“Kintsugi” by Lana Del Rey
It’s Lana Del Rey season, dear readers. The songstress’s ninth studio album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, has been released today, on 24 March 2023, with the backing of Interscope and Polydor, her longtime supporters.
It’s Lana Del Rey season, folks. The songstress’s ninth studio album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, has been released today, on 24 March 2023, with the backing of Interscope and Polydor, her longtime supporters.
Here at Song Meanings + Facts we have a tradition of analyzing all of her works, even though, due to the complexity of Del Rey’s lyrics, doing so is never an easy task.
Lana was involved in both the writing and producing this song with Jack Antonoff. Antonoff, who has been one of the most-successful behind-the-scenes’ musicians of the early-21st century (due in large part to his contributions to Taylor Swift’s career), has been heavily involved in the creation of the aforementioned album as a whole.
The general conclusion is that the thesis sentiment of this song revolves around death or more specifically Del Rey’s emotional reaction to certain loved ones, i.e. cherished family members, having passed away.
To note, she took somewhat of a similar approach in “The Grants”, the lead track from “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”.
In the first verse of “Kintsugi”, Lana implies that it is three deaths in particular which had a profound effect on her. And we know from studying “The Grants” that the passing of her uncle and grandmother likely accounts for two of those.
There are also a couple of people mentioned in this song, though both of whom are still very much alive as. Once is “Chucky” who, as generally understood, in the world of Lana Del Rey would be a reference to her little sister.
She is mentioned in the first verse as being “there for three out of three” which, all things considered, infers that Chucky was actually present when all of aforenoted loved one respectively passed away. But as for Lana herself, she implies that personally she skipped being there when ‘the one who was closest to her’ passed away, seemingly because she couldn’t handle the event emotionally.
Then in the second verse, the vocalist mentions one “Donoghue”, whom some believe is a shoutout to Jack Donoghue, a musician who, in the past, has been identified as Lana’s boyfriend. And it seems like what Del Rey is saying is that during a particular era in which she was grieving, it was Donoghue who helped console her.
What is Kintsugi?
As for the song’s title, kintsugi is a type of Japanese art form which, most simply explained, revolves around fixing broken pottery in a decorative way. Being that it is considered a type of art, of course there are philosophies behind why someone would make a big deal out of repairing a broken pot, in a manner that doesn’t conceal the damage to begin with.
The way Lana interprets the value of kintsugi is along the lines of it being through the fractured areas which were mended back together that “the light shines in”.
“That’s how the light shines in
That’s how the light gets in (Mm-mm)”
So in dissecting that metaphor, first of all Lana’s own broken heart, as revealed in the first verse, would be analogous with the broken pot. And the term “the light” alludes to some type of unspecified, let’s say inner edification.
So in other words, the death of those loved ones did have a very profound effect on Del Rey. That revelation, if you will, appears to be one of the main messages behind this piece, i.e. Lana letting the world know that she was indeed affected, quite harrowingly, by those departures.
But as for the conclusive sentiment, it would rather revolve around the narrator looking for the best in those situations, if you will. Or let’s say that internally, she cannot remain in her feelings, i.e. a state of bereavement, into perpetuity.
So it’s as if the vocalist has now come to realize that having endured a broken emotional state has its benefits so to speak, as in now, it would seem, making her more sympathetic, and perhaps also we can also say appreciative of the supportive loved ones who are still around.
Shoutout to Leonard Cohen
“Kintsugi” interpolates a track the late Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) dropped in 1992 titled “Anthem”. It is from that piece that the line “that’s how the light gets in”, i.e. the chorus of “Kintsugi”, was derived from.
And to note, in the third verse Lana references a song from the earlier days of the American music industry, if you will, titled “Froggie Came A-Courtin”.
Song helped me discover myself
“For 13 years and counting, my love for Lana has remained steadfast and unwavering. From her earliest works to this particular song, her music is a pure expression of art, love, drama, and all the beautiful emotions that exist.
‘Kintsugi’ firmly establishes Lana as one of our generation’s most accomplished and original singer/songwriters. I will continue to cherish her music until her very last song, as it has brought so much joy and meaning to my life.
After listening to this song, I discovered a new aspect of my personality. I am indeed grateful to her for the significant impact her music has had on me during my loneliest moments.
Even though I understand that she may never see this comment, I am honored to be her fan and feel blessed by her art. I recognize that we all have a limited time on this earth, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have lived during the same era as this brilliant artist.”
Lana, the living Legend
“I’m Jake, 38 from Oakland. Words can’t describe exactly how I feel whenever I hear her sing. Lana is my living legend, and I consider her a goddess. I was eagerly waiting for her next release, and her announcement made me want to continue living. Listening to this track every day makes my life more beautiful. I love her so much. Can someone ask her to marry me? I am at her feet, and with her, heaven is surely a place on earth.”
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