Summertime Sadness

Everyone has someone who they wish to always have by their side. Someone who they cannot imagine life without. Some might have multiple people coming to mind while others might’ve not met their someone yet. This person could be a spouse, family member, close friend, or even a favorite music artist. However, we, as humans, know that nothing can last forever, especially things we love. In the song, “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, she expresses her desire to stay with her partner despite knowing that their relationship is quickly fleeting. Although Lana is trying to hold on to what is left of their relationship, she is simultaneously acknowledging her yearning.

The person Lana is referring to in this song is a lover she wishes to always stay with because around him, she feels alive and invincible. The line,” Nothin’ scares me anymore,” expresses how she is given strength by simply being in his presence. This is similar to how in Spirited Away, Chihiro is overwhelmed by anxiety and fear when she enters the other world and is surrounded by unfamiliar spirits. Instinctively, she starts calling for her mom and dad. After she finds out that they have been turned into pigs, Chihiro looks and calls for Haku for the feeling of safety instead. Having someone who we can trust and feel safe around is truly a blessing worth fighting to keep, which is exactly what Chihiro and Lana Del Rey do.

As the desperate love song progresses, Lana starts revealing more of her devotion to her partner. The line, “Got my bad baby by my heavenly side. I know if I go, I’ll die happy tonight,” conveys how willing she is to give her life as long as it means that she has her lover by her side. This sacrifice of herself darkens the meaning of the song by exposing how desperately attached she truly is to him that she would willingly hand over her life with contentment. Similarly, this theme of willing self-sacrifice can be demonstrated by a quote from Rita Dove’s “Heart to Heart”: “Here, it’s all yours, now— but you’ll have to take me, too.” 

I involuntarily tear up every time I hear this line: “Think I’ll miss you forever. Like the stars miss the sun in the morning sky. Later’s better than never”. The underlying message of this song is that Lana will never get over the loss of her beloved partner and will do anything to preserve their relationship. The second part of the line, “Later’s better than never” encapsulates how desolate she feels without him that she is willing to compromise and hold out on the hope that he might return one day “later”. This desperation could be indicative of their disintegrating relationship because it is clearly one-sided as she is the only one fighting. Similar to the recreation of the Blue Weezer album I made, they both express how it is natural for people to fall out of relationships and how it is necessary to learn to let go healthily. The destructive manner of the two songs I am referring to (“Undone: The Sweater Song” and “Summertime Sadness”) both have narrators who cope with the loss of someone in unhealthy ways. Although dealing with loss is hard when it comes to someone we truly care about, everything comes to an end at some point.

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