Growing up the daughter of a poet, it's safe to say singer Ella Yelich-O'Connor has been around art her whole life. The singer had claimed she started writing when she was not even a teenager yet and has not stopped since. Since bursting onto the scene with her hit song "Royals" in 2013, she has gone on to release two critically acclaimed albums, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. What makes her music so special to many is the way she puts her words together so perfectly with amazing artistry. These lyrics are just a few to explain why she's one of the best at her craft.
"You're the only friend I need, sharing beds like little kids, laughing 'til our ribs get tough"
Lorde wrote these words after a party she threw while her parents were away when she was a teenager. She explained in concert that she felt she was on the cusp of adulthood, and wanted to hold on to whatever pieces of childhood she had left. She tells her friend in this song, you're the only friend I need, signaling that no matter what happens in life, they would always be by each other's sides.
"We mean it but I promise we're not mean."
This little play on words probably went unnoticed to the average listener, but this line from Glory and Gore is short and sweet and makes such a simple line poetic. This line simply means that we mean what we say, even if it's direct and impolite, but we're not mean spirited.
"Maybe the internet raised us, or maybe people are jerks."
Millennials are often called out for not knowing how to talk to people face to face, and she references that here with this simple line. Adolescence is an emotional time for people just trying to fit in, and people are likely to run into people they don't exactly get along with. Is it because we only know how to talk to people on the internet, or is it because people are just jerks?
"Every night I live and die, feel the party to my bones"
Just by going to parties and doing what people seem to believe is living, Lorde describes these nights as liberating as well as slowly draining. Being at these parties and doing things with your friends night after night can be exhausting. She feels every element of the party going on around her, the lights, the bass, the drinks. She is hyper-aware of everything going on around her.
"I remember when your head caught flame, it kissed your scalp and caressed your brain"
Lorde uses this lyric to describe her friend who seemed to be going crazy, if even for just a moment. By saying it caressed their brain, she means it has deeply affected them. The theme of the song is saying it's okay to be crazy because it seems like everyone is going crazy.
"We're sleeping through all the days, I'm acting like I don't see every ribbon you used to tie yourself to me"
This lyric is about the end of their relationship. She mentions that they're sleeping through the days, or essentially just going through the motions to get through them. The "ribbons" she mentions are all the reasons she feels like she has to stay with him. This relationship is coming to an end, but they are simply in denial of it.
"Stood on my chest and kept me down, hated hearing my name on the lips of a crowd"
This lyric references her significant other's struggle with her becoming famous. There are several times throughout this album in which Lorde sings about how her significant other regretted being with her after her fame and how everything changed. Essentially, she's saying that being with him was holding her back and he hated that she was becoming loved by people around the world and not just him.
"Because ours are the moments I play in the dark, we were wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart."
In this lyric, Lorde mentions that the moments with her ex were wild and fluorescent when they were together. These moments brought light into her life and she wants those feelings back. In times of darkness, she reflects on these moments to bring joy and nostalgia. Instead of thinking about the bad things of when they were together, she reminisces on the good parts.
Unless you're an avid fan, you've probably never even paid attention to the words of her songs to really unpack them, but her fans know truly how special they are. To so many, her music is a safe space to love yourself, help grieve past relationships, or even just to dance to. Next time you're shuffling your music and Lorde comes on, really stop and pay attention to the words. You won't regret it.