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"Speechless" is a ballad written by Lady Gaga about her father, from The Fame Monster. The song was produced by Ron Fair and premiered on the Contemporary Art's 30th anniversary gala in Los Angeles on November 14, 2009 with the Bolshoi Ballet and artist Francesco Vezzoli. The song represents her "Fear of Death Monster".
Lady Gaga mentioned in a interview with Billy Bush, that she wanted "Speechless" to be released as a single, but it never recieved such a release.
Writing and recording
When asked about the re-release by Rolling Stone, Gaga said: "I think is the best song I've ever written. It's about my dad, it's a really beautiful ballad. It's piano-driven, and there's no beat on it, it's all live instruments. I produced it with Ron Fair, so we did a full live orchestra, recorded everything with live drums, live guitar and bass with me playing piano. We got that really organic, delicious feeling." Gaga explained in a November 2009 interview that her father, Joseph Germanotta, had a heart condition for approximately fifteen years. She explained, "He has or he had a bad aortic valve, and his body for a very long time was only pumping a third of the blood that you're supposed to get every time his heart beat." She added:
- "My mom called me and I was very depressed. I was on tour and I couldn't leave, so I went into the studio and I wrote this song 'Speechless,' and it's about these phone calls. My dad used to call me after he'd had a few drinks and I wouldn't know what to say. I was speechless and I just feared that I would lose him and I wouldn't be there."
She wrote the song in May 2009 in Australia when her father's condition was getting worse and sent it to him as a plea to get the heart surgery. She was willing to give up her music career in order to take care of her mother and sister. The song was written as a plea for Mr. Germanotta to have the open-heart surgery he needed for his condition.
In October 2009, Gaga confirmed that her father had undergone the surgery. "My Daddy had open-heart surgery today. And after long hours, and lots of tears, they healed his broken heart, and mine." she announced through her official Twitter account.
She stated that she hoped the song would inspire her younger fans to appreciate their parents. "I have a lot of fans who are really lovely, young, troubled fans, but I want to remind them that you only get one set of parents." she said. In one concert during the Monster Ball Tour, she has said that Speechless was her favorite song from The Fame Monster out of all the tracks.
"Speechless" was performed the first time during the Ballet Russe Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again) on November 14, 2009. It was also performed at the Vevo Launch in late 2009. The first concert she performed it at was The Monster Ball Tour in Montreal. Depending on the audience, Gaga sang different version, the album "clean" version or the "explicit" version. In the explicit version, the lyrics "And is your punch line just a joke?" is replaced with "And is your drunk line just a joke?", and "Of all my wrecked up friends" with "Of all my fucked up friends". Typical renditions of the song starts on the piano and switch with the band after the first chorus. The piano used for the song is the burnt piano.
|Monster Ball: Theater & Arena versions||2009—2011 (All dates)|
- All vocals and piano — Lady Gaga
- Instrumentation and arrangement — Lady Gaga, Ron Fair
- Drums — Abraham Laboriel Jr.
- Bass — Tal Herzberg
- All guitars — John L. Goux
- Recorded — Record Plant (Los Angeles, California, )
- Recording Engineered — Tal Herzberg, Frank Wolf
- Assistant Engineers — Ryan Kennedy, Tal Oz, Joe Cory
- Mixed — Jack Joseph Puig
- Stefani Germanotta P/K/A Lady Gaga (BMI) Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ House of Gaga Publishing, LLC / GloJoe Music Inc. (BMI)