Lady Gaga's New Song Tackles Sexual Assault

Little Monsters may be hearing new music from their idol sooner than they thought: a new Lady Gaga song called "Till It Happens to You" is featured in The Hunting Ground, a 2015 documentary about the rape epidemic on U.S. college campuses. Entertainment Weekly reports that the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is scheduled for a March theatrical release, "relies on startling interviews with campus rape survivors" to expose "the alleged systemic cover up" of rape by universities across the United States. "Till It Happens to You" was co-written by the legendary Diane Warren, a Grammy Award–winning songwriter and seven-time Oscar nominee. Gaga and Warren were pictured together in the recording studio at the end of December, but at the time, we weren't quite sure what the pair were up to.

While the general public hasn't heard "Till It Happens to You" yet (and no release date has been announced), The Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin writes in her The Hunting Ground review that the song "provides an extra jolt of poignancy" to the documentary. Meanwhile, Mashable's entertainment editor, Josh Lincoln Dickey, remarked on Twitter that the track is "stirring."

On Friday, Gaga shared some powerful lyrics from the ballad online:

Based on these lyrics, it seems as though "Till It Happens to You" covers the sensitive subject matter of the film and is written from the perspective of a sexual assault survivor. Gaga recently revealed during an interview with Howard Stern that she was raped at age 19.

In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Lee had this to say about how he felt after seeing The Hunting Ground:

Many people in the audience (including myself) left the theater feeling a mixture of outrage and despair. It was one of those indelible Sundance moments when the festival opens your eyes and breaks your heart.

The Hunting Ground certainly looks and sounds like an extremely important documentary about a national crisis that, unfortunately, isn't always taken seriously. Given the raw, emotional power of Gaga's voice and Warren's expert songwriting ability, I'd say that the two women were a perfect choice to craft a moving original piece for the film. I look forward to hopefully having an opportunity to see The Hunting Ground and hear "Till It Happens to You" for myself later this year.