Lady Gaga’s enormously popular 2009 single “Bad Romance” is nearly a decade old. In that time, the world has changed drastically, and we’ve all become much older. Even the littlest monsters have become big monsters, their Aladdin Sane makeup crusting in jars and perpetually clawed hands aching with the earliest signs of an inevitable arthritis.
A tweet from @fkajack has helped make the passage of time feel even worse, sharing a Tumblr post from early 2016 (yes, that was a while ago, too) where a user named Lesle transposed the Gaga hit into a major key and rendered its familiar melody in a lo-fi synth reminiscent of retro video games.
The cover, dominated by a weedy little flute, does sound quite a bit like a track from some early ‘90s role-playing game that time forgot. More striking, though, is the sensation of being hurled even further backward through time as the rendition plays out.
It’s difficult enough to hear the original version of “Bad Romance” and remember that its popularity took place during the vanished, halcyon days of single-morning hangovers and fully functioning metabolisms. Bringing it to an even more distant time—a time when many listeners may have been toddlers, babies, or, most warmly nostalgic of all, yet to be born—is just plain cruel.