Happy Birthday "Poker Face" + Behind Gaga's L-L-Lyrics


Image c/o retrodancemonster


We all know Lady Gaga's first single "Just Dance", which was released on April 8th of 2008, but the song that really put Gaga on the pop music map was her smash hit "Poker Face" — released on this day three years ago! 

The song was an instant success with music critics and fans alike, but why? "Just Dance" was pretty popular, because it's one of those destined-to-be-popular, written-for-radio songs with lyrics about partying ("Last Friday Night", anyone?), but "Poker Face" elevated Gaga to the next level as a songwriter because the tune was so...mysterious:

Can't read my, can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(He's got me like nobody)
Can't read my, can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got me like nobody) 

With darker lyrics and deeper hooks than "Just Dance", Gaga's second single about money, sex & gambling was just catchy enough for the charts, but also edgy enough for the underground club scene. Just to prove how well-received "Poker Face" is by pretty much everybody, it was featured on Glee, covered by rocker Daughtry, and there's even a version by European popster Mika. Happy third birthday, "Poker Face" — your music and lyrics will forever be the blueprint for a masterly crafted pop song!

Speaking of Lady Gaga's lyrics, I personally think it's the stutters that get her words across so well. She dabbled a little in "Just Dance":

Just dance, gonna be okay, d-d-d-dance
Dance, dance, just, j-j-just dance

But GOES FOR IT in "Poker Face":

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)

Which paved the way for "Paparazzi", "Alejandro", and "Judas":

Baby, you'll be famous / Chase you down until you love me / Papa-paparazzi


Alejandro, Alejandro / Ale-Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro


Judas, Juda-a-a, Judas, Juda-a-a / Judas Juda-a-a, Judas, Gaga

Some may argue that Gaga's st-st-stuttering lyrics sound a little elementary school, but it's what sets her apart from other songwriters in pop, and could have helped "Poker Face" and its steady climb up the charts? St-st-st-stutter on, Lady G!

~ A.H.