Royals is about how today's music is all about what is considered the "good life," filled with riches and fame, but not everyone can live that life, and so the average person is desperately reaching...
I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town
No post code envy

But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Bloodstains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
Let me live that fantasy

My friends and I we've cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this
We didn't come from money

But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Bloodstains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
Let me live that fantasy

(Ooh ooh oh)
We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen
(Ooh ooh oh)
Life is great without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
Let me live that fantasy


Lyrics submitted by siliconyoda, edited by quazy_qual, Salador, ClanWarGuyIzu, ninawezzi, TahliaChambers, midnightzone, drueboo, KristenDG, nononsense, pardleo1, hi1323, dushyant1991, maria1d

"Royals" as written by Joel Little, Ella Yelich-o'connor

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Royals song meanings
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122 Comments

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  • +47
    Song MeaningClearly she's commenting on how the music industry / pop culture is all about materialistic stuff.

    Most rappers / pop starts sing/rap about all the things she mentions: crystals, jet planes, islands, tigers on gold leashes and gold teeth (etc). Which she doesn't care much for...because in her dreams she's made it (symbolism for drivin' Cadillacs in our dreams) but she still knows she will never be part of that group of people (Royals).

    She doesn't have that blood (wasn't born into fame or has family in the industry that has made it big) or belongs old money (postal codes - old money tend to live around the same areas i.e. Beverly hills).

    So when she says she wants to be Queen Bee or Ruler, she is fantasizing about pop culture not being about what the Royals love (their materialistic lifestyles), she craves a different kind of buzz (doesn't care much about money but just having a "good life without a care") and will rule with that in mind.
    hyperinactivityon August 17, 2013   Link
  • +25
    Song MeaningI believe this song is about the life of the common person - the ones who live by paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not even enough. And even though these people don't have enough - they're still happy and able to live their lives, even though society tells them that they should live a certain way and try to strive for something else.
    cryptsteron June 23, 2013   Link
  • +14
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song, I hated it. But then I heard it a few times and it got stuck in my mind. When I looked up the lyrics, it actually started to have meaning to me.
    I agree with a lot of these comments. Most of the pop songs today aren't relate-able at ALL because most people don't live a life of luxury and riches. She says that she's learned to accept that she'll never be "royal" and to just be content with it. If people really understood it, would it really be on the charts? Some of it's "Top Charter Buddies" are songs that she criticizes!

    But I am glad to see a song that practically anyone can relate with (except for the Hollywood starts themselves. :D )
    RockyTop2on November 21, 2013   Link
  • +13
    My InterpretationThis song is fabulous. I interpret the song not so much as being rich (even though thats definitiely part of it), but as being popular. Coming from a high schooler's perspective, all of the cool and popular kids (or the ROYALS) are the ones who listen to music about and acutally do this kind of stuff: "gold teeth, grey goose, trippin in the bathroom, bloodstains ballgowns, trashing the hotel room". But for people like me, we dont need that. We can have fun and live life without all of those things, "we crave a different KIND of buzz." I also love when she says "we arent caught up in your love affair" because an affair is kind of like a one night stand and something that doesnt last. I think Lorde is saying that basically all of these things dont last. Like an affair, or a one night stand. And she is saying that we dont need to be a part of that.

    I also think the title of her album is very interesting because when I first head of it, I thought heroin like the drug. But then i realized it was HEROINE, like a female hero. I think that was a really interesting play on words.

    So thats my opinion. This song is truly brilliant and mesmerizing :)
    vincentre16on October 10, 2013   Link
  • +12
    General Comment"Music and Art" description to this song in Youtube:

    I will probably have to explain this in parts and more than one post. First, I can explain what the song means and then the music video.
    The song is about how pop culture does not accurately reflect the reality of the way the average human being lives. She uses herself as an example of a normal, everyday suburban-type person- describes how she’s never seen a diamond, lives in a boring town (“no postcode envy”)... Then she goes on to name many common rap/pop song references - “but every song’s like ‘gold teeth, Grey Goose (that’s an expensive alcohol btw) trippin’ in the bathroom, bloodstains, ball gowns, trashing the hotel room… crystal, Maybach (expensive car brand), diamonds on your tongue piece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.. These things, or things similar to what she lists, are all things we hear singers/rappers bragging about.Most entertainers brag about all their bitches and all their money, but in reality, we (the listeners) will never have access to any of these things.But,as Lorde says, we aren't caught up in that “love affair” with decadence and money to spare.How many average high school or college kids will ever own a huge ballgown, a private island or be able afford solid gold teeth? Not many.. Yet there are literally hundreds of songs that brag about these things - and we listen to them on an everyday basis. See the contradiction? We’re normal people – we sometimes do nothing more interesting than standing around in a convenience store playing with lighters or staring at fridges full of diet Pepsi, we shop at Walmart, and we try to make ends meet – yet we listen to all these fantastical songs... and watch all these music videos that have nothing to do with our lifestyles or our realties. Now for the music video – all those rap videos are full of bikini girls, money stacks, gold chains, etc. This video has nothing to do with any of those things – instead, it’s a bold, realistic reflection of day-to-day human life... Swimming in swimming pools, standing on tennis courts, riding a a subway, listening to music in our bedrooms – these are things that a normal person would do. Again, it’s a song about that fact that our pop culture is nothing like our reality, and it’s a music video about the everyday human life, not a idealistic pop culture fantasy... The End, I'm done. Thank Jesus.
    jmpb7on October 14, 2013   Link
  • +12
    My OpinionIm kinda irritated over all the commentary here.

    Why do almost everybody CUT OFF their interpretation at the second ref?

    I wanna talk about THIS part right here:

    "And we'll never be royals
    It don't run in our blood
    That kind of luxe just ain't for us
    We crave a different kind of buzz
    Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
    And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
    Let me live that fantasy "


    I think we can all agree by now that the song starts by telling thats shes from humble quarters and consistently making references to the rap/pop-elite (wich she calls the "royals") and what they sing about and what they do, and how her own life will never be like theirs No, she has found a different kind of buzz. Thtas the EASY part.

    Now comes this section wich is like the conclusion in the song:
    And we'll never be royals
    It don't run in our blood
    That kind of luxe just ain't for us
    WE CRAVE A DIFFERENT KIND OF BUZZ

    ... saying that she (or they) will never be like them, its not in their blood. its just not for them, they've found something else to crave: (NOW, WHAT IS IT??)

    Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
    And BABY I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
    Let me live that fantasy "

    ... Well,. its a fantasy to rule, and shes talking to her "BABY" (this seems kinda important), let me live that fantasy. Doesnt this sound kinda sexual? At least it does to me.

    If this last part is about ruling the world or making the top charts, then the whole song would be talking against itself. Shes just said thet all this is NOT for her, so why would she wanna live THAT fantasy. It just dont make sense that way.

    Shes saying she and her friends has cracked the code and this is like the conclusion:

    To be happy with counting your dollars at the train, to never be like the royals, to not care about "their love affairs", to not have worries ("Life is great without a care"), but to live out the fantasy of ruling her boyfriend (in bed?), he can call her Queen B. ("and I'm in love with beeing Queen") Cause this is more "her kinda buzz". Then it kinda makes sense.

    This may very well be flawed, but at least Im trying to look at the part of the text everybodys so conveniently skipping, or at least not giving any weight.

    But as long as nobodys going to give me another fitting idea to what she might rule, Im gonna stick with this one.
    checksteron October 28, 2013   Link
  • +10
    General CommentThis song is basically about how not everyone can live the life of the famous. She's saying that she didn't come from money, so she does not have the luxuries of the pop stars and rappers. She says that she wishes for a short period of time she could "Live that fantasy" of experiencing life without any cares and with money to blow.
    mitchgroon September 03, 2013   Link
  • +7
    Song MeaningThe singer songwriter is only 16.
    Royals is about teenagers going to parties to spend time with friends and have fun. They are counting money on a train on the way as teenages do, as they don't have much money, but they are happy to just be going to see their friends. The songs that are played and are popular are from rappers and talk about stuff that these teenagers cannot relate to, especially on the other side of the world where Lorde is from (NZ).
    The lifestyle in these songs she is singing about, is so far removed from the teenagers reality because of the extravagantes of the lifestyles portrayed that they know it is 'bullshit'. In fact these teenagers are happy with their lot and crave a 'different kind of buzz. Time with friends. It is saying that even though these songs is not reality, it is fun to fantasise.
    Paytonon August 13, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General CommentIt's "Cristal"....you know, the expensive champagne that hip hop artists seem to think makes them classy? The same way they mistakenly think drinking cognac is some kind of major display of swag. Makes me laugh.
    cdconnon September 07, 2013   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningWell, I think the lyrics are pretty self-explanatory if you really look at the lyrics. The whole song is talking about the misleading of the media and popular celebrities.

    I've never seen a diamond in the flesh

    (Unlike Rihanna, she's never seen a diamond in real life)


    I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies

    (That's an expression that means that she had her first experience with a wedding ring in a movie)


    And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town
    No post code envy

    (Pretty obvious. She isn't proud of where she lives, and doesn't feel the need to 'represent' it like all the rappers do)


    But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
    Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
    We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams

    (She's talking about how in songs, people are only ever talk about these materialistic things, drugs, sex, partying. Whereas in reality the closest she can come to even riding a Cadillac is in her dreams.)


    But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
    Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
    We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

    (Again, more things that music idolizes, and she will never be able to relate to.)


    And we'll never be royals
    It don't run in our blood
    That kind of luxe just ain't for us
    We crave a different kind of buzz

    (Basically, she will never be 'royal' and experience all of these 'cool' things that singers talk about. But, in all honesty, she's much happier without having experienced all of that 'it don't run in our blood...we crave a different kind of buzz')


    Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee

    (Queen Bee=Beyonce.)


    And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule)
    Let me live that fantasy

    (She is saying that she wants to rule her own life, and be able to enjoy a simple life without experiencing all of the things these singers idolize, and wants the media to allow her, as a singer as well, to do so 'let me live that fantasy'.)


    My friends and I we've cracked the code
    We count our dollars on the train to the party
    And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this
    We didn't come from money.

    (Before she goes to any parties, her and her friends count all of their money to make sure they'll be able to actually get in. This shows that, unlike many of the other singers, she can't just 'walk into the club', she is a normal person who doesn't have millions of dollars, and she's fine with this.)


    We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen
    Life is great without a care
    We aren't caught up in your love affair

    (She's in love with being 'queen' of her own, non-royal, lifestyle, and thinks that her life is much better than their drug-party-sex filled lives)

    :)
    bronxnycon October 27, 2013   Link

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