August 27

Linda Ronstadt Knows that “Love is a Rose” with a Handful of Thorns


Why is love so beautiful and terrible at the same time? Well, that is what Linda Ronstadt‘s “Love is a Rose” talks about and we could all learn from it.

The track was a part of Neil Young’s Homegrown album. Unfortunately, it was never officially released so he offered it to Linda Ronstadt and it instantly became one of her notable hits.

linda ronstadt, rose
via Billboard.com

Behind Linda Ronstadt’s “Love is a Rose”

When the singer was offered the song, she immediately took it. The recording session was done in a quick span of time with the help of Linda’s band members. The song is a classic country because of the strong influence of steel guitar and banjo that is heard in the track.

Her producer, Peter Asher, brought in David Lindley to play the fiddle and Herb Pedersen for the banjo. Kenny Edwards was the bass player, Russ Kunkel played the drums and Andrew Gold was on acoustic guitar.

linda ronstadt, rose
via Screengrab from YouTube

Lyrics Breakdown

Love is a rose but you better not pick it
Only grows when it’s on the vine

Roses have long been used as a metaphor for love because of its beauty. One aspect that is always considered is the thorns that you get when you pick a rose. This is comparable to loving someone. We all know stories of people who gave all their love to someone just to get their hearts broken. This is almost always true to everyone and that is the scary part of loving.

It is always a risk and you will never really know if you’re gonna get hurt or not. “Love is a Rose” plays on the idea that we will definitely get hurt when loving someone but are we willing to accept the pain? The answer lies in us and us alone, and if we are willing to risk it all, then we must be prepared with the consequences.

Listen to Linda Ronstadt’s version here:


Linda Ronstadt, love is a rose, neil young

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