Lady Gaga hatches 'Country Road' version of 'Born This Way': Listen to it here!

Hard to believe it was only six weeks ago that Lady Gaga gave birth to “Born This Way.” And that we were all hung up on its similarity to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.”

But six straight weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 later, “Born This Way” is the fastest-selling hit of Gaga’s career. Clearly, it was the right track, baby. Now she’s getting her twang on with a “Country Road” version of her megahit.

Want to hear the lyric “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen” set to an electric guitar and harmonica? Well, look no further:

This isn’t the first time Gaga’s unveiled a stripped-down cut of one of her pop hits. Her acoustic takes on “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi”—just her fast-flying fingers on a piano and that powerhouse voice—may be superior to the originals. But this is her first attempt at country and … it’s amazingly good. How ambitious, too, that her first foray into ten-gallon-hat territory would be with “Born This Way.”

Although an empowerment anthem for everybody, it’s also inextricably linked to gay pride, and, let’s face it, country music hasn’t traditionally been the go-to forum for the LGBT community—at least not since Shania Twain felt like a woman.

But let’s think again. From Hank Williams to Carrie Underwood, country music has always lent itself to personal narratives of trauma and heartbreak, sure. But also of redemption and triumph. Isn’t that what “Born This Way” is all about?

If Gaga’s pop version left some fans unsatisfied, I suspect it’s because a hopeful message about celebrating authenticity—the “real you”—was being conveyed through her most synthetic sound yet.

This country version, though—slowed down and stripped to the vital components of grooving electric and acoustic guitars, a wailing harmonica, and thumping percussion—seems to remove that discrepancy between its style and its content. Could a new era of musical cross-pollination be at hand?

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Comments (101 total) Add your comment
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  • Tye-Grr

    I love it! It highlights her great voice.

    • jujubeans

      Can I haz download?

    • Jess

      Absolutely… her voice really shined in this piece!! Love it!!!

  • Kae


  • TorontoTom

    BRILLIANT! She consistently make me smile. Most celebs make me roll my eyes or shrug my shoulders. Gaga is the real deal.

    • m

      scientists, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians are brilliant… not singers

      • Well…

        You are 100% wrong. Art is a viable means of brain power and yes… brilliance. The history of the planet has proven a balance of science and art (and overlap.)

      • Mike

        I agree that there can be brilliance in art, but the only thing Lady Gaga is brilliant at is getting attention. Her music is catchy and fun, to be sure, but there is absolutely nothing brilliant about it. Aside from the fact that many of her songs sound like songs which have come before, her lyrics are NOT that profound (“Don’t be a drag/just be a queen”–Why do I have to be either?). She’s a genius at marketing herself and pandering to her blindly devoted fans, but that’s about it.

        Far more troubling than calling her “brilliant,” however, is calling her “the real deal.” There is nothing about this privileged white chick that’s not completely manufactured for maximum profitability. Lady Gaga is a carefully calculated persona, not the real deal. I’d have no problem with her success if her fans would just own up to that instead of making her out to be some kind of messiah.

        I’m a very secure gay guy–I don’t need some hypocrite carping about how she was “born this way” when she clearly wasn’t.

      • Jon

        I’m a physics prof at a top school in the world… You are WRONG.

      • TorontoTom

        I am a very secure gay guy as well and I think the message she conveys is, indeed, BRILLIANT! Just my lil’ ol’ opinion.

      • TorontoTom

        Hey Mike – I’m really curious – are you out or closeted?

      • mark

        TorontoTom–I’m an out gay man and I totally agree with Mike’s comments. That shouldn’t matter. Not all queer people feel that it’s their duty to queen it up to be proud. However, this country version is awesome.

      • Well…

        I would disagree again Mike. I’ve found a lot of her lyrics to be quite brilliant… and while “Born This Way” is lyrically very straight-forward, which was her intent… it needed to be to send the message. An artist of her stature and influence has never done something like this… and the only calculated thing about it is that it’s THE RIGHT TIME. And needed. I’ve gotten pretty perturbed at other gays that have trashed this song… it might not be your bag, but if you can’t recognize the positive impact she’s had on the gay community, you’ve severely missed something. She has the ear of today’s youth… and i for one am rejoicing.

        I could care less if you like her or not, but let me just point out the futility of throwing out a negative opinion for the sake of hearing yourself talk. I’m not asking you to champion something you don’t get behind… but champion ANYTHING, vs. wallowing in a negative opinion for the sake of your own ego.

        The Golden Rule still works… always.

      • Tarc

        I’m a scientist, and sorry, Gaga is indeed briliant.

      • TorontoTom

        Hey “Well…” – well said! You hit the nail on the head. For any and all monsters out there without a voice, she makes them smile. And THAT makes her BRILLIANT.

      • Leticia

        I agree with your big post “Well…” Very well written!

      • Cat

        Tell that to Mozart.

      • Mick

        Mike, it’s not about being calculated… yes, as she herself said, it’s her career… it’s work… and she is a hard worker… of course it is calculated, she is responsible for own destiny… and she has taken charge and delivered to her fans nonstop… If you don’t appreciate talented, hard working, caring artists, don’t bother with Lady Gaga!!!

    • BlackIrish4094

      If you thin kshe’s brilliant you must be quite the idiot. She’s a good marketer of herself but not brilliant IMO by a long shot.

      • davey

        So because YOUR opinion differs from someone else – THEY are the idiot? OK.

      • Elton Joel

        Billy Joel and Elton John have both praised her piano playing and her song writing. I think they probably know more than most people do about such things.

    • Monster For Life

      I was going to comment in some detail on what “Mike” wrote but then read the comment left by “Well…” and that totally nails it. Well said “Well…”!!!

  • flicketyflack

    This isn’t country. But it’s interesting and I like that it’s not as straightforward as the original.

    • Kk

      How is this not country? And what do you mean “as straightforward as the original?”

      • flicketyflack

        This new version’s still beat driven a la Ryan Tedder at his peak (not country). What Born This Way has been transformed into is an arena rock 1980s power ballad. Think Poison/Warrant. Gaga’s vocal isn’t country either.

        I like the tension that the harmonica brings to the track and that’s mostly what I meant by not being as straightforward as the original which basically builds in a linear fashion. There’s more contrast in this remix.

      • Well…

        This is more “rootsy” than Poison/Warrant. I’m getting more Bon Jovi.

      • Elizabeth

        A harmonica doesn’t automatically make something country… just sayin

      • jack

        I’d call it more rock than country.

      • Elizabeth

        But what is the definition of “country” anymore? You have Kid Rock Country, Taylor Swift Country, Hootie Country, Sheryl Crow Country…heck even the dude from STAIND is doing “country”.

        I think this sounds more country than many of the “country” songs put out by those artists.

      • Anya

        It reminds me more of Poison or Bon Jovi sound wise as well. Not a country sound as much as an 80’s rock sound. It might be what a person who hasn’t listened to much country music these days might think that country music sounds like…

  • m

    Take britney spears and get mike tyson to punch her in the nose; you got lady gaga

    • Well…

      What happens when he punches you in the nose?


    • BlackIrish4094

      Britney is much hotter than that skank Gaga who fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

      • Monster For Life

        BlackIrish4094 – Really… Really?! I’m embarrassed for you! For your sake I really hope you’re an insecure 13 year old boy who just started puberty.

      • Vanessa

        And Beyonce, Rhianna, Katy Perry, etc. are all hotter than Britney. Your point?

      • Anonymous

        But Gaga could out sing Britney any day of the week. And seeing as they’re both singers not models…

  • Strepsi

    Gaga country cover > Sugarland country cover

    • Really??

      Not even close but good try though

  • Thad


  • zeezee

    I like it. Diff version…good on ya Gaga!

  • Canlo

    Refreshing!! Awesome song to chill…

  • Expressing Myself


    Next week be prepared for the release of the following versions of BTW:

    Holiday themed
    Square Dancing

    Ugh…the woman passes wind and EW will report it. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I clicked on it. Makes me miss the days of constant Lost and Twilight posts.

  • Ian

    meh, wake me when her ego is over.

    • Caryn

      a star with an ego??? OMG – somebody alert the media!!

      • Ian

        whatever twit.

  • Monster For Life

    This is nice/different. I personally get an old Guns & Roses vibe from it.

    • True

      Agree!! Gaga is very smart with her sound… reminiscent of the older rock songs…

  • A

    This is not country, either in instrumentation or vocal style. That beat is straight rhythm and blues, and there’s nothing “twangy” about Gaga’s singing. Just because you throw some harmonica in there doesn’t make it “country,” and I would expect a writer at an ENTERTAINMENT magazine to know the difference.

  • commentor

    I think I like this version more than the overproduced mess of the original.

  • Kate


    • DRG

      Of course it’s terrible. It’s not just terrible, it’s Ca Ca.

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