Lady Gaga’s Born This Way was a daring effort. She spanned the breadths of humanity, writing a sort of thesis on being unapologetically herself. The title track bolstered her LGBTQ+ fans, “Judas” talked about sex by way of sacrilege, and “Scheiße” was a meditation on female empowerment. Few were as brash as Gaga in the 2010s.
One lesser-known track from the album, “Bloody Mary,” has recently received a rebirth. Finding a place back on the charts more than a decade later, the track has reminded us of all the glittering house anthems Gaga had to offer in the early days of her career.
For that, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the hit, in order to uncover what Gaga really meant when she dubbed herself “Bloody Mary.” Let’s dive in.
Behind the Meaning
Like a number of songs on Gaga’s Born This Way, “Bloody Mary” has religious undertones. Despite being a dance floor hit, the singer centers her focus on the canonical gospel Mary Magdalene for this one.
Gaga once told NME, “I believe that Mary Magdalene was both fully divine and fully human. She has to be strong when Jesus fulfills the prophecy to die for everyone’s sins, but she still has the moment of humanity where she’s upset to let him go. She had to be a superstar, but she must have cried too.”
Gaga sings as Magdalene in the song, witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus. Playing the “ultimate rockstar’s girlfriend,” she chooses to focus on the love he spread in the world as opposed to the tragedy before her.
Despite her grief, she promises to pick up that mantle and spread love in her own way: drying her tears and dancing through the night.
In the past, Gaga has claimed to be stuck between fantasy and reality with “Bloody Mary.” Though the lyrics refer to Magdalene’s story, the singer also has a vintage Rolls Royce that she has long dubbed “Bloody Mary.” Both were inspirations for the final product.
Love is just a history that they may prove
And when you’re gone, I’ll tell them my religion’s you
When Punktious comes to kill the king upon his throne
I’m ready for their stones
I’ll dance, dance, dance
With my hands, hands, hands
Above my head, head, head
Like Jesus said
I’m gonna dance, dance, dance
We are not just art for Michelangelo to carve
He can’t rewrite the aggro of my furied heart
I’ll wait on mountaintops in Paris, cold
J’veux pas mourir toute seule
“Bloody Mary” landed on the singles chart 11 years after the release of Born This Way thanks to a viral trend. Her Little Monsters remixed and edited the 2011 track into the famed dance sequence from the hit Netflix show Wednesday.
The scene comes from the series’ fourth episode, which sees the lead actress (Jenna Ortega) dance to The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck.” Though the 1981 track was an apt choice for Ortega’s off-kilter performance, Gaga fans seem to think her floor-filler would have played better. Fan recreations of the scene went viral on TikTok, resulting in a massive uptick in streams for Gaga.
Photo: Norbert Schoerner / Chuff Media