Lyric Breakdown – Best American Record by Lana Del Rey

My baby used to dance underneath my architecture

  • This could have a double meaning, the first being sex (he would “dance) (move about sexually) beneath her body (”architecture”)); the other meaning could be he used to “dance” (be wild, free and happy) beneath her “architecture” (stability), meaning he was a wild person supported by her

To the ‘Houses of the Holy’

  • Houses of the Holy is an album by Led Zeppelin

Smoking on them cigarettes

My baby used to dance underneath my architecture

He was cool as heck

He was cool as heck

  • He was a cool guy, clearly because he used to write music and be a performer and guitar player, so Lana did admire him

But you were so obsessed with writing the next best American record

  • This person just wanted to be famous for his creativity, most likely for the importance and money rather than the music

But there was nothing left by the time we got to bed

  • There was so much time spent on his goal that he neglected Lana and was too tired to even be with her sexually

Baby that’s a shame

  • She did really like him and doesn’t feel happy that it ended

You were so obsessed with writing the next best American record

You did it all for fame

You did it all for fame

You did it all for fame

  • She repeats many phrases to emphasise what she’s trying to say, such as “he was cool as heck” (showing how cool she thought he was), the architecture line which indicates how he was taken care of by her, the best American record line which highlights the exact issue, and now “you did it all for fame” which points out his major flaw, particularly from a genuine artist perspective

Tell me how it treats you now

  • She wants to know how he feels now his plan has fallen through, and is feeling quite bitter that he destroyed what they had for nothing

You did it all for fame

How does that taste coming out

  • She is bitter but now he no longer wears the rose-tinted glasses when thinking of his own music, realising how badly he has fallen

You did it all for fame

Baby, how’s life treating you now

It’s over

  • Both his dream and the relationship are done; he can have neither

My baby used to dance underneath my architecture

He was seventies in spirit; nineties in his frame of mind

  • The seventies was a time of freedom and creativity (music really stood out in that era), so he was a carefree, peace-loving man with brilliant talent; the nineties was a period of drugs and other quite negative things, so though his spirit is great he has a broken mind

My baby used to dance underneath my architecture

We lost track of space

We lost track of time

  • They were caught up in their own world and it went beyond basic laws of science – it was good

PRE-CHORUS

(You know what I’m talking about)

  • Lana’s whisper is on a more personal level rather than the singing, as she’s actually speaking; she addresses the person she is talking about by actually saying the words and helping them realise what happened, though may also be talking to the fans who have had (maybe) a similar experience; it makes the words more real

You did it all for fame

Tell me how it treats you now

You did it all for fame

How does that taste coming out

Now that you lost the game

  • He tried to get his music out and see if he would write the best American record or not, but in the end he failed and “lost the game”, meaning he is now a loser

Honey, how’s life treating you now

That it’s over

Baby, how you feeling now

That I told you

It’s true

All the roads lead to you

  • Lana’s thinking about how everywhere she goes, she is going towards him, as everything reminds her of him and she always finds her way back to him despite what he’s done

Everything I want and do

  • Even her desires and actions lead back to him, so she is subconsciously trying to keep him in her life

All the things that I say

It’s true

All the roads lead to you

Like the 405 I drive through

  • An interstate based around LA; she travels it often and it perhaps leads straight to his location; she maybe drives on it on purpose to be near him

Every night and every day

  • She’s always on that road, which is possibly a metaphor for how she is always wanting him

I see you for who you really are

  • She knows he is selfish and wants only the best for himself rather than caring for her, yet it could also mean she can understand that he is a great musician and why he believes in himself so much

Why the thousands of girls

  • He has many groupies who adore him

Love the way Bill plays guitar

  • Bill is mentioned in several other songs and may be a real person from her life; these girls love his music; Lana can understand that because she knows he is a good musician

CHORUS

Honey, how is it feeling now?

(Honey, how’s it feeling?, Honey, how’s it feeling?)

  • She’s almost mocking him, repeating the question as now he has made her feel bad by putting himself first, and his failure has made him feel as bad as her

I told you

  • She told him previously that he was selfish, and even that he shouldn’t be unprepared for failure, but he ignored her, so now she is reminding him that she tried to help

(Honey, how’s it feeling?, Honey, how’s it feeling?)

I told you


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