7 of Lana Del Rey’s Most Poetic Lyrics

Though she may deny that she has ever adopted a persona, Lana Del Rey is a larger-than-life figure. Real or not, her attitude seems pulled from a time gone by – one that is characterized by bouffant hair, evening wear, and old money.

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Her entire career has had one foot in a retro pastiche and the other in more modern sensibilities. In a similar way that Amy Winehouse did, Del Rey has brought something classic back in rotation while managing to not seem tired. She’s playing video games while pinned up like Donna Reed.

From her look to her music, Del Rey knows who she is (or who she wants to be). She has no shortage of poetic lyrics, but find seven of her best, below.

[RELATED: 5 Underrated Songs from Lana Del Rey]

1. Likes to watch me in the glass room, bathroom, Château Marmont / Slippin’ on my red dress, puttin’ on my makeup / Glass room, perfume, cognac, lilac fumes / Says it feels like heaven to him (“Off To The Races”)

“Off To The Races” sees Del Rey deliver an onslaught of lyrics. Each descriptor of her seedy night out tumbles from her mouth with marked ease, like she is describing it to a friend. You can almost smell the perfume and taste the cognac. The lines above create an image of a Gatsby-esque party – opulent and wild.

2. My baby lives in shades of cool / Cold heart and hands and aptitude / He lives for love, for women too…And when he calls, he calls for me and not for you / He prays for love, he prays for peace, and maybe someone new (“Shades of Cool”)

Much of Del Rey’s music sees her singing about messy relationships. In “Shades of Cool,” Del Rey is with a man who can’t remain faithful. Somehow, she manages to make infidelity sound poetic – maybe even romantic. If it were anyone else singing the lines above, they could be accused of promoting toxic behavior. Because it’s Del Rey, her fans know she presents her lyrics with an air of melodramatism that can’t be taken at face value.

3. You lose your way, just take my hand / You’re lost at sea, then I’ll command your boat to me again / Don’t look too far, right where you are, that’s where I am / I’m your man (“Mariners Apartment Complex”)

“Mariners Apartment Complex” was inspired by a conversation she had with a guy she was seeing. He told her (per Genius), “I think we are together because we’re both similar, like we’re both really messed up.” Del Rey, who felt markedly happy at the time felt the need to step up and be the brighter light in the relationship. In the lines above, she paints herself as a beacon of hope for anyone who feels lost.

4. The other woman will always cry herself to sleep / The other woman will never have his love to keep / And as the years go by, the other woman will spend her life alone / Alone (“The Other Woman”)

Many songs have been made about “The Other Woman.” They are often fueled by anger or betrayal, but Del Rey’s “The Other Woman” is everything but. In the first verse, she sings about her own partner going to be with the other woman, who is always put together and doesn’t bring the baggage that a normal relationship would. In the lines above, she flips the script and details the sad part of being the other woman: the other woman will spend her life alone.

5. They say I’m too young to love you / They say I’m too dumb to see / They judge me like a picture book / By the colors, like they forgot to read (“Brooklyn Baby”)

In addition to infidelity, Del Rey often sings about a Bonnie and Clyde-type relationship – a real “you and me against the world” type of story. In the lines above, she sings about her love being misunderstood by those on the outside.

6. You’re in the wind, I’m in the water / Nobody’s son, nobody’s daughter / Watching the chemtrails over the country club / Suburbia, The Brentwood Market / What to do next? Maybe we’ll love it / White picket chemtrails over the country club (“Chemtrails Over the Country Club”)

Del Rey highlights the darker side of “perfect” suburbia in “Chemtrails Over the Country Club.” Like many of Del Rey’s songs, she makes being bad sound like a rush no one should miss out on. Keeping with her austere aesthetic, Del Rey couples that danger with the comforts of the high life.

7. ‘Cause you’re just a man / It’s just what you do/ Your head in your hands / As you color me blue (“Norman Fucking Rockwell”)

While Del Rey is often metaphor-heavy, she can also be frank. Instead of trying to explain her pain to her partner in the chorus of “Norman Fucking Rockwell,” she throws her hands up and resigns: you’re just a man / It’s just what you do.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Variety)

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