Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” Lyrics Meaning

Honestly the way Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” reads is a bit confusing, despite it being a certifiable international hit. There seems to be two different storylines present in the track. And there is no clear point of where one transitions into the other.

At the beginning of the song, we find Lana, chilling with her lover. In fact being with this person brings out the best in her. For instance, spending a night out with this individual inspires her to dress to the nines and makes her feel “electric”. And these are the sentiments which dominate the first two verses.

But then in the chorus, we find her instructing this individual to “kiss me hard before you go”. And in the latter bridge, she is expressing eternal grief over losing him (or her) .

Lyrics center on the loss of a special someone

What is abundantly clear is that Lana’s “Summertime Sadness” is based on her losing the person she loves. It’s not clear how she lost them. However, it is presumably via a dissolution in their relationship. And we come to this assumption because she entreats him/her to give her one final kiss. However, once again, there is no indication of why the romance has suddenly been flipped on its head or even when it happened. The only thing that is clearly known is that it occurred presumably during the “summertime”. 

Lyrics of "Summertime Sadness"

Music Video

The music video features Lana in an ill-fated lesbian relationship. Her lesbian lover is portrayed by actress Jaime King. And it’s important to mention that King’s husband, Kyle Newman, directed the clip alongside Spencer Susser.

Success of “Summertime Sadness”

There are two different versions of this track, both of which performed phenomenally on international markets. The original version peaked at number 5 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart. It also broke the top 10 in the below countries:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Poland (where it actually reached number 1)

The Cedric Gervais remix, which was released on 11 July 2013, fared even better, breaking the top 10 in such countries as Australia, Greece and Ireland. Furthermore, it hit number 4 in the United Kingdom. In America, it reached number 6. This feat marked Lana’s first ever appearance in the top 10 of the highly reputable Billboard Hot 100.

The original version has been certified Triple-Platinum in Sweden and Italy, Platinum in Mexico and Triple-Gold in Germany.

The Cedric Gervais remix went Multi-Platinum in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Album and Release Date of “Summertime Sadness”

“Summertime Sadness” was released from Lana’s 2012 album Born to Die. This album was the second of her career. Born to Die dropped on 27 January 2012. And “Summertime Sadness” was the fourth single released from it on 22 June of that same year.

Writing and Production of “Summertime Sadness”

Lana Del Rey co-wrote “Summertime Sadness” with regular collaborator Rick Nowels. Meanwhile its production was handled by Emile Haynie. It is widely believed that Lana wrote this song about a very close friend of hers who died through suicide.

Lana Del Rey’s first performance of this song

Rey’s first live performance of this track was on 5 December 2011. The performance took place at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.

This performance took place several months before the song was officially released.

Did “Summertime Sadness” win a Grammy?

No. Neither did it receive a nomination for one.

2 Responses

  1. Gina Margare says:

    I really love Lana Del Rays music. It is very inspiring and creative. She is unique and I hope she continues her wonderful work.

  2. DANNY ANGEL says:

    Lana did not write summertime sadness. It was written by me an ex fiance who has dissociative amnesia and wrote this on the back of a flyer for a punk gig … She and azalea banks and Cedric gervais were in Pomona and she wanted me to go to France with her and learn mixing from the world renowned dj .. so he would only agree to let me tag a long if i would sing Acapella.. so in a court yard i sang I got that summertime sadness…missy had dropped work it so i went ,”remix I got that summertime saddness…su su sus summertime saddness…i had read a Tori Amos quote that ño rocker could rock if he never had the blues and she said …that summertime saddness like when Billie Holiday sang summertime and a shadow fell that’s the was this time of year the sky was orange and 9/11 had people panicked … I had woken up from a coma and this song was a stream of consciousness forray mostly a love poem to my truest and bluest love and then an answer to the universe . Do i actually love her if i am not flying with her to find fame ..and of course she is the sun and I am merely the moon meant to reflect on the celestial bodies around me and illuminate with thier light the shadows they cast. It was somber because my head injury took away my dream of Paris in love and a seizure that night took away her name from my mind for 15 years …i guess i did die but not from suiçide and her sobs got me woke when my heart and breathing had stopped the week before . I wasn’t in with the in çrowd tho and I am a perennial understudy in my own life …

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