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Carmen by Lana Del Rey

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."
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