Lady Gaga and The Meaning in Her Lyrics

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Marry The Night – The newest single off the album and Gaga’s professed favorite track, Marry The Night is an autobiographical song about a specific moment in the singer’s life when she made the decision to pick herself up (in this case, from being dropped from Def Jam records) and dedicate herself to the music and life she wanted to pursue.

It’s a triumphant song with the sounds and images of someone readying themselves for the future. “I’m going to lace up my boots, throw on some leather and cruise down the streets that I love, in my fishnet gloves, I’m a sinner. Then I'll go down to the bar, but I won't cry anymore. I hold my whiskey up high, kiss the bartender twice. I'm a loser. I’m gonna marry the night.” The song’s accompanying video is Gaga’s directorial debut, and is already edging towards 14 million views.

Born This Way – The album’s title track is an anthem for celebrating yourself and your individuality. Gaga has said that she wanted to write a record that captured the freedom she saw in her fans’ faces every night on tour. The Monster Ball, she says during the show, is a place where everyone can come together without prejudice, without fear of judgment. She places an emphasis on her gay fans (Gaga’s an active LGBTQ advocate) with lines like “It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-i-m” and “no matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgender life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.” The video focuses on rebirth, and your ability to reinvent yourself over and over throughout your life.

Judas – Lady Gaga has said that this song, on a simple level, is about returning to a romantic partner who you know is “bad for you” with lyrics like, “I’m just a holy fool, baby it’s so cruel, but I’m still in love with Judas, baby.” In a deeper sense, this song describes the difficulties of staying in the light – not dwelling in the darkness of ourselves. The video for Judas, while not the first time she has invoked religious imagery to complement her songs, branches into the controversial by her portrayal of Jesus and his disciples (including the star of the song, Judas) as a motorcycle gang. Her analogy extends to her role as Mary Magdalene, whose allegiance to Jesus (and the light) wanes throughout the video.

You & I – This is a song that was never supposed to have happened. Lady Gaga wrote it on her piano at her parents’ home in New York one day and played it for the first time publically at Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball. The video of this performance was passed around by fans, and it became so popular that Gaga put it on the album. She admits it has a very different sound than the rest of the record; it’s an edgy rock’n’roll ballad love song about searching out a long lost lover. (“It’s been a long time since I came around, it’s been a long but I’m back in town, and this time I’m not leaving without you.”) Gaga has said she wrote it about ex(?)-boyfriend, Nebraska native, Luc Carl.

Edge of Glory – Written about a moment Gaga witnessed between her grandparents near the end of her grandfather’s life, this song is about powerful moments of seizing life and living every second like it’s your last. And it’s about sharing those moments with those you love. “I’m on the edge of glory,” Gaga sings, “And I’m hanging on a moment with you.”