bible, feminism, new testament, patriarchy, pop culture

An Analysis of Lady Gaga’s Bloody Mary

Lady Gaga’s Bloody Mary is one of those controversial songs on her Born this Way album. It is very complex and hard to decipher unlike Judas another song from the Born this way album. Lady Gaga has no problem depicting religious imagery in her songs. Bloody Mary is hard to interpret , hence if you don’t have an open mind, you will need one.

The metaphors and illusions in the song is confusing you are not sure if she singing about Mary Magdalene or Mary Tudor Queen of England or if she speaking about the urban legend and folklore of Bloody Mary. To understand the song some more you need to know who Mary Magdalene was, who Mary Tudor was and what is the folklore of bloody Mary . Mary Madg is the woman who Jesus cast 7 demons from, there is a strong possibility that she helped fund his ministry, she was one of his closets followers, she was there at the Crucifixion and at the Resurrection and according to some non canon and Gnostic texts she was a leader of one of the early Christian churches. If you a fan of Dan Brown’s Da’Vinci’s code there is this myth that Jesus and Mary was married and there is a bloodline to the present day that is still around.
Mary Tudor Queen of England was the daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, she was their only child after several miscarriages and still births but Henry wanted a boy and divorced Catherine and disinherited Mary and married Anne Boleyn Queen Elizabeth’s 1 mother but Henry wanted a boy but long story short Anne was beheaded and Elizabeth disinherited and then he married Jane Seymour who gave him his beloved son, long story short Jane died after Edward was born. Anyways to the point when Henry died his will read that Edward would succeed him and if Edward died without heirs then Mary would succeed and if Mary died without heirs Elizabeth would succeed anyways that’s what happen Edward died at 15 he was sickly and Mary succeeded, she got the term Bloody Mary because of her horrible persecution of Protestants, Elizabeth was in constant fear for her life when her sister was queen because she was a Protestant, Mary was Catholic. Henry and later Elizabeth killed more people than Mary but Mary’s methods were bloody , horrible and worse than how her father and sister killed people. As Henry and Elizabeth didn’t persecute religious people, everyone was fair game . Mary specifically targeted non Catholics and tortured and horribly murdered non Catholics with methods that neither her father or Elizabeth used. People died under Mary’s reign horrible and bloody deaths, hence the name Bloody Mary. There is a folklore and legend about bloody Mary some think it stemmed from Mary Tudor but there are many variants to the story and could have stemmed from many historical and mythical people. Depending on the legend Mary is a witch or a ghost. Many young teens and children play this game, which according to folklore that you stand in front of the mirror and call Bloody Mary three times and she would appear . I have played this game several times and I have yet to see this bloody Mary. However I am not sure the song has anything to do with the queen. Bloody Mary is a legend and folklore that has down from generation to generation for hundred’s of years.
Now let me discuss the lyrics and my opinion of them, Lady Gaga I believe is alluding to the fact there is more to the story of Jesus Christ. When we looked at the video we must look past the allusions, illusions, metaphors an what she calls bloody Mary and see the truth of what she is saying. Gaga mentions Pontius Pilate ( when Pontius comes), she also alludes to Christ ( to kill the king upon his throne) and she alludes to Mary Magd or the woman caught in the adultery ( I ‘m ready for their stones) who Jesus saved from the religious leaders. Lady Gaga is singing from the perspective of Mary Magd who as Christ follower does not get the attention that she deserve instead is wrongly accused of being a prostitute , not the woman who stood with Jesus while he was being lynched or the woman who saw the risen Jesus who went and tell the disciples she saw the risen Lord. Gaga as Mary is singing about her relationship with Jesus not in a sexual way but in a deep spiritual way. As Jesus exorcises the 7 demons from  his purity , kindness and goodness touches her soul. Gaga sings “ Love is just a history that they may prove And when you’re gone I’ll tell them my religion’s you “ alluding to John 20 and the other gospel narratives when she goes and tell the disciples that Christ has risen or in the other gospels there other women with her when they went to tell the disciples about Jesus being risen. Gaga continues, “I’m ready for their stones”, again referencing to the woman caught in adultery and the alluding to the misrepresentation that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Mary Magd being misrepresented as a prostitute was claimed to be condemned and shunned by her culture because of her perceived sinfulness . The women caught in adultery was condemned to death by society, but when they met Jesus things changed because they received forgiveness and he did not condemn them. This is very crucial to note.
The next few lines of the song was difficult for me to interpret because they could imply several things . Lady Gaga sings “Ill dance dance with my hands above my head like Jesus said..im gonna dance, dance together”. it could an implication of the Dan Brown ‘s Da Vinci Code myth that she and Jesus were married or it could be which I am going go for that these lines mean that she is happy and joyful for Jesus who cast out the 7 demons from her which I think was physical and mental illness. That she is dancing because Jesus freed her from her ailments, Finally her dancing would be symbolic of the close friendship and communion she has had with Jesus . It is also symbolic of the kind of love expressed for her from Jesus, him telling her to go and tell everyone that he has risen and if you believe the Gnostic texts, it was her not Peter that church would be built on. Gaga also sings “I won’t cry for you, I won’t crucify the things you do, when you’re gone ill still be bloody Mary”. This is also an allusion to John 20 when Jesus basically shows himself to Mary and tells her he has risen and to basically stop crying . It appears that Gaga is giving Mary a response to what Jesus says to her . She has come to accept he has died and has risen and would not try to undo his destiny and all the miracles etc he has performed. She believed. According to some Gnostics and I think I am inclined to believe that she is the most important disciple more important than Peter . Furthermore, she says she won’t deny or persecute (crucify) his good works. This simply implies that she won’’t deny that he rose .
Lady Gaga sings, “Forgive him before he’s dead” alluding to Pilate ( idiot , jack, only cared about pleasing an emperor, the emperor’s errand boy, punk), who wasn’t man enough or had the guts to stand up for Jesus even though he obviously knew he was guilty of any crime. I think the song is about the value of women specifically the women in the bible who Jesus knew and how they were a value to him. In another verse Gaga sings that “We are not just art for Michelangelo to carve. He can’t rewrite the agro of my furied heart”. When I was studying the Renaissance in history class in both high school and undegrad, I learnt that many of the artists and painters did paintings of religious characters nude especially the women. Michelangelo painted women nude, Gaga is saying we are more than nudes, sex workers or whores and adulteress. Gaga sings “J’veux pas mourir toute seule ,French for: I don’t want to die alone” alluding to the Jesus friends abandoning him and alluding to the fact Jesus did not want to go to the cross and wanted God to take him away from death and that he was mostly scared and knew he may have died alone. It also to alludes to the knowledge that after most of Jesus friends and follows scattered and went hide the beloved disciples, Mary his mama, Mary Magd and other women depending on the Gospel writer stand until the end and Jesus fear of dying alone he did not happen.
I think this song is deep like most of the Gaga’s songs, her songs are not always what you think they mean, they are filled with metaphors, allusions and codes. I think the message of bloody Mary if you look deeper is good. She is saying women are all bloody Marys who are misinterpreted by society. Bloody Mary is Mary Magd but she is all of us women who have been accused wrong and whose reputations have been damaged because people are quick to believe patriarchy’s and misogyny’s lies and for women who are judged and ruined because of our past.
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