In a 2006 interview with Q magazine, Madonna was asked which song of the last 20 years she wished she'd written. Her answer: Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," an aching ballad the late artist contributed to the "Good Will Hunting" soundtrack. On Tuesday night at an event in Manhattan launching the short film, "secretprojectrevolution," part of her Art for Freedom campaign, Madonna sang the song she wishes was hers.
After being dragged on stage by two actors dressed as police officers, one of whom shoved a microphone in her hand, Madonna delivered a delicate and emotional rendering of the beloved song while accompanied only by a piano.
Halfway through the performance, a kneeling Madonna was accompanied by a masked dancer dressed head-to-toe in black who freed one her bound hands. When the song concluded, the dancer took off his balaclava to reveal his identity: none other than Madonna's 13-year-old son, Rocco. Watch:
Before the film screening and performance, Madonna made a speech before the guests explaining the reasons she made the film.
"This film, aside from my children, is to me the most important thing I've ever done," she said. "The idea of being free, and being able to express myself, not only as an artist but as a human being, is extremely important and I do not take my freedom for granted. And it seems to me, when I travel around the world, that people are either not free and are fighting for it, or are free and taking it for granted. And both of those situations make me extremely agitated."
"God made art," she continued. "God made human beings to create art. We are channeling God when we make art. I do not doubt that for a minute and it's nobody's business to get in the way of that. Amen."