Meaning of “Off to the Races” by Lana Del Rey

In “Off to the Races”, Lana Del Rey adopts a narrative style, painting a vivid picture of a turbulent and passionate relationship fueled by lust, luxury, and danger. Drawing on imagery from the world of high-stakes gambling and the American upper class, the song tells the story of a love that is as intoxicating as it is destructive.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Lana Del Rey's Off to the Races at

The lyrical content dives deep into themes of dependency, possession, and the highs and lows of a love affair characterized by excess and recklessness. Del Rey portrays herself as a kind of femme fatale, enraptured and entrapped in a relationship with a man who is equally captivated and obsessed with her. The relationship depicted is fraught with drama, depicting a kind of love that is all-consuming and potentially destructive, yet undeniably exciting and addictive.

Moreover, the song borrows literary and cinematic influences, with a storytelling style that is somewhat reminiscent of Lolita’s narrative, a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The narrative perspective in “Off to the Races” paints a rich and multi-dimensional portrayal of a complex, intense, and perhaps doomed romantic relationship, evoking a sense of tragic beauty through its vivid imagery and emotional depth.

Del Rey’s sultry voice and the song’s cinematic production create a soundscape that is lush and immersive, drawing listeners into the whirlwind romance depicted in the lyrics. The story unfolds with a kind of feverish intensity, pulling listeners into a world of passion, danger, and high-stakes emotion, offering a glimpse into a love that is as exhilarating as it is doomed.

“And I’m off to the races
Cases of Bacardi chasers
Chasing me all over town
‘Cause he knows I’m wasted
Facing time again at Rikers Island
And I won’t get out
Because I’m crazy, baby
I need you to come here and save me
I’m your little scarlet, starlet
Singing in the garden
Kiss me on my open mouth
Ready for you”

Release of “Off to the Races”

“Off to the Races” was released on 20th December, 2011. It was part of Lana’s second album, “Born to Die”.

Who wrote this track?

Lana co-wrote this with Tim “Rolf” Larcombe.

Production credits

Emile Haynie and Patrik Berger worked together to produce “Off to the Races”.

Sales Certifications

In the United Kingdom and United States, this track was awarded Silver and Gold certificates respectively.

CountryUnits sold to date
United Kingdom200,000
United States500,000
Off to the Races

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...