Immediately following Lady Gaga’s halftime show performance at Super Bowl 2017, fans tweeted how apolitical her show was. Before the show started, many people were anxiously anticipating just how political the halftime show was going to be. Apart from Lady Gaga’s belly show, the rest of her performance was entertaining, to say the least, but it was certainly not apolitical.
Prior to the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga was interviewed and specifically asked if her halftime show would be able to unify America, to which she responded, “You’ll have to ask America when it’s over,” according to LA Times. She spoke on the importance of inclusion, equality, love, and kindness, especially in the face of the marginalized. This is not a necessarily political jab, but her choice of patriotic medley was intentional and did not go unnoticed.
Hillary Clinton immediately caught wind of Lady Gaga’s subtle political play during this introduction song, a blend of “This Land is Your Land” and “God Bless America.” Hillary tweeted in support of Lady Gaga’s “message to all of us,” along with a GIF of Lady Gaga singing “This Land is Your Land” – a common alternative to our national anthem.
Woody Guthrie, American folk singer and songwriter, originally wrote the song “This Land is Your Land” in 1940 when he first arrived in New York after traveling through America. After Woody’s family had settled in Arizona and his mother was put in a mental institution, Woody took to the streets with his music. He originally wrote this song as a protest to the national anthem that often played on the radio during that time period.
The original title to “This Land is Your Land” was, sarcastically and somewhat ironically, “God Blessed America for Me.” According to NPR, original lyrics also included a verse that was recorded but never released.
“There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
The sign was painted, said ‘Private Property.’
But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing.
This land was made for you and me.”
Additionally, the following verse was written but never recorded.
“One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple,
by the relief office I saw my people.
As they stood hungry,
I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me.”
Many Donald Trump protesters have claimed Woody Guthrie’s song as their war hymn or battle-cry. These uncommon, harsh verses speak to the song’s sarcasm and Woody’s original intent of this song. Some of Lady Gaga fans tweeted that they were disappointed in “Mother Monster,” stating they wished her performance had spoken out against the immigration ban or even the proposed wall. These lyrics, however, speak out against the Trump administration, loud and clear.
Lady Gaga had been outspoken against Donald Trump during America’s political campaign season. It was even rumored that she would say something about Donald Trump during her Super Bowl halftime show in Houston, but she denied this after she caught wind of this rumor.
Prior to Donald’s inauguration, Lady Gaga was known to be a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton and even sang at one of her rallies. Lady Gaga was also seen protesting in front of Trump Tower November 2016 with a sign stating “Love Trumps Hate.” With Lady Gaga openly against Donald Trump, it made reasonable sense that she would open her Super Bowl halftime show with a soft jab at the new administration in Washington, D.C.
Lady Gaga’s political medley at the beginning of her Super Bowl halftime show in Houston, Texas was subtle but undeniably intentional. By not naming names or pointing fingers, Lady Gaga was able to voice her political opinion in a classy way. Do you think Lady Gaga should have done more to speak out against Donald Trump? Or do you think her reserved choice showed a strong sense of character?
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