“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” by Lana Del Rey
The title of this song is a reference to a construct known as the Jergins Tunnel, as found on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, California.
The literal reason Lana is asking whether or not we are aware of its existence is because even though the Jergins was once a notable landmark and reportedly is still intact, it has not been in use since 1988, when the powers that be closed it down to the public. And since then it has been sold to a private party, thus rendering the tunnel all but forgotten.
But as for the symbolism behind the title, the motif upon which the lyrics are based apparently has Del Rey likening herself to the Jergins. In other words, as presented in the first verse, the tunnel comes complete with “mosaic ceilings” and “painted tiles on the walls”. Or put differently, it is a beautiful construct. Yet at the same time it is not appreciated, being “handmade beauty sealed up by two manmade walls”. And that is the same way the vocalist feels about herself, “somewhat like (her) body marred (her) soul”.
“Did you know that there’s a Tunnel under Ocean Blvd” is Highly Metaphorical
You will notice in that previous paragraph, we relied heavily on direct quotes from the song as opposed to our own interpretations. That’s because, as always, this Lana Del Rey outing is painfully metaphorical.
She arguably relies on metaphors, symbolism, allegories and what have you more so than any other A list pop singer. So as for the second verse for instance, it is not as easy to decipher, even if we are to rely on direct quotes. But what it seems the vocalist is getting at, once again, is depicting herself as being sort of this caged bird, in a manner of speaking.
Song’s Thesis Sentiment
Concerning the thesis sentiment of this piece, as put forth in the third verse and buttressed in the chorus and outro, it revolves around the vocalist fearing that she may be forgotten, presumably as has the once-poppin’ Jergins Tunnel.
Why Lana would possess such a fear is something we cannot conclusively speak to. It may be that she’s portraying a character in general, that of a repressed woman, if you will. And/or it could be, as pointed out later in the article, that her career is apparently on sort of a downward trajectory, despite Lana still being one of the most-popular singers in the game.
Recently she did collaborate with Taylor Swift on “Snow on the Beach“, resultantly marking the highest Del Rey ever scored on the Billboard Hot 100. But she was a featured artist on that song, and even then, her vocal contribution was sparse.
So maybe, once again going out on a limb, these lyrics are indicative of Lana suffering from some type of an occupational depression. But since she doesn’t actually take it there, they can be more generally interpreted as alluding to the vocalist, most simply put, feeling underappreciated.
Lana Del Rey was really hot circa the early 2010s, but since then her record sales have significantly cooled off. However, by the looks of things, that has only encouraged the songstress to be more prolific in dropping music.
For instance, she came out with two studio albums, “Chemtrails Over the Country” and “Blue Banisters”, in 2021 alone. And whereas Del Rey took 2022 off in that regard, her next studio album (which is her ninth) is currently being prepared for release.
“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”
“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” has a release date of December 7th, 2022. The song, which serves as the lead single from Lana’s ninth studio album, is also its title track. It was UMG, Polydor and Interscope who officially made this tune public.
Keen-eyed fans of Lana have been aware of this track’s existence since early September, 2022.
Lana co-wrote this song with one Mike Hermosa. And both are credited as producers of the track alongside these names:
- Jack Antonoff
- Zach Dawes
- Drew Erickson