Lady Gaga sings on this country-flavored power ballad of her determination to stay in a relationship that appears to have run its course. She penned the heartbreaking song with Nashville songwriter Hillary Lindsey, who also worked with her for two other songs on Joanne
. Lindsey is probably best known for the many hit tunes she's co-penned for Carrie Underwood, as well as Little Big Town's "Girl Crush
A Rhinestone-clad Lady Gaga performed the song live for the first time on October 5, 2016, when she kicked off her Dive Bar Tour in the US at Nashville's 5 Spot. Hillary Lindsey shared the microphone on harmonies. When Gaga introduced the tune she told the crown in a country accent:
"I wrote this song with a Nashville native, Hillary Lindsey. We sat on a couch together, and we were going back and forth, guitar and piano, and we were going, 'Why these men, you know?' All these men - my dad, my boyfriend, all the men in my life - they gave me a million reasons [to leave], but I just need one good one to stick around but you're giving me a million to walk away. Ladies and gentlemen, Hillary Lindsey."
Gaga performed this song on the October 24, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live with Hillary Lindsey accompanying her on acoustic guitar.
The lyrics were rumored to be about Gaga's breakup with her former fiancé Taylor Kinney, but the singer told Howard Stern they were written about all the men in her life, including Kinney, her father and every other guy she's had a relationship with. "It's never just about the guy," she said. "It's always about that guy, the guy before him."
The song was also written for women all over the world. "How cool is it that it was #1 in Saudi Arabia?... I just really want women to be heard," Gaga said. "I've dated a lot of cowboys and I just really want women to be heard... Not in a way that 'men are bad,' but I think it's time for us to heal from those wounds that divide us. In this country we are so divided. I just hope this album provides some healing."
Lady Gaga performed the song at the UK's Royal Variety Performance in front of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on December 6, 2016.
Gaga sang this during her halftime performance at the 2017 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. "We're here to make you feel good," she told the crowd before starting the song. She managed to say hi to her mom and dad in the middle of the song.
The song originally dropped out of the Hot 100 after peaking at #52. However, it got a post-Super Bowl bump, sending it back to the chart, all the way to #4. This is one of the million reasons Super Bowl acts play for free.
Gaga performed this song, along with "Joanne
," at the Grammy Awards in 2018.