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Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Justin Parker
The Nexus
Producer(s) Emile Haynie
Alternate producer(s) Jeff Bhasker
The Nexus
Released July 6, 2012
Length 3:50
(See official versions)
From Btdogo
Single(s) "Video Games"
"Born to Die"
"Blue Jeans"
"Summertime Sadness"
"National Anthem"
"Dark Paradise"
Promotional single(s) "Off to the Races"
"Carmen"
Born to Die track listing
"Dark Paradise"

"National Anthem" is a song written by Lana Del Rey, Justin Parker and The Nexus and produced by Emile Haynie and Jeff Bhasker in 2012. It served as the fifth single from Del Rey's first major-label studio album Born to Die. It was officially released as a single on July 6, 2012.

Writing and inspirationEdit

Lyrically the track deals with a hedonistic and melodramatic love story with Del Rey commanding her lover to pledge allegiance to her. It is similar in themes to the unreleased track "Children of the Bad Revolution", and is possibly about J.

CompositionEdit

"National Anthem" has been described as an alternative hip hop or trip hop track. Del Rey's vocals on the track employ a rapping-like technique, similar to that in the Born to Die tracks, "Off to the Races" and "Diet Mountain Dew". The song opens with a strings section including firework sound effects before introducing more hip hop inspired beats. It is in the key of C minor with a tempo of 85 BPM. Del Rey's vocal range spans from G3 to Bb4. The song focuses on the spoken hook of "Money is the anthem of success." The verses rhyme scheme focuses on rhymes and half rhymes of "anthem" including "ransom", "standin'" and "landed". The song uses male background vocals of a spoken line from a live performance of "Mary Jane" by Rick James, also used in "Blue Jeans", "Lolita", "Dark Paradise" and "Without You". Two demos of the song exist, an album demo which features a gospel choir in the chorus, and a demo by production duo, The Nexus - which is notably more tailored towards the pop genre.

Critical receptionEdit

Vocally, NME observed that Del Rey sings like a "perfect mannequin" on "National Anthem", criticizing the track for baldly revisiting the beat-driven chorus of "Born to Die". Further, NME praised certain elements of the track, saying: "As she sings of a relationship of a well-heeled man and a blank canvas woman, she invokes not only the dreamland of the monied classes (The Hamptons) and their could-be motto 'Money is the anthem of success' but also invokes the spectre of Vietnam with a reference to 'The Queen Of Saigon'."[1] Digital Spy called the running theme of Born to Die, "demonic Stepford moll", which "National Anthem" fit into.[2] The track was praised for having a: "laconic, anaesthetised vocal that conjures up images of her swigging from a bottle of Hendricks. There's a deep sadness underneath the sweeping string section and gangster hip-hop beats, but it's the chorus's fleeting glimpse of euphoria that'll keep you coming back."[3]

Cross referencesEdit

Music videosEdit

HomemadeEdit

Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - National Anthem (Original Demo Version) HQ03:33

Lana Del Rey - National Anthem (Original Demo Version) HQ

Released June 22, 2012 (leaked)
Length 3:31
Director Lana Del Rey
Producer Lana Del Rey
Choreographer
Filmed Unknown, 2010
Location Unknown
Vevo views N/A

Background and description Edit

The original video was much in the style of Del Rey's other homemade clips such as "Lolita" and "On Our Way". It featured the album demo of the "National Anthem". It consisted of various film and TV clips such as shots of a Bugatti Veyron and of Elvis and Priscilla Presley's wedding. These shots are interspersed with Del Rey in, what appears to be, a hotel room in a blue dress dancing and lipsyncing to the track. In the same setting Del Rey also wears a dark blue jacket. There are occasional clips of Del Rey in a dark wig with large sunglasses on. It is thought to have been recorded in 2010 and leaked in 2012.

OfficialEdit

Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - National Anthem07:49

Lana Del Rey - National Anthem

Released June 27, 2012
Length 7:49
Director Anthony Mandler
Producer Lana Del Rey
Choreographer
Filmed May, 2012
Location Unknown
Vevo views 53+ Million Views

Background and description Edit

The official music video was premiered by Noisey on June 27, 2012[4], and on September 5, 2012 it was posted to Del Rey's VEVO channel. The video was directed by Anthony Mandler in May of the same year. It features previous musical collaborator and rapper A$AP Rocky as her love interest, rather than Bradley Soileau who featured in her previous two videos.

The video begins with Del Rey portraying Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to Rocky, who portrays John F. Kennedy. After this introduction, Del Rey takes on the persona of Jacqueline Kennedy, and the video adopts a home-movie style depicting the Kennedy's life. The clip ends with a re-enactment of JFK's assassination as Del Rey reads a multi-layered narrative treatment exploring Jacqueline Kennedy's love for her husband. On the death scene, Mandler explained "What you're used to seeing with the Zapruder film, is this very kind of violent, destructive act; I didn't want to go anywhere near that. It was never about re-creating a death scene, it was always about the person sitting next to him." Mandler and Del Rey intended for the video to be about loss and destruction rather than accurately interpretating history.

The treatment for the video was written by Del Rey with A$AP Rocky in mind. Del Rey described the video saying "definitely the most beautiful thing I've ever done." It was met with generally favourable reviews and was nominated at the 2012 UK Music Video Awards for Best Pop Video - International and Best Styling in a Video.

On-set photoshoot by Naomi Shon and Chuck Grant Edit

Behind the scenes Edit

AwardsEdit

Year Awards ceremony Award Results Ref
2012 UK Music Video Awards Best Pop Video - International Nominated [5]
Best Styling In A Video Nominated

Official versionsEdit

Multiple versions of the song exist including the album version, the video version, and various demos. An edited version was released as promo in Europe and is based on the album version. The first demo (retroactively named "The Nexus demo") leaked on November 6, 2011, preceding the song's official release on Born to Die, and the second demo leaked June 9, 2012.

  • Album version — 3:50
  • Radio edit — 3:39
  • Music video version (with monologue and introduction) — 7:49
  • Instrumental version — 3:50
  • "The Nexus demo" (demo version one) — 3:32
  • Demo version two — 3:22
  • "I Want It All" (version 2) (demo 4) — 3:46
  • "I Want It All" (version 3) (demo 5) — Unknown (3 snippets leaked)

I Want It AllEdit

"I Want It All" is an unreleased demo by Lana Del Rey. It serves as an early version of "National Anthem", however the demo has a different chorus, the inclusion of an extra verse after the bridge and an alternate outro section. The first snippet of "I Want It All" leaked on August 29, 2016, followed by another snippet on December 17, 2016, and on March 24, 2017, a low quality extended snippet leaked. Fans have reported there are three versions of this demo, and that the snippets are from the third version. The second version leaked in full on April 17, 2017.

LyricsEdit

Album versionEdit

Money is the anthem of success
So before we go out, what's your address?

I'm your national anthem, god, you're so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron
He loves to romance 'em, reckless abandon
Holdin' me for ransom, upper echelon

He says to be cool but I don't know how yet
Wind in my hair, hand on the back of my neck
I said, "Can we party later on?"
He said, "Yes, yes, yes."

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it's a fact, kiss, kiss

I sing the national anthem while I'm standin'
Over your body, hold you like a python
And you can't keep your hands off me or your pants on
See what you've done to me? King of Chevron

You said to be cool but I'm already coolest
I said to get real
Don't you know who you're dealing with?
Um, do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds?

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

It's a love story for the new age
For the sixth page we're on a quick sick rampage
Wining and dining, drinking and driving
Excessive buying, overdose and dying
On our drugs and our love and our dreams and our rage
Blurring the lines between real and the fake

Dark and lonely, I need somebody to hold me
He will do very well, I can tell, I can tell
Keep me safe in his Bell Tower Hotel

Money is the anthem of success
So put on mascara and your party dress

I'm your national anthem, boy, put your hands up
Give me a standing ovation
Boy, you have landed, babe in the land of sweetness and danger
Queen of Saigon

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

The Nexus demo versionEdit

Money is the anthem of success
So before we go out, what's your address?

I'm your national anthem, god, you're so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron
He loves to romance 'em, reckless abandon
Holdin' me for ransom, upper echelon

He says to be cool but I don't know how yet
Wind in my hair, hand on the back of my neck
I said, "Can we party later on?"
He said, "Yes, yes, yes."

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it's a fact, kiss, kiss

I sing the national anthem while I'm standin'
Over your body, hold you like a python
And you can't keep your hands off me or your pants on
See what you've done to me? King of Chevron

You said to be cool but I'm already coolest
I said to get real
Don't you know who you're dealing with?
Um, do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds?

("Yes, of course I will, my darling!")

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

It's a love story for the new age
For the sixth page we're on a quick sick rampage
Wining and dining, drinking and driving
Excessive buying, overdose and dying
On our drugs and our love and our dreams and our rage
Blurring the lines between real and the fake

Dark and lonely, I need somebody to hold me
He will do very well, I can tell, I can tell
Keep me safe in his Bell Tower Hotel

Money is the anthem of success
So put on mascara and your party dress

I'm your national anthem, boy, put your hands up
Give me a standing ovation
Boy, you have landed, babe in the land of sweetness and danger
Queen of Saigon

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Demo version twoEdit

Money is the anthem of success
So before we go out, what's your address?

I'm your national anthem, god, you're so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron
He loves to romance 'em, reckless abandon
Holdin' me for ransom, upper echelon

He says to be cool but I don't know how yet
Wind in my hair, hand on the back of my neck
I said, "Can we party later on?"
He said, "Yes, yes, yes."

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it's a fact, kiss, kiss

I sing the national anthem while I'm standin'
Over your body, hold you like a python
And you can't keep your hands off me or your pants on
See what you've done to me? King of Chevron

You said to be cool but I'm already coolest
I said to get real
Don't you know who you're dealing with?
Um, do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds?

("Yes, of course I will, my darling!")

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

It's a love story for the new age
For the sixth page we're on a quick sick rampage
Wining and dining, drinking and driving
Excessive buying, overdose and dying
On our drugs and our love and our dreams and our rage
Blurring the lines between real and the fake

Dark and lonely, I need somebody to hold me
He will do very well, I can tell, I can tell
Keep me safe in his Bell Tower Hotel

Money is the anthem of success
So put on mascara and your party dress

I'm your national anthem, boy, put your hands up
Give me a standing ovation
Boy, you have landed, babe in the land of sweetness and danger
Queen of Saigon

Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Booyah, baby, bow down
Makin' me say wow now)
Tell me I'm your national anthem
(Sugar, sugar, how now
Take your body downtown)
Red, white, blue's in the sky
Summer's in the air and, baby, heaven's in your eyes
I'm your national anthem

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

"I Want It All" (version two) Edit

Money is the anthem of success
So before we go out, what's your address?

I'm the national anthem, god, you're so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron
He loves to romance 'em, reckless abandon
Holdin' me for ransom, upper echelon

He says to be cool but I don't know how yet
Wind in my hair, hand on the back of my neck
I said, "Can we party later on?"
He said "Yes, yes, yes..."
(Of course we can, my darling)

And I want it all
I want the rings and bling and the sweets that I like
Yeah, I want it all from you
I wanna sing, wanna swing on the stage and shine
Said I want it all
I want my dreams, want the things that love can't buy
Yeah, I want it all from you
Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye-bye

Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it's a fact, kiss, kiss

I sing the national anthem while I am standin'
Over your body, hold you like a python
And you can't keep your hands off me or your pants on
See what you done to me? King of Chevron

He says to be cool but I'm already coolest
I said to get real
Don't you know who you're dealing with?
Um, do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds?
(Yes, of course I will, my darling)

And I want it all
I want the rings and bling and the sweets that I like
Yeah, I want it all from you
I wanna sing, wanna swing on the stage and shine
Said I want it all
I want my dreams, want the things that love can't buy
Yeah, I want it all from you
Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye-bye

It's a love story for the new age
For the sixth page, we're on a quick sick rampage
Wining and dining
Drinkin' and drivin'
Excessive buying, overdose and dyin'
On our drugs and our love and our dreams and our rage
Blurring the lines between real and the fake

Dark and lonely, I need somebody to hold me
He will do very well, I can tell, I can tell
Keep me safe in his Bell Tower Hotel

Money is the anthem of success
So put on mascara and your party dress

I'm the national anthem, boy, put your hands up
Give me a standing ovation
Boy, you have landed, babe in the land of sweetness and danger
Queen of Saigon

He says to be cool and I know he means it
He's lovin' my look and I'm lovin' all his strategic ways
I said "do you think you'll kill for me one day?"
(Yes, of course I will, my darling)

And I want it all
I want the rings and bling and the sweets that I like
Yeah, I want it all from you
I wanna sing, wanna swing on the stage and shine
Said I want it all
I want my dreams, want the things that love can't buy
Yeah, I want it all from you
Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye-bye

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

Money is the anthem
God, you're so handsome
Money is the anthem of success

I'm your national anthem
National anthem
I'm your national anthem
National anthem

Commercial releaseEdit

"National Anthem" was released as a digital EP in Ireland on June 6, 2012, and in the UK on June 8, 2012. On June 9, 2012 it was released as a 7" picture disc vinyl in the UK. It charted at 37 on Billboard's US Rock Songs chart, 40 on Belgium's Ultratip Flanders chart, 92 on the United Kingdom's Official Chart Company chart and 152 on France's SNEP chart.

Physical releasesEdit

United Kingdom (3710053)

(45RPM)

NA Vinyl Label: Polydor
Format: 7" picture disc vinyl in plastic sleeve
Released: 9 June, 2012
Barcode: 00602537100538
Photogaphy: Naomi Shon
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "National Anthem"   3:50
2. "National Anthem" (Breton Labs Remix) 5:23
Gagapedia

Digital releasesEdit

National Anthem (Remixes) - EP
NA itunes Label: Polydor
Format: Digital
Released: 6 June, 2012
Barcode: None
Photogaphy: Naomi Shon
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "National Anthem"   3:50
2. "National Anthem" (Fred Falke Remix Edit) 3:46
3. "National Anthem" (Tensnake Remix) 3:43
4. "National Anthem" (Afterlife Remix) 3:58
Gagapedia

Official remixesEdit

  • Afterlife Remix — 3:48
  • bretonLABS Remix — 4:04
  • Fred Falke Remix Edit — 3:46
  • Tensnake Remix — 3:43

CreditsEdit

Personnel
  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
  • Justin Parker — songwriting
  • The Nexus — songwriting, vocal production
  • Emile Haynie — production, drums, keyboards
  • Jeff Bhasker — production assistance, additional keyboards, guitar
  • James Bauer-Mein, David Sneddon, Emilie Bauer-Mein — backing vocals
  • Larry Gold & Dan Heath — strings arrangement and conduction
  • Steve Tirpak — strings assistance
  • Manny Marroquin — mixing
  • Erik Madrid & Chris Galland — mixing assistance
  • John Davis — mastering
Technical
  • Published by BMG Chrysalis / EMI
  • Mastered at Metropolis Mastering, London, United Kingdom

ChartsEdit

Chart (2012) Peak

position

Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 40
France (SNEP)[7] 152
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 92
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[9] 37

Reference Edit

  1. http://www.nme.com/reviews/lana-del-rey/12563
  2. http://www.digitalspy.com/music/singlesreviews/a390343/lana-del-rey-national-anthem-single-review.html
  3. http://www.digitalspy.com/music/singlesreviews/a390343/lana-del-rey-national-anthem-single-review.html
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7daxzs-EK2A
  5. http://www.ukmva.com/user/docs/UKMVAs_2012_Nominations_PR.pdf
  6. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=National+Anthem&cat=s
  7. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=National+Anthem&cat=s
  8. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/2012-07-21/
  9. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=902


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