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National Anthem (song)

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NA itunes
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Justin Parker
The Nexus
Producer(s) Emile Haynie
Jeff Bhasker
Released July 6, 2012
Length 3:51
3:32 (Demo 1)
3:24 (Demo 2)
From Btdogo
Singles "Video Games"
"Born to Die"
"Blue Jeans"
"Summertime Sadness"
"National Anthem"
"Dark Paradise"
Digital 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 inspiration

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.

Composition

"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". 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.

Cross references

  • "Take your body downtown" is a phrase Del Rey uses often in her work, such as "Video Games".
  • The phrase "Queen of Saigon" also appears in "West Coast" and "Live or Die"
  • The lyrics "Wind in my Hair" also appears in "Burning Desire" and "The Blackest Day"
  • Given the references to the story of Adam and Eve, and John Milton's Paradise Lost in "Tropico", it is possible that the lyric "heaven's in your eyes" was inspired by the line "heaven in her eye" from Milton's epic poem

Commercial release

"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 oas 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 releases

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"   3:51
2. "National Anthem" (Breton Labs Remix) 5:23
Gagapedia

Digital releases

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

Critical reception

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]

Commercial performance

Weekly charts

Chart (2012) Peak

position

Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[4] 40
France (SNEP)[5] 152
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 92
US Rock Songs (Billboard)[7] 37

Awards

Year Awards ceremony Award Results Ref
2012 UK Music Video Awards Best Pop Video - International Nominated [8]
Best Styling In A Video Nominated

Official versions

Five versions of the song exist including the album version, the video version, and three demo. The first demo (retroactively named "The Nexus demo") leaked preceding the song's official release on Born to Die on November 6, 2011, and the second leaked June 9, 2012. A snippet of third demo called "I Want It All" leaked on August 29, 2016. Another snippet leaked on December 17, 2016, and on March 24, 2017 a low quality extended snippet leaked.

  • Album version - 3:51
  • "The Nexus demo" (Demo #1) - 3:32
  • Demo #2 - 3:22
  • Video version (with monologue and introduction) - 7:49
  • "I Want It All" (Snippet #1) - 0:15
  • "I Want It All" (Snippet #2) - 0:41
  • "I Want It All" (Snippet ##) - 1:50

Remixes

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

Music videos

Homemade

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
Filmed Unknown, 2010
Location Unknown
VEVO views N/A

Background and description

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.

Official

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
Filmed May, 2012
Location Unknown
VEVO views 50+ Million Views

Background and description

The official music video was premiered September 5, 2012. 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

Behind the scenes

Lyrics

Album version

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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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 Belltower 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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 (Demo 1)

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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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 Belltower 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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 2

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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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 Belltower 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),
(Making me say wow now).
Tell me I'm your national anthem.
(Sugar, sugar, how now),
(Take your body downtown).
Red, white, blue is 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.

Credits

Personnel

  • Vocal production — The Nexus
  • Backing vocals — James and Emilie Bauer-Mein & David Sneddon
  • Drums — Emile Haynie
  • Keyboards — Emile Haynie
  • Additional keybaords — Jeff Bhasker
  • Guitars — Jeff Bhasker
  • Strings arrangment and conducting — Larry Gold & Dan Heath
  • Strings assisment — Steve Tirpak
  • Mixing — Manny Marroquin
  • Assistant mixing — Erik Madrid & Chris Galland

Reference

  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. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=National+Anthem&cat=s
  5. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=National+Anthem&cat=s
  6. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/2012-07-21/
  7. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=902
  8. http://www.ukmva.com/user/docs/UKMVAs_2012_Nominations_PR.pdf


Btdogo

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