Valley of the Dolls by Marina and the Diamonds Lyrics Meaning – Peering Into the Abyss of Identity


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Marina and the Diamonds's Valley of the Dolls at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

In the valley of the dolls we sleep, we sleep

Got a hole inside of me, of me

Born with a void, hard to destroy with love or hope

Built with a heart, broken from the start and now

I die slow

In the valley of the dolls, we sleep

Got a hole inside of me

Living with identities

That do not belong to me

In my life, I got this far

Now I’m ready for the last hoorah

Dying like a shooting star

In the valley

In the valley

In the valley

Pick a personality for free

When you feel like nobody, body

Born with a void, hard to destroy with love or hope

Built with a heart, broken from the start and now

I die slow

In the valley of the dolls, we sleep

Got a hole inside of me

Living with identities

That do not belong to me

In my life, I got this far

Now I’m ready for the last hoorah

Dying like a shooting star

In the valley

In the valley

In the valley

Back to zero, here we go again, again

Racing down into oblivion

Back to zero, here we go

I can feel it coming to the end

The end

In the valley of the dolls, we sleep

Got a hole inside of me

Living with identities

That do not belong to me

In my life, I got this far

Now I’m ready for the last hoorah

Dying like a shooting star

In the valley

In the valley

In the valley

In the valley

In the valley

Full Lyrics

Marina and the Diamonds’ melancholic anthem ‘Valley of the Dolls’ from her 2012 album ‘Electra Heart’ is an enigmatic embrace of pop sensibilities with a lyrical depth that strikes the soul. As listeners, we are taken on an odyssey through the shadowy recesses of identity, longing, and existential emptiness. The haunting refrain, ‘In the valley of the dolls, we sleep,’ serves as the lynchpin around which this introspective journey revolves.

While the title may hark back to Jacqueline Susann’s novel and the cult 1967 film adaptation depicting women’s dependence on pills (dolls) and the pursuit of fame, Marina’s use of this imagery dives into the modern psyche. Through her gripping lyrics, she explores the idea of an internal void and the notion of adopting various personas as survival mechanisms in a world that often feels disconnected and devoid of meaning.

The Existential Void: Grappling with Innate Emptiness

Marina croons about being ‘born with a void, hard to destroy with love or hope,’ which immediately resonates with the universal human condition. We are often taught that love and hope are the antidotes to our deepest sorrows and inner emptiness, yet Marina defies this notion, acknowledging that some hollows are so deep that not even the most profound emotions can fill them.

This confession of an ever-present hole within suggests an existential struggle that is both personal and profound. It acknowledges the limits of human connection and questions the effectiveness of traditional panaceas for the soul’s ailments.

A Carousel of Identities: The Masks We Wear

As the song progresses, Marina delves into the theme of living with ‘identities that do not belong to me,’ articulating the pressure to conform to societal expectations and to adopt facades that may not align with one’s true self. The search for personal authenticity versus the ease of adopting a ‘personality for free’ becomes a central conflict.

This idea of freely choosing identities like picking out a new outfit reveals the superficiality and disposability embedded in modern culture’s approach to the self. It also taps into the notion of the fragmented self in the digital age, where one can curate personas through social media and other online platforms.

The Shooting Star Metaphor: A Life Lived Loud, Then Fading

Marina’s declaration of being ‘ready for the last hoorah’ and ‘dying like a shooting star’ is laden with both resignation and a poignant elegance. It speaks to the desire to make a final statement, a dazzle in the darkness before inevitable disappearance.

The metaphor of the shooting star is a recognition of both the beauty and ephemerality of existence. It suggests an acceptance of one’s fate, an acknowledgment that even the brightest of entities must eventually burn out.

Racing Back to Zero: The Inevitability of the End

Marina’s repetition of ‘back to zero’ captures a cyclical return to nothingness, an acknowledgment of the ultimate reset that awaits all endeavors and lives. It encapsulates a sobering return to the start, underscoring the song’s meditation on the temporality of identity and the expiration of existence itself.

The lyrical journey in ‘Valley of the Dolls’ comes full circle with the approach of the end, not with bombast or fanfare, but with a quiet surrender to the universe’s grand, indifferent design.

Echoes of Memorable Lines: A Lyrical Dissection

Certain lines from ‘Valley of the Dolls’ leave indelible marks upon the listener’s consciousness. ‘Born with a void, hard to destroy’ pierces through as a heartrending admission, shedding light on the innate human struggle for purpose amidst inherent emptiness.

Meanwhile, the poetic simplicity of being ‘born with a heart, broken from the start’ encapsulates a universal vulnerability and the intrinsic brokenness of the human condition. It’s a reminder that beneath the varnishes of personality and pretense, there lies a fragile core yearning for repair.

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