"Weird" Al Yankovic leaked "Perform This Way," a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," on YouTube Wednesday (Apr. 20), along with a lengthy blog post in which he accused the pop star of rejecting the song after making him "jump through hoops" to get her approval.
Listen: Weird Al, "Perform This Way"
Following Yankovic's blog post, sources close to Gaga reportedly told TMZ that the singer did not ban Yankovic from taking on "Born This Way," and that the presumption that the singer rejected "Perform This Way" must have been "a misunderstanding because [Gaga] is in no way trying to block the release of the parody." Yankovic's manager then told the New York Times that Gaga has given her approval for Yankovic to release "Perform This Way" and that the musical satirist would be posting an update on his blog.
"Perform This Way," which Yankovic says he intended to release as the lead single from his next album, pokes fun at Gaga's shock-provoking fashion choices. "I might be wearin' Swiss cheese/or maybe covered with bees/It doesn't mean I'm crazy, I perform this way," he sings on the track. "Ooh my little monsters pay, lots 'cause I perform this way/Baby, I perform this way."
In his blog post, Yankovic said he submitted the lyrics for "Perform This Way" to Gaga's management, and after being told that Gaga would need to hear the recorded version of the parody before signing off on its release, cut short a family vacation and cranked out the track in the studio. "I decided -- based on my belief that people are basically good -- to go through the trouble and considerable expense of actually recording the song," Yankovic explained. "Now, I never do that - never. But because I was really excited about this parody, I decided I would faithfully jump through as many hoops as Gaga deemed necessary."
To his disappointment, Yankovic wrote, Gaga rejected the parody, whose proceeds from sales would have gone towards the Human Rights Campaign. "My parodies have always fallen under what the courts call 'fair use,' and this one was no different, legally allowing me to record and release it without permission," he said. "But it has always been my personal policy to get the consent of the original artist before including my parodies on any album, so of course I will respect Gaga's wishes. However, given the circumstances, I have no problem with allowing people to hear it online, because I also have a personal policy not to completely waste my stinking time."