“Evolved This Way”: My Atheist Evolution-Themed Lady Gaga “Born This Way” Song Parody

Carl Sagan told me when I was young
We are all made of stars
And Darwin said all life’s descended from
Ancient common ancestors…

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Lady-gaga-born-this-way-single-album-cover Don’t get me wrong. I like Lady Gaga. I respect Lady Gaga. I’m even reasonably fond of “Born This Way” (although I do think it’s awfully goddamn close to “Express Yourself” — there is a line between “homage” and “ripoff”, people!).

But the lyrics kind of get up my nose. They got up my nose the first time I heard it; they get up my nose more and more on every subsequent listening. The whole “God makes no mistakes” bull keeps making me want to scream, “There is no god! And if you believe in a god who created the world and is responsible for how it’s turning out, how can you not think that he makes mistakes all the freaking time! Sinuses! Knees! Too-narrow birth canals! Pediatric cancer! Have you read anything about evolution? Do you even know how it works? Rrrrrr!”

If it were just a couple of passing mentions, it wouldn’t bug me so much. But religion is all over the freaking song. “‘Cause he made you perfect, babe”; “God makes no mistakes”; “Believe capital H-i-m”… it’s all over the song like a cheap suit. Indeed, the whole bloody theme of the song — “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way,” in the context of “God makes no mistakes,” smacks strongly of deistic theistic predestination. Not to mention a piss-poor understanding of evolution, and how life came into being, and why we are the way we are.

And I want no part of it. I don’t think we should love ourselves because God made us the way we are. I think we should love ourselves because we’re awesome and lucky to be alive, and because our lives and the lives of the people around us improve vastly when we love ourselves. And the teleological fallacy seriously gets my goat. There is no reason to think that we were “born this way” because some invisible all-powerful supernatural entity shaped us into being on purpose to make him happy, or even because evolution proceeds in a specific direction towards some supposedly “higher” state of being. We’re not on “the right track” — there is no track. We were “born this way” because of natural selection, coupled with random chance. Period.

Okay. Deep breath. I am clearly taking this waaaaaay too seriously.

Pride 4 Ingrid So anyway. When Ingrid and I marched with the atheist contingent in the LGBT Pride Parade this year, Ingrid really, really wanted to make a sign that was an atheist riff on “Born This Way.” (She assumed — rightly so, as it turns out — that “Born This Way” would be getting played to death at this year’s parade.) And at almost the very last minute, the night before the parade, she came up with her totally brilliant sign concept: “Evolved This Way.” We jokingly started coming up with parody song lyrics on our way to the parade… and I got the bug in my brain, and couldn’t stop until I had the whole thing done. (And can I just say: Some of the best lines are the ones lifted wholesale from the original song. “In the religion of the insecure”? I couldn’t have done better.) Enjoy!

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Evolved This Way

It doesn’t matter if you sing hymns,
There’s no capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
‘Cause you evolved this way, baby

Carl Sagan told me when I was young
We are all made of stars
And Darwin said all life’s descended from
Ancient common ancestors

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are,”
They said, “‘Cause we’re all imperfect, babe
Our knees and sinuses don’t work for shit
But we’re alive — so celebrate!”

Lucky to be here today
There’s no god making mistakes
I’m on the tree of life, baby
I evolved this way

Humans and seaweed and cats
Mushrooms and beetles and rats
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved this way

Could have gone another way
Thank your mutant DNA
Baby, we evolved this way

Could have gone another way
If that asteroid had strayed
No track, baby, we evolved this way

There’s killer sharks, there’s killer bees
There’s viruses, there’s willow trees
There’s elephants, there’s tiny fleas
And me.

It’s sometimes hard to see this scary world
With life in our own puny hands
In the religion of the insecure
They think it’s all a master plan.

It might be pretty to believe that lie
But it’s all an S-H-A-M
I love myself, I love my friends, and I
Accept that it’s all going to end.

Lucky to be here today
There’s no god making mistakes
I’m a primate, baby
I evolved this way

Gorillas, roses and dogs
Amoebas, algae and frogs
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved this way

Could have gone another way
Thank your mutant DNA
Baby, we evolved this way

Could have gone another way
If mammals hadn’t made the grade
No track, baby, we evolved this way

If you survive, you’ll make the scene
Then reproduce, pass on your genes
Random mutations roll the dice
Change every species, moss or mice
Forget your teleology
There’s no track on life’s gorgeous tree
Rejoice and love yourself today
‘Cause baby you evolved this way

No matter huge or small fry
Whether you swim or you fly
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved to survive

No matter feathers or fur
Whether you bark or you purr
You know there’s no track, baby
We were shaped by this world

Lucky to be here today
There’s no god making mistakes
I’m on the tree of life, baby
I evolved this way

Mosquitos, plankton and pigs
Canaries, leeches and figs
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved this way

Could have gone another way
Thank your mutant DNA
Baby, we evolved this way

Could have gone another way
If grandma hadn’t gotten laid
No track, baby, we evolved this way

We evolved this way-hey
We evolved this way-hey
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved this way-hey

We evolved this way-hey
We evolved this way-hey
You know there’s no track, baby
We evolved this way-hey

Note: I would love, love, LOVE to make a YouTube video of this. I don’t have the singing chops or video-making skills to do it on my own… but if someone out there wants to collaborate, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be a fancy video; I’d be totally happy with one of those “sequence of still images” numbers, and will even find the images. If you can sing ([cough] JT [cough]), and/ or if you have video-making skills, drop me a line at greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com.