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Elle

Lana Del Rey interviewed for The Times

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16 minutes ago, Elle said:


I love that line, but it certainly is complex. Here’s my simple personal take on it, especially with the context of her using Greek mythology and poetry as metaphors in her writing. It seems Lana finds comfort in metaphors (as do I, I love a good metaphor) and will often use them to sort of “soften a blow” of a hardship she’s sharing in her music, poetry, etc. For example, writing “they said to say yes but I did and I don’t like how it turned out” after taking influence from the Ulysses reading with the repetition of the word “yes” in the final lines. Or, in this interview noting how people have been burnt by certain paths they take in life, and after rather nonchalantly mentioning that she hasn’t yet had children after previously expressing she hoped to one day, says she’ll keep exploring life’s opportunities until something melts her wings - like Icarus after flying too close to the sun.

In these two recent examples, it seems she’s using references to Greek mythology and poetry to process and understand her own life & emotions and find comfort in the connections.
So, in that line when she says “it’s a tragedy, I see nothing Greek in it” I take it to mean that she’s unable to find the beauty or the art in the hardships that have happened (such as the loss of her family, friends, other details she shares in the song) & while others may find irony in her music and view her sadness to be beautiful or artistic in a way, it’s not how she sees it this time. She can’t find that comforting tie in to relate her own story to that of an artistic myth or beautiful poem, so it is only what it is - just a tragedy.

To simplify - I see nothing Greek in it = I see no beauty/comfort in it

I think that’s also why in Fingertips she says everything sort of plainly/straight to the point especially in the latter half of the song following that line. The lyrics are quite diaristic. Instead of taking her thoughts and stories and attempting to string them into beautiful/artistic lyrics, she’s just telling them as it is. She can’t find that beautiful connection, she can only see the tragedy. As the song progresses, the lyrics get more and more raw - until we reach the very final lines of the song where she ties in Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love & beauty, which is perhaps her final attempt of trying to find the beauty in an ugly situation.

I hope I explained that all in a way that makes sense. But either way, that’s just my own interpretation - I love that lyric, so I’d love to hear any other interpretations as well x

I think you’re right about this. While I was reading your interpretation, I just had the thought maybe she’s also talking about a Greek tragedy in an ancient Greek theatrical way. Maybe this is a stretch but it’s defined as: a play in which the protagonist, usually a person of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he or she cannot deal)

Although I'm not super familiar with a ton of greek mythology, i think there’s a lot of similarities between greek tragedies and her music. 

 

 


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.⊹˖  𝒸𝒶𝓉𝒸𝒽 𝒶 𝓌𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓉𝒶𝓀𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓈𝓌𝑒𝑒𝓉𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 ₊˚.༄

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6 hours ago, The Siren said:

love this interview and article but they didnt mention Madonna, the queen of reinvention??

 

i think they are talking specifically about artists who changed their names, Madonna is her real name 

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4 hours ago, Elle said:

 

It seems she's been interested in Greek mythology & poetry lately and has applied the stories as metaphors for her own life. Here, by referencing Icarus and his wax wings that melted by flying too close to the sun. Earlier this year, she attended a reading of Ulysses which was inspired by The Odyssey, and after hearing the reading she wrote a message in a guestbook that suggested that the book's final line featuring the repetition of the word "yes" was how she attempted to live her own life which left her feeling dissatisfied. Even in Fingertips she writes, "They say there's irony in the music, it's a tragedy, I see nothing Greek in it" & “Call me Aphrodite as they bow down to me”

I'm interested to see how Greek mythology & poetry influence her upcoming work too x

Our greek goddess omg :trisha:

 

Also the last part of the interview is just so beautiful and her metaphor with Icarus made me emotional . I interpreted as a way for her to say that she is willing to push her boundaries even more and that she is willing to fly so close to the sun even if that leads to her “fall” . 


 

 

𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒄𝒍𝒖𝒆

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20 minutes ago, shadesofblue said:

I think you’re right about this. While I was reading your interpretation, I just had the thought maybe she’s also talking about a Greek tragedy in an ancient Greek theatrical way. Maybe this is a stretch but it’s defined as: a play in which the protagonist, usually a person of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he or she cannot deal)

Although I'm not super familiar with a ton of greek mythology, i think there’s a lot of similarities between greek tragedies and her music. 

 

 


Wow, this almost seems like a connected double meaning that envelops itself - that last bit about “falling to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which they cannot deal” is sort of the same idea I suggested about her not being able to find the beauty in her hardships and only being able to see them as the harsh tragedy that they are. So, this idea of “Greek” being used to imply both a metaphor for beauty and for the definition of a Greek tragedy connect with one another and make the line even more multifaceted! She can’t find the Greek metaphorical connection within the tragedy, because the tragedy itself is already Greek… Amazing x


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43 minutes ago, Elle said:


I love that line, but it certainly is complex. Here’s my simple personal take on it, especially with the context of her using Greek mythology and poetry as metaphors in her writing. It seems Lana finds comfort in metaphors (as do I, I love a good metaphor) and will often use them to sort of “soften a blow” of a hardship she’s sharing in her music, poetry, etc. For example, writing “they said to say yes but I did and I don’t like how it turned out” after taking influence from the Ulysses reading with the repetition of the word “yes” in the final lines. Or, in this interview noting how people have been burnt by certain paths they take in life, and after rather nonchalantly mentioning that she hasn’t yet had children after previously expressing she hoped to one day, says she’ll keep exploring life’s opportunities until something melts her wings - like Icarus after flying too close to the sun.

In these two recent examples, it seems she’s using references to Greek mythology and poetry to process and understand her own life & emotions and find comfort in the connections.
So, in that line when she says “they say there’s irony in the music, it’s a tragedy, I see nothing Greek in it” I take it to mean that she’s unable to find the beauty or the art in the hardships that have happened (such as the loss of her family, friends, other details she shares in the song) & while others may find irony in her music and view her sadness to be beautiful or artistic in a way, it’s not how she sees it this time. She can’t find that comforting tie in to relate her own story to that of an artistic myth or beautiful poem, so it is only what it is - just a tragedy.

To simplify - I see nothing Greek in it = I see no beauty/comfort in it

I think that’s also why in Fingertips she says everything sort of plainly/straight to the point especially in the latter half of the song following that line. The lyrics are quite diaristic. Instead of taking her thoughts and stories and attempting to string them into beautiful/artistic lyrics to soften them, she’s just telling them as they are. She can’t find that beautiful connection, she can only see the harsh tragedy. As the song progresses, the lyrics get more and more raw - until we reach the very final lines of the song where she ties in Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love & beauty, which is perhaps her final attempt of trying to find the beauty in an ugly situation.

I hope I explained that all in a way that makes sense. But either way, that’s just my own interpretation - I love that lyric, so I’d love to hear any other interpretations as well x

 

Oh I wish you could interview Lana. How some people have received that once in a lifetime opportunity to interview the greatest living artist in the world and somehow manage to produce the most boring and banal dialogue ever.. it defies explanation. TaP if you’re reading this we need an interview from the mother of Lipsters

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Just now, honey dew said:

 

Oh I wish you could interview Lana. How some people have received that once in a lifetime opportunity to interview the greatest living artist in the world and somehow manage to produce the most boring and banal dialogue ever.. it defies explanation. TaP if you’re reading this we need an interview from the mother of Lipsters


I have soooo many lyric-related questions I’d love to ask her.. or even just share my thoughts and interpretations of her lyrics and see what she has to say about them. Her incredible writing and the interpretive meanings I found within her songs are what initially drew me into her music above anything else. As a fellow songwriter myself, I love to interpret her lyrics to see what I can make of them - how her life stories and personal thoughts can be strung together into beautiful lyrics and melodies to construct an art piece in the form of a song. Of course, I consider her the greatest songwriter I’ve ever had the honour to listen to, and I would luvvv to just sit down with her quietly for awhile and tap into her brain when it comes to her writing process and the meaning behind her lyrics. Would truly do anything for that lol x


49093006537_7ae76bb4ce_o.jpg

• 4.18.14 • 5.1.14 • 9.20.14 • 5.28.15 • 6.14.15 • 7.28.16 • 7.24.17 • 10.23.17 • 10.24.17 • 1.25.18 • 2.5.18 • 12.5.18 • 10.3.19 • 10.11.19 • 11.16.19 •

SF • ATL • ATL • IND • ATL • CHI • LDN • NYC • NYC • DC • ATL • NYC • PDX • SAN • KS

 

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5 hours ago, Mer said:

I hate to wax poetic, but as someone who distinctly remembers having to defend her to my peers in the 8th grade, back in 2012/13, and how she was the punchline of many media-outlets—it makes me uniquely emotional seeing the praise and the deep-rooted respect she is given now in 2023. Seeing headlines like “Lana Del Rey forgives us” and reading articles like this tell me what I always knew about her, and in a way, they validate the little boy who was made fun of for liking her and who felt the need to hide who he really was. Maybe one day I’ll forgive them too 

You took the thoughts right out of my head! 
I started listening to Lana in 2011 when I was 14 years old. I’d say in 2012 after Born To Die maybe like half the people in my school knew of her and the other half didn’t. The people who did were usually on tumblr. But almost no one liked her or actually listened to her. I swear I think my bestfriend and I may have been the only people in the entire school. I introduced my bestfriend to the music and her reaction was immediately the same as mine had been when I first heard Lana. Her and I bonded over that a ton. The way I describe it to people now is- back then when my bestfriend and I would ask other girls if they listened to Lana the most common response was “ew.” Or “who?” 

I feel so lame acting like a gatekeeping a** b**** but when it comes to Lana it’s really hard. 
Some of the fellow fans think it’s so cringe and I get that tbh but they’re like “Lana has always been huge” “everyone has known about Lana since 2012” but it’s simply not true. I understand BTD was big and she’s streamed well and NFR got her a lot of attention but all of that was NOTHING compared to this whole year. Also when they talk about tons of people knowing her since 2012 I feel like that’s more so true for people online. But it wasn’t the case in my experience in my school, in my town. Yeah when I logged onto tumblr she was all over.. but with my peers not at all. 
 

It’s mind blowing to see newer fans (who I welcome as long as I feel like they truly get it and the ones who don’t can gtfo😭) , critics, producers and other artists saying word for word the things I have ALWAYS said about her since day one. 
 

It’s really strange to walk into my aunts house and hear Lana songs playing from my cousins rooms. Or to go on Instagram and see girls I went to highschool with reposting Lana photos and using her songs on their stories for the first time ever. 
Even tho it’s me being a bit delusional it used to feel like some of those early songs were like my little secrets and they were so special to me. 
Don’t get me wrong, it makes me very happy. All I ever want is for people to talk to me/ask me about Lana so it’s a dream come true for younger people in my life to get into her (the girls from school not so much lol) but it’s just a weird feeling. I used to have to defend these songs with my life to my grandma (bless her) and my friends and now it’s like Lana is just a household name. 
 

i always believed in her and her art and wanted her to get the credit she deserved but I don’t know if I ever actually pictured it getting to where we are today. If you told me back then I wouldn’t have been able to believe it I don’t think. Not because she isn’t the best artist ever and isn’t deserving of it but because I wouldn’t have believed that this massive amount of people would ever be able to truly understand how special her talent is. It’s not that I think I’m smarter or superior to everyone else. Not at all. Its just that her music is so incredibly intimate and special I just couldn’t fathom how anyone who hasn’t been through some crazy stuff could ever get it. I know music doesn’t have to be relatable for people to like it necessarily but idk Lana is just something else. It’s so so special. 


im so proud of her 

it all makes me so happy but it also makes me a little stressed lol

 

its very bittersweet and I think she would probably agree 😅 

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1 hour ago, Elle said:


I love that line, but it certainly is complex. Here’s my simple personal take on it, especially with the context of her using Greek mythology and poetry as metaphors in her writing. It seems Lana finds comfort in metaphors (as do I, I love a good metaphor) and will often use them to sort of “soften a blow” of a hardship she’s sharing in her music, poetry, etc. For example, writing “they said to say yes but I did and I don’t like how it turned out” after taking influence from the Ulysses reading with the repetition of the word “yes” in the final lines. Or, in this interview noting how people have been burnt by certain paths they take in life, and after rather nonchalantly mentioning that she hasn’t yet had children after previously expressing she hoped to one day, says she’ll keep exploring life’s opportunities until something melts her wings - like Icarus after flying too close to the sun.

In these two recent examples, it seems she’s using references to Greek mythology and poetry to process and understand her own life & emotions and find comfort in the connections.
So, in that line when she says “they say there’s irony in the music, it’s a tragedy, I see nothing Greek in it” I take it to mean that she’s unable to find the beauty or the art in the hardships that have happened (such as the loss of her family, friends, other details she shares in the song) & while others may find irony in her music and view her sadness to be beautiful or artistic in a way, it’s not how she sees it this time. She can’t find that comforting tie in to relate her own story to that of an artistic myth or beautiful poem, so it is only what it is - just a tragedy.

To simplify - I see nothing Greek in it = I see no beauty/comfort in it

I think that’s also why in Fingertips she says everything sort of plainly/straight to the point especially in the latter half of the song following that line. The lyrics are quite diaristic. Instead of taking her thoughts and stories and attempting to string them into beautiful/artistic lyrics to soften them, she’s just telling them as they are. She can’t find that beautiful connection, she can only see the harsh tragedy. As the song progresses, the lyrics get more and more raw - until we reach the very final lines of the song where she ties in Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love & beauty, which is perhaps her final attempt of trying to find the beauty in an ugly situation.

I hope I explained that all in a way that makes sense. But either way, that’s just my own interpretation - I love that lyric, so I’d love to hear any other interpretations as well x

You’re really great with words Elle!
 

I’m horrible and just wrote a novel on here I’m so sorry y’all lol

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1 minute ago, Elle said:


I have soooo many lyric-related questions I’d love to ask her.. or even just share my thoughts and interpretations of her lyrics and see what she has to say about them. Her incredible writing and the interpretive meanings I found within her songs are what initially drew me into her music above anything else. As a fellow songwriter myself, I love to interpret her lyrics to see what I can make of them - how her life stories and personal thoughts can be strung together into beautiful lyrics and melodies to construct an art piece in the form of a song. Of course, I consider her the greatest songwriter I’ve ever had the honour to listen to, and I would luvvv to just sit down with her quietly for awhile and tap into her brain when it comes to her writing process and the meaning behind her lyrics. Would truly do anything for that lol x

 

See and even just your writing style is so eloquent and intelligent. I feel like Lana would respond really well not just to specifically the owner of Lanaboards interviewing her, but someone who so clearly wants to get to the heart of things. We’ve had enough interviews of rehashing the same old themes of authenticity, image and controversy. The fans do not care about this stuff 😑 It’s time we facilitate an interview about the intricacies of Lana’s art. Her words, melodies, symbols and metaphors, inspirations, intentions, creative process. Her universe. And to uncover all of that, someone deeply passionate and sensitive to her work needs to be the interviewer. It’s a task only a true mother could pull off

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3 minutes ago, honey dew said:

 

See and even just your writing style is so eloquent and intelligent. I feel like Lana would respond really well not just to specifically the owner of Lanaboards interviewing her, but someone who so clearly wants to get to the heart of things. We’ve had enough interviews of rehashing the same old themes of authenticity, image and controversy. The fans do not care about this stuff 😑 It’s time we facilitate an interview about the intricacies of Lana’s art. Her words, melodies, symbols and metaphors, inspirations, intentions, creative process. Her universe. And to uncover all of that, someone deeply passionate and sensitive to her work needs to be the interviewer. It’s a task only a true mother could pull off

I seriously would pay money for this happen. 
We need someone like us, one of us, to ask the things we’ve all been wondering since the moment we discovered her. 

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34 minutes ago, trailerparkdream said:

I feel so lame acting like a gatekeeping a** b**** but when it comes to Lana it’s really hard. 

lol this is so real sometimes but the way i like to look at it is the people who used to make fun of us and so on have grown as people in listening to her music and that is lovely and human


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1 hour ago, shadesofblue said:

I think you’re right about this. While I was reading your interpretation, I just had the thought maybe she’s also talking about a Greek tragedy in an ancient Greek theatrical way. Maybe this is a stretch but it’s defined as: a play in which the protagonist, usually a person of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he or she cannot deal)

Although I'm not super familiar with a ton of greek mythology, i think there’s a lot of similarities between greek tragedies and her music.

Spoiler

 

This, as well as Elle's excellent, long interpretation, are very much along the lines of what I meant by the lyric line being incredibly dense. There is a difference between the colloquial term 'tragedy' (meaning a terrible thing that happens to a person or group/country), and the 'Greek tragedy' meaning, which shadesofblue covers so nicely. We know that Lana doesn't disdain creating art out of sadness (eg 'Beautiful'); that she loves to blur the artistic expression of love with the physical expression of love (eg 'Love Song'), and that performance and persona don't have to undermine an artist's identity, but can be a way to more clearly express it.

In the line in 'Fingertips', she's so clearly differentiating between what 'they' say (critics? her family?), and what she feels. The use of the word 'irony' is a double meaning - there is the mundane meaning: people telling her that it is 'ironic' that a singer who is known for sad songs, has had so much genuine sadness in her life, but there's also the 'Greek' meaning of irony - put simply, it's a play where the audience knows more than the characters about a terrible event that is about to happen, and if only the characters could know that, they might be able to escape it. But because it's a play, and because it has to happen for the play to make sense, they don't have a choice other than to live it out.

That's the 'Greek Irony' in so much of Lana's music. We know that the relationship is doomed, or that the character telling the story is making a mistake, but the narrator has not yet figured it out, or is in denial, or has found it out too late to make a difference. But the songwriter knows even more than the listener, so when 'they say' that there's irony in the music, they're using the simple meaning of irony, but Lana is using the theatrical meaning of it, and is mocking their lack of understanding. (There are dozens of  'reaction videos' on youtube, where the people reacting to Lana think they need to give her life advice based on the dramatic irony of the narrator's situation, but assuming that the author is as naive as her characters).

 


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2 minutes ago, GaboSpaceCowboy said:

Obviously she's talking about the writing process, Blue Banisters and Ocean Blvd were very personal albums and she's probably looking to write about things that aren't as complicated now. A clear example would be Let The Light In.

btw, didn't she say in another interview that she was working with another writer? Maybe her next album won't have such personal songs.

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