This is What Makes Us Girls is a song that featured on the Born to Die album as Track 12. An alternate title What Makes Us Girls was registered online, and another as That Is...
Remember how we used to party up all night
Sneaking out and looking for a taste of real life
Drinking in the small town firelight
(Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice)

Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
Walking down the street as they whistle, hi, hi
Stealin' police cars with the senior guys
Teachers said we'd never make it out alive

There she was my new best friend
High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes
Lana, how I hate those guys

This is what makes us girls
We don't look for heaven and we put our love first
Somethin' that we'd die for it's a curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
It's all gonna happen

And that's where the beginning of the end begun
Everybody knew that we had too much fun
We were skippin' school and drinkin' on the job
(With the boss)

Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
Baby's table dancin' at the local dive
Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight
Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night

Know we used to go break in
To the hotel pool, glittering we'd swim
Runnin' from the cops in our black bikini tops
Screaming, get us while we're hot
We don't give a what

This is what makes us girls
We don't look for heaven and we put our love first
Somethin' that we'd die for it's a curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
It's all gonna happen

The prettiest crowd that you had ever seen
Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
And you know something?

They were the only friends I ever had
We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back

This is what makes us girls
We don't look for heaven and we put our love first
Somethin' that we'd die for it's a curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
Darlin' little queens do you know what you're worth?
I'll tell you everyday till you get it, girl
It's all gonna happen

This is what makes us girls now, baby
This is why we rule the world now, baby
This is what makes us girls now, baby
Why we rule the world now, baby, oh

This is what makes us girls now, baby
This is why we rule the world now, baby
This is what makes us girls now, baby
Why we rule the world now, baby, oh


Lyrics submitted by foamhands, edited by wwarara, jeanette7702, scottdoesntknow628

"This is What Makes Us Girls" as written by Elizabeth Grant Tim Larcombe

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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This Is What Makes Us Girls song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI LOVE this song. I think it's talking about when she was sixteen, her and friends were kind of wild and got into a lot of trouble, drinking, partying. It got bad and her family sent her away to boarding school (I think she said she went to boarding school?). And just about how the friends you have a 16/17/18 can be some of the best you'll ever have, even if you're fucking up with them... because you're young and crazy and you feel like you're invincible together.
    iholdheron January 31, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI believe this song is making a statement about just girls in general. Lana takes you back to her youth and her high school experience, in my opinion.

    The statement about girls she is making is saying that girls will do anything for love. They all look for love and put it first before anything, it's an overwhelming need in so many girls. She even hints at the fact that girls put their boyfriends/love before their friends by saying "we don't stick together 'cause we put our love first"

    It also takes you back to the more fun times of being in high school. She reminisces..
    "Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Baby's table dancin' at the local dive
    Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight
    Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night"


    My personal favorite part is when she mysteriously whispers..

    "The prettiest in crowd that you had ever seen
    Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
    A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
    And you know something?"


    They were the bad bitches in high school, but they were girls in high school. That says it all, really. Catty, vicious, sneaky, and of course, put love interests first before anything.

    Lana is telling you to not cry about it.. Listen to her! Just go out and have fun, and put your friends first before your boyfriends! And same for you guys! Put your friends first (:
    moveslikemickswaggeron February 22, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionI have a different version, the end is completely different..

    Remember how we used to party up all night
    Sneaking out and looking for a taste of real life
    Drinking in the small town firelight
    (Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice)

    Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Walking down the street as they whistle, "Hi, hi!"
    Stealin' police cars with the senior guys
    Teacher said we'd never make it out alive

    There she was my little best friend
    High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
    While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes:
    "Lana, how I hate those guys."

    This is what makes us girls
    We don't look for heaven and we put love first
    It's something that we'd die for, It's a curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it

    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    And that's where the beginning of the end begun
    Everybody knew that we had too much fun
    We were skippin' school and drinkin' on the job
    (With the boss)

    Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Babys table dancin' at the local dive
    Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight
    Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night

    Know we used to go break in
    to the hotel, glimmering we'd swim
    Runnin' from the cops in our black bikini tops
    screaming "Get us while we're hot", Get us while we're hot
    (come on take a shot)


    This is what makes us girls
    We don't look for heaven and we put love first
    It's something that we'd die for, It's a curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it

    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    The prettiest crowd that you had ever seen
    Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
    A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
    And you know something?

    They were the only friends I ever had
    We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
    I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
    Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back.


    This is what makes us girls
    We don't look for heaven and we put love first
    It's something that we'd die for, It's a curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it

    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen
    chewedbluecrayonon June 11, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationCome on people, this is not about Mean Girls.

    The song documents the typical modern manifestation of female adolescence from the perspective of the girls with an added dash of self-awareness. They're only sixteen, but they feel as if they are adults ("Sweet sixteen and we had arrived") and are desperate to experience "real life". Convinced of their invincibility and intoxicated by the glamour of partying, they engage in wildly self-destructive behaviour. Their idiocy is tragic to witness - caught up in these notions of 'fun', they have no idea of the consequences of their impetuousness (that verse about breaking into a hotel).

    The girls get written off by all those around them as hopeless stereotypes ("Teachers said we'd never make it out alive"). Popular media views them only as "degenerate beauty queens" without a single redeeming feature - and yet they are people, and they are still true friends. Modern culture is then further criticised in the chorus, where girls put their romantic relationships over all others. Girls today are encouraged through things eg. rom-coms, Disney movies, to view 'true love' as the ultimate fundamental of life. They'd die for it, even, which shows how unhealthy this culture is. What makes them girls is the inability to see past this bullshit - they are still immature and wholly subscribe to popular opinion.

    In many ways, the song is an elegy to the innocence of childhood. The train part (yes I know Lana was sent to boarding school, whatever) symbolises her graduation to adulthood. She can never again return to the her previous ignorance.
    YouMoronson December 01, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthese lyrics are wrong
    Natasha21on May 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song relates alot to Mean Girls, especially from Cady's perspective when she's looking back on what she's done and how bad she feels about it. Any Mean Girls fans feel free to leave your thoughts on my interpretation.

    "Remember how we used to party up all night
    Sneaking out and looking for a taste of real life"

    This relates to the party that Cady threw.

    "Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Walking down the street as they whistle, "Hi, hi!""

    Cady is 16 in the film. I also feel like this line relates to when Jason says "That new Cady girl is hot etc"

    Teachers said we'd never make it out alive

    Obviously this line relates to Miss Norbury and Mr Duvall - don't think I need to expand on that! Also the "Don't have sex because you will get pregnant and die" line.

    There she was my new best friend
    High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
    While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes:
    "Lana, how I hate those guys."

    This is definitely about Regina George. The crying reminds me of when she cries over Aaron Samuels.

    This is what makes us girls
    We don't look for heaven and we put our love first
    Don't you know we'd die for it? It's a curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    The chorus encapsulates the whole film for me. Aaron Samuels is a huge plot device in the film and essentially drives the storyline. They're all fighting over Aaron and ignoring any sign of true friendship that they have. The friendships in Mean Girls are utterly fake and all driven by selfishness which I think this chorus really conveys.

    And that's where the beginning of the end begun
    Everybody knew that we had too much fun
    We were skippin' school and drinkin' on the job
    (With the boss)

    This relates to when Janice is getting mad with Cady for constantly being with the plastics.

    Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Baby's table dancin' at the local dive
    Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight

    This could relate to Jingle Bell Rock and also the spring fling nominees.

    Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night

    This can slightly relate to when Regina's mum gives them alcohol!

    The prettiest crowd that you had ever seen
    Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
    A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
    And you know something?

    This sums up Cady's relationship with the plastics. She's in awe of them and has never experienced anything like them but she still feels emptiness.

    They were the only friends I ever had
    We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
    I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
    Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back.

    Then Cady reflects on her true friends Janice and Damien. She's sad because things got out of control and now she feels that they're never going to be her friends again.
    violetlineson September 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationRemember how we used to party up all night
    Sneaking out and looking for a taste of real life
    Drinking in the small town firelight
    (Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice)

    [Lana is reminiscing about her younger days with her friends when she was a teenager. Like most teenagers, her and her friends were looking for fun and fun is usually trouble at that age.]

    Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Walking down the streets as they whistle, "Hi, hi!"
    Stealin' police cars with the senior guys
    Teachers said we'd never make it out alive


    There she was my new best friend
    High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
    While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes:
    "Lana, how I hate those guys."

    [When you're young and experience your first heartbreak]

    This is what makes us girls
    We all look for heaven and we put our love first
    Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    [When you're young and fall in love, you put them before anyone else and they become everything to you. It's just how it is and what's going to happen to everyone.]

    And that's where the beginning of the end begun
    Everybody knew that we had too much fun
    We were skippin' school and drinkin' on the job
    (With the boss)

    [The beginning of the end begun because it was all starting to get too crazy and wild and Lana's life would never be the same after that]

    Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
    Baby's table dancin' at the local dive
    Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight
    Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night

    Yo we used to go break in
    To the hotel, glimmer and we’d swim
    Runnin' from the cops in our black bikini tops
    Screaming, "Get us while we're hot. Get us while we're hot."
    (Come on take a shot)

    [Lana and her friends are having fun and that's what their life is about; being young and having fun. They're drinking and getting into trouble with the cops, but it's all fun to them at the time.]

    This is what makes us girls
    We all look for heaven and we put our love first
    Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    The prettiest in crowd that you had ever seen
    Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
    A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
    And you know something?

    [Lana became friends with the popular crowd in high school]

    They were the only friends I ever had
    We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
    I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
    Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back.

    [ They thought growing up and partying was the most exciting thing, but later realized there's consequences. Her parents sent her away because she got into trouble and developed an alcohol problem, so she went away to get clean and she knew she wasn't coming back because she would just mess up again and go back to the way she was before and get back into heavy drinking. ]

    This is what makes us girls
    We all look for heaven and we put our love first
    Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen

    This is what makes us girls
    We all look for heaven and we put our love first
    Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse
    Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
    This is what makes us girls
    We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
    Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
    It's all gonna happen
    shiribehrxon December 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about Lana's time in high school and all the crazy fun that she had. There's nothing really hidden in the meaning. But she had to move for boarding school and the end verse tells it all

    "They were the only friends I ever had
    We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
    I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
    Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back."

    They may have really been the only friends she ever had. Lana has mentioned that she doesn't have many friends. So this song is probably about the happy and fun times she had :)
    ruby12on March 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about girls drinking and partying, and how they looks so pretty and put togehter and fun and everyone wants to be like them but really their kind of alone and sad and they just do crazey things together and tahts what their friendship is, and when she gets sent away (in real life lana del rey got sent to boarding school when she was 15) she knows shes never going to see them again because there not reallly her friends there just times and adventures.
    miranra123on November 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI initially thought this is a song celebrating femininity. I realize now that the term "girls" in this song is referring to her own budding sense immaturity and irresponsibility. In most aspects of the song she's trying to be more like an adult but in very irresponsible ways. For example, she's got a job at 16 but she's drinking on the job with the boss.

    In essence, she's resisting the transition to adulthood and saying "this is what make's us girls".
    asortofdreamon June 15, 2013   Link

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