Life is a Mystery

6 March 2011

Born this way

I’ve got to say, I fell off the pop bandwagon long before Lady Gaga came along. I find it hard not to see her as a derivative of Madonna, and when I first hear the song “Born this way” that’s exactly how I responded. The video is even stranger than that, another stage beyond the shock of Madonna, for sure.

In fact, I never would have seen the video except for the story of Maria Aragon, a 10-year-old who put her cover of the song up on YouTube. I’m used to stories of studios hounding this kind of video off the site for copyright violations, but this story turned out very differently. Instead of getting a take down notice it got a thank you from someone having a very bad day: Lady Gaga herself.

You can imagine the reaction to the video above, and the pressure that puts on an artist like Lady Gaga. For her the antidote was watching this video.

Lady Gaga even found Maria on a Toronto radio talk show and shared this:

I want to tell you something Maria, because not only do you have such a beautiful voice, and you are so joyful to watch, but … every once in a while, whether people believe it or not, I have a very bad day. I was not having such a good day, and when Perez sent me the video of you singing ‘Born This Way,’ I was so overjoyed that I began to cry. This industry is very difficult for women sometimes and they want to tear us down and tear us apart. … Thank you so much for making my day better.

I watch Maria and can’t help but marvel at a world that lets a 10-year-old reach out and console a superstar with her own music. This is the kind of creativity and feedback possible today, not just for pop stars, but for politicians, corporations, educators, anyone ready to open their heart to the voices around them, ready to share their creative flame and warm themselves in the rebounding creative light of others. Oh, how I pray this networked world of ours is a force of opening and sharing, sometimes we seem so intent on making it one of ownership and bombast.

I know which version of this song I prefer!

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org