"New Americana" as written by and Lawrence Principato....
Cigarettes and tiny liquor bottles
Just what you'd expect inside her new Balenciaga
Vile romance, turned dreams into an empire
Self made success now she woes with Rockefellers

Survival of the richest
The city's ours until the fall
They're Monaco and Hamptons bound
But we don't feel like outsiders at all

We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

Young James Dean, some say
He looks just like his father
But he could never love somebody's daughter
Football team loved more than just the game
So he vowed to be his husband at the alter

Survival of the richest
The city's ours until the fall
They're Monaco and Hamptons bound
But we don't feel like outsiders at all

We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

We know very well who we are
So we hold it down when summer starts
What kind of dough have you been spending
What kind of bubblegum have you been blowing lately

We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana


Lyrics submitted by chcindyh2, edited by AdrianD

"New Americana" as written by Ashley Frangipane Lawrence Principato

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

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New Americana song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI actually think that the lyric is 'Viral mess, turned dreams into an empire' - the idea that nowadays someone can post a video of them singing, or a piece of their art or fiction or whatever and turn their 'dream' into a massive career to make money- 'an empire' and then now the success that she (not necessarily Halsey but the generation of person that she's singing about) has found has allowed her to 'roll with the Rockerfellas' - the most powerful, the richest people...

    The song itself is definitely about this new generation of people who are growing up now who are becoming more liberal and accepting of social and economic differences ('Hamptons-bound but we don't feel like outsiders at all'), sexuality (second verse), diverse music tastes (?)('Raised on Biggie and Nirvana) etc etc.

    But I also feel like there's an air of sarcasm or maybe even a challenge in the song - if we finally do claim the fallen city and spread these 'new and improved' attitudes will we really be making a difference? Will we really be the New Americana or will we simply be a new generation of the idiots before us? ('What kind of bubblegum have you been blowing lately?') - what kind of dreams have you been exercising lately, your more interested in being a consumerist a follower of trends rather than a leader ( 'so we hold it down when summer starts' )- but can you hold down the city, these new ideologies once the summer ends? Can we BE the New Americana?

    Maybe I'm being too philosophical? Great political song, no wonder Halsey said that radios across America are 'terrified of playing it'.
    moondustbabyon October 04, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCigarettes and tiny liquor bottles,
    Just what you'd expect inside her new Balenciaga.
    {Someone's hiding something in their expensive purse, maybe saying that rich people are not as happy as they seem?}
    Bad romance, turned dreams into an empire.
    {1. Maybe name dropping without name dropping Lady Gaga who made a fortune, of course, with Bad Romance or 2. Someone taking their heartbreak and turning it into self-made success as we see in the next line}
    Self-made success now she rolls with Rockefellers.
    {Rags to riches, now in the same league as a historically rich and famous family}

    Survival of the richest,
    {Making commentary on how in America, "survival" and "success" are synonymous with "fame" and "fortune"}
    the city's ours until the fall.
    {We have control until we mess up and have to rely on higher ranking individuals}
    They're Monaco and Hamptons bound, but we don't feel like outsiders at all.
    {We are diverse, we are still Americans even though we're not millionaires}

    We are the new Americana,
    {America is changing, this generation is changing it, we are the new face of America, not past stereotypes}
    High on legal marijuana,
    {Progress that has occurred because this generation fought for it}
    Raised on Biggie and Nirvana,
    {1.These people grew up listening to diverse genres of music, metaphor for acceptance, also confirms that the "New Americana" are 90's and early 2000's kids.}
    We are the new Americana.

    Young James Dean, some say he looks just like his father,
    But he could never love somebody's daughter.
    {James Dean in the 50's was a model for greasers/hoods, probably someone a parent would not want with their daughter}
    Football team loved more than just the game
    So he vowed to be his husband at the altar.
    {Football players (i.e. people in the eye of the media) love other football players, homosexuality is now acceptable, more progress brought about by the "New Americana" generation}

    We know very well who we are, so we hold it down when summer starts.
    {Not sure about this one, but I'm sure it's some kind of figurative language}
    What kind of dough have you been spending?
    {Money, money, money}
    What kind of bubblegum have you been blowing lately?
    {Something about how much money you spend on everyday things?}

    So these are all the thoughts that I have so far, if you have any other opinions please don't hesitate to comment!
    19cachrion September 19, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Rockefeller" always has connotations of blood money for me.

    "The city's ours until the fall" brings Fight Club to mind.

    "We know very well who we are, so we hold it down when summer starts" alludes IMO to how a lot of Americans deny how insecure they really are as leftists (read the unabomber manifesto). Also, how we thrive on coffee during the weekday, and beer on the weekend, and we're so hyped for friday and hungover on monday that we really only have three productive workdays a week.

    "What kind of dough have you been spending/what kind of bubblegum have you been blowing lately?" seems to be saying that spending the dough is blowing your money, i.e. bubblegum is a waste of money, a lot of our consumerism is a waste of money.
    I think hourly workers often forget that every eight dollars or so they spend is about an hour of gritting their way through work. I think they often forget to compare the quality of life lost by going to work with the effect their purchase has on their quality of life.
    ofnothingon September 27, 2015   Link
  • +1
    Song Fact"It's this idea of these kids who are part of a generation where pop culture is so heavily influential that diversity doesn't scare them the way it scared our parents and their parents. We're more accepting of different walks of life," Halsey explained to MTV News. "So I think the New Americana is racially ambiguous, people who are proud of their culture and they own it, possibly not from a binary of gender."
    Jenlar7983on May 13, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe this song is about a new generation. I believe that this song describes a new generation that rose up to dominate the current goverment or higher power. If you watch the video, you will see that there is what I believe is a resistance. Halsey is pictured as the leader and she is taken from their base deep in the jungle. From here she is taken to a small town, where they planned on burning her at the stake. But causally, the townspeople intervene help her escape. After the climactic part of this "story" I inferred that the resistance is being watched because they are outliers. The lyrics, "raised on Biggie and Nirvana" tells that they are have a unique personality. As some people lye on the side of the punk and other the side of the rapper, this specific group of people combine to make a society in which we have now. When Halsey sings the line "survival of the richest", it relates to a world like we have now. The governments and higher powered organizations are ruled by rich ring leaders. And then when she sings "until the fall" it talks about when they run out of money to spend, their time is done. The line "we hold it down till sommer starts" is what I believe to be some kind of metaphor. Finally, I'll address the main idea of this song. The songs title is New Americana, which is what we live in now. Nowadays people are more excepting to sexuality, race, and religion than ever before. Our current millennials have strayed from normal tradition and they have crafted a excepting world. When someone screams out vulgar messages on social media that insult the gay community or the community that varies by different race, people stand up and don't stop fighting until they get justice. This is what I believe the meaning of the song to be, but it could be different to you. Only the writer (Halsey) could fully answer this question.
    Michael_Small2on October 31, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is beautiful and amazingly political for such a new song. I hope to hear more from this band
    The Nameless Faceless Thingon August 11, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomeone please post the meaning...ASAP
    GABYHUNTYon September 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a very important song , of pivotal importance perhaps .
    I see it difficult to find its meaning , so I 'll wait for more comments .
    miquel1955on October 11, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy thoughts with the James Dean Verse is that when he was famous, and even still now, there was a lot of thoughts of him being bisexual, and never being able to stick with one girlfriend so the lyrics "He could never love somebodies daughter" has kinda a double meaning.
    Canthonyon December 17, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"We know very well who we are...", that section of the song refers to the chorus of Biggie's song Juicy, which is worded differently but sung the same. Nice touch there.

    Love the socially conscious, intelligent societal criticism in these lyrics. It has a depth like I haven't heard in a long time for a pop song, and could only come from someone who knows what it's like to live outside of wealth taken for granted. We need more music with this kind of depth in the spotlight.
    teddyhoseon December 19, 2015   Link

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