Madonna “Material Girl” Lyrics Meaning

“Material Girl” is a song by Madonna from her second album, Like a Virgin (1984). It came out on January 23, 1985, as the second single from the album.

In the song, Madonna sings about wanting a rich and luxurious life and only dating wealthy men. Critics often say that “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” made Madonna an icon.

Madonna has said that she regrets recording this song because it led to people calling her the “Material Girl” in the media. Some people see the song as empowering for women, while others have debated its meaning.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the lyrics of “Material Girl” and what they mean.

“Material Girl” Lyrics Meaning

[Verse 1]

Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me

I think they’re okay

If they don’t give me proper credit, I just walk away

They can beg and they can plead

But they can’t see the light (That’s right)

‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right

Verse 1 talks about Madonna’s experiences with different boys. Some boys kiss and hug her, and she thinks they are fine. But if they don’t give her the credit or respect she deserves, she simply walks away. Madonna values a boy who has money (“cold hard cash”), as she believes such a boy is always the right choice. 

[Verse 2]

Some boys romance, some boys slow dance

That’s all right with me

If they can’t raise my interest, then I have to let them be

Some boys try and some boys lie

But I don’t let them play (No way)

Only boys that save their pennies make my rainy day

Verse 2 describes Madonna’s attitude towards relationships. She’s okay with boys who show affection or dance with her. However, if they can’t capture her interest, she’s willing to let them go.

Madonna doesn’t tolerate boys who try to deceive or lie to her. She’s interested in boys who are financially responsible and can save money for her


‘Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

You know that we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

Living in a material world

And I am a material girl

You know that we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

In the Chorus, Madonna sings about living in a materialistic world, where material wealth is important. She identifies herself as a “material girl” and emphasizes her desire for material possessions and a luxurious lifestyle.

[Verse 3]

Boys may come and boys may go

And that’s all right, you see

Experience has made me rich and now they’re after me

Verse 3 reflects Madonna’s outlook on relationships. She acknowledges that boys may come and go in her life, and she’s fine with that. Her experiences have made her rich, not just financially but in terms of life lessons. Now, she believes that boys are pursuing her because of her newfound wealth and success.


A material, a material, a material, a material world

Living in a material world (Material)

Living in a material world

Living in a material world (Material-al)

Living in a material world

Living in a material world (Material)

Living in a material world

Living in a material world (Material-al)

Living in a material world

The outro repeats the phrase “Living in a material world” multiple times. This repetition reinforces the song’s central theme of living in a world where material possessions and wealth are highly valued.

Madonna emphasizes that she is part of this materialistic world, and it serves as a concluding reminder of her identity as a “material girl” in this context.

“Material Girl” Music Video

The music video was inspired by Madonna’s admiration for Marilyn Monroe and recreated Monroe’s performance of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the 1953 movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

The video aimed to both interpret and critique the song’s lyrics and Madonna herself. It was Madonna’s first opportunity to showcase her acting skills to the audience, blending the dance moves from “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” with a story about a man who later abandons using material items like diamonds to woo Madonna, opting for daisies instead. His plan seems to work because the final scene shows him and Madonna sharing an intimate kiss.

In the video, the setting mirrors the Monroe video, featuring a staircase, chandeliers, and several men in tuxedos. Madonna dances and sings the song “Material Girl” while being showered with money, exquisite jewelry, fur coats, and being carried by the men up the stairs.

Deeper Meaning Behind “Material Girl”

Madonna’s iconic hit “Material Girl” dropped in 1985, quickly earning classic status. Despite not having a hand in writing the song, Madonna has talked about its meaning in various interviews over the years.

In a 1986 interview with Company magazine, Madonna clarified that although she’s not really into material possessions, she was attracted to men with money for the security it provided. She explained, “You are attracted to men who have material things because that’s what pays the rents and buys you furs. That’s the security. That lasts longer than emotions.”

In the song itself, Madonna proudly labels herself a “material girl” who won’t settle for anything less than luxury. She sings about needing a man who can provide the finer things in life, and she doesn’t shy away from it.

However, the music video offers another interpretation. The video concept portrays Madonna as an actress who has to play the role of a “material girl,” but as soon as she’s off-camera, she’s a regular gal interested in simple things like daisies and doesn’t mind driving off with an ordinary guy in a less-than-impressive car. In other words, she’s not really a gold digger.

In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna was asked about her first impressions upon hearing the demos for this song and “Like A Virgin.” She responded, saying:

“I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative, but also unlike me. I’m not a materialistic person, and I certainly wasn’t a virgin.” Expanding on her “not materialistic” statement, she added, “I feel fortunate to afford a Frida Kahlo painting or live in a nice house, but I know I can live without them. I’m resourceful, and if I ended up in a log cabin in the middle of the forest, that would work too. These things are not essential for my happiness.”

In the end, while the lyrics may appear to glorify a shallow way of life, you can also interpret the song as a critique of how society places greater value on material possessions than on emotional connections and personal development.

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