Top 10 Times When Lana Del Rey Bared Her Heart in a Song

Tags: #LanaDelRey ,   #BornToDie ,   #Ultraviolence ,   #popmusic

Julia Adams

Julia Adams

Last updated:  2023-08-15 08:55:43

There's no enigmatic and melancholic persona in the music industry today like Lana Del Rey. Born Elisabeth Woolridge Grant in New York in 1985, she was brought up in a stable, wealthy family. Dealing with many personal demons, she came a long way to become what she is today - an indie pop-rock queen. Lana brings out contradictory emotions, as some find her one of a kind artist, while others think she's just a spoiled rich daddy's girl. You can say what you want, but her music resonated with the listeners deeply and inspires others. Today, we'll pick our top ten times when "The Queen of Sadness" bared her all to us.

10. "Video Games"

Official music video for "Video Games" from "Born to Die" album

"Video Games" was the first single of Lana's critically acclaimed debut album "Born to Die." This melancholic track refers to two broken relationships from the singer's past. Lana stated that the song has a double meaning - it speaks about letting go of her professional ambitions and settling down into a simple life and relationship.

As she makes intelligent wordplay, we can tell that Lana is talking about two separate men by using two pronouns - his and yours. Fun fact about this song: she uploaded it on her YouTube channel, where it grew so popular that it eventually helped her get a record deal.

9. "Cruel World"

Official audio for "Cruel World" from "Ultraviolence" album

Admitting that it's her favorite, "Cruel World" is the opening song from Lana's dark "Ultraviolence." The track can be described as a psychedelic slow-burner that invites you into the singer's mind. Lana said that the idea for the tune came up when she was walking down the beach, trying to clear her thoughts.

The song portrays a story about a girl who leaves her drug-addict boyfriend, representing her chaotic and peaceful life. Many women can relate to having this one problematic guy in their lives, struggling to make the relationship work but knowing that they should end it eventually.

8. "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have - but I Have It"

Official audio for "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have - but I Have It" from "Norman Fucking Rockwell!" album

This was Lana's third single from her sixth studio album, combining her soft vocals with a piano. The song references famous American poet Sylvia Plath, a lifelong inspiration to the singer. Actually, the track's working title was named after a novelist before being dismissed later.

During almost all of her promo interviews before releasing this song, Lana noted that it was a very personal project for her. Therefore, she wanted to avoid discussing it with the media. Understandably so, as she sings about her family, depression, romance issues, alcoholism, and troubled relationship with fame.

7. "Born to Die"

Official music video for "Born to Die" from "Born to Die" album

"Born to Die" is an opening song from the studio album of the same name where the singer echoes being in love in her "wild" days. Of course, Lana is the sole credited writer of this masterpiece, loved by many. No one like her could ever describe an emotionally abusive relationship and make it almost appealing to the listeners.

"I was so confused as a little child" are the words that hit home with many people, showcasing Lana's vulnerable side. Cinematic and dramatic music perfectly describes young, irrational, and destructive love.

6. "Gods and Monsters"

Official audio for "Gods and Monsters" from "Paradise" album

The sixth track from Lana's EP "Paradise" is about her longing for a change in the music industry. An ode to all morally lost people in Hollywood, it is a song that provokes sympathy and compassion while listening. The singer refers to herself as an angel, an innocent being thrown into this garden of evil to pursue fame.

While understanding that she's slowly losing herself in that world, Lana can't escape, as she has become addicted to the lifestyle. Referencing Jim Morrison throughout the record, who died allegedly because of drug-related issues, we can't help but question these absurdly high standards and underlying problems in a celebrity world.

5. "Dark Paradise"

Official audio for "Dark Paradise" from "Born to Die" album

Here is another classic from Lana Del Rey's debut album with an '80s melody. While her vocals are soft, the lyrics are depressing and pessimistic, giving us a haunting vibe. Dark paradise represents the world in her dreams, where her lover, who died, still haunts her.

Reminding herself that the best part of her life (the one with him) has passed, Lana doesn't want to wake up to a reality and is left gloomy. Feeling guilty for not saying a proper goodbye, she refuses a friend's advice to move on with her life. If you're lamenting the loss of a beloved one, this track can make you feel understood.

4. "Sad Girl"

Official audio for "Sad Girl" from "Ultraviolence" album

When your fan base calls you the "OG sad girl," you must have a song by that name. Her inspiration for writing this piece was to remind herself that she can still feel down sometimes. The track is primarily about doing things you shouldn't do, talking about a girl who gets involved with a married man and ends up being his second choice.

While addressing the listeners throughout the song, calling them out for their conventionality, and expressing how she's happy with her choice, things quickly turn around. Eventually, she admits that being "bonny on the side" isn't what she expected, although she's still infatuated with him.

3. "Carmen"

Official music video for "Carmen" from "Born to Die" album

"Carmen" is one of the most personal projects in Lana's discography, as it speaks about a topic she's well familiar with - substance abuse. Lana's parents sent her to boarding school as a teenager because she suffered from alcoholism. It really is her story, portrayed in the song by the 17-year-old prostitute, a cocaine addict.

Some interpretations say that Carmen could be the other name for cocaine; if true, it is very intelligently written. Calling a drug by that name, people can find their own issues in Carmen - mental health problems or an eating disorder, and as a result, identify with the song.

2. "Ride"

Official music video for "Ride" from EP "Paradise"

Critically acclaimed "Ride" is a '60s-style pop ballad with orchestral instruments and haunting lyrics. Accompanied by the equally masterful music video, you feel like a tragic woman who can't escape her patterns. While trying to do better and failing at it, she withdraws into her inner world and feels deeply lonely.

All of us can relate to the never-ending internal struggle between good and evil, with our natural urges prevailing. Another sorrowful thing Lana shares with us is that she keeps looking for security in other people to escape an overwhelming feeling of doom.

1. "Ultraviolence"

Official music video for "Ultraviolence" from "Ultraviolence" album

In a promotional single for her third LP, "Ultraviolence," the songstress shares with us probably her most vulnerable and disturbing experience. Lana confirmed that the song talks about her days in a cult and its leader, who surrounded himself with young girls and believed in breaking people first to build them up again. Luckily, she left on time.

It's believed now that she's talking about Atlantic Group, a part of Alcoholics Anonymous, run by a man named Jim. Violence and emotional abuse are heavily implied, as Lana sings about him hitting her feeling like a kiss, almost begging him not to stop. Diving into the lyrics will make you feel furious that someone can use weak and unstable people and convince them that he's their savior.

Lana Del Rey is not just an artist and a poet; she's a whole vibe, such that you have to invest time to understand and appreciate her. One of the few who doesn't sound like an industry hyperproduction project, she serves raw (and sometimes troubling) emotions on a plate for us.

What's your opinion on our top ten list of the most emotional and personal Lana songs? Share your take in the comments.

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Julian Says:

I remember how much people hated her, yet Lana established her name. While there'll always be haters, they are largely silenced by now.

August 16 at 08:06:35 AM

Amira Says:

"Born to Die" is still my favorite LDR album. It felt so fresh and different.

August 02 at 08:42:04 AM

WayneJ Says:

Summertime Sadness will forever be my favorite. I got chills every time I hear it. I even found a CD single a few years back.

June 23 at 01:32:52 PM

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