“Grandfather Please Stand on the Shoulders of my Father while He’s deep-sea Fishing” by Lana Del Rey (ft. RIOPY)
“Grandfather Please Stand on the Shoulders of My Father While He’s Deep-Sea Fishing”, a sentence that measures in at 13 words and over 80 characters (including spaces), has to be the longest title we’ve thus far come across at Song Meanings + Facts. And the album it is derived from has its own challenging title in “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”.
The Lyrics of “Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep-sea fishing”
But so it is in the world of Lana Del Rey. For instance, it doesn’t appear that this song has anything in particular to do with her or grandfather. The title, especially as fully rendered in the chorus, when fantastical and more-realistically interpreted reads like a request for some type of spiritual protection.
Even though the stated recipient of that blessing is identified as the vocalist’s father, the rest of the lyrics reveal that she is actually speaking to her own experience.
And despite the title being hella long, the song itself, from a lyrical perspective, is relatively terse. For example, there’s only one actual verse. So in this case, it’s a bit more-readily discernible as to what Lana is getting at.
A Sign from Above
And most simply explained, she seems to be addressing the likes of haters and doubters. She appears to be talking to those who believe that “thousands of people”, not the singer herself, are the impetus behind her success and fortune.
So as inferred, the reason she is asking for a spiritual blessing is because despite such accusations being BS, they take their emotional toll nonetheless. In other words, the vocalist is apparently asking for a sign from the Lord in the form of “three white butterflies or an owl” as a way of confirming that He indeed has her back.
Or viewed from a different angle, her confidence has been shaken. But it’s safe to say that such a sign isn’t forthcoming, so for now Lana has to make peace the best way she knows how.
And she does so in the bridge by basically presenting herself as a persecuted innocent. That is to say that despite how naysayers treat her, Lana feels that she’s “good in spirit”, “warm-bodied”, etc. She also puts forth that she’s “one of the last ones”.
When that term is first utilized, it points to the vocalist being someone with palpable, genuinely “good intentions”, despite being “a White woman”. And whereas that latter observation may sound like Del Rey is dissing her own race, it has been put forth that more specifically it is a nod to “Question for the Culture”. This was a public statement (with minute racial undertones) that Lana made in 2020 which, as with this song, was in response to her haters.
So conclusively, we can take this as a statement of Lana’s high self-esteem though at the same time, her vulnerability. She may compose missives such as “Question for the Culture” or drop songs like “Taco Truck x VB” which makes it seems like she can readily handle the hate. But obviously, as with the rest of us, there are also times when the opposition gets into her soul, to the point that she’s even compelled to seek comfort from a higher power.
Team behind “Grandfather please stand on the Shoulders of my Father while he’s deep-sea Fishing”
Riopy is the moniker of a pianist from Europe by the name of Jean-Philippe Rio-Py. He has a couple of albums under his belt. But by the looks of things this song, Riopy’s first with Lana Del Rey, may prove to be his most-notable piece to date.
He is credited as a co-writer of “Grandfather Please Stand on the Shoulders of My Father While He’s Deep-Sea Fishing” alongside the singer, as this track samples an instrumental he came out with in 2019 titled “Flo”.
Del Rey also had a hand in producing this track, though in that regard worked with one of her regular collaborators in Jack Antonoff.
The labels that made the song public on 24 March 2023 are Polydor Records in conjunction with Interscope Records.