Lemonade – Nostalgia in a Glass: The Deep Dive into Childhood Summers

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for CocoRosie's Lemonade at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Peeling Back the Sun-Soaked Memories
  5. Embracing the Unseen Magic of the Past
  6. A Sip of Symbolism: The Lemonade Motif
  7. The Lyrical Landscape:
  8. Unearthing ‘Lemonade’s’ Potent Hidden Meanings


It was Cinco de Mayo
Pillow case on his head
No more breathing time
An ambulance sped
Sped ’round ever corner
Calling out his name

Shot a rabbit from the back seat window
Sat and watched the summer corn grow
Ate ice cream in a desert dream
And got lost in father’s singing
Too hot inside
Too hot outside
Lazy days when I said let’s go for a ride
We’ll sail on Spirit Lake
Me, my pappy, and his lemonade

Tim and Tina were my parents’ names
They got engaged
They were inflamed
Seduced by the light of butterflies
How they shimmer, how they glimmer
Those butterflies

We seven kids
We almost died
Nearly put to death
By lightening strikes
Instead there was hot, pink
Flashes in the sky
We climbed the rocks, in snow and rain
In search of magic powers
To heal our mother’s pain

Full Lyrics

CocoRosie, the musical collaboration between sisters Bianca

CocoRosie, the musical collaboration between sisters Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady, crafts haunting soundscapes that often weave the whimsical with the melancholic. ‘Lemonade,’ one of their most evocative tracks, serves as a bitter-sweet concoction that tastes of the past summers and simpler, yet profound moments of life. With its dream-like melodies and surreal lyrics, Lemonade feels like a half-remembered dream, deeply saturated with the colors of nostalgia and the shadows of forgotten corners.

Peeling Back the Sun-Soaked Memories

The opening line of ‘Lemonade’ ushers us into a scenario painted with the swift, vibrant strokes of childhood reminiscences. Set on Cinco de Mayo, the imagery is as stark as it is somber – a pillowcase, an ambulance, the calling of a name. CocoRosie conjures a picture that is equal parts celebration and tragedy, embedding the essence of fleeting joy and the stark reality of loss within every syllable.

As the song continues to trace the morose tale, CocoRosie lays out a contrasting landscape, one where the simple act of shooting a rabbit from the backseat window, or watching corn grow, balances the innocence with a tinge of brutality – encapsulating the dichotomy of life’s experiences.

Embracing the Unseen Magic of the Past

Inherent to ‘Lemonade’ is the sense of an active search for something ethereal, a quest embodied by the seven children climbing rocks amidst adversities, driven by an almost mystical pursuit. CocoRosie doesn’t just reminisce – they capture an active, tireless yearning for the intangible, the healing powers they believed could ease their mother’s suffering.

This pursuit of magic – as illusory and slippery as the butterflies Tim and Tina chased – underscores a theme of longing that resonates throughout the song. It’s an ode to the childhood impulse to believe in the fantastical, in remedies that lie beyond the grasp of reality.

A Sip of Symbolism: The Lemonade Motif

Lemonade traditionally symbolizes the old adage ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’ suggesting a spirit of optimism and making the best of what one has. However, in CocoRosie’s universe, the lemonade is steeped with a deeper embodiment of time spent with one’s family, and perhaps, the bittersweet flavor of nostalgia itself.

As the song weaves the tale of the family outing on Spirit Lake with Pappy and his lemonade, there’s an aching awareness of the moment’s impermanence, the fleeting nature of happiness, and an undercurrent of sorrow that perhaps these days are as ephemeral as the drink itself.

The Lyrical Landscape:

Throughout ‘Lemonade,’ CocoRosie employs a lyrical prowess that paints vivid images and evokes raw emotion. Lines like ‘Ate ice cream in a desert dream’ or ‘hot, pink flashes in the sky’ transport listeners to a place of heat-soaked hallucinations and the tangible feeling of thunderstorms, mingling memory with the electric charge of imminent transformation.

The words chosen are no mere accident; they are deliberately assembled to craft a narrative that is as uniquely surreal as it is personal, threading the listener through a journey that resonates with the universal experience of childhood and the looming presence of adulthood’s truths.

Unearthing ‘Lemonade’s’ Potent Hidden Meanings

On the surface, ‘Lemonade’ could be misconstrued as a series of disconnected childhood tableaus. Yet, upon closer inspection, the song reveals itself to be a tapestry of life’s contrasting elements – innocence and experience, joy and pain, reality and magic.

This metaphorical lemonade serves as a vehicle for the listener to navigate these dichotomies, to taste the complexity of human existence, and to ultimately reflect on the ephemeral nature of the moments that shape us. With each verse, CocoRosie doesn’t just share a story but invokes a sensory-filled invitation to explore the depths of our own pasts.

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