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Lady Gaga ‘Applause’ – Song Meaning

Lady Gaga
D Dipasupil, Getty Images

On the surface, Lady Gaga‘s ‘Applause,’ the first single for ‘ARTPOP,’ seems to be about the fame, a familiar topic for her, and the art of being Lady Gaga. But upon closer inspection, it’s really about the power and the love fans emit, and that she in turn absorbs and cycles back to them.

It’s not as megalomaniacal as it seemed in the beginning and when it first landed.

A deeper analysis finds that ‘Applause’ is more about Gaga’s precious little monsters than about herself, but since monsters give her life and fame and breath, maybe it really is about her, in a metaphysical way.

“Being away from you, I found the vein / Put it in here.”

Fans are like her drug, whereas fame use to be. A drug metaphor is tricky, since Gaga has admitted to past use and does not want her monsters to do the same. However, addicts can replace one addiction with another, and Gaga has done that. She’d rather get drunk on monster love than anything alcoholic. The lyric is autobiographical. When she had to step away to heal from hip injury, the irony is that it nearly killed her.

“Give me that thing that I love (I’ll turn the lights on) / Put your hands up, make ‘em touch, touch (Make it real loud) / Give me that thing that I love (I’ll turn the lights on) / Put your hands up, make ‘em touch, touch (Make it real loud).”

Gaga isn’t afraid to admit she is jonesing for the love of little monsters and for the jolt of energy and adrenaline she gets when being on stage. Life is theater for her and she craves their love like a lifeforce.

“Pop culture was in art / Now art’s in pop culture in me.”

This line finds Gaga suggesting that art is what you make it and therefore, in some way, big or small, we are all artists. For Gaga, it’s a huge way. She has infested pop culture the same way that it infested her initially.

That’s our take on ‘Applause.’

PopCrushers, tell us if you agree with our assessment or if you connect with and interpret ‘Applause’ in an entirely different way.

Next: See the Best Lady Gaga Hairstyles

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