“Yosemite” by Lana Del Rey

Yosemite is the name of a location, more specifically an official National Park, which is located in Central California. However, in all honesty it is a term which many people are more familiar with via Yosemite Sam, a popular character from the Looney Tunes cartoon franchise. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Lana Del Rey's Yosemite at Lyrics.org.

But from the onset, it is not clear how such fits into the featured narrative, since for instance the titular term is never actually featured in the lyrics.

Rather what it appears the singer is speaking to is a romantic relationship. And the way she puts it “seasons may change”, but she and her lover “won’t”.

However, the true sentiment being relayed is actually the reverse of that. That statement should more accurately read something like ‘people may change, but the season won’t change’. And in that case, what ‘season’ would refer to is the status of her relationship with the addressee, her significant other. The ‘people’ would be the two of them. 

That is to say that the idea this track is really based on is the fact that yes, participants in a romance do in fact have the tendency to “change” as time progresses. We all know of relationships, some which we may have been personally involved in, dissolving due to lovers ‘growing apart’ or what have you. It’s very common to hear of such these days.

But the narrator doesn’t see it like that. For her it is quite okay, even inevitable that people in a relationship will evolve over time. However, she doesn’t see such as a reason to throw in the towel. And that is the kind of love she is celebrating herein. 

True and Strong Love

Internally, within the participants themselves, things may change. And external circumstances may also fluctuate from time-to-time. But as for the love between her and her partner, that one right there is constant.

Indeed they have sort of no-strings-attached kinda romance, as in they’re doing it “for fun” and “for free”, not in the name of one person taking advantage of the other. Moreover they have been there for one another. Or as the singer explains comprehensively, the two of them embarked on their relationship “for the right reasons”. 

And Lana, in her own words, has gone on to expound that said sentiment transcends how she feels about the ideal romantic relationship and delves into the realm of professional unions as well. But what it all boils down to, as stated above, is an ideology based on selflessness. 

So again, when the vocalist puts forth that she and her partner got together “for the right reasons”, what that means to her is that the respective participants did so in the name of caring for the other person, not their own personal selves.

So conclusively, we can say that such is the concept upon which this song is based. Lana believes that if you have a relationship where the participants are more concerned with each other than themselves, as well as being committed to actually enjoying their association, then let’s say that so long as those fundamental feelings don’t change the relationship will last.

Lyrics of "Yosemite"

What is the meaning of “Yosemite”?

And finally, in attempting to make sense of the title, the singer does imply in the bridge that the addressee ‘came from a canyon’. That does not read like a literal statement but rather a figurative one, i.e. this individual being so unique in disposition (i.e. selflessness) that he wouldn’t have come from a standard background like everyone else. And how that may relate to the title is that the Yosemite National Park is home to its own spectacular canyon.

When was “Yosemite” released?

This is a song which Lana Del Rey began teasing circa 2017, around the time she dropped her “Lust for Life” (2017) album. In fact “Yosemite” was originally slated to be featured on said project. That would explain why it is produced and co-written by Rick Nowels, who worked on the entirety of “Lust for Life”, as opposed to Jack Antonoff, the main songwriter/producer behind “Chemtrails Over the Country Club”. 


And yes, “Yosemite” did eventually come out as part of the latter on 19 March 2021. And the other co-writer of the song, besides Nowels, would be Lana herself.

The labels that brought us this track are Polydor Records in conjunction with Interscope Records.

3 Responses

  1. Aryana says:

    You analyzed this song so perfectly, Amanda! I really enjoyed reading this 🙂

  2. Hortense says:

    Excellente analyse !

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s an ironic love affair with a national park from someone who can’t relate to people who love people. “Seasons will change but we won’t change isn’t it strange how different we are from all of our friends” “We did it for fun we did it for free” (national parks are free) “you make me feel like im invincible” we did it for the right reasons is a commentary on how Theodore Roosevelt had this white supremacist idea of the national parks being a noble cause of saving nature and how weird that idea is in a world of nature falling apart

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