Ride by Lana Del Rey Lyrics Meaning – Exploring the Quest for Freedom and Escape


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Lana Del Rey's Ride at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

I’ve been out on that open road
You can be my full time, daddy, white and gold
Singing blues has been getting old
You can be my full time, baby
Hot or cold

Don’t break me down (don’t break me down)
I’ve been travelin’ too long (I’ve been travelin’ too long)
I’ve been trying too hard (I’ve been trying too hard)
With one pretty song (with one pretty song)

I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast
I am alone at midnight
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble, but I
I’ve got a war in my mind
So, I just ride
Just ride, I just ride, I just ride

Dying young and playing hard
That’s the way my father made his life an art
Drink all day and we talk ’til dark
That’s the way the road doves do it, ride ’til dark

Don’t leave me now (don’t leave me now)
Don’t say good bye (don’t say good bye)
Don’t turn around (don’t turn around)
Leave me high and dry (leave me high and dry)

I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast
I am alone at midnight
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble, but I
I’ve got a war in my mind
I just ride
Just ride, I just ride, I just ride

I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy
I’m tired of driving ’til I see stars in my eyes
All I’ve got to keep myself sane, baby
So I just ride, I just ride

I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast
I am alone at midnight
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble, but I
I’ve got a war in my mind
I just ride
Just ride, I just ride, I just ride

Full Lyrics

Lana Del Rey is no stranger to crafting atmospheric ballads that explore the depths of the human experience, and ‘Ride’ is a shimmering ode to the existential journey of self-discovery. Off her 2012 EP ‘Paradise’, this track peers into the mindset of someone entangled in the pursuit of freedom, the emblematic open road, and the tumult within.

Delving into the lyrical tapestry of ‘Ride’, we uncover complex emotions – a desire for connection, the weariness of life’s trials, and the escapist thrill found in the relentless pursuit of something more. This article seeks to unravel these layers, making sense of the poignant landscape Del Rey paints with her words.

The Open Road as a Metaphor for Liberation

Del Rey’s invocation of the ‘open road’ is a classic symbol of boundless possibility and freedom, a theme that echoes loudly throughout American literary and musical traditions. In ‘Ride,’ this symbol serves as a backdrop for the protagonist’s yearning for a life unrestrained by convention and defined by an almost desperate need to feel alive through its transient nature.

The chorus, with its repeated proclamation, ‘I just ride,’ becomes a mantra of resilience, representing a continued push against whatever chains constrict the spirit, perhaps even hinting at the struggle between personal agency and predestination.

Yearning for a Constant Amidst Chaos

Through references to a ‘full time, daddy, white and gold’ and pleas against a consequential farewell, ‘Ride’ reveals the dichotomy of a wanderer’s spirit – the thirst for adventure versus the necessity of anchorage. Del Rey’s lyrics speak to this duality, offering a glimpse into the internal discord faced when one wants to soar freely yet craves for a presence that feels like home.

The personal nature of this emotional dependency provides a counterweight to the liberty of the open road. It conveys the complexity of the human heart, which can house an urge to escape within the same chambers that desperately seek connection and security.

The Resonance of a ‘War in My Mind’

Lana Del Rey’s admission – ‘I’ve got a war in my mind’ – lays bare the conflict intrinsic to her narrative. The turmoil isn’t just external; it’s an internal battle, a psychological confrontation with one’s own thoughts, fears, and perhaps mental health struggles.

These lyrics speak directly to the audience’s soul, inviting them to share in the universal human experience of internal conflict. There is a comfort offered in the raw exhibition of vulnerability, a reminder that such wars are fought in the silent spaces of countless minds.

The Illusive Serenity in Dying Young and Playing Hard

In a society that often idolizes the fast life and decries the mundane, Del Rey explores the ‘Dying young and playing hard’ lifestyle. Her storytelling here provokes deeper thought about the glorification of recklessness and whether the fleeting ecstasy of such a lifestyle can indeed masquerade as art.

The lyric ‘That’s the way my father made his life an art’ can be interpreted as a narrative inheritance, a learned pattern of seeking vibrancy of existence or possibly a critique of the unsustainable models of living passed down from generation to generation.

The Eternal Allure of the Lonely, Luminous ‘One Pretty Song’

Perhaps one of the most gripping aspects of ‘Ride’ is its recognition of creative expression as both a salvation and a Sisyphean endeavor. When Del Rey sings, ‘I’ve been trying too hard, with one pretty song,’ there’s a sense of the songwriter’s eternal struggle for perfection and understanding, the drive to create something both timeless and healing.

It’s an homage to the artistry itself, the notion that within the carousel of life’s relentless ride, there’s solace in the timeless refuge of one ‘pretty song’ that encapsulates the essence of the journey, a solitary beacon in the darkness of the chaotic world.

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