Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary” Lyrics Meaning
Lady Gaga has described “Bloody Mary” as being “inspired by (her) car and Mary Magdalene”. Lyrically, the latter’s influence is highly detectable, since the vocalist basically proceeds to take on the role of Mary in this song. But it is not clear what this piece has to do with whatever vehicle she was driving at the time.
Lady Gaga stands as one of the most prominent musicians who has been credibly accused of, most simply put, Satanism. So it may seem kinda odd that she not only dropped a song from Mary’s perspective but also appears to be quite empathetic of the figure.
Reportedly the album this track is derived from, “Born This Way”, is such that it features a number of tracks inspired by famous personalities from the New Testament.
Some prominent pundits did proceed to take offense in terms of how Gaga portrayed them therein. But in the case of “Bloody Mary”, it doesn’t particularly seem that she is saying anything anti-religious or against Christianity.
The only part of the song that may be deemed a bit ear-catching in that regard is the pre-chorus, where the vocalist espouses ‘dancing with your hands above your head’, “like Jesus said”. And that’s because there doesn’t seem to be any part of the Bible where Jesus actually espoused or promoted dancing.
But it has been deemed that what she is getting at more generally is an idea like appreciating life, a concept that he was up on, though not as presented here.
As for the rest of the song, the first verse depicts Mary as someone who, shall we say was obsessed with Jesus. Or at least that’s the feeling you get when, as depicted by Lady Gaga, she proclaims “my religion’s you”, with said “you” being Jesus.
Actually, Jesus did instruct his followers to use him as an example in terms of living a pious life pleasing to the Most High. So maybe, even if pretty-powerfully stated in this case, that expression isn’t far off from what Mary actually felt.
Then later in the first verse, she is shown as being willing to be crucified alongside Jesus. According to the Biblical account, Mary did indeed remain by his side throughout the harrowing execution, even after most of his official disciples bounced. So perhaps that can be interpreted as her willingness to die with Jesus also, since at the time it was dangerously unpopular to be associated with the Big J, though perhaps not as much so for a female.
The second verse, which is partly rendered in French, is not as easy to understand. But the part that is discernible has Lady Gaga, on behalf of Mary, beefing at the likes of Michelangelo for basically making light of what she and others involved in Jesus’s final days went through via his art.
Concerning those who did criticize “Born This Way”, amongst them was the Catholic League who were particularly irked with the way she portrayed Mary. And that assertion may well be one of the reasons why, since Catholicism tends to rely heavily on images of Jesus and others who were a part of his life.
The Chorus of “Bloody Mary”
As for the chorus proper, Mary is characterized in a light in which she is not compelled to cry for the suffering of Jesus. Or explained otherwise, she has opted to remain strong externally – or something like that.
This part of the song is actually the most ambiguous, in a way. On the surface, what it seems the character of Mary is putting forth is a commitment to remain tough in propagating Jesus’s legacy, even after his departure. But the chorus has been interpreted in other ways, such as along the lines of Mary being kinda pissed that Jesus decided to go out like that though again opting to revere as opposed to judge him.
The Meaning of “Bloody Mary”
Finally, the title seemingly alludes to the notion that Mary will forever be affected by all Jesus went through. Once again according to the Bible, it doesn’t seem that Magdalene personally went through any type of physical persecution as a result of being one of Jesus’s top homeys. Yet in this piece, Lady Gaga still designates her as “Bloody Mary”.
Bloody Mary is a term more commonly used to refer to a certain cocktail, a children’s game or another historical figure, Mary I of England, not Mary Magdalene. But again, as relayed in this piece, it seems Gaga is alluding to the notion of Magdalene becoming permanently depressed, in a manner of speaking, due to the persecutions she did witness, most notably of Jesus.
So by the time all is said and done, it does very much read as if the vocalist is actually empathizing with Magdalene. And it can also be gathered that to some degree, Lady Gaga is actually a Christian, to the point where it actually bothers her to see the distress that martyrs like Jesus went through being used as art.
But as for those who had issues with her dropping a song like “Bloody Mary”, they were likely taking Gaga’s entire image, which is far from wholesome or Christian, into account instead of analyzing this piece on its own.
And going back to the notion of this piece also being inspired by her car, it also seems that to some degree she may be depicting Mary as a passionate romantic interest of Jesus, a notion that is likely to cheese some religious authorities off.
Lady Gaga talks about Mary Magdalene
According to Gaga, she believes Mary Magdalene was not only “fully divine” but also “fully human”. Her divinity gave her the strength to watch Jesus Christ fulfill the prophecy of dying for our sins. However, her “humanity” caused her heart to break watching Him suffer and die.
When was “Bloody Mary” released?
On May 23rd, 2011, Lady Gaga released her iconic “Born This Way” album. One of the songs on this album is “Bloody Mary”. Since Gaga didn’t release “Bloody Mary” as one of Born This Way‘s singles, it shares the same date of release as its album. In all five powerful singles were released in support of “Born This Way”. The first of these singles was the album’s title track (which came out as its lead single). The others are:
- “The Edge of Glory”
- “You and I”
- “Marry the Night”
Writing and Production
The writing credits for “Bloody Mary” are as follows:
- Lady Gaga
- DJ White Shadow (also known as Paul Blair)
- Fernando Garibay
All three writers proceeded to co-produce the piece with another producer named Clinton Sparks.
Success of “Bloody Mary”
Despite this song being a non-single from its album, it enjoyed great success. For example, it managed to chart in Lebanon in 2012. Here, it actually went on to enjoy the status of a number 1 hit.
In 2022, over a decade after its release, “Bloody Mary” regained popularity on music streaming platforms such as Spotify. As of November 2022, the track received a new record for daily streams with over 429,000 listeners in one day. As of the editing of this article, its total number of streams on Spotify alone has surpassed 66 million streams.
The reason behind the song’s newfound virality has a lot to do with fans of the song remixing and editing it into the famous dance scene by Wednesday Addams on Netflix’s horror comedy hit show, “Wednesday”.
Little Monsters of course celebrated this track finally getting the attention it needs, thanks to the aforementioned edits. It should be stated that the actual song that Wednesday dances to is The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck“. Many Little Monsters believe “Goo Goo Muck” wasn’t the right song for the scene. According to them, “Bloody Mary” should have been the original song for the dance scene.