Lana Del Rey’s “The Greatest” Lyrics Meaning
The song “The Greatest” may have garnered attention due to the fact the Lana Del Rey references famous people and events like Kanye West, the Beach Boys and the wildfires which have recently devastated the state of California. However, these namedrops by and large are afterthoughts in relation to the track’s main narrative, as it is not actually about any of those subjects. Rather “The Greatest” finds the songstress missing her ex and old buddies. And along that line of thought she also misses the particular era of her life spent with them, as she considers those days to be more easygoing than the present.
The song is set in both California and New York, with the singer reminiscing on time spent respectively with her lover and friends in those locations. This era was marked by Lana simply enjoying her life without any major responsibilities. Or as she artistically puts it, she “was doing nothing the most of all”. That basically means that she spent the majority of her time free from any considerable labors.
Moreover at that juncture “the culture” she was a part of was “lit”, as in very excitable. Thus she collectively classifies no longer having these past individuals, carefreeness and excitement in her life as “the greatest loss of all”. That is to say, in the simplest terms, that Lana misses yesteryear, specifically in regards to spending time with the people whom she loves.
Notable References in “The Greatest”
The Kanye and Los Angeles references, amongst others, make their appearance during the track’s outro. The sentiment Lana is putting forth in the closing part of the song is one tantamount to being concerned about the general state of the world. And the way this seems to fit into the overall narrative of “The Greatest” is that it highlights how now her mind is preoccupied with distressing thoughts as opposed to time past, as in illustrating that the singer misses being carefree.