Marissa Moss

Marissa Moss

Posted: February 11, 2011 12:00 PM

Nothing has quite hung so deep in the narcissus pool of social media like Gaga's "Born this Way" -- it's a song built within the kingdom walls of Twitter and blogs, endlessly teased by the queen herself (along with her prime jester, Perez Hilton). First the words leaked, line by line. Then the full lyrics. The promise that this song will be the greatest of her career; the album, the greatest of the decade. That Born this Way will move 30 million units.

The problem? "Born this Way" was born before it even arrived. Music is its best when the songs can speak for themselves -- until Gaga, that was kind of the point of it. Lyrics are words for a reason, they tell a story, the beats and instrumentals setting the stage for their own rhythmic tale. "Born this Way" was entered into our lives by the Twitter mistress herself, Lady Gaga, before we'd even had a chance to hear it. We'd read its story, either poked fun at the lyrics or lauded them, imagined what it would sound like, hummed it to our own tune. And then, we waited.

Aside from whatever you think of the song - more on that in a moment - "Born this Way" was instantly less than a song the moment it hit. It was a reveal, an M. Night movie spin, or the end of LOST. Granted, boasting about singles is nothing new. But (willingly) letting Twitter and the Internet vortex shape your song into a machine is not "giving" to your fans -- it's ruining the mystique. No matter what it sounded like, for everyone but diehard "little monsters," it wasn't going to be enough.

But more importantly, when the song doesn't work (it doesn't, in my opinion), there's nothing you can do to stop the chatter. This morning, #Express Yourself is trending almost as high on Twitter as "BornThisWay or any of its hashtaggy permutations. The Web world has taken the reins on a song they already felt they owned, and for Gaga, there's nothing to be done. She gave the song over to the world, and the world will respond back. From one trending topic to another, the song -- while sure to be a success anyway -- is just a product, a thing to be attacked, commented on and talked about. But what about listened to? Well, that's just lower down on the list. Whether or not you think it sounds like Madonna, or TLC, or you actually love it, if your comment about it has a high retweet value on Twitter -- well, that's the stuff of gods right now.. .

Is it Gaga's fault, or just the natural course for music in a world with instant feedback? In a way, it was an experiment. Testing how deep into the waters of social media a singer can go without destroying their own creation before it even hits the radio. Gaga looked into the reflecting pool and saw nothing but herself -- but unlike Narcissus, maybe what she didn't realize is that the pool was full of sharks.


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Nothing has quite hung so deep in the narcissus pool of social media like Gaga's "Born this Way" -- it's a song built within the kingdom walls of Twitter and blogs, endlessly teased by the queen herse...
Nothing has quite hung so deep in the narcissus pool of social media like Gaga's "Born this Way" -- it's a song built within the kingdom walls of Twitter and blogs, endlessly teased by the queen herse...
I'm so honored+grateful we won 3 GRAMMYS. BORN THIS WAY piece was pure joy for Haus to perform. Paws Up Monsters!
: don't u think Gaga was totally parodying Madonna with her new rock hard abs & knockoff song- Born This Way?
8 hours ago from web
Lady Ga-Ga is now wearing a pound of eye make-up, singing,"Baby, I was born this way." I don't think so.
9 hours ago from web
pictured *Whitney* singing "Born This Way"?! Now who's the one smoking crack?
DID EVERYONE JUST HEAR THAT? GaGa imagined Whitney Houston singing Born This Way cause she couldn't imagine herself as a super star.
11 hours ago from web
Gaga dedicates Born This Way to Whitney Houston?
11 hours ago from web
Cab is playing Born this Way. Both me and the driver already know all the words. Or maybe we're singing Express Yourself by accident.
Lady Gaga performs 'Born This Way' at Grammys -enjoy the YouTube of her pony-tailed performance:
12 hours ago from web
Cuz she was 'born this way'? Psh bad joke haha! RT : ...Why is Lady Gaga in an egg :|
RT : Ok lets go. Born this way - gaga is in MUGLER by nicola formichettti in collaboration with haus ...
Lady Gaga rips off Madonna's "Express Yourself" with "Born This Way". Thanks
12 hours ago from web
RT : And no Gaga, you weren't "born this way" I saw ur pics circa 2004. You were normal. With dark hair. So really stfu.
Born this way? If my baby was born with shoulder horns, I'd throw it away.
Wow, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sure does remind me of early 90's Madonna vibe. Vogue meets La Isla meets something....
12 hours ago from web
Born This Way verses not unlike Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls.
12 hours ago from web
I get it! I get it! THE EGG. Born this way! Chickenssss!.....Don't act like you understood it at first either....
12 hours ago from web
"Lady Gaga why are you in an egg?" ... "baby I WAS BORN THIS WAY!"
14 hours ago from web
I can't get "Born this way" out of my head. Love it!
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Recency  | 
mxytsplyk   6 minutes ago (2:17 AM)
I doubt sheʻd flub the lines to the National Anthem. She might show up in a gown made of car parts, but sheʻd still look and sound great.
I Make Stuff   4 hours ago (10:22 PM)
Madonna called, she wants her song back...
Theophrastus   17 hours ago (9:35 AM)
This song was like the "Citizen Kane" of pop music.
cungar   9 hours ago (5:10 PM)
With non of the greatness
Kelly Hopkins   21 hours ago (5:17 AM)
as a non-fan of The Gaga, for all the reasons spelled out above and more I was fully looking forward to disliking this song...
Surprising­ly i love it as a piece of pop music! The lyrics: pandering and bordering on ridiculous (as The Gaga always does) but the beat is boppy and fun. I've been singing along to select lyrics and plugging my ears at others all day!

ianmcc   06:20 PM on 2/11/2011
The author said it herself, with Twitter & Facebook & texting, this is now an instant feedback society. That will change all facets of entertainm­ent and informatio­n exchange. I believe that when Olbermann'­s new Current show comes out he is intending on embracing multiple presentati­on formats simultaneo­usly.
GrainOfSand   02:12 PM on 2/11/2011
I listened to the song and liked it. Not quite what I expected, but it's a high powered song and I can't wait to see it live!
mama1974   01:05 PM on 2/11/2011
All songs/musi­c/albums/b­ooks/paint­ings and such become a product once it's sold. It's a business and selling it in ways that fit with todays technology doesn't diminish it's quality.

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