Wednesday, December 23, 2009

W-W-What Did She Say? - The "Vertigo Shtick" Saga (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted the first part of the almost humorously lengthy origin story of the fabulously multi-referential title to this little blog, and here I bring you the conclusion as written in a note to friends as the site was in its planning stages. I have no doubt that it won't be just Lady Gaga fans who could be edified by what lies within.

A Gaga Saga, Act Two

Monday, November 30, 2009

Earlier this morning I posted an SOS of deceptive desperation in an attempt to decipher a particularly gnarly lyrical quandary at the hands of the fabulous and frighteningly phenomenal Lady Gaga (for reasons I can only promise will prove themselves in the near future). I'd foolishly hoped for a swift and solid resolution, but instead found the road to truth even thornier than I'd anticipated. I also learned a little and laughed a lot along the way, and most importantly, I am 99.9% satisfied that I have finally uncovered the answer to my shticky little question.

First, Alecia, the friend I wrote about earlier who originally alerted me to the existence of this discrepancy, helpfully provided this: "So go to the second interview on this link at around 2:30 she talks about the song. (Check Out the Interviews) I knew I heard it somewhere!! And it sounds like schtick to me still :)"

And indeed it did; however, Gaga's explanation did not make entirely clear why exactly the lyric might be one or the other, instead educating the ignorant masses about Hitchcock (and, unexpectedly, clearing up the other lyric in the song I hadn't gotten and in doing so redeeming herself from my idnignant response to her assumed omission of my favorite Hitchcock film, Rear Window...more on this in a moment).

Then one of my music industry connections (the fabulous country sensation-in-waiting Brittany McDonald, whose absence from your music library should be rectified immediately) pointed out the inarguable habit of lyrical non-clarity the Gaga has possessed since "Poker Face/Puckerface/Fuck Her Face."

Alecia's stance was all but verified by a helpful response I received from a user on YouTube, who explained, "It's 'schtick' according to the CD book, but it's meant to be a play on words, since the next lyric 'want you in my rear window, baby you're sick' is alluding to anal sex." While I imagine I would have gleaned the salacious hidden meaning of the newly discovered lyrics without much prodding, but the confirmation of an official publication of the lyrics as being extant was, really, exactly what I had said earlier that I would require as proof.

After "shtick" (alternately spelled "schtick" by more than one respondant) received endorsements from a few more of my particularly pop-aware friends, another interested friend, Chris, sealed the deal with what reasonably purports to be as close to a facsimile of the supposed "CD book" as I'm likely to encounter without schlepping to Amazon to buy the damn thing with the money I don't have for the CD player I don't possess. In this case the spelling "shtick" was used, and for my secret purposes I decided I preferred it as such.

The residual exchanges (the main quest being complete) amounted essentially to a jocular namedropping parade of other notable marble-mouths of the airwaves (Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and Britney Spears appeared in various contexts). And really, I have to defend my confusion once more here: say what you like about Gaga, but you can't deny that she didn't help in this search for lyrical absolution with her delivery - as artistically intriguing as her unique enunciation was likely meant to be (and, indeed, is).

Long story short: in the second verse of "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga sings the following:
I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick;
Want you in my rear window, baby, you're sick,
I want your love.
Love, love, love, I want your love.
In the simplest vernacular, this seems to mean something like "I enjoy how fucked up you are and would also like to receive anal sex from you if that's possible." Basically, classic Gaga.

The end.

Brittany McDonald EP(By the way, I wasn't kidding about Brittany McDonald: check out her EP on Amazon (also available on iTunes if you prefer), because it's one of the best EPs from a new artist I've come across. My personal favorite track thus far is "Another Wanna Be," in case you prefer trying it out track by track, but you really can't go wrong here.)


  1. If you're not comfortable with your source, here is a CD booklet scan:

  2. If you're not comfortable with your source, here is a CD booklet scan:


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