Lyric Breakdown – Summer of Sam by Lana Del Rey

Like the summer of Sam, back in ‘69

  • Reference to the movie Summer Of Sam, where the main character was killing

I’d be heavenly, deadly on the grind

  • Lana is “heavenly” yet, in opposition, is also “deadly”; Lana is working hard (“on the grind”)

Cause to sing this nice has to be a crime

  • She thinks she has such a great voice that it must surely be something she’ll get in trouble for

I be murdering and murdering ’em

  • She may be metaphorically “murdering” people as she is such a great singer and her voice is so impressive

Like the summer of love back in ’69

  • She is singing about the mid-twentieth when people wanted to ‘make love not war’, which is an era she loves

You can say that I’m yours, but my body is divine

  • Lana doesn’t mind people wanting her but she thinks she is too hot to belong to anyone

I belong to everybody that I walk by

  • Everyone who passes Lana loves her and they all want her to be theirs

Like hi, hi

I’m the master of my destiny

  • Lana has control of herself and her life, so no one can decide for her

You haven’t seen the best of me

  • Lana still has amazing things (possibly music) to come

And if you want the rest of me

You’ll have to pay a lovely fee

  • This could be a reference to her being a stripper or a prostitute, where you have to pay to get more; it could just be a reference to how people must pay for music so if they want more of it they need to pay; Lana loves money so gets it where she can

Hard to stay far, far away from me

  • No one can resist Lana

Cause I am the baddest girl in NYC

  • Lana is back to referencing her high status in New York

You can look but please don’t touch boy

  • She doesn’t mind people giving her attention but she still wants the utmost control of herself

Stay away from me

  • She doesn’t want people getting to close to her, which could be a diva thing or she may just be making sure she gets her way

Baby I’m a cinnamon girl

  • Cinnamon tastes nice (like other sweet flavours) but it’s still spicy and strong, so you have to be careful; it’s also not a completely sweet flavour, much like Lana

Keeping it fresh on the far east side

  • New York is on the east side so she, the ‘queen of New York’ is always up to date from her area of America in terms of style, fashion and trends (particularly in music)

Baby I’m a tenement girl

  • Lana may have lived in the overcrowded housing in New York, showing she is grounded and doesn’t just come from money

Keepin’ it in touch, your cherry pie

  • People want to talk to her; ‘cherry pie’ may be a nickname for her as it’s something sweet and tempting

B-A-D-D-E-S-T, baddest girl in NYC

  • Lana childishly spells out the word, showing her youth and irresponsibility, not to mention linking to the cheerleader theme of Jealous Girl

Baby I’m a dangerous girl

You should stay away from me

  • People should be careful around her or even avoid her altogether as she may cause harm, either literally from her actions or perhaps because she is so great at what she does

I’ve been murdering and murdering ’em
I be murdering and murdering ’em

Like the summer of Sam, back in ’69

I’ll be tying them up, and hang ’em out to dry

  • Lana is tying people in knots (such as how people get tongue-tied around others they admire), so they are getting all mixed up around her; being hung out to dry can mean feeling unfinished and unsatisfied, particularly sexually, so she is not going all the way for those that want her

Cause I’m hot like that when I walk, they die

  • They can’t handle how hot she is when she passes

I be murdering and murdering ’em

Like the summer of love back in ’69

When I get on the microphone my, my

They be looking at each other like ay, ay, ay

  • The people that go to watch her sing look at one another in disbelief and admiration for her

Like bye, bye

  • Despite the way she likes the attention, she still doesn’t want anything to do with them

Please excuse m-my vivacity, capacity for hating

  • She’s apologetic that people find her so brilliant to be around; “capacity for hating” may refer to her own feelings of hatred for those she considers beneath her or her admiration or it could be how people hate her for how great she is (considering she “murders” them)

Cause it’s incredible

It’s better if you stay away from me

I know it’s hard, hard to stay far, far away from me

  • She knows people can’t resist her but she insists they don’t come near her or even try to handle her greatness

I am the baddest girl in NYC

You can look but please don’t touch

CHORUS

I’ve been murdering and murdering ’em

Happily

  • She enjoys how people react to her

Murdering and murdering ’em ah, ah

Murdering and murdering ’em

I’m diggable, predicatable

  • “Diggable” refers to how other people understand her, so people can relate to her on some kind of level; people also know what kind of person she is and the kind of things they do, most likely because they like to watch what she does

No, everyone knows all my people

  • Her friends and possibly other people she works with are all well-known and famous

I’ll give you a fistful

  • It could mean a fistful of money, since she may be making so much she can give it away, though it’s more likely to be how she is going to be violent; she’s threatening them to keep them away from her or to show how much of a “tenement girl” she is

You know you’ll be in a fight

  • They’ll either fight her or fight over her

Unmissable, invincible, behaviour is despicable

  • She does things no one should miss because that’s how exciting she is; she’s “invincible”, hence though she does dangerous things she cannot be hurt; her “despicable” behaviour (much like the “murdering” and the “fistful”) shows she’s a bad girl

If you’re lookin’ for fun you can come out with me tonight

  • She knows all the enjoyable things to do

I am the baddest girl in NYC

I am the baddest, ya liking what you see? Yup!

  • Even though Lana asks the question, she knows the answer as she knows everyone admires her

CHORUS

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