Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Layers of Love and Harm

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


He used to call me DN
That stood for Deadly Nightshade
‘Cause I was filled with poison
But blessed with beauty and rage
Jim told me that
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
Jim brought me back
Reminded me of when we were kids

With his ultraviolence
I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

He used to call me poison
Like I was Poison Ivy
I could’ve died right there
‘Cause he was right beside me
Jim raised me up
He hurt me but it felt like true love
Jim taught me that
Loving him was never enough

With his ultraviolence
I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

We could go back to New York
Loving you was really hard
We could go back to Woodstock
Where they don’t know who we are
Heaven is on Earth
I would do anything for you, baby
Blessed is this union
Crying tears of gold like lemonade

I love you the first time
I love you the last time
Yo soy la princesa, comprende mis white lines
‘Cause I’m your jazz singer
And you’re my cult leader
I love you forever
I love you forever

With his ultraviolence (lay me down tonight)
Ultraviolence (in my linen and curls)
Ultraviolence (lay me down tonight)
Ultraviolence (Rivera Girls)
I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

Full Lyrics

Lana Del Rey has always been an artist whose work reverberates with the complexities of romance, pain, and societal norms. In ‘Ultraviolence’, she further blurs the lines between passionate love and dark, destructive forces. The track, sounding like a melancholic echo from a past era, wraps haunting beauty with stark, harrowing truths about a relationship.

This insightful look peels back the petals on Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence,’ uncovering the thorns of toxic affection and warped devotion ensconced within. The track traverses the perilous crossroads of desire and destruction, making it ripe for deep analysis.

The Toxic Romance Anthology: Dissecting Del Rey’s Dark Love

Lana’s delicate voice draped in lush orchestration paints a vintage tableau, where ‘Ultraviolence’ serves as an anthem of toxic love. The singer invites us into a tumultuous narrative—a push and pull of intimacy, danger, and nostalgia. She is ‘Deadly Nightshade,’ a flower both beautiful and lethal, suggesting a lover’s attraction to what ultimately is damaging to them.

Jim, the figure in the story, is both lover and aggressor, his contradictions reflected in the way he ‘brings her back’ while causing pain. Del Rey explores the fatal attraction embedded in their toxic partnership, with the backdrop of ‘Ultraviolence’ evoking a sense of profound sadness mixed with sweet sentimentality.

The Kiss of Violence: Where Pain Meets Pleasure

‘He hit me and it felt like a kiss’—this controversial line references the all-too-real phenomenon where the lines between love and abuse are blurred. Del Rey explores this disturbing intimacy, juxtaposing it with placid images of sirens and violins, symbols of urgency and elegance tangled into one.

Del Rey’s use of the term ‘ultraviolence’ draws from Anthony Burgess’s ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ mirroring the juxtaposition of brutality and high culture. It’s a deliberate linguistic choice, inviting listeners to scrutinize the complex fabric of a relationship that is as striking as it is stark in its portrayal of domestic violence.

A Bittersweet Utopia: Love’s Illusion in ‘Ultraviolence’

As the song progresses, there’s a shift to a yearning for escape to ‘New York’ or ‘Woodstock,’ places imbued with memories and promise—a lure away from the brutality of the present. Del Rey summons the imagery of ‘Heaven on Earth’ and ‘tears of gold,’ touching on the idealistic side of love that often causes individuals to endure suffering in its name.

The idea that ‘loving him was never enough’ reveals the one-sidedness of the affair; the relentless pursuit for validation where love becomes a skewed quest rather than reciprocal happiness. Del Rey’s portrayal of a ‘union’ blessed yet crying ‘tears of gold’ encapsulates the irony of finding splendor in sorrow.

Unveiling the Hidden Meaning: A Commentary on Submission and Power

Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’ is a commentary on the gendered dynamics of power and submission, where cultural constructs of femininity and masculinity collide. The lyrics ‘Yo soy la princesa, comprende mis white lines’ translate to ‘I am the princess, understand my white lines,’ likely a dual reference to the character’s purity and possibly drug addiction, which can both control one’s life.

Drawing on the archetype of ‘the princess’ highlights the subjugation often romanticized within male and female roles. ‘Jim’s’ portrayal as ‘cult leader’ reinforces the ideology that women need guidance, in this case, to their own detriment, raising questions about the intrinsic inequality within such romantic ideals and their consequences.

Echoes That Reverberate: Memorable Lines Cementing the Song’s Legacy

Certain phrases within ‘Ultraviolence’ take root in the listener’s mind, echoing long after the music fades. Lines like ‘I love you the first time, I love you the last time’ encapsulate the cyclical nature of an abusive relationship—their simplicity belies the tragic permanence of the emotions they ensnare.

‘Give me all of that ultraviolence’—this haunting request reflects a deep-seated internal conflict and a despairing acceptance of the relationship’s violent core. Through these stark confessions, Del Rey etches a timeless ache into the tapestry of ‘Ultraviolence,’ one that prompts an unyielding quest for understanding among those who listen.

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