Before her breathtaking performance in one of the most impressive Super Bowl halftime shows in history — there was no doubt her singing was live — Lady Gaga had reassured the world she’d not be making any political statements. On a day specifically reserved for our national sports obsession and stuffing our faces with as many kinds of hot, cheesy, crispy, crunchy, calorically packed foods as possible, who wants to think about our deepest divides? (Plenty of sponsors, as it turns out … ) Of course, that doesn’t mean the superstar singer declined to express herself in other ways; her pregame plan was always to speak to the people the same way she’s been doing for years.
The only statements that’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I have been consistently making throughout my career. I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country. It’s one of love and compassion and kindness. So my performance will uphold those philosophies.”
And so it did, with the Lady kicking off a round of songs including Born This Way, Million Reasons, Poker Face and Bad Romance with an important pairing: God Bless America, followed by Woodie Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land — the singer’s famous response to the first tune. Originally called God Blessed America for Me, the folk singer wrote This Land in response to what he perceived as unending radio play of GBA, and his lyrics — some of which have been changed over the years — were at the time, considered radical.
Was a high wall there that tried to stop me, A sign was painted said: Private Property, But on the back side it didn’t say nothing —
God blessed America for me.[This land was made for you and me.]
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.[This land was made for you and me.]”
(Those strikeouts were seen on a copy of Guthrie’s original lyrics.)
Like Gaga, I’ll let your draw your own parallels …
Did somebody say, “Build a wall”?
Just in case there are still people confused by who deserves what in our country, she also recited a couple of lines from The Pledge of Allegiance,
and ventured right into the huge, loving audience to give a warm hug to this gorgeous woman of color, while singing “Why don’t you stay … ”
Go ahead, relive Lady Gaga’s entire awe-inspiring performance: