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Lana Del Rey – Gods & Monsters Lyrics 5 years ago
To me this song is one of three things: fictitious, biographical or autobiographical.

It could be pure fiction, a story of an unnamed young woman.

It could be biographical, most likely about Pamela Courson - Jim Morrison's love. Del Rey has written in the form of a persona before, so this wouldn't be totally unheard of. Born to Die is full of references to Lolita, from the 'heart-shaped sunglasses' of Diet Mountain Dew to the track Lolita itself. Moreover, in the video for National Anthem, Del Rey portrays both Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy. However, I am not fully convinced that the song is wholly about Courson.

Finally, it could be about Lana Del Rey herself - I think this is the most likely explanation.

The song could also be a response to LA Woman by The Doors - at the very least there are some interesting allusions.

One thing, however, is certain. 'The land of Gods and Monsters' refers to LA.

I will now take it lyric by lyric.

'In the land of gods and monsters,
I was an angel.
Living in the garden of evil,
Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed.'

The land of Gods and Monsters, as I have mentioned, refers to LA. For many, Los Angeles, and specifically Hollywood, is a sort of paradise, the culmination of the American Dream. 'The Gods' refers to the icons in LA - the Marilyn Monroes, the adored, the promise of what Hollywood has to offer. 'Monsters' refers to the vices that permeate LA, whether excessive wealth, drugs, alcohol or fame.

I was an angel - this could be a response to LA Woman, in which Morrison sings 'are you a lucky little lady in the city of light? Or just another lost angel?’ Del Rey answers that she was an angel. Her use of the past tense is significant. She is no longer an angel. This begs the question: what is she now? An angel would be expected to live under God. If she is no longer an angel it suggests she has succumbed to the dark side of LA - the monsters.

Living in the garden of evil - this is an obvious play on words - the Garden of Eden. In the Book of Genesis, the Garden of Eden was the paradise created by God for Adam and Eve. However, evil entered the Garden in the form of the snake, and tempted Eve to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. This is in keeping with the previous line - LA has become a place of evil and sin, it is no longer the paradise it appeared to be, and Del Rey has fallen from grace.

Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed - she has turned to the dark side of LA in order to survive - this could refer to alcohol and drugs (Del Rey has reportedly had alcohol problems in the past) or even prostitution, whether literal or metaphorical. (Del Rey has also alluded to prostitution in the video for Ride - however, I am in no way suggesting she has personal experience, it is merely part of the story of the song and the lifestyle that goes with it.)

Shining like a fiery beacon - this would seem to possibly be another reference to LA Woman, in which Morrison sings 'I see your hair is burning, hills are filled with fire'. Alternatively, beacons are often lit as a sign of distress - could it be a cry for help? Or is she burning bright, and will inevitably burn out.

You've got that medicine I need,
Fame, liquor, love, give it to me slowly - who is she speaking to here? Possibly the city itself. She has become addicted to the lifestyle in the city and all that comes with it.

Put your hands on my waist, do it softly - this is an image of seduction. She is still being drawn in to the city. Again, the question is raised – to whom is she speaking? Los Angeles or a specific person? Perhaps Morrison, who represents the dark side of life in LA for a troubled but brilliant artist.

Me and God, we don't get along, so now I sing - if the land is one of 'Gods and Monsters', and she doesn't get along with God, that suggests she has joined or associates with the monsters. Again this comes back to the dark side of LA and the American Dream.

No one's gonna take my soul away,
I'm living like Jim Morrison - Del Rey will not compromise who she is or what she does. This is highly existential - she will live in the moment, true to herself. If that means being drawn to darkness, that's where she'll go. Morrison was the ultimate self-destructive artist. He lived on his own terms and could not be tamed or controlled. He was a poet, an artist, an intangible chameleon, a Dionysus. He did what he wanted and allowed others to pick up the pieces - which they inevitably did. He lived fast, and died young - a member of the infamous '27 club'. Ultimately his lifestyle got the better of him, and he died in Paris. In some ways his death could be seen as an escape - he was tired of the fame and the rock star persona, he wanted to be a serious artist and viewed his lyrics as poetry. However, he has been immortalised in his music. Perhaps this is why no one can take Del Rey's soul? She has poured it into her own music. Just like Morrison, she is living life on her own terms, full of the vice of LA, the 'monsters'.

Headed towards a fucked-up holiday - as mentioned above, Jim Morrison died in Paris. Does Del Rey see herself heading for a similar fate? 'Jim wanted to be like a shooting star; now you see him, now you don't, but for that brief moment he burns as the brightest star in the galaxy.' - Danny Sugerman, friend of Morrison. Is this line indicative of a death wish, much like Morrison?

Motel, sprees, sprees and I'm singing - this is a definite allusion to LA Woman, where Morrison sings 'Motel, money, murder, madness'. Both money and murder have connections with the word spree - a spending spree and a killing spree are both commonly recognised terms, and both indicate a form of insanity or 'madness', crazy excess, going overboard. This line is the strongest connection between LA Woman and Gods & Monsters.

Fuck, yeah, give it to me
This is heaven, what I truly want – she sounds like she is trying to convince herself of something, as though there is a gnawing suspicion that something is still missing. She is taking on all of the excess LA can throw it her, and challenging to give more. Also, if LA is the land of Gods and monsters, then she feels like she is heaven when she has achieved everything she thinks it has to offer.

It’s innocence lost.
Innocence lost. – this is in keeping with the line ‘I was an angel’. She has been corrupted by the land of Gods and monsters.

In the land of gods and monsters,
I was an angel, lookin' to get fucked hard. – again, Del Rey suggests that she was an angel, innocent and naïve. However, she was looking for trouble and looking for fulfillment outside herself. She wasn’t looking to ‘fuck hard’, she was looking to ‘get fucked hard’. This requires another person. Her happiness depends on an external factor, she is incomplete. This is in keeping with a lifestyle of fame – she needs to feel loved by others.

Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer,
Life imitates art – this line seems to be autobiographical. Del Rey sees herself more as a groupie, following the famous ones rather than being a famous one herself. She cannot quite believe that the world has bought the lie that she is a true artist; she doesn’t feel worthy or that she is one. She went to LA and was catapulted into this position, and any moment the rug will be pulled out from under her.

You got that medicine I need
Dope, shoot it up straight to the heart please – now the medicine has changed from the previous reference. All that matters now is the drugs, and the dose is intense – straight to the heart. She needs a greater and greater fix in order to survive.

I don't really wanna know what's good for me – she knows this lifestyle isn’t good for her, and people have tried to tell her; perhaps her parents in her days of alcohol abuse? However, she is shutting that part of herself off, she doesn’t want to face reality. The

God's dead, I said 'baby that's alright with me' – This could be a reference to Nietzsche, who famously declared ‘God is dead.’ Nietzsche was referring to the fact that the modern world has in many ways made God redundant. Could Del Rey be suggesting that she doesn’t need God as long as she’s in LA and living the dream? She has replaced God with her lifestyle. Also, if this is the land of Gods and Monsters, and God’s dead, she has now entirely moved to the dark side of the lifestyle, only the monsters remain. Before she didn’t get along with God, but he was still around. Now he’s entirely gone.

No one’s gonna take my soul away,
Living like Jim Morrison.
Headed towards a fucked up holiday.
Motel, sprees, sprees, and I’m singing,
Fuck yeah give it to me, this is heaven, what I truly want
It's innocence lost.
Innocence lost. – see above for chorus.

When you talk it's like a movie and you're making me crazy – who is she talking to here? Again the theme of movies is in keeping with LA and Hollywood. Like a movie implies an idyllic existence and has romantic connotations, which links back to the earlier image of seduction.

Cause life imitates art – a repetition of an earlier line. She has become immersed in art and the façade of LA.

If I get a little prettier, can I be your baby?
You tell me life isn't that hard. – she feels the pressure to conform to the expectations of her lifestyle, and doesn’t feel worthy as she is. She is looking to be the best version of herself, but only superficially. The person she is speaking to tells her life isn’t that hard, again, a very simplistic view.

No one’s gonna take my soul away,
I'm living like Jim Morrison.
Headed towards a fucked up holiday.
Motel, sprees, sprees, and I’m singing,
Fuck yeah, give it to me, this is heaven, what I truly want.
It's innocence lost.
Innocence lost.

submissions
Guns N' Roses – November Rain Lyrics 7 years ago
"November Rain is a song about not wanting to be in a state of having to deal with unrequited love." - Axl Rose

This song is absolutely fabulous, and my favourite of all time. The emotional intensity of the lyrics combines beautifully with the soaring melodies to take the listener on a journey from despair into hope. I'll now offer my interpretation of the lyrics, which I feel is true to Axl's original intention.

As Axl says, the song is about unrequited love. He is still very much in love with a woman, but she is no longer in love with him. He uses a metaphor to express how difficult it is to cope with unrequited love:
"It's hard to hold a candle, in the cold November rain."
Here, holding the candle stands for him trying to hold onto his love for her, while the cold November rain is the absence of her love. It is difficult to love someone who does not return the feeling. And inevitably, his love will also die, just as the candle will be extinguished by the rain. He does not want this to happen, but eventually it will, unless she can recover her love.

So that's the central message. I'll now do it fully, lyric by lyric.

"When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained"
- her love for him is no longer present, but he sees how it can be recovered. He feels that it is merely buried beneath the surface, so that she doesn't feel it. However, it is possible to unearth it once again, as it is still very much in existence.

"But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same"
- he is still in love with her, although she doesn't realise it. The use of "hold you" suggests the couple is still in a relationship, although they are simply going through the motions of one rather than actively participating. In theory they are both single, they just haven't officially broken up, but the love is gone.

''Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change"
- he is hopeful that this absence of love will pass, and sees the potential for her to fall back in love - 'hearts can change'.

"And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain"
- this is the metaphor for unrequited love, which I explained above.

"We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain"
- the relationship is a long term one, and it is possibly a case of 'familiarity breeds contempt' in the case of the woman. The relationship has long since stagnated and both have found ways of coping with the pain this has caused, rather than trying to heal it.

"But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away"
- She has had several affairs in an attempt to find feelings of love outside of the stagnant relationship, but they are only temporary. Her deep, buried love for her partner is preventing her from leaving the relationship outright. These affairs have created confusion as it is difficult to separate the feelings of lust she feels for her lovers from what she feels for her partner and so neither of them know whether the next affair is the one that will end the relationship or whether the lover will be the one to walk away.

"If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
just knowin' that you were mine
All mine"
- if they were to actually stop and discuss the future of the relationship and make a final decision, it would put him out of his misery as he feels that she would choose to stay with him and end the affairs.

"So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
in the cold November rain"
- If she has any love left for him he wants her to show him and let him know. Otherwise he'll remain in misery due to his love being unrequited. There is also a suggestion he might choose to leave the relationship - 'walking'. But if so, it will certainly be difficult to do so and he will suffer greatly.

"Do you need some time.. on your own
Do you need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone"
- a reminder that until we are happy within ourselves we cannot be happy within a relationship. He is suggesting that a personal problem is manifesting itself in her inability to maintain a relationship. He wants her to take the time to heal her inner problems, which in turn will enable her to acknowledge her love for him, thus healing the relationship.

"I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you"
- she has been hurt by those closest to her in the past and so she has closed herself off and will not allow herself to develop a strong relationship in case she gets hurt again. She has built a wall between herself and him.

"But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you"
- if she could heal herself and recover from the pain in her past, the future will be good, i.e. the relationship will be able to flourish.

"Sometimes I need some time.. on my own
Sometimes I need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone"
- He also needs to take a step back from the relationship, for his own well-being. We all need time to ourselves, one cannot exist solely through others. Our relationships do not define us. She has allowed herself to be defined by her relationships and so has been hurt more than others when the relationships have collapsed. She is now afraid to enter new relationships in attempt to avoid similar hurt in the future. He's telling her she has to take a step back and re-evaluate this, taking some time to herself.

"And when your fears subside
and shadows still remain"
- she must slowly take tentative steps back into the relationship, although it will be difficult at first. Gradually she will become more confident, although doubts will linger.

"I know that you can love me
when there's no one left to blame"
- once she has recovered from past hurts she will be able to rediscover her love for him. She must remove the wall she has built up as a result of pain others have caused her, i.e. 'when there's no one left to blame'. When she does this the love will blossom once more.

'So never mind the darkness
we still can find a way'
- although the absence of her love currently seems hopeless, (darkness is traditionally a symbol of hopelessness. November is a dark, wintry month and rain cloud is heavy, overcast and dull. As previously mentioned, the November rain is a metaphor for the absence of her love.) he sees a way out, back to a loving relationship.

"'Cause nothin' lasts forever
even cold November rain"
- now he inverts the previous metaphor into one of hope. Just as earlier he said that love doesn't last forever, now he reminds us that if love doesn't last forever, neither does the absence of love. This unrequited love will pass and the relationship will flourish once more. There is hope.

*Here the music changes completely from the more melodious orchestra to what sounds like a breakdown, with wailing guitars and sinister chanting. Although there is hope for the future, the current situation is still causing him immense pain.*

"Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one"
- Although earlier he said everyone needs to be alone, now he says everybody needs somebody else. He is desperate for this relationship to work and he wants her to want him and needs her to need him. There is an almost accusatory tone as he warns 'you're not the only one' - he resents the pain that she has caused him.

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.
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