Ultraviolence (song)

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UV cover
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Dan Heath
Producer(s) Dan Auerbach
Released June 4, 2014
Length 4:11
From Ultraviolence logo
Single(s) "West Coast"
"Black Beauty"
Promotional single(s) "Shades of Cool"
"Brooklyn Baby"
Ultraviolence track listing
"Shades of Cool"
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

"Ultraviolence" is a song by Lana Del Rey. It written by Del Rey and Dan Heath. It is the second and title track from Del Rey's second major-label studio album Ultraviolence. It was released as the second promotional single from the album on June 4, 2014, after "Shades of Cool". On August 18, "Ultraviolence" was released as the second single from the album after "West Coast".


Del Rey stated in an interview that the title "Ultraviolence" had little to do with the novel and film that made the term famous, A Clockwork Orange, instead she was inspired by the phonetic quality of the word. The track was debuted live on May 25, 2014 before the song's release during a concert in Vancouver. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 on June 4 and was uploaded to VEVO straight after. The song was available for download on iTunes the same day and reached #1 on the iTunes song chart briefly.

While doing a track-by-track commentary of the album, Del Rey explained that "Ultraviolence" was a reworking of a song she had written previously called "Melancholia".


"Ultraviolence" is written in 4/4, in the key of D minor and is performed at approximately 110 beats per minute. The track utilises a heavy use of strings, similar to songs on her previous two records, as well as pounding piano chords and guitar. The song features a spoken bridge, similar to "Carmen", although it is, for the most part, in English. The vocals on the track are heavily layered during the chorus similar to "West Coast".

Critical response

Nolan Feeney of Time criticized the song for its glorification of domestic violence, mentioning Lorde's comment on Del Rey's music, "This sort of shirt-tugging, desperate, don’t leave me stuff. That’s not a good thing for young girls, even young people, to hear." However, Feeney also stated that Del Rey would "likely" not endorse the "screwed-up tales of vice and luxury" her character, Lana Del Rey, sings about.[1] While noting that Del Rey did not offer a positive or negative opinion on domestic violence, Harley Brown of Spin said that the lyrics to the song could generate controversy, especially since Del Rey dismissed feminism in a recent interview with The Fader, saying "For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested."[2] [3] By the end of 2014, NME named "Ultraviolence" the 32nd best song of the year.[4]

Commercial performance

"Ultraviolence" debuted at number 70 in US Billboard Hot 100. [5] The song debuted at number 34 and 12 in Belgium, Flanders and Wallonia, respectively. [6][7] The song reached number 38 in Canada,[8] number 88 in France, [9] and number 59 in Czech Republic. [10]



He used to call me DN,
That stood for Deadly Nightshade.
'Cause I was filled with poison,
But blessed with beauty and rage.

Jim told me that,
He hit me and it felt like a kiss,
Jim brought me back.
Reminded me of when we were kids.

With his ultraviolence, ultraviolence,
Ultraviolence, ultraviolence.

I can hear sirens, sirens,
He hit me and it felt like a kiss.
I can hear violins, violins,
Give me all of that ultraviolence.

He used to call me poison,
Like I was poison ivy.
I could've died right then,
'Cause he was right beside me.

Jim raised me up,
He hurt me but it felt like true love.
Jim taught me that,
Loving him was never enough.

With his ultraviolence, ultraviolence,
Ultraviolence, ultraviolence.

I can hear sirens, sirens,
He hit me and it felt like a kiss.
I can hear violins, violins,
Give me all of that ultraviolence.

We could go back to New York,
Loving you was really hard.
We could go back to Woodstock,
Where they don't know who we are.

Heaven is on Earth,
I would do anything for you babe.
Blessed is this union,
Crying tears of gold like lemonade.

I love you the first time,
I love you the last time,
Yo soy la princesa,
Comprende mis white lines

'Cause I'm your jazz singer,
And you're my cult leader,
I love you forever,
I'll love you forever.

With his ultraviolence, (lay me down tonight),
Ultraviolence, (in my linen and curls),
Ultraviolence, (lay me down tonight),
Ultraviolence, (Riviera girls).

I can hear sirens, sirens,
He hit me and it felt like a kiss.
I can hear violins, violins,
Give me all of that ultraviolence.

Music video

Scrapped music video

The song originally had a music video that was shot in 2014, but for unknown reasons, it was not released, and later its scenes were used in the "Honeymoon Sampler" video, as well as in the music videos for "Music To Watch Boys To" and "Freak". In 2016, Father John Misty told NME, “I filmed the ‘Freak’ video two years ago. It was supposed to be the video for something else... She wanted me to play a cult leader in the video, with a bunch of a women."[11] A behind-the-scenes photo of Lana Del Rey dressed in the same outfit she wears in the "Freak" video, holding a clapperboard dated 6-9-14 and reading "Ultraviolence", further supports the idea that footage used for the "Freak" video was originally intended for the "Ultraviolence" video.

Official music video

Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence04:24

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Released July 30, 2014
Length 4:23
Director Francesco Carrozzini
Producer N/A
Filmed July 3, 2014
Location Portofino (Italy)
VEVO views 30+ Million views

Background and description

The music video was shot entirely on an iPhone using the 8mm Vintage Camera app and was released on July 30, 2014 by Noisey (Vice). It was directed by Francesco Carrozzini, and shows Del Rey wearing a white dress and wandering around in an outside setting located in Portofino and later entering the church of San Sebastiano. The video was then uploaded to her official VEVO account. [12][13]

Promotional polaroids by Francesco Carrozzini

Commercial release

Digital release

Ultraviolence - Single
UV cover Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: Digital
Released: June 4, 2014
Barcode: None
Photogaphy: Neil Krug
Design: Mat Maitland
# Name Time
1. "Ultraviolence"   4:11
Ultraviolence (Hook N Sling Remix) - Single
UV Hook N Sling Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: Digital
Released: February 15, 2015
Barcode: None
Photogaphy: None
Design: Uncredited
# Name Time
1. "Ultraviolence" (Hook N Sling Remix) 5:29



  • Written by Lana Del Rey & Dan Heath.
  • Lead vocals & background vocals by Lana Del Rey.
  • Produced by Dan Auerbach.
  • Engineered by Collin Dupuis.
  • Mixed by Dan Auerbach & Collin Dupuis.
  • Electric guitar by Dan Auerbach.
  • Drums by Maximilian Weissenfeldt.
  • Electric bass by Nick Movshon.
  • Synthesizers, mellotron, & piano by Leon Michaels.
  • Electric guitar by Kenny Vaughan.
  • Electric guitar by Seth Kaufman.
  • Pedal steel by Russ Pahl.
  • Drum programming by Collin Dupuis.
  • Background vocals by Alfreda McCrary Lee, Ann McCary, and Regina McCrary.
  • Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios, London.


Chart (2017) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders) 34
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia) 12
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 38
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100) 59
France (SNEP) 88
US Hot 100 (Billboard) 70


UV Logo Large

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