"Mary Jane Holland" is a song written by Lady Gaga for ARTPOP. The song title was revealed by Gaga when she tweeted lyrics on August 9th, 2013, around 2:00 PM. August 9th is also her father, Joe Germanotta's birthday, which is a possibility why Gaga revealed it that day. A snippet was released on October 28, 2013.
Lady Gaga first gave a hint about the song in September of 2012 at an Amsterdam show of The Born This Way Ball where she introduced herself to the audience as Mary Jane Holland which means that she was working on the song at that period. As she said in the track-by-track commentary of ARTPOP on Sirius XM, when she was in Amsterdam, she called Madeon, the producer of the song, telling him she had ideas for the album and asked him to send her some material to choose for the song instrumental. She continues, the song gave her inspiration to dye her hair brown which is even mentioned in the first verse. She felt like the world owned her blondness and it wasn't hers anymore. After dying her hair, she went out into the city and had a good time and that gave her even more inspiration for writing the song. She continues stating that she created that alter-ego after smoking weed and getting drunk in clubs and it gave her comfort while being out, she felt like a normal person after a long time and that served as inspiration for the song's chorus.
|“||I wrote this song with Madeon, he’s an amazing amazing DJ from France — amazing producer, amazing, just, musician. He’s very very young and very very sweet, and I absolutely adore him; and when I was in Amsterdam, I called him and I was telling him, you know — I had some ideas about what I wanted to do on the album — and I said, “You know what? Just send me whatever you want.” And he sent me these synth beat ideas, and I was in Amsterdam, and I started writing, and then I dyed my hair brown [chuckles] like, literally, outta nowhere, I was just: “Freddie” — he does my hair — I just said, “Let’s go. Let’s just, I don’t wanna be blonde anymore.” And he said, “How come?” And I said, “I just feel like the world owns my blondeness, and it’s not mine anymore, and I didn’t want to feel owned. And I wanna go out today, and I wanna have a good time, and I don’t want anyone to know it’s me — I just need one night of just, freedom — and I don’t wanna be wearing another fucking wig while I’m doing it.” So, he dyed my hair and I went out, and I just got, super-stoned, and drank a bunch and we went out to my favorite sex clubs and strip clubs and had a great, great time and all night I kept calling myself, “Mary Jane Holland.” And everybody kept calling me “Mary Jane Holland;” so, it became this alter-ego of who I became when I was smoking weed; and, it really became a source of comfort for me — that I could smoke and take something that would really help with my anxiety, and help really bring me down from the pressures of being a star; and, whenever I smoke, I really forget that I’m famous — and that’s maybe not a good thing [chuckles] — but I, I really love that; I really loved just feeling kind of normal, and like I could go out and do whatever I want; and I could be stupid or I could be dumb, or be smart and be fun, and it wouldn’t matter. So, in this record I say, [lyric from Mary Jane Holland] “I think that I could be fine, if I could be Mary Jane Holland tonight…” and it’s, it’s true, I would say to myself, “You know what - if I could just grab a toke, and be a brunette, I think I’d be okay — just for like, one evening.”||”|
The instrumental is based on the track "Revenge" which Madeon played live a few times with an acapella of "99 Problems" by Jay-Z. Madeon sent the track to Gaga in August of 2012. Prior to that, Madeon's publisher sent the instrumental to the band The Good Natured who wrote lyrics and named it "Can't Beat the Machines" (Madeon Remix). This version leaked on June 6, 2012 and was immediately removed as Madeon didn't like it. Madeon further explained on Twitter that "it's not a remix. It's an original unfinished instrumental idea. A songwriter submitted a topline and that's what leaked".
Later when Gaga and Madeon went into a recording studio, Gaga composed a new bridge and recorded some guitars. Madeon later said that "he was glad that he waited for the right person" to finish the song with.
Album version (4:37)
|Writers and producers||Lady Gaga and Madeon|
|Additional production||Nick Monson|
|Recording by||Dave Russell and Benjamin Rice at Record Plant, Hollywood, CA|
|Assistant recording||Benjamin 'Ben' Rice and Andrew Robertson at Record Plant|
|Mixed by||Manny Marroquin at Larrabee North Studios Universal City, CA |
Madeon at Popcultur Studios, France
|Assistant mixers||Chris Galland and Delhert Bowers at Larrabee Studios|
|Mastering||Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering, Burbank, CA|