she becomes the self she knew before him, then she will be truly free of him.


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