Babylon

Album: Chromatica (2020)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Babylon was founded in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) in the 23rd century BC. It grew to become a major metropolis and later the center of the great Babylonian Empire, when it was arguably the largest city in the world. During this jubilant track Gaga envisions the ancient locality as a place where people had fun.

    We only have the weekend
    You can serve it to me, ancient-city style
    We can party like it's BC
    With a pretty 16th-century smile
  • Babylon is symbolic of evil in the Bible; the book of Genesis recounts how the citizens of the ancient city started to build a tower that would reach to Heaven. God spoiled their plan by making them unable to understand each other, creating chaos and miscommunication, and they never completed the Tower of Babel.

    Body's moving like a sculpture
    On the top of Tower of Babel tonight
    We are climbing up to Heaven
    Speaking languages in a BloodPop moonlight


    Throughout her career, Gaga has battled gossip about her love life, gender identity and much more. Here, she is drawing a parallel between the meaningless way people "babble on" about her and the incoherent communication between the Babylonians as they tried in vain to build the Tower of Babel.

    Talk it out, babble on
    Battle for your life, Babylon
    That's gossip, what you on?


    Speaking to Apple Music's Zane Lowe, Gaga explained that "Babylon" is "a song about gossip, something that had dominated my life that made me feel so small and chained. Now I wear chains and I wear them with pride. I feel free."
  • Other artists that have used the ancient city of Babylon as a metaphor for evil include David Gray, The Ruts, Sheryl Crow, and Steely Dan.

    And we mustn't forget the more literal "Rivers Of Babylon," based on Psalm 137 in the Bible.
  • Gaga wrote the track with Burns and BloodPop. It pulls influence from disco, 1980s drag house-ballroom culture and '90s house, and has drawn comparisons to Madonna's 1990 hit "Vogue."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

80s Music Quiz 1

80s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

MTV, a popular TV theme song and Madonna all show up in this '80s music quiz.

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"They're Playing My Song

With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.