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Album: Born To DieReleased: 2012
This cautionary tale of a doomed woman who sells her body on the streets is littered with Coney Island references. Del Rey told The Sun: "Carmen is a song I can't say too much about because it's so close to my heart. It's the song on the record I relate to most closely. It's set partly in Coney Island, a place that's been important to me throughout my New York City career."
Coney Island is a peninsula in southernmost Brooklyn, New York City, USA, with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. As well as containing America's one time largest amusement park, it was America's original Sin City, decades before Las Vegas, and was rife with prostitution.
For those of you who skipped your French lessons at school, Lana's French spoken part translates as "My love, I know that you love me too/You need me, you need me in your life/You can't live without me/And I'd die without you/I'd kill for you."
The song's 17-year-old protagonist suffers from substance abuse. Del Rey admitted in 2012 that she had a problem with alcohol when she was a teenager, but hasn't drunk for a number of years.
The song came about in a natural way. Del Rey recalled to Complex magazine: "I was out really late and walking to the tempo of my own rhythm, and then I just started singing, 'Carmen, Carmen doesn't have a problem lying to herself cause her liquor's top shelf.' And it was an easy cadence. The whole thing just came, and I think I was in a really good place then, so it was like things... it was really easy to channel."