Lady Gaga’s “Marry the Night” Lyrics Meaning
On the surface “Marry the Night” reads like an expression of the vocalist’s affinity for the nightlife and more specifically, based on the bridge, that of New York City’s. And yes, Lady Gaga did intend for this piece to serve as an ode to NYC and how, even after making it big, she still prefers her hometown of the Big Apple (and Brooklyn in particular) to the more-luxurious Hollywood.
But based on the many explanations she has given of this song as well as the storyline of its music video, there is more to the lyrics than that. And what it is intended to also speak to is Gaga’s come-up, i.e. the fact that at one point in her career she was actually cut by a major label (that being Def Jam) but persevered anyway.
Or viewed differently, the vocalist exclaiming that she is going to “marry the night” is another way of saying, according to Gaga herself, that she is ‘marrying her obstacles and challenges’. Or another way of looking at this yet again is that she’s not going to give up on her hopes and dreams. Yet while traversing the ladder of success, the narrator is also intent on keeping it real in terms of where she came from.
So all things considered, perhaps it can be said that the experience of being cut by Def Jam has, in a roundabout way, made Gaga a more grounded artist than your usual music superstar.
When was “Marry the Night” released?
This is a track that Interscope Records put out on 15 November 2011. According to reports, it was initially to promote the popular videogame FarmVille. But more importantly it also served as the fifth single to “Born This Way”, which is Gaga’s second album.
The multi-talented Gaga co-wrote and co-produced this song, in addition to directing its music video. Said clip, in which fans are treated to a naked Gaga, is nearly 14 minutes in length and has been described as “an autobiographical mini-documentary”. Moreover, it marked the first time Gaga actually directed a clip on her own.
The other writer/producer of “Marry the Night” is Fernando Garibay, who had previously worked with Gaga on her song “Dance in the Dark“.
The music video to this track was filmed in New York City (Gaga’s hometown). More specifically it was filmed in the borough of Staten Island (at a venue known as Sung Harbor Cultural Center) and Harlem, a subsection of Manhattan.
Gaga’s first live rendering of this song came via an event which is called, in full, Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Said performance was conducted in late February 2011 though aired on television, via HBO, in early May of that same year.
The first actual live telecast performance of this song took place during the 2011 edition of the MTV Europe Music Awards. Gaga was actually nominated for more awards than any other artist during that event. The said event was held in early November of 2011.
“Born This Way” was an extremely successful album. And as such in 2021 a 10th anniversary edition of the album was dropped, where some of the songs were covered by other artists. And in the case of “Marry the Night”, said responsibility was held down by Australian songstress Kylie Minogue.
American singer Adam Lambert also covered this song on a 2013 episode of Glee entitled “A Katy or a Gaga”. And while we’re on the subject of Glee, one of its cast members, Jenna Ushkowitz, appeared on the music video to “Marry the Night”.
“Marry the Night” was not the most successful single from “Born This Way”, but it still proved to be a hit. For instance, the track charted in over 20 nations over 5 continents. And it also achieved platinum status in the vocalist’s homeland of the United States.
It peaked at positions 29 and 16 on the US Hot 100 and UK Singles, respectively. The song enjoyed top-20 status in the following places: