Note From Editor-in-Chief, Amielle Moreno: We appreciate when our readers and contributors share Central Sulcus articles on social media. A recent post covering the Lana Del Ray concert received overwhelming feedback from the Emory community. In an effort to bring the discussion that this article fostered back to our blog, the following is a retort that was originally posted to Facebook, which I felt would add to our coverage and discussion of Lana Del Ray’s music and philosophy.Thank you and enjoy!
by Elizabeth Kline
While I appreciate Emory neuroscience support of cultural events, I take issue with the lyrical interpretation and “philosophical exploration” presented in the recent Lana Del Ray article. I believe Lana Del Ray’s messages clearly read as conservative and argue that her most popular songs are about long-term monogamy and super traditional sex views – stickin’ it out even when your old man is a tough man!
Consider the list from http://www.thetoptens.com/best-lana-del-rey-songs/ I will address only 5 of the 10 because I believe I can make my point THAT FAST.
- Born to Die – In this song Lana asks her subject if they can “make it feel like home”. HOME. Home is traditional! Home is a heterosexual pair, a picket fence, and 2.5 babies! “The road is long, we carry on.” This does not sound like promiscuity to me! I think it sounds like commitment, possibly sustained for fear of cultural backlash. Her walk on the wild side actually sounds pretty tame.
- Summertime Sadness – The song follows Lana as she goes for a ride in a car with a SINGLE “bad baby” and then WELCOMES DEATH. And maybe she will have died happy but…she will have died. No offspring! I do not think this sounds like modern selective oat breeding! This sounds like old school patriarchy where the end of any story about a woman in a red dress with beauty queen hair is at least “summertime sadness” if not death by high-speed car crash. Punishment for all those hard kisses!
- Blue Jeans – THIS ONE IS SO OBVIOUS. DID YOU GUYS EVEN GO TO THE CONCERT? “I WILL LOVE YOU TIL THE END OF TIME. I WILL WAIT A MILLION YEARS.” LONG. TERM. MONOGAMY. A MILLION YEARS! NOT AN HOUR! SHE WOULD WAIT MORE THAN A LIFETIME. ONE MILLION YEARSSSSSSSSSS
- Young and Beautiful – She does say “I’ve seen the world/Done it all/Had my cake now” and we could read that as “I’ve slept around.” BUT. But! She refers to a single subject – “you and I” not “you and I and all those other partners”. Return to her main message! “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?… I know you will.” You say “An evolutionary sociological view of non-committal sex would consider it too costly for women to engage in.” LANA CLEARLY AGREES. She wants to know if you are going to commit! She thinks you will!
- Video Games – “It’s you/it’s you/it’s all for you/Everything I do,” and all of my eggs too. “They say that the world was built for TWO.” THAT IS CLASSIC ADAM AND EVE, PEOPLE! Lana is singing about the opposite of “hot, casual fornication”. She rejects your so-called pillars of sexual freedom and evolutionary fitness. This is hardly sex for its hedonic value, freely given by someone who feels protected. To me, these lyrics refer to a deeply committed relationship. It is not hard to find graphic descriptions of casual sex in pop music. But that ain’t Lana.
Really, we can only conclude that Lana wants to be intimate with one and only one partner forever and ever amen, and the fact that the audience was, according to you, filled with 15-18 yr old women suggests that maybe ladies do not feel as secure in entertaining casual sex as you imply in your piece! Come on! They are identifying with Lana Del Ray.