OFFSTAGE: Lady Gaga Goes Country?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I’m sure I’m not the only girl Lady Gaga has kept waiting. But come on. The curiosity was killing me when she tweeted yesterday that she’d be releasing a “Country Road Version” of her gigantic hit pop song, “Born This Way.” She promised it would be out at midnight her time. That’s 2 a.m. But only at 6:30 a.m. was it made available via Twitter . So after all the waiting, was it worth it to hear what has been called Gaga’s “freak anthem” go country? Yes and no. Yes, because in my mind, the absence of all the screaming electronic dance music makes it downright likeable. But then no, because I think it takes more than changing the lyrics in the bridge and adding a little harmonica, slide guitar and mandolin before you can call a song country. Gaga now sings in the bridge “If I want to make it country, baby it’s OK, cause I was born, I was born, I was born this way/But London, Paris, Japan, back to USA, I was born on the road, I was born to be brave.” Being a world traveler doesn’t make you country. And furthermore, I doubt a song that even hints at things like drag queens would ever make it on country radio. But if I had to listen to “Born This Way,” I guess I’d choose the country one. Because I’m a country fan. There ain’t no other way. Baby, I was born this way.