When you saw A Star Is Born, what did you think of Ally’s pop hit “Why Did You Do That?” Did you thrill at the line, “Why’d you come around me with an ass like that?” or did you, like Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine, grimace in disgust? We weren’t the only ones who wondered whether the song was intended to be understood as bad in the world of the film. Fortunately, the New York Times sought out Oscar-nominated songwriter Diane Warren, who contributed lyrics to the song, to definitively determine: is “Why Did You Do That?” supposed to be hot trash, or what?
“No, it’s not the intention,” said Warren, confirming her earlier tweet on the subject. “I would never purposefully sit down to write a bad song, although I guess I’ve done some without trying that turned out that way. This was a fun song, and I love fun pop songs. Not everything has to be serious all the time.”
In fact, Warren says she didn’t even know Cooper’s character was supposed to hate the song until she saw the movie. “It surprised me when I saw it!” she says. “I was sitting next to my friend and I jabbed her in the arm and went, ‘That’s my line he’s quoting!’ I love that her character defended her music. It doesn’t have to be what he thinks music should be — music can be everything. It can be a serious song, it can be a pop song, it can be a song about an ass.”
So there you have it. Jackson Maine, this one’s on you. And in case you’re wondering, yes, nine-time Academy Award nominee Diane Warren did come up with that ass lyric specifically. Said the songwriter, “I have to take guilty credit for that line. I remember when we were working on it, I said, ‘Can we say that?’ And Gaga went, ‘Yeah, why not?’”