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Lana Del Rey Lyrics: Modern Day Poetry Masked as Pop Music

Lana Del Rey Lyrics: Modern Day Poetry Masked as Pop Music

Kaeley Boyle

Lana Del Rey lyrics are emotional, evocative, and poetic. The tones of her songs are often meloncholic in mood. Elizabeth Grant, or her persona Lana Del Rey, first came on the scene in 2011 with her viral hit, video games. Her music and lyrics are born out of Fordham University , where she majored in philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics. The female artist explained her interest in philosophy, “Bridged the gap between God and science… I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why.” Three years after graduating, the musician released her first album under the stage name Lana Del Rey. She was one of the first real life artists to utilize youtube to get her music out to the masses. Her second studio album hit in 2010. The album titled, Born to Die, included her chart-topping hit, Summertime Sadness. Her rise to stardom in the early 2010s came with critics who called her work “ho-hum” and “a staggering disappointment”.

An American record born out of another time

Furthermore, whether you’re a music critic or a consumer, you either love her or hate her. From her meteoric rise to her flop on SNL in 2012. (and most recent Instagram controversy ) The pendulum of praise to villainy swings with troubling ease. Lana Del Rey’s lyrics and music speak to the black and white nature of modern-day discourse and media profiteering. Her songs don’t fall into a genre and therefore are hard to market. You won’t see them on many “best of” lists. They aren’t pop albums and aren’t quite alternative songs. But, Lana Del Rey has expanded the confines of pop and paved the way for artists like Lorde and Billie Eilish. Her record, “Norman F*cking Rockwell” even garnered praised from “The Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen. In an interview, Springsteen described Lana Del Rey as “Simply One of the Best Songwriters.” Meanwhile, why do the powers that be laude Eilish and Lorde and leave Lana Del Rey out of the conversation? How is it that Taylor Swift has won a multitude of Grammy’s for her songwriting but Lana Del Rey lyrics are passed year after year?

Lana Del Rey’s hit “Video Games”.

Lana Del Rey lyrics take center stage through an old medium

Moreover, the perennially nominated but pointedly left off the Awards stage, Lana Del Rey continues to live outside the pop star box. In July 2020, the artist released an audiobook, Violent Bent Backwards Over the Grass, and subsequent hardcover of poetry.

“Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is the title poem of the book and the first poem I wrote of many. Some of which came to me in their entirety, which I dictated and then typed out, and some that I worked laboriously picking apart each word to make the perfect poem. They are eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are, and for that reason, I’m proud of them, especially because the spirit in which they were written was very authentic.”

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– Lana Del Rey

Her poetry consists of the same melancholic 1950’s and 60s Americana Lana Del Rey Lyrics she’s famous for. Just instead drops the background music and sets focus solely on the written word. Like Joni Mitchell and Lou Reed, Lana Del Rey is building on her artistic universe, expanding her reach. Her foray into poetry brings a forgotten medium back into popular culture. Breathing life into a dying art, and re-iterating the connections between the two mediums.