Born to Die is the title track from the Born To Die album, and also appeared on the Lana Del Rey EP. It was also the second single to be released. Two demo versions exist,...
Feet don't fail me now
Take me to the finish line
All my heart, it breaks every step that I take
But I'm hoping that the gates,
They'll tell me that you're mine
Walking through the city streets
Is it by mistake or design?
I feel so alone on a Friday night
Can you make it feel like home, if I tell you you're mine
It's like I told you honey

Don't make me sad, don't make me cry
Sometimes love's not enough when the road gets tough
I don't know why
Keep making me laugh,
Let's go get high
Road's long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words
This is the last time
'Cause you and I, we were born to die

Lost but now I am found
I can see but once I was blind
I was so confused as a little child
Tried to take what I could get
Scared that I couldn't find
All the answers, honey

Don't make me sad, don't make me cry
Sometimes love's not enough when the road gets tough
I don't know why
Keep making me laugh,

Let's go get high
Road's long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words,
This is the last time
'Cause you and I
We were born to die
We were born to die
We were born to die

Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane

Don't make me sad, don't make me cry
Sometimes love's not enough when the road gets tough
I don't know why
Keep making me laugh,
Let's go get high
Road's long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words
This is the last time
Cause You and I
We were born to die
We were born to die


Lyrics submitted by dplainview, edited by mbehan, irisme, carlosvinicius

"Born To Die" as written by Elizabeth Grant, Justin Parker

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Born to Die song meanings
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72 Comments

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  • +14
    My InterpretationI believe that this song is about someone that she is romantically interested in that she knows isn't right or knows that things aren't going to work with, and she knows an end is inevitable (born to die) but she ignores that because she wants to live and be happy with him while she can.
    camillemarieon December 25, 2011   Link
  • +12
    General CommentI think this song has multiple themes.

    The obvious meaning is that the end result of life is always going to be death, so we need to enjoy the ride We need to love, live, get high (boo ya), and live each day like it is your last.

    The other meaning I am seeing is questioning the possibility of heaven and a creator. Is it by mistake or design? Is talking about the possibility of a god or are we a mistake. And, in the end she comes to terms with not knowing the answer to this question.

    Based on the religious theme (church, cross in the car and around her neck etc.) I think she is rebelling against religion. She now can see clearly that she was seeking god because of her confusion and being scared she couldn't find all the answers. But, now she has come to terms with not knowing all the answers in life so she is just going to enjoy life.

    "I can see but once I was blind
    I was so confused as a little child
    Tryin' to take what I could get,
    Scared that I couldn't find
    All the answers"

    In the end, weather you are religious or not, no one knows all the answers and we need to live this life to the fullest because it is the only one we KNOW we have.
    jpaigeon December 17, 2011   Link
  • +7
    My InterpretationI've just stumbled across this song and it's blown me away. It's almost haunting; its that youthful love that for most us fell between the cracks, of which you now only catch nostalgic glimpses when songs like this come about.

    Anyway, I'm surprised AlikaReine had a -1; her explanation was very good, although perhaps you need to watch the music video to appreciate it. I think AlikaReine's done a fantastic analysis so I want to expand on that - based on the music video's representation.

    The song in my opinion is about wild romance and true love, heartache, loss, and growing up, underpinned by the opening line that set's the scene as her having already lost; journeying the road to recovery and reminiscing on the journey they travelled together (and that she desperately wants to turn back to).

    -- this will definitely be long, so if you don't want to read a detailed analysis recommend stopping here. if you do read please share your thoughts --

    I've studied film and music video's for over a decade and I have to say this music video is one of the best I've seen in years. The video is so well put together I must conclude the director worked very closely with the artist to replicate meaning of this song through moving image.

    About the video: The video is strongly metaphorical and the connotations are pleasantly obvious. There is a basic narrative theory called Todorov's Theory that runs through this video, the basic outline of this is: Equilibrium, Disruption, Recognition of the disorder, attempt to repair, leading to Equilibrium once more (5 stages). Watch most films and you'll see it, it's the fabric of films that determines whether you leave the experience feeling closure and happiness, or discomfort and lack of closure. Interestingly, the video places "the lovers' [American] dream" before and after the Equilibrium which emphasises its perpetual presence, as well as possibly highlighting it as a memory/vision.

    As I already noted the song opens with her pushing ahead with life but experiencing pain and loss over the decision she's had to make. When you've truly loved and lost, that person keeps returning to your thoughts and I know I've also repeatedly felt as though I hope we end up together again one day; "But I’m hoping at the gates, They’ll tell me that you’re mine" i.e. in the end we'll be together forever - "the gates" a reference to heaven.

    The symbolism in the Catholic church is open to interpretation, in my view it relates to the stereotyping of a 'good, moral girl' i.e. a good upbringing and a traditional foundation. Being a representation of her moral foundation also serves as a representation of her home which based on the stereotype was likely stable. This is contrasted by his stereotypically "rebellious" image, which suggests his was likely dysfunctional. It's also important to note she's much more 'dressed' in this shot, the relevance of this is the next scene and second verse.

    The second verse and the chorus is about her adolescence to love and relationship. Everything she was she gave up for this man, she changed her image, her style, her moral standpoint, and even left home to pursue this journey with him - a metaphor to emphasise sacrificing everything. She believes it'll be home if she gives herself to him "Can you make it feel like home, if I tell you you’re mine" - remember, this is her reminiscing on how she was, not how she is. It's interesting she says "if I tell you you're mine" as one would usually say "I'm yours." She may have written it this way to show her naivety, as well as the possibility she had to tell herself he was hers because he never did.

    In the hook she sings the same as the verses and it's clear she's singing from her point of view. However, there is a distinct separation in her singing style in the chorus to everything else, which connotes she is reflecting on what "he" was like; 'walking on the wild side, kissing hard in the pouring rain (i.e. passionate) and insane - the way he also wanted his partner to be, like him, which is why she changed.

    Verse three she reminisces from a mature perspective about how naive she had been in the way she thought and felt; trying to take what she could get by changing who she was, because she was scared if she didn't he wouldn't want her and it'd just be her, alone.

    The song and video go together so well and tell the complete story. Driving the car being the metaphorical journey they travelled together. You see him making the first sexual and drug oriented moves which suggests he was the dominant influence on her.

    The crash is a powerful image and represents the end to their relationship; it killed her to leave, she was the one left bleeding, broken and bruised. You see he's injured too but his is mild in comparison, his suffering begins at the point of her metaphorical death; when he must carry the knowledge it was him that ripped her to pieces and destroyed her, and all he is left with is darkness and flames. There is also a much milder, unintentional undertone of realisation that he must know it's her that's moving on and getting better having 'gone on to the next life'.
    Fiftyfifthon July 06, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis song is so heartwrenching. I think it's just about spending your time, especially your last days, with the one you love. It's about living while being alive.

    In the music video, her facial expressions when she first sings "sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough, I don't know why," are so sad and genuine it makes me want to cry.

    I am absolutely in love with Lana and I can't wait to see/hear more!
    binkishapirhoon December 16, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI'm gutted that she changed "fuck" to "kiss" in the official version.
    rockcitydrugon December 02, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Comment“Born To Die” is an amazing song. The first time I heard the song I was convinced that it would become one my favorites and it did!

    I think the song has more than only one meaning. For me the song is about a relationship that was never meant to last. Lana sings “You and I, we were born to die” which I think refers to the relationship and not to Jesus and religion.

    I once had a sexual-based relationship to a guy. But I fell in love with him, and our relationship would never last. When I heard the song I just felt like the song was wrote to describe him and me. Especially when Lana sings, “Sometimes love is not enough, and the road gets tough, I don't know why” it all makes sense to me. And when she asks, “Is it by mistake or design” I think the meaning behind is that she is wondering if there’s a concrete meaning behind why she should end up in that situation. Was it planed or was it a mistake?

    It’s hard to describe my thoughts about the song in English when I’m from Denmark, but I hope you can see what I mean.

    And one last thing: I love when she changes “Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain” to “Let me fuck you hard in the pouring rain”.
    idapigenon January 14, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI don't really agree, either, with the idea of this song being more about the meaning of life in general, so here's my take on the whole thing, which goes along with the doomed relationship angle...

    I do think there is something to the religious references in the song, but I think they are meant to be a product of her turning to her faith when contemplating this doomed relationship. I think, like others, that "born to die," is meant to mean that their relationship was doomed from the beginning. I think she has realized what she wanted from a relationship, and it's not this guy (hence the "lost but now I am found" verse). But it is hard for her to accept it, perhaps because of all the fun times they've had, and so the whole song is coming from a very contemplative standpoint.

    In the chorus, I think she's asking him not to talk seriously with her about their relationship because it's too depressing (don't make me sad, don't make me cry). She wants it to stay simple, she doesn't want to think about the fact that it probably won't work out (keep making me laugh, let's go get high). I think the "love is not enough" line suggests what she's realized, that no matter how strongly they feel about each other it just won't work out.
    hedgedarlingon February 06, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is about her being in a relationship and knowing that it's about to end. She's not ready to let him go and doesn't want to accept that it's going to end and they're gonna break up so she wants to spend some last fun moments with him before he leaves her
    alrightyeaon December 31, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI agree with the majority of the people here who say it's about a doomed relationship. They knew from the beginning that it couldn't last forever (You and I - we were born to die ... Sometimes love is not enough). They're very attracted to and/or in love with each other, but are not suited for each other in the long run.

    I think the first stanza, it shows that she's wavering and wants to go back to him (Feet don't fail me now), and she hopes to God that she's made the right decision. And at the end of her life, she hopes to get him back, where perhaps other life concerns are not a priority, e.g. drug use, money, fidelity (But I'm hoping at the gates, they'll tell me you're mine).

    In the second stanza, it seems she's talking about what life is like after she's left him. She's lonely and wondering if she's made a mistake, and possibly she wants him back, because everything is so unfamiliar without him (Can you make it feel like home if I tell you you're mine?).

    Then in the video, there are multiple images that reference strangulation and/or death, signifying that the relationship is very unhealthy, and culminating in the final image, where she dies in a fiery car crash with them deliberating losing control while kissing in the car. Maybe a projection of what would happen if they stayed together? Consumed in their dangerous lust? The male is not unscathed. You can see he's also bleeding, but still alive. I don't know what that means. Maybe he's less invested in the relationship. It may also reference the couple's sexual chemistry ("Le petit mort") as well as death.
    historicallineon January 01, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretationwhen I heard this song, the lyrics and flow of the music and Lana's voice portrayed my feelings for my ex perfectly. I am so in love with him, but we have both moved on in our own ways.

    Love wasnt enough for us, constant arguing, so much stubborness... we were so young. But no matter what, I still maintain that he is my true love and this applies to this world and the next. I hope that God tells me at the gates of heaven that he can still be mine.

    I am happy in life now, but I miss him and each time I think of him, I go back in the past and live with him in my memories for a few moments. Right now, I just want to enjoy life, make the most of it, get on and live, because at the gates, he will be mine again.
    mizmiahon March 24, 2012   Link

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