Tuesday, December 22, 2009

W-W-What Did She Say? - The "Vertigo Shtick" Saga (Part 1)

As I've been prepping several upcoming new posts for the second week in the life of the pop phenomenon-in-waiting (heehee) that is VertigoShtick, I've continued to reminisce merrily about the weeks leading up to last week's launch, particularly the minor drama that arose around my intended choice of title. The quest for truth, as it often does with me, involved the parsing of a particularly consternating lyrical conundrum - indeed, as you'll no doubt see clearly as this site grows over the next few months, my passionate interest in fully accurate understanding of a song's lyrics often borders on obsessive. Enter an artist as addictive and compelling a force as Lady Gaga, whose lyrics are often bizarre enough on their own to be rendered completely confounding by her oft equally irreverent enunciation, and...and, well, you get something a bit like this story (retold from my personal notes written at the time of the event).

Enjoy (or at least appreciate) the madness (click "Read More).

A Gaga Saga, Act One

Sunday, November 29, 2009
"I am at my wits' end...does anyone know if the official lyrics to Lady Gaga's single 'Bad Romance' (from The Fame Monster re-release) are published anywhere? Like in liner notes or something similarly official-esque and ostensibly from the horse's mouth or close to it, not MetroLyrics or other user-compiled information (often rife with mondegreens)?

Barring that, if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who knows someone who knows one of the writers? Hey, this is L.A.; I wouldn't be shocked in the slightest if I happened to know someone who knows someone (etc.) like that. If so, I need your help to solve a seemingly frivolous but in fact deceptively consequential like you wouldn't believe. (If I ever figure out the answer, you'll soon see why...but at this point I'm not holding my breath!)

I cannot get a definitive answer to this question:

The second verse of 'Bad Romance' begins thusly:

I want your horror,  
I want your design,  
'Cause you're a criminal  
As long as you're mine. 
I want your love.  
Love, love, love, 
I want your love.

Following the most fantastic grunt, she continues: 'I want your Psycho/ Your Vertigo _______

And here's where my advanced degrees in history and early modern literature and all the practice I've had doing research for minuscule details have to this point failed me. Does Gaga want 'your Vertigo STICK' or 'your Vertigo SCHTICK?' Clearly this obscure couplet is in reference to perhaps the two most famous films of Alfred Hitchcock, and wanting one's 'psycho,' capitalized or not, at the very least fits into the gist of the rest of the song's lyrics. Now, my first instinct was 'stick,' despite that word pairing making little sense; perhaps my instinct was based on the prominence of the word 'stick' in a previous single, "LoveGame" (in that case as half of a rather catchy euphemism for a somewhat salacious part of the male anatomy).

The friend who originally made apparent a discrepancy in our respective hearings of that lyric just happens to possess the musical taste and Gaga-specific appreciation and experience to suggest to me the possibility of the oh-so-rare occurrence in which I'm wrong and someone else is right; plus *SPOILER ALERT* the film Vertigo centers around an especially thorough, sinister and ultimately fatal deception...and in a relatively avant-garde mainstream pop song it's conceivable that the word 'schtick' might arguably serve such a reference.*

I've heard compelling cases for both and I'm simply baffled. (Full disclosure: for reasons entirely unrelated to 'Bad Romance,' lyrical continuity or the preservation of English grammar, I'm hoping that 'stick' turns out to be correct. Not enough, however, to proclaim it is so when there is some chance it might not be.


(In case you wonder why I exclude MetroLyrics, an example: the site currently seems under the impression the lyric in question is 'I want your psycho/Your vertical stick...' Seriously? As my mother always says, 'It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.')

*If you have not seen Vertigo, what on earth is the matter with you? Rectify this immediately. Get it (even used...can be a steal) from Amazon. Put it in your Netflix queue. Here's a link. No, I mean do it NOW. It could not be simpler."

To Be Continued
(Not that you haven't figured out how this thing might end...unless your day job is transcribing supposed Gaga songs for MetroLyrics...)

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