Lana Del Rey: National Anthem Meaning
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Song Released: 2012
National Anthem Lyrics
So before we go out
What's your address?
I'm your national anthem
God, you're so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons
He loves to romance 'em,
Holdin' me for ransom,
anonymous Aug 28th, 2012 8:57pm report
Please Miley, tell me you are joking.
This song is the exact opposite of what you wrote. It is a criticism of consumerism and the empty and shallow way society has become.
She does not compare her love to somebody to her desire for material things or use one as a metaphor for the other. The line
"Money is the anthem
So before we go out
What's your address?"
shows clearly that the money of the guy, represented by the question which neighborhood he lives in, is a requirement for a relationship for the person whose role she sings.
And we get shown that she (Lana del Ray) does not see this character favorably. Because although the relationship is already in full swing halfway through the song, there is still an emotional void left.
"Dark and lonely,
I need somebody to hold me."
shows that the empty relationship, started only for the money, is not warming and fulfilling. And as if that was not clear enough, there is a summarization that captures it even better:
"It's a love story for the new age,
For the six page,
Want a quick, sick rampage?
Wining and dining, drinking and driving,
Excessive buying, overdosin', dyin',
On our drugs and our love,
And our dreams and our rage."
It's a love story for the new age (The way they all seem to be now), for the six page (Page six in many newspapers is dedicated to gossip and other shallow and ultimately irrelevant stuff). So she says that all the relationships of the new consumerism obsessed generation are shallow and irrelevant.
And the next line sums up how the emptiness and shallowness leaves a thirst that can't be quenched and leads to a quick and self-destructive life. It seems like an escalation with every new item in the list being worse than the one before.
It's depressing how somebody can misunderstand an actually deep and existential song in such a way that he thinks it's a light and pointless love declaration for capitalism. Don't they teach you children anything in school these days?
anonymous Aug 14th, 2015 8:39pm report
It's brilliant in the video that she uses an African American man to play opposite her. I agree with the top comment that the song is a progression of her finding her way into a lifestyle she thinks she desires but I think there is much more to it than that. The parallels to the JFK assassination are obvious so she has put this guy into not only the role of president (ie for American culture, numero uno and the most important version of "success") but also flips back and forth between what the stereotypical idea of African American culture looks like and what "white American" culture looks like (Anglo?) in terms of success. So she is not only showing us this empty capitalist love story as it evolves in her mind but also just how far across the spectrum the perceived culture is depending on if you are looking at modern success (as a black man) or "traditional" success (for lack of a better word). Mixing up modern celebrity and historical reference to success is, I think, a far more telling point of how genius this song is. It really throws in your face how shallow we are as a society (her character representing society as a whole).
anonymous Jul 31st, 2014 7:28am report
"Money is the reason we exist...everybody knows it, its a fact 'kiss kiss'..."
As she sings it, this is a phrase you might overhear at a party where rich people talk amongst themselves...but this lyric is also the frank and honest truth. No matter how one feels about capitalism and consumer culture, the fact is that "money is the reason we exist." The basic tenet of American culture is the creation of consumers, therefore the traditions of the nuclear family, our ideas of work ethic, and the ideology of suburbia are all promoted by the money produced through our ideological system. Without money, how would 95% of Americans survive? How would we eat, drink and travel? Our existence is predicated on the semiotics of the market whether we want to admit that or not. As far as Lana's words go, she is speaking the grave truth and winking as a footnote to remind one that though a human being can be exploited, they never have to lose their humanity. The song presents a paradox, which is meant to lull you with the anthem of money worship, while luridly showcasing all the colors of decadence. I love this song because though it is a sardonic critique, she still bears such compassion and feeling for all human experience, even for gold diggers and stock brokers.
Lana Del Rey is a true poet.
anonymous Mar 15th, 2014 3:27pm report
I Think of it not just a critic to consumerism, but to patriotism as well. The patriotism that blinds the actual reality of the world, that is really really bad, and all because of capitalism.. Anyway, the verses that make my point are: "...See what you've done to me?
King of chevron" In this verse calling the president as King of chevron she assigns it to him economical and belic conflicts of USA with other countries, making him the king of chevron, dont carring for other countries development and wealth."Red, white, blue is in the sky; Summer's in the air and baby
Heaven's in your eyes" Heaven is in your eyes meaning that heaven does'nt exist actually, we dont live in heaven and the majority of people dont live anywhere near heaven, but only in the perspective of a patriotic person that see the collors of the flag in the sky. And finally, for me is a critic to capitalism as well when she say "money is the reason we exist; everybody knows it is a fact, kiss kiss" criticising this sistem that makes consumerism and money be the reason of existence, and not love or social and cientific development of the society as a whole.
anonymous Apr 3rd, 2013 4:50pm report
This song is about John F Kennedy, his wife Jackie O, and Marylin Monroe.
When she's singing about "money is the reason we exist" she's referencing the Kennedy family. I think the first verse she's singing from Jackie O's perspective and in the second verse she's singing from Marylin Monroe's perspective on JFK.
If you watch the music video it makes a lot more sense if you're familiar with the JFK presidency and assassination.
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