Carmen is a song that featured as Track 9 on the Born to Die album. One demo version has surfaced online, and an instrumental and acapella can also be found. ...
Darling, darling, doesn't have a problem
Lying to herself 'cause her liquor's top shelf
It's alarming honestly how charming she can be
Fooling everyone, telling how she's having fun

She says you don't want to be like me
Don't wanna see all the things I've seen
I'm dying, I'm dying
She says you don't want to get this way
Famous, and dumb, and no age
My, I'm dying

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind's like a diamond
Buy her tonight, she's still shining
Like lightning, light, like lightning

Carmen, Carmen, staying up 'til morning
Only seventeen, but she walks the streets so mean
It's alarming truly how disarming you can be
Eating soft ice cream, Coney Island queen
She says you don't want to be like me
Looking for fun, get me high for free
I'm dying, I'm dying
She says you don't want to get this way
Street walking at night, and a star by day

It's tiring, tiring

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind's like a diamond
Buy her tonight, she's still shining
Like lightning, light, like lightning

Baby's all dressed up, with nowhere to go
That's the little story of the girl you know
Relying on the kindness of strangers
Time and cherry marks while doing party favors
Put your red dress on, put your lipstick on
Sing your song, song, now, the camera's on
And you're alive again

Mon amour, je sais que tu m'aimes aussi

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like god, her mind's like a diamond
Buy her tonight, she's still shining
Like lightning, light, like lightning

Like lightning, light, like lightning

Darling, darling, doesn't have a problem
Lying to herself 'cause her liquor's top shelf


Lyrics submitted by dustybreeze, edited by aislington, Simbaaaa, lovegoods, Makemeover, pizzacat6, ForTheMoney, xKaylaMarie, carmenboy, ashonte2016, XLoveEpiphanyX

"Carmen" as written by Elizabeth Grant, Justin / Parker

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Carmen song meanings
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  • +6
    Lyric CorrectionDarlin', darlin'
    Doesn't have a problem
    Lyin' to herself
    Cos her liquor's top shelf
    It's alarming, honestly,
    How charming she can be
    Fooling everyone
    Telling them she's having fun

    She says, "You don't want to be
    like me, don't want to see all
    the things I've seen"
    I'm dyin', I'm dyin'
    She says, "You don't want to
    get this way, famous and dumb
    at an early age"
    Lyin', I'm lyin'

    The boys, the girls,
    They all like Carmen
    She gives them butterflies
    Bats her cartoon eyes

    She laughs like God
    Her mind's like a diamond
    Audiotune lies
    She's still shinin'
    Like lighting
    White lightning

    Carmen, Carmen
    Staying up till morning
    Only 17 but she walks the
    streets so mean
    It's alarming truly
    How disarming you can be
    Eatin' soft ice cream
    Coney Island queen

    She says, "You don't want to
    be like me, lookin' for fun,
    gettin' high for free"
    I'm dyin', I'm dyin'
    She says, "You don't want to
    get this way, street walk at
    night and a star by day"
    It's tirin', tirin'

    The boys, the girls,
    They all like Carmen
    She gives them butterflies
    Bats her cartoon eyes

    She laughs like God
    Her mind's like a diamond
    Audiotune lies
    She's still shinin'
    Like lighting
    White lightning

    Baby's all dressed up with
    nowhere to go
    That's the little story of the
    girl you know
    Relying on the kindness of
    strangers
    Tying cherry knots
    Smiling, doing party favours
    Put your red dress on, put your
    lipstick on
    Sing your song, song, now the
    camera's on
    And you're alive again

    The boys, the girls,
    They all like Carmen
    She gives them butterflies
    Bats her cartoon eyes

    She laughs like God
    Her mind's like a diamond
    Audiotune lies
    She's still shinin'
    Like lighting
    White lightning

    Darlin', Darlin'
    Doesn't have a problem
    Lyin' to herself
    Cos her liquor's top shelf
    the_mimeon February 09, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning"The song about Carmen is not about a woman who is a prostitute.

    "Carmen" is about a woman with an alcohol problem who is constantly attempting to convince herself the she truly has no problem at all and is truly just fine. "Doesn't have a problem. Lying to herself, cuz her liquor's top shelf". This line states that Carmen, who, truly, is Lana Del Rey in her teenage years, is crazy and an alcoholic but is convinced that she has no problem. She is lying to herself cuz her liquor is too high to reach or is high class and safe to drink.

    "She's still shining like lightning..."
    This line, however, does refer to a sort of prostitutional issue that she once had. Although she has screwed up millions of times, she still has potential to be a good person and is shining...

    It's all about Lana Del Rey as a teenager. Lana, in an interview, said that all the songs on the album reflect off of her troubled past, where she was making crazy decisions and living the life of a runaway drug addict. But it took her awhile to admit to herself that she needed help. But once she admitted to herself she had a problem, she got help and now is LIKE LIGHTNING!"

    found on lyricinterpretations, not mine
    damuser234on July 25, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is about Lana Del Rey before she became famous (Around her young adult years).
    Carmen=Lana.

    "Darling, darling, doesn't have a problem. Lying to herself cause her liquors top shelf." She thinks that she's completely fine and that she has no addiction but in reality she's addicted to alcohol and needs help(Which Lana actually talked about before).

    "It's alarming honestly how charming she can be, fooling everyone telling them she's having fun." Everyone thinks how she's that girl who's never upset and how shes always having a good time when Lana actually feels depressed and sad about how bad her life has gotten.

    "She says you don't wanna get this way, famous but dumb at an early age."
    Lana got addicted to alcohol at the age of 14(dumb at an early age), got sent to boarding school to fix her addiction, then she ran away and technically lived on the streets. Everyone knew who she was because she would do whatever she could for money even prostitute herself sometimes (which ill explain later).

    "Buy her tonight, she's still shining like lighting."
    I think this is the part when she prostituted herself. She's saying how people should buy her for the night while she's there (can't really explain it, but it's pretty obvious).

    "She says you don't wanna get this way, street walk at night but a star by day."
    This is another part when she talks about how she sold her self as a prostitute at a young age.

    "Babys all dressed up with nowhere to go, that's the little story of the girl you know." In this quote I feel like she's always looking for a party to go to and spend her time somewhere or the fact that she's walking on the streets all dressed up waiting for someone to buy her for the night.

    "Relying on the kindness of strangers."
    She hopes that someone would be nice to her and help her get her life back on track or give her some money so she can support herself. It's like a perspective from a homeless person kind of thing.


    "Tying cherry knots smiling doing party favors. Put your red dress on, put your lip stick on."
    Being able to tie a cherry stem into a knot is a sign of being a good kisser. Lana is saying how she's doing party favors probably such as hooking up with people and doing sexual acts or drugs for the money. Then she says how she's putting on her red dress and her lipstick, here she is saying how she's ready to go out and sell herself again or do whatever she can to get money.

    "Mon amour, je sais que tu m'aimes aussi
    Tu as besion de moi
    Tu as besion de moi dans ta vie
    Tu ne peux plus vivre sans moi
    Et je mourrais sans toi
    Je tuerais pour toi."
    Translation: “My love, I know that you love me too.
    You need me, you need me in your life.
    You can’t live without me
    And I’d die without you.
    I’d kill for you.”
    Here she is talking about her addiction to alcohol and how much she craves it in her life and how she can't live without it.

    So long story short. This song is about Lana when she lived on the streets.
    JuciyJessicaon October 12, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe French is translated to, "My love, I know that you love me also." :)
    daisychain26on February 16, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationOkay I thought this song was about a very popular you lady, who everyone wanted to be like, but her life wasn't as great as what everyone thought it was.
    jayybuchananon August 03, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionFrench part:
    "Mon amour, je sais que tu m'aimes aussi
    Tu as besoin de moi
    Tu m'as besoin dans ta vie
    Tu ne peux vivre sans moi
    Et je mourrais sans toi
    Je tuerais pour toi"

    Translation:
    "My love, I know that you love me also
    You need me
    You need me in your life
    You can't live without me
    And I would die without you
    I would kill for you"
    Jane85on September 30, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my mind, this is without a doubt inspired by Blanche DuBois from "A Streetcar Named Desire." If you love this song and have never read the play, its not very long or time consuming and you will see a lot of connections.

    "Darling, darling, doesn't have a problem
    Lying to herself cause her liquor's top shelf
    It's alarming honestly how charming she can be
    Fooling everyone, telling how she's having fun"

    In the play, Blanche suffers from some form of mental illness and drinks heavily, presumably to avoid the demons of her past. She charms and fools many people into thinking that she is something other than what she truly is.

    "She says you don't want to be like me
    Don't wanna see all the things I've seen
    I'm dying, I'm dying
    She says you don't want to get this way
    Famous, and dumb, and no age
    My, I'm dying"

    Blanche reveals the demons of her past at various point throughout the play. Her family dying off in front of her eyes, the loss the family plantation, the suicide of her husband which she is convinced is her fault. She is portrayed as the most notorious person from her home in Laurel because of her sleeping around after the death of her husband, hence the "famous, and dumb...." line.

    "Baby's all dressed up, with nowhere to go
    That's the little story of the girl you know
    Relying on the kindness of strangers
    Time and cherry marks while doing party favours
    Put your red dress on, put your lipstick on
    Sing your song, song, now, the camera's on
    And you're alive again "

    Blanche's clothing and jewelry are often spoken of throughout, as well as her enjoyment of wearing them. She truly does get dressed up with no where to go as she does not work, is seldom mentioned leaving Stella's, and can't leave New Orleans because she was run out of her home town and can't afford to support herself. "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers" is her last line in the play... This was what really sold me on the Blanche influence and made me examine the lyrics more closely.

    There are other small similarities that may be a stretch... the lines in French might be from Blanche speaking in French and talking of her French heritage. The mention of "light" and "lightning"... Light, or lack there of, was important symbolism in the play for Blanche, and is mentioned in her most important and telling monologue (the one about her husband.)
    soccervolon September 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningCarmen is a girl who is alcoholic (Lana obviously) but the symbol of Carmen through the song becomes a symbol of crystal meth or methamphetamine. You can see in the chorus, it's really simple.
    1. "The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen'' - all her friends like and do meth
    2. "She gives them butterflies" - meth helps the release of serotonin (a hormone contributor to well being and happiness)
    3. "Her mind's like a diamond" - diamond = crystal
    4. "Like lighting, white lighting" - obvious

    If you watch the Carmen video closely, you can see that the some parts of the video show for a second how methamphetamine affects the central nervous system and the release of serotonin.
    LucyItswdon May 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anybody else think these lyrics are associated this with the song Dolores Haze is listening to when Humbert Humber is observing his nymphet in the beginning of Lolita?
    Lho411on March 31, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm thinking this is Lana's way of taking Carmen (the opera) and turning it into a 21st century adaptation.
    khiac72on May 20, 2012   Link

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