Judas (song)

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Lady Gaga
Writer(s) Lady Gaga
Producer(s) RedOne
Co-producer(s) Lady Gaga
Length 4:09

BTW-Logo singles chronology

Singles "Born This Way"
"The Edge of Glory"
"Yoü and I"
"Marry the Night"
Digital single(s) "Hair"

Born This Way track listing

"Judas" is a song by Lady Gaga off her third album, "Born This Way". The song title was revealed through Vogue magazine. "Judas" is the second single from the album. The song was registered on Gaga's BMI on March 18, 2011. Gaga announced via Twitter that she will announce the release date during the 41st Transmission Gagavision on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. She officially anounced that Judas would be released on April 19th, however, the song was released 4 days earlier than scheduled for "A weekend treat for little monsters" as quoted by Gaga.


This section need expanding and a cleanup.

Vogue described the song in brief detail. “The melody sounds like it was written for the Ronettes, but it is set to a sledgehammering dance beat and is about falling in love with the wrong men and backstabbing them, of the biblical variety.” The magazine also reported that the song would be the second single off the album. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly on February 15th, Gaga reaffirmed this claim, and that the single is set to be released "a few weeks" before the album. Speaking further about the song, Gaga mentioned that it had a more Bruce Springsteen rock n' roll/metal sound but was still a hardcore upbeat dance song. She added that it was "a very dark and in depth song, much more twisted than "Born This Way".
During an interview with Elvis Duran, Gaga stated that the song is about "always falling in love with the wrong men."
On February 18th, Rolling Stone magazine revealed part of the lyrics. On April 8th, Popjustice revealed another part of the lyrics.

On March 1st, Fernando Garibay discussed the track stating:

"'Judas' is produced by RedOne and Gaga, obviously, and it's a statement about - again I can't speak for her - but what I gather is it's about sometimes not choosing the right choice. But you can't deny that the choice is not a part of you and who you are. 'Judas' is a dance song, definitely. I think 'Judas' is in the traditional RedOne/GaGa vein. It's great because it's a serious message, it's a little playful, but still serious, but still somehow you wind up dancing to it. That's what's great about her music. You know, like, my favorite songs of all time, dance songs - 'Billie Jean' is a story you wouldn't think of singing but then you wind up dancing and singing the lyrics. I think that's the holy grail of music for me, which is dance."

During Musicians@Google Presents: Google Goes Gaga, Gaga explained the meaning of the song.

"It's no surprise, I'm sure, to many of you, that Judas is a man of the biblical senses, so expect to see some symbolism in this video [...] You have to look into what is haunting you and you need to look into forgiving yourself in order to move on. And it's really fun to dance to and sounds like it could be a pop priest record."

During the 43rd Transmission Gagavision, Gaga referred to her creating process as "vomit from the mind," which is in reference to the line, "Fame hooker/ Prostitute wench/ Vomits her mind" echoes this statement.

Biblical references

Here is a list of all the biblical references that there are in the lyrics of the song:

  • "I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs" - It's a reference to Mary Magdalene, who washed Jesus' feet and wipes them with her hair.
  • "Even after three times he betrays me" - It's a reference to Peter who denies Jesus three times when he is arrested before the following cockcrow.

On May 06th, Laurieann Gibson spoke with MTV about the religious imagery saying:

" To the religious groups, I don't even know that there's religious [stuff in there]. I'm like, you know, Jesus did have a crown of thrones, he did die for my sins. I'm a believer, so I say to them, those religious people, personally, I can't speak for Gaga, but as a director, a choreographer, as a believer, I say, 'Take a look at yourself.' For me, I would never [defame] my savior and the love and the non-judgment of what Jesus means to me. So I say, 'Take a closer look at why you're judging. The discussions were massive, the concepts were many prior to landing on a place. They were just exciting, full of passion. It was a magical process and we're really proud of where we ended up. "I think the concept stuck with this one because ultimately there was a place where we wanted to leave the interpretation up to each individual and not take away [Gaga's] power as a performer, as a dancer, as a star. And to leave the moments for you to interpret, and be inspired by the fact that everyone has a Judas in their life and there is a place of deliverance."

Commercial Release

"Judas" was confirmed by Gaga as the second single on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, American Top 40, on February 14, 2011. Gaga announced the release date for Judas on Gagavision #41, her webcast show, to be on April 19, 2011. Let the cultural baptism begin. If they were not who you were taught they would be, would you still believe?" "Judas" was scheduled to be sent to mainstream airplay on April 19, 2011, and digital retailers on the same day, but after the track was leaked to the internet, its release was brought forward to April 15, 2011. This was done to counteract the pre-release leaks.

Before the release, Gaga tweeted about the single, saying: "#PawsUpForJudas! I've learned love is like a brick, you can build a house or sink a dead body." On April 15, 2011, hours before the song was played on radio she again tweeted: "Even After Three Times He Betrays Me," she wrote, harking back to the song's lyrics about love and betrayal. "THE REAL JUDAS: HE'S EVERYWHERE, NOW. DON'T STOP UNTIL HE'S YOURS," she added. In the United Kingdom, the song premiered on The Capital FM Network on April 15, 2011, during their program Home Run. Within the first 24 hours of its iTunes release, Judas was number one in twelve countries: Canada, United States, Mexico, Finland, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden. It was also in the Top 10 on all 23 iTunes charts.

In the 42nd episode of Gaga's web video series called Transmission Gagavision, it was revealed that the single's accompanying cover artwork was designed by Gaga in Microsoft Word and features a black background with the word "Judas" written in red capital letters in Impact font. Below it is a red Christian cross with a heart in the middle. Gaga photographed the design on her computer screen using her cellular telephone "for texture," which resulted in visible pixels on the letters and cross, as well as a faint reflection of her face and hands holding the phone, to appear on the cover.

I graphic designed the Judas single cover myself, in Word, and photographed the image with my cellphone for texture.

—Lady Gaga, Gagavision No. 42

Physical release

The physical CD was released on May 13th, 2011 in Germany and certain cities with the Twin Shadow's remix of "Born This Way". In the United States, a CD version of Judas — The Remixes is now available exclusively through as an on-demand CD.[1] It contains seven remixes and the tracklisting is identical to that of the US digital EP.


Judas-Single Label: Labels
Format: Slimcase
Released: May 13, 2011
Barcode: 602527727028
Photogaphy: Lady Gaga
Design: N/A

Taiwan (2772702)

Judas-Single Label: Labels
Format: Slimcase
Released: May 20, 2011
Barcode: 602527727028
Photogaphy: Lady Gaga
Design: N/A

Thailand - The Remixes (2774271)

Judas-TheRemixes Label: Labels
Format: Slimcase
Released: September 22, 2011
Barcode: 602527747217
Photogaphy: Lady Gaga
Design: N/A

United States - The Remixes

Judas-TheRemixes Label: Labels
Format: Jewel case
Released: June 6, 2011
Barcode: 602527747217
Photogaphy: Lady Gaga
Design: N/A

Digital release

The Remixes

Judas-TheRemixes Label: Interscope
Format: Digital
Released: May 16, 2011
Barcode: N/A
Photogaphy: Lady Gaga
Design: N/A


  • Chris Lake Remix — 5:10
  • Dave Audé Remix — 3:59
  • Desi Hits! Bollywood Remix — 4:20
  • DJ White Shadow Remix — 4:07
  • Electrolightz Remix — 4:50
  • Goldfrapp Remix — 4:42
  • Guéna LG Club Remix — 7:41
  • Hurts Remix — 3:57
  • John Dahlbäck Remix — 6:01
  • Mirrors Une Autre Monde Mix - Nuit — 6:14
  • Mirrors Une Autre Monde Mix - Jour — 4:18
  • R3HAB Remix — 4:57
  • Röyksopp's European Imbecile Mix — 3:51
  • Röyksopp's 30 Pieces Mix — 9:18
  • Thomas Gold Remix — 5:32



Woah woah woah woah woah
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as
Woah woah woah woah woah
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as

Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs Gaga

Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs Gaga

When he calls to me I am ready
I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times he betrays me

(Woah-ah-ah-ah, woah-ah-ah-ah)
I'll bring him down, bring him down down
(Woah-ah-ah-ah, woah-ah-ah-ah)
A king with no crown, king with no crown

I'm just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas baby
I'm just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas baby

Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as
Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as

Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs Gaga

I couldn't love a man so purely
Even prophets forgave his goofy way
I've learned love is like a brick you can
Build a house or sink a dead body

(Woah-ah-ah-ah, woah-ah-ah-ah)
I'll bring him down, bring him down down
(Woah-ah-ah-ah, woah-ah-ah-ah)
A king with no crown, king with no crown

I'm just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas baby
I'm just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas baby

Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as
Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Ju-da-as, Ju-da-as


In the most biblical sense, I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
But in the cultural sense, I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offensed or wear ear condom next time

I wanna love you,
But something's pullin' me away from you
Jesus is my virtue, and Judas is the demon I cling to-
I cling to

Just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas baby
I'm just a holy fool, oh baby it's so cruel (just a holy fool woah-oh-oh-oh)
but I'm still in love with Judas baby

Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Juda-ah-ah-as
Woah woah woah woah woah,
I'm in love with Juda-as

Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs, Ju-da-ah-ahs
Ju-dahs Gaga

Music video



Premiere date May 5, 2011
Director(s) Lady Gaga & Laurieann Gibson
Fashion director Nicola Formichetti at Haus of Gaga
Choreographer Laurieann Gibson at Haus of Gaga
Director of photography Maz Makhani

Promotional image (opening scene)


The disciples jackets in the video.

Gaga revealed in an interview with Google that she is going to make her directorial debut alongside her creative director/choreographer Laurieann Gibson for the music video for "Judas." The shooting of the video started on April 2nd, 2011, and ended April 4th, 2011. Although initially reported to be premiered during an episode of the tenth season American Idol,[58] the music video premiered on May 5, 2011, on E! News at 7 pm and E! Online at 11.30 pm. The music video was banned in Lebanon due religious concerns. The video won a MuchMusic Video Award for Favorite International Music Video on June 19, 2011.


This section need expanding and a cleanup.

On March 1st, MTV posted videos of an interview with creative director and choreographer Laurieann Gibson. She stated that at that point in time, rehearsal for the Judas video had begun. She revealed that the record was very riveting and energetic and something really phenomenal. She also stated that they would be attempting to be as extreme as possible with the visuals, the choreography and the costuming. So, visually, the dance, the costuming, the idea of how big we're trying to go, [it's] going to be a roller-coaster ride.[2] In a later interview with MTV, Gibson said that there will be famous cameos in the video, and that the video was different than many people perceived it will be.[3]

I think that most people are already thinking that Gaga and the blasphemy and they're premeditating the approach and I think they'll be very shocked to find out how huge and really groundbreaking the message is and how freeing the message is for all the right reasons. And it's really going to shock the world.

—Laurieann Gibson

Confusion arose when MTV claimed that the rumor of Francis Lawrence, the same director as Bad Romance was true. However at the time, Laurieann's answer reflected the still at the time, ongoing discussion about the director for the video.[4] "There is [a director in mind]. What is a traditional music video? Even if we go with a traditional music video, the directors that we love are not traditional, so the idea that they get to collaborate with us means they too want to live outside of what people expect a traditional music video to be." On March 23rd, 2011, during the Musicians@Google Presents: Google Goes Gaga interview, Lady Gaga revealed that the director for the music video was in fact herself with the new creative director and choreographer Laurieann Gibson.[5]

"I'm very excited. Actually, I can exclusively reveal here at Google that I will be making my directorial debut with Laurieann Gibson, directing this video with her ourselves"

Laurieann Gibson later stated though that they had approached a director, however dates were messed up and schedualing conflicts with the director were created, so Lady Gaga and her manager Troy Carter asked her to co-direct the video.[6] Francis Lawrence revealed in mid-April that he was supposed to be directing the video, but cancelled due to schedualing conflicts. [7]

Giving some background on the song, Gaga explained that "It's no surprise, I'm sure, to many of you, that Judas is a man of the biblical senses, so expect to see some symbolism in this video." She continued explaining that the song/video is about confronting one's demons. "You have to look into what is haunting you and you need to look into forgiving yourself in order to move on. And it's really fun to dance to and sounds like it could be a pop priest record."

On March 4, Nicola Formichetti, fashion director, tweeted lyrics to the song and that he already started working on the fashions for the music video: "I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel, but I’m still in love with Judas, Baby. JUDAS FASHION. so excited i can’t sleep!"

Also, Gaga revealed to WE News that she designed an outfit, created by the Haus of Gaga, for the video. [8] Lady Gaga revealed to NME magazine that the music video will involve motorbikes, death and, in the final seconds, a strong spoken word sequence about being "beyond repentance". She added: "This is my way of saying "I've already crossed the line. I won't even try to repent." Nor should I."

Lady Gaga told MSN Canada that the video is a metaphor about forgiveness and it “puts destiny above all things and postures that the mistakes in your life are in fact not mistakes at all, they are just part of your overarching potential and your destiny.

She added: “I want to allow the video to speak for itself but I will say that the theme of the video and the way that I wanted to aesthetically portray the story was as a motorcycle Fellini movie where the apostles are revolutionaries in a modern-day Jerusalem. And I play Mary Magdalene leading them into the town where we meet Jesus and I will leave the rest for you to see. But it’s meant more to celebrate faith than it is to challenge it.” Shooting was from April 2 to April 4 in Los Angeles, California. Many scenes were shot through the night, On the April 3, Gaga Tweeted: "Directing JudasVideo with my sister @boomkack is the most exciting artistic moment of my career. It's the greatest work we've done. Day 2."

Nicola Formichetti took to his Twitter after the first day. "Just finished shooting our incredible day 1. We are so blessed."
Lüc Carl also took to his Twitter. "Breaking rules once again. This shit is bad ass. JudasVideo"

On April 22, during The Monster Ball Tour concert at the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey, Gaga said the video would premiere during the first week of May.[9]

On May 6, 2011, Norman Reedus discussed the video with MTV saying that Gaga had everyone on their toes in the best way possible. He stated: "I like the lipstick part, because that was sort of last minute, she just jumped up [and was like], 'I have this great idea. I'm gonna put lipstick in front of you, and right before you kiss Jesus, I'm going to pull out this gun, and I'm gonna pull the trigger, and then a lipstick's [gonna come out], and then I'm going to put it on you like I'm enabling the kiss!'. She looked at me like, 'Is that cool?' And I'm like, 'Rad.' And we did it. I liked how she was so spontaneous."

He stated that another favorite scene is the opening shot, where Judas, Mary Magdalene (Gaga) and Jesus (Rick Gonzalez) are all on the road with their biker-gang disciples. " got there the first day, and we all took motorcycle lessons [in a parking lot and] one of the disciples trashed his motorcycle up against the curb, which was hysterical. So we did that, and then they cut off part of the freeway and actually cops would fly by us and section off the road. So we rode in a pack. Gaga wasn't driving the bike, but she was riding on the back. ... We were flying down the freeway, and she got up on the back ... and was way off the back of the seat and hanging backwards and stuff, which was a daredevil move; it was pretty intense. She had all these jewels all over her, and every once and a while, you could see behind her bike just a trail of jewels dropping on the freeway. It was kind of magic."

He also discussed his reaction to the video, "My reaction when I saw it? I was excited to see my motorcycle in it first off, 'cause that's my bike that I ride, and I thought it was really good, I thought that [co-director] Laurieann [Gibson] did a really good job and GaGa did a good job, and I know there's a lot of work put into it, and I could see all the work on the screen, so I liked it."

Synopsis and fashion credits

Arriving in Jerusalem

The video opens with a motorcycle gang cruising down a freeway, wearing studded leather jackets. The motorcycle gang are the Twelve Apostles that Jesus is said to have, including Judas. Gaga as Mary Magdalene clutches onto a Jesus (Rick Gonzalez) who wears a golden crown of thorns. Among the riders is Judas, who crosses Gaga's bike as she looks meaningfully towards him. The gang passes under a flyover, when the song starts.

Lady Gaga: Outfit, gloves by Mugler, headpiece and necklace by Marianna Harutunian, heart sunglasses by Jacks Eyewear for Haus of Gaga, jewelry by Erickson Beamon
Jesus: Thorn crown by Marianna Harutunian with perfecto jacket by Schott, cross necklace by Erickson Beamon, hooded cape by Ayumi Shibata for SLOW.
Apostles: Leather outfit by Tom Tom for HOG.

Dance outside the church

They reach their rustic hideout called "Electric Chapel" where Gaga dances wearing a red sarong and a bikini top with crosses stitched onto her sarong

Lady Gaga: Bra and panties by Haus of Gaga, boots by Shoes for the Stars, skirt by Raquel Allegra.
Dancers: Outfits by Raquel Allegra.

Electric Chapel with the apostles

Once the gang arrives, Gaga Magdalene pushes Judas, further showing they have history. At the party, Judas causes a ruckus and starts fights, showing he’s trouble. While trying to protect Jesus from the fights she attempts to warn him about his apostle's impending betrayal, but becomes hypnotized by Judas' allure. Lady Gaga's hair is styled to be similar to a hat worn in the vatican in this scene

Lady Gaga: The Black Corseted Jacket by Christian Lacroix (Fall 2008).

Dancing inside the Electric Chapel

Lady Gaga: Perfecto jacket by Schott, bra and panties by Haus of Gaga, boots by Alexander McQueen (Fall 2011), tights by Capezio.
Dancers: Dresses by Ayumi Shibata for SLOW, t-shirts by Dr Noki’s NHS, layers pieces by Raquel Allegra.

With Jesus / The Market

The pat on Peter's back as she sings "you can build a house" references a line in the Bilble when Jesus said, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church".

In the marketplace, if you noticed, it was supposed to be a rock concert," she revealed. "And if you look closely ... I took the inspiration from, you know, in New York, when they're building a new building and they have the scaffolding — that's where that inspiration came from. Jesus would eventually arrive to perform at a rock concert, and so it has that town circle and they're about to perform.

Laurieann Gibson

Lady Gaga: Blue leather outfit by Alex Noble, boots by Alexander McQueen, tights by Capezio.
Dancers: Outfits by Ayumi Shibata for SLOW.

Kiss of Judas

After the second chorus, in a climatic sequence, the singer holds a gun up to Judas' mouth, and a stick of red lipstick bursts out and smears his lips. The scene portrays Gaga's choice to refuse to shoot Judas through the heart

Lady Gaga: Catsuit, headpiece, lipstick gun by Haus of Gaga, faux fur by Saulo Villela for Adrienne Landau, cross ring by The Dragon Lady.

Washing the feet of Jesus and Judas

As the breakdown ends, the music stops and Gaga is seen in a bathtub with Jesus and Judas, washing their feet and cleaning it with her hair. The sequence is interspersed with Gaga standing lonely on a rock as waves engulf her. The music restarts and Judas is shown pouring beer in the bathtub.

Lady Gaga: Top by Haus of Gaga, tights by Capezio, gold bracelet by Versace.

Cultural Baptism

The sequence is interspersed with Gaga standing lonely on a rock as waves engulf her, the scene being reminiscent of artist Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and Jesus marching towards his fatal destiny

Lady Gaga: Gold dress by Sally LaPointe, jewels by Erickson Beamon.

The Betrayal

Next Jesus is shown standing on a stage, surrounded by his supporters, the setting being inspired by scaffoldings present around newly constructed buildings. Gaga kneels in front of Jesus and tries to explain something to him, but he places his palm on her head as Judas looks on. After Judas delivers the fateful kiss upon Jesus' cheeks, marking him for his death, Gaga falls on the ground with a silent, anguished cry.

Stoning of Mary Magdalene

The video ends with the death of neither Judas nor Jesus, but of Gaga as she's stoned to death by the crowd in a bridal dress. Gaga stated in an interview with E! News that this was included because she figured if the public is going to stone her for the video, she might as well stone herself first. She also continued that it was a metaphor for Mary Magdalene not being taken as an apostle in a church.

Lady Gaga: Dress by Christian Lacroix (Fall 2008), crown by Erik Halley, gloves by Lacrasia, shoes by Underground.





  • Stefani Germanotta P/K/A Lady Gaga (BMI) Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ House of Gaga Publishing, LLC / GloJoe Music Inc. (BMI)
  • Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ Songs of RedOne, LLC (BMI)

Music video


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