What does Off to the Races mean?

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Lana Del Rey: Off to the Races Meaning


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Song Released: 2011

Off to the Races Lyrics

My old man is a bad man
But I can't deny the way he holds my hand
And he grabs me, he has me by my heart
He doesn't mind I have a Las Vegas past
He doesn't mind I have a L.A crass way about me
He loves with every beat of his cocaine...


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    Jul 1st, 2014 7:28am report

    I think the song is in the point of view of "Lolita", a character from the popular book published in the 1950s. The lines "light of my life, fire of my loins," which are the opening lines of the book. She says "I'm your little harlot, scarlet" which implies that she's this man's sexual partner. She says she "needs you, breathes you" which implies she's been brainwashed by this man. Lolita was brainwashed at a young age that having sex with an older man was ok. She says her old man is a bad man, but she still loves him. I believe she's talking about Lolita also because of the young girl voice she impersonates and Lolita was quite young.


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    May 27th, 2013 5:43pm report

    Yeah, most of you are wrong. It's a metaphor about her addiction to alcohol. Her "old man" is alcohol. She's describing how its a bad relationship but he loves her no matter what. And in every description of "him" there's some reference to alcohol. He watches her in the swimming pool with black crystal, she's always on "Bacardi chases" running all over town trying to get more wasted. And alcohol loves her even more when "he knows I'm wasted". He loves that she has a flat broke down life because then she goes running to him. The line "kiss me on my open mouth" is referring to her drinking-- hence, her open mouth.


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    Jul 12th, 2014 7:44pm report

    The interpretations about the alcohol, incest, and her and an older man having an affair as in he buys things for her body in exchange makes sense. They all make sense so that's why I'm having trouble interpreting this. But "off to the races" could mean that she is with an older man doing illegal car/motorcycle races. A lot of the lyrics make sense in this scenario but who knows. There's many logical reasons to this song.


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    Aug 27th, 2013 8:38pm report

    I think the song is talking about her dad that had a lot of money and he seems like a good man to others but he does have secrets I believe he did drugs and he forgets himself and rapes her. but she loves her dad and she hates him at the same time. she know its the drugs but after awhile she got used to it and got brainwashed into it being a normal thing. but she hates him because deep down she knows this isn't how love suppose to be. but at the end she believes him.
    I think she says its about the book because she doesn't want people to truly know lol :)


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    Aug 13th, 2013 8:33pm report

    I believe this song might have been inspired by the book "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov. Which is about a man who is the stepfather of a young girl named Lolita. In the song it says "my old man" which could be referring to the stepfather. I immediately made this connection in the beginning of the song when a chorus of young girls is in the background. In the song it seems to say that he is obsessed with her. Which indeed does happen in the book. The stepfather is obsessed with Lolita because she reminds him of Annabel, the young from his childhood whom he claims he loved but died at an early age. Im not saying the song is necessarily about the book but it might have been inspired by it, since there are a lot of similarities.


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    Aug 8th, 2013 8:47am report

    I too believe that this song is about alcohol addiction.

    'My old man is a bad man but I can't deny the way he holds my hand'
    So she knows it's bad but can't deny how it has supposedly helped her.

    'Chasen' me all over town cause he knows I'm wasted'
    So basically when she gets drunk she's consumes more alcohol.

    'I need you to come here [jail?] and save me'
    And she wants alcohol to 'save' her from sobriety

    'Im not afraid to die without him'

    'You are my one true love'
    Again, referring to her need and love of alcohol
    There's a bunch of other references to it


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    Jul 19th, 2013 7:28pm report

    I think it is about her being addicted to alcohal .. but I'm honestly not sure so if someone could figure out the real meaning id be glad to hear it ha.


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    Jun 10th, 2013 6:12am report

    She has even said this song is about the book Lolita.


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    Mar 27th, 2013 3:43pm report

    The song does have uncanny resemblances to the book 'Lolita'.

    'My old man' - usually a term given to a father figure, however in this song, she calls her love interest by this name.

    'Chasing me all over town' - does this not seem appropriate for when Lolita disappears from the hospital, and therefore Humbert travels all over town to try and find her.

    Also, the high pitched, almost child like singing voice of the chorus reflects Lolita, who was a child herself.

    Well, I love the song. It's in my top 3 list of the best LANA DEL REY songs.


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    Jan 23rd, 2013 1:39am report

    My interpretation of it is, she's a twisted young woman who is falling for her pedophile.. "likes to watch me in the bathroom, glassroom...says it feels like heaven to him.."

    "Chasin me all over town, cuz he knows I'm wasted..." Etc.
    In other words he follows her to see her drunk and do stuff...but she obviously enjoys it...


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    Jan 6th, 2013 1:57pm report

    I think this bit:
    'Now I'm off to the races, laces
    Leather on my waist is,
    Tight and I am falling down
    I can see your faces, shameless
    Cipriani's basement
    Love you, but I'm going down

    God I'm so crazy, baby
    I'm sorry that I'm misbehaving
    I'm your little harlet, starlet
    Queen of Coney Island
    Raising hell all over town
    I'm sorry 'bout it'

    means that he might hurt/kill her eventually because she's 'raising hell all over town' and 'misbehaving' and she's trying to reassure him that she's still what he wants and that she's sorry


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    Dec 9th, 2012 12:22pm report

    Am I the only one who thought this was about incest?


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    Nov 23rd, 2012 11:23am report

    ^^^^ wrong.

    that is simply one lyric from the entire song. All of the lyrics are about the movie/book 'Lolita. So, no, not all of the people above are wrong.


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    Sep 17th, 2012 9:59am report

    You're all wrong. It's a metaphor for her addiction to alcohol. The line "kiss me on my open mouth" is a metaphor of bringing the bottle of liquor to her lips to drink it. Lana Del Rey spoke in an interview with GQ magazine stating, most of her music that speaks of love is really about alcohol and her addiction because alcohol was the first love of her life


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    Sep 7th, 2012 9:49pm report

    This song reeks the story of "Lolita"light of my life fire of my loins is from the book. Lana is rich with her lyrics. Supertalented!!


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    Jun 4th, 2012 6:35am report

    It`s about beign lost and found by something/one and hoping for love. You are willing to give everything (your body) in exchange for love and a life.

    It is tragic and beautiful.
    It is insane and crazy, but peacefull...

    It is breathtaking but hopefull...

    a masterpiece


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    May 15th, 2012 5:50pm report

    It's about the book Lolita.

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