Lana Del Rey – hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

Lana Del Rey has premiered the first single for 2019 and the third single from her upcoming album ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell” expected in mid-2019. Last year, she released two singles off of the album titled “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice B*tch.” Today (Jan 09), Lana Del Rey released her newest single “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it.”

The song title contains an entire lyric off the chorus of the song and more. The lyric structure of the song is something quite extraordinary. Contrary to the normal sequence of Verse 1/Chorus/Verse 2/Chorus pattern, the new song “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” goes like verse 1/chorus 1/verse 2/chorus 2/bridge/chorus 2/outro.

Lana Del Rey’s angelic voice is omnipotent in delivering the message of the song which we believe to be is about her own inner demons. Lana also gives a massive shout out to one of the well-known female poets-Sylvia Plath (1932-1963). She was known for her feminist movements through poetry, and her troubled upbringing.

Listen to “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” Single


Download “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” Single on iTunes and Amazon
Buy ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell’ Album on iTunes and Amazon

The superstar music producer-Jack Antonoff has helped Lana Del Rey compose the lyrics and produce this song. However, his usual style of heavy electronic music, synthesizers and drums are non-existent on this song.

In a, now deleted, Tweet, Lana Del Rey cleared some of the controversy surrounding this song;

Lana Del Rey on Twitter (Image source: genius)

Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it”

Verse 1

Lana brings in Slim Aarons to compare her life to the ones found in the books. Slim Aarons was a photographer famous for capturing the social elite class and celebrities, usually in their natural habitats of luxurious households. Next, Lana compares her life to these elites. She confesses that it is a load of stress to be wanted to be a high-class woman. A ‘debutante’ is a high-class woman making her first appearance in a social gathering. Always wearing a smile that runs for a mile, high heels, corset dresses of shaded pinks and sipping wine on white yachts sounds like a lot of fun; but Lana says it is a lot of unnecessary pressure. She emphasizes that she is not one of them.

Lana Del Rey does possess that natural, elegant, upper-class look (Image: Favim)
Chorus 1

In the first chorus of “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” single, Lana Del Rey pronounces her affection of the late poet-Sylvia Plath. Plath was a gifted poet. In her book ‘The Bell Jar’ she writes of a character suffering from chronic depression-Esther, who is believed to be a reflection of Plath herself. She committed suicide one month later.

Lana writes of herself as a ’24*7 Sylvia Plath.’ It baffles us to think that Lana may be talking about her love for poetry and suicidal thoughts like Sylvia Plath.

“Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I’ve a call.”

Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath (Image source: The Atlantic)

Lana Del Rey writes of her emotional breakdowns in the middle of the nights. On the surface of things, she has no reason to do so, unless if it due to depression. Sylvia Plath’s famous poem “Morning Song” talks about her post-partum depression following the birth of her first child.

Writing in blood on the walls is a display of insanity. She has resorted to that because writing on her journal does not seem to give her the painful gratification she needs to tackle her issues.

Lana next tells us that she is not happy–at most she is not sad. This is one of the saddest things someone could say. It is also a sign of the internal struggles of a person.

‘Hope’ is something that everyone needs to have in their lives. ‘Hope’ drives people. Lack of hope, does the opposite. Lana says that for someone like her, ‘hope’ is a dangerous thing to have. What we can assume is that Lana has been tortured by ‘hope’ before. It may be her love life, career, personal growth, parents, or even herself.

These lyrics also draw reference to a line from the highest-rated movie on IMDb-The Shawshank Redemption. In the movie, prisoner Morgan Freemon says “Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” Maybe, Lana Del Rey wants to convey the same message in this song. Maybe, it is better to be hopeless–expectation-less.

Verse 2

In the second verse of “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it,” Lana Del Ret elaborates to us what might be causing her to feel this way.

The reference to ‘fifteen-year dances’ could be about her transition to adulthood. The popular dance ‘quinceanera’ are done to celebrate a teen becoming an adult. She has had romances and lost them. More importantly, she has had romances in the basements of the churches. Is she literally saying she hooked up in the basement of a church? Or is she gender-flipping on the popular norm that priests of churches tend to take advantage of little boys.

‘Bowery Bums’ is a phrase used to call the alcoholics and homeless back in the 70s in the street of Bowery, NYC. Lana Del Rey is famously known for her alcohol abuse and she went for rehab at the age of 14. However, in this song, she confesses that alcohol is the only ‘love’ she has known her entire life, except for the stage when she performs.

Lana’s relationship with God has been sketchy. Her coffee to God is served in a burnt pot, because she is an amateur to the dealings with God.

In the last lyric, the singer makes a call on her iPad to her dad. Lana and her father had a distant relationship after she was sent to boarding school in 2000 to recover from alcoholism. She did not return home.

Chorus 2

The second chorus of the song has stirred up some controversy which led Lana to release the statement mentioned above. We find her talking about her sociopathic tendencies. A ‘sociopath‘ is someone suffering from ‘antisocial personality disorder (APSD). A more vibrant definition is “people who have little to no conscience. They will lie, cheat, steal and manipulate others for their own benefit.”

Other lines on this second chorus could be talking about Lana’s depression. ‘Black narcissist’ is an alter-ego of herself that contributes to her depression. ‘Shaking her ass’ could be a reference to dancing, going out, exercise or any physical activity that Lana engages into combat her depression.

This depression side of herself is also the sociopath within herself. This alter ego does not care for anyone’s wellbeing. So Lana does not either.

Bridge

These lyrics of “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” does not sound very silver-lined either.

She talks about the evolution of female rights and empowerment throughout the years. The year 2000s were some of the loudest years for the feminists-fighting for equal rights, equal pay, equal representation, gender equality and whatnot. However, Lana has been confused her entire life. She was born to a religious family, but her rebellious side gave her the most freedom she preferred. There was no salvation for her in religion. She is a fighter for women. But she confesses that she is built weak. Maybe she is talking about her addictions, maybe about her depression, maybe something entirely unknown to us. But whatever it is, those monsters still haunt her nightmares.

Tragic, poetic and hauntingly beautiful, this song is one of the rawest forms of Lana Del Rey to-date. We are excited to hear what she has to say about this song. She has already confessed that this song is something very personal to her-almost internal. Lana’s “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” is a beautiful mirror reflecting her soul to the world. What do you see?

Let us know what you think about this new single by Lana Del Rey in the comments below. If you liked this song, rate it below and share this with your friends.

Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown to “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” by Lana Del Rey on Genius.

Adam McDonald

Hi! I am the founder and lead author and editor of Justrandomthings music community. A vast range of personal interests from Hip-Hop to Country to Hard Rock and Punk music will keep you entertained.

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