“White Dress” is the opening track on Lana Del Rey’s 2021 album ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club.’ As per the singer herself, this song is quite “weird” taking on a theme of ‘white’ all over the lyrics. In literature, the color ‘white’ usually represents purity or innocence.
Lana Del Rey announced the release of her seventh studio album, titled ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club‘ on January 10, 2021. This is Lana’s follow-up album to 2019’s ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell.’ Much like how ‘Norman’ album was inspired by her life in Los Angeles, ‘Chemtrails’ album has been inspired by the Midwest.
Speaking in an interview with the producer of the album, Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey explained the idea behind this song; “What I like about that song is that for all of its weirdness, when you get to the end of it, you understand exactly what it’s about. I hate when I hear a song that has a great melody, but I have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Listen to “White Dress” by Lana Del Rey
“White Dress” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, Lana Del Rey closes her eyes and takes a stroll down memory lane. She goes back to a simpler time. The reel starts rolling in black and white.
Sun Ra was an experimental jazz artist. He is known for one of the largest discographies in music history with over 100 full-length albums, containing over 1,000 songs. So, for Lana to say that she feels ‘small’ like Sun Ra may be quite ironic. But she is being humble. Back then, she had everything under control.
These lyrics only hint at the chaos that ensues in her life right now as one of the biggest artists in the world.
In these lyrics, we get to know where her mind ran to when she envisioned a ‘simpler time. This is inspired by her personal life where she worked as a waitress in Long Island for about a year. She probably had to wear a white dress as a waitress, which could be more fiction than fact. The white dress here represents her innocence and care-free times. Her biggest responsibility back then was getting the orders right. Lana also had spoken about how she never gave up on her musical dream. So, she was pursuing a life of fame and fortune most likely without considering its toll.
‘Men in Music Business Conference’ is as hard of a slap as Lana could have extended towards the music industry. While she is signaling the sexism that still exists in the music industry, she also highlights how music has become a mere business.
The singer recollects the care-free Summers she spent as a teenager, earning a few bucks from her job, spending it on drinks, junk food, and listening to rock music all day. She specifically references the rock duo The White Stripes (1997-2011) from Detroit.
Spiraling in and out of her trip down the memory lane, Lana Del Rey confesses that if she could have that life, she would exchange it for what she has now in a heartbeat. Why? “Because it made me feel, made me feel like a god.”
The white dress is symbolic of everything Lana Del Rey used to adore and enjoy in her life. She will not be able to relive that simple life ever again. But she is able to imagine.
Let us know what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.