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Ultraviolence
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Blake Stranathan
Producer(s) Lana Del Rey
Blake Stranathan
Lee Foster
Length 3:54
From Ultraviolence logo
Single(s) "West Coast"
"Ultraviolence"
"Black Beauty"
Promotional single(s) "Shades of Cool"
"Ultraviolence"
"Brooklyn Baby"
Ultraviolence track listing
"Money Power Glory"

"Pretty When You Cry" is a song written and produced by Lana Del Rey and Blake Stranathan, with co-production by Lee Foster. It was released on Del Rey's second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence.

Background and compositionEdit

In the thank you message at the end of the Ultraviolence booklet, Del Rey thanks her guitarist Blake Stranathan for his contribution to the song and explains he “set the tone for the whole album with "Cruel World" and "Pretty When You Cry". The recording of the song was improvised, Stranathan played chords while Del Rey sang the lyrics spontaneously. On the production of the track, Del Rey went on to say “I didn’t even think to go back and fix it because if you know the story behind it, then you can tell why it was sung that way.”[1] Despite doing the song in one cut, there are 9 outtakes registered on PPL Repertoire with various lengths from 7 seconds up to 2 minutes.[2] Little is known about them since they were not unreleased and remain unleaked.

"Pretty When You Cry" is a rock ballad in 4/4 performed at approximately 110 beats per minute in B♭ minor and runs for 3 minutes and 54 seconds. The track opens with Del Rey accompanied by an electric guitar. In the pre-chorus vocal samples and drums join the track. In the final chorus Del Rey sings in a higher register than in the rest of the song. The song is simple structurally. Lyrically, the song is about a Del Rey's relationship with an unreliable man. Despite the title, Del Rey only sings "pretty when I cry".

Live performance Edit

On July 23, 2017, Del Rey sung a brief a cappella clip of the song along with a clip of "Body Electric" during her performance at Lollapalooza Paris in Paris, France. On October 24, 2017, Del Rey performed a longer clip of the song with her band at Terminal 5 in New York City, New York.

Music videoEdit

On June 16, 2014, Del Rey posted a short preview of a music video for "Pretty When You Cry" to Instagram, but the full video was never released or leaked.[3]

Cross-referencesEdit

Official versions Edit

  • Album version – 3:54
  • Instrumental version – 3:52
  • Outtake 1 - 0:07
  • Outtake 2 - 0:12
  • Outtake 3 - 0:15
  • Outtake 4 - 0:20
  • Outtake 5 - 0:30
  • Outtake 6 - 0:45
  • Outtake 7 - 1:00
  • Outtake 8 - 1:30
  • Outtake 9 - 2:00

LyricsEdit

All the pretty stars
Shine for you, my love
Am I that girl that you dream of?

All those little times
You said that I'm your girl
You make me feel like your whole world

I'll wait for you, babe
It's all I do, babe
Don't come through, babe
You never do

'Cause I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry

All those special times
I spent with you, my love
It don't mean shit compared to all your drugs

But I don't really mind
I've got much more than that
Like my memories, I don't need that

I'll wait for you, babe
Don't come though, babe
You never do, babe
That's just what you do

'Cause I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry

Don't say you need me when
You leave and you leave again
I'm stronger than all my men
Except for you

Don't say you need me if
You leave us, you're leaving
And I can't do it, I can't do it
But you do it well

'Cause I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
Pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry

Pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry

CreditsEdit

Personnel

  • Written by Lana Del Rey & Blake Stranathan.
  • Vocals by Lana Del Rey.
  • Produced by Lana Del Rey, Blake Stranathan & Lee Foster.
  • Engineered by Phil Joly.
  • Guitar by Blake Stranathan.
  • Drums by Brian Griffin.
  • Mixed by Robert Orton at Hot Rock Studios.
  • Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios, London.

ReferencesEdit

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