Lady Gaga's "Joanne" Tells An Unfortunate Story

Naturally, there are tons of question coursing through your Little Monster wired brain now that Lady Gaga's new album, Joanne , has been released. Fourteen songs is a lot to digest, especially after three years without a new album from the artist. So, while you're in Lady Gaga overload you may want to know some very important factoids not just about the singer, but about her very special muse, who the album is named after, and which include a song of the same name. So, what and who is Gaga's "Joanne" about? Well, I should forewarn you that it's not a story with a happy ending, but it's a story worth telling, nonetheless.

The first verse of "Joanne" pulls no punches. The lyrics get right into the heart of the matter, which unfortunately centers on the subjects of the song's untimely and tragic death. The verse goes like this:

Take my hand, stay JoanneHeaven's notReady for youEvery partOf my aching heartNeeds you moreThan the angels do

The lyrics are goosebumps-inducing because of how affecting they are. And that's because they're real. "Joanne" is a song about Gaga's aunt, who died as a teenager, and her family's subsequent struggle with the unfathomable loss. As E! Online reported, Gaga dedicated the song to her father at her album release show in NYC, and told the audience this of Joanne's death due to Lupus: "She was a victim of sexual assault who was so traumatized by her experience that it flared up her existing disease. She died very quickly after that. This tragedy stayed with my family a very long time." With that knowledge in mind, it only makes the second verse of the song and the bridge that much tougher to get through, emotionally.

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The second verse speaks to the family that was reluctant to let go of Joanne, but was forced to be accepting of her fate:

If you couldI know that you'd stayWe both knowThings don't work that wayI promised IWouldn't say goodbyeSo I grinAnd my voice gets thin

And, ultimately, to further the bittersweet message of letting go and the belief that our loved ones move on to a better place, Gaga sings:

Honestly, I know where you're goin'And baby, you're just movin' onAnd I'll still love you even if I can'tSee you anymoreCan't wait to see you soar

MTV News explained that she almost didn't name the album Joanne, but that in spite of it being almost too "personal" to Gaga, she and Mark Ronson went with it anyway, because they thought her aunt deserved it. And you can sense just how personal this was to Gaga through the lyrics and emotions that were poured out into the song about the late teenager. "Joanne" is about loss, but it's also about life, and Gaga's familial connection to her.