“Babylon” is the sixteenth track on Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album ‘Chromatica’ released on May 29, 2020. The song draws some serious roots from The Bible while linking it to the modern era with regards to relationships.
Babylon is the capital of Babylonia, a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia, between the 18th and 6th centuries BC. In Jewish tradition, ‘Babylon‘ symbolizes an oppressor against which righteous believers must struggle. In Christianity, Babylon symbolizes worldliness and evil. In Genesis 11, it is said that when a united human race got together and formed an alliance to create the Tower of Babel to reach the heaven, God interfered and scattered humanity across the earth and confound their speech so they can no longer understand each other.
Lady Gaga winds her song quite tightly around this lore surrounding this city in Babylonia. Needless to say, she even has her historical facts correct such as the time period of the city’s existence.
Listen to “Babylon” by Lady Gaga
“Babylon” Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
In the first verse of the song, Lady Gaga lets us know that there is a connection with the past and present embedded in these lyrics. She has a weekend for herself and her lover and they are going to live it up like the ancient Babylonian style. This is a very creative narration to what the city of Babylon was referred as back in the day: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
The lyric “We can party like it’s B.C.” not only hints at a raging party, but also stands for its literal meaning. Maybe it was much free and entertaining before religion took over.
16th Century is an accurate time period when the kingdom of Babylonia thrived in the ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
However, in the pre-chorus onward, the song also dumps the ugly word “gossip” into the mix. She mentions that “him, you and me” is a gossip, an obvious middle finger towards paparazzi who create stories out of thin air.
In the chorus, Lady Gaga presses on mixing her 16th Century history lesson with post-modern social study. “Babble” means to talk inaccurately or nonsensically. This draws reference to the punishment by God which made Babylonians speak different languages which would have made each other looks to be babbling. It also draws reference to the ‘babble’ media culture in the modern days. They may be speaking perfect English or any other language, but their context carries no meaning.
In the second verse, Lady Gaga drops in the story of the Tower of Babel, which caused the God to punish the humans. Back in the modern context of the song, these line signify her heavenly emotions being with the person she loves.
BloodPop is one of the producers of the ‘Chromatica’ album. It also draws a beautiful and horrifying picture of a blood-shot moon which usually resembles impending doom.
What do you think about this work of art by Lady Gaga? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.