Here, Lana Del Rey sings of searching for a place that's free from intrusive press photographers.
It took 13 beaches to find one empty
But finally, it's mine
With dripping peaches, I'm camera ready
Almost all the time
She contrasts her attempts to escape the paparazzi with lyrics describing the way she hides her emotions for a man who hurts her in the same way the media does.
It hurts to love you
But I still love you
It's just the way I feel
The song was inspired by an actual experience that Lana Del Rey had during the summer of 2016, She revealed in an interview with Paris Match:
"I wrote the song '13 Beaches' to tell how last summer I had to search 13 beaches before finding one without the paparazzi, where I could sit and read a book… But we get used to it. Maybe the game is worth the candle."
During an interview with NME Del Rey said her aim on Lust For Life was to move on and feel as happy as she looks on the album cover.
"That was my goal, you know, to get to that place of feeling like in my daily life I had a lot of momentum," she said. "Like a moving-on-ness from wherever that other place was that Honeymoon and Ultraviolence came from. I loved those records, but I felt a little stuck in the same spot."
Asked how she managed to move on, Del Rey responded: "I just felt a little more present. Writing a song like '13 Beaches' – it's a little bit of an abstract notion, but for me it took stopping at 13 beaches one hot day to find one that nobody was at. And I just thought, you know, the concept of needing to find 13 beaches might seem like a luxury problem for someone, but that's OK, I'm going to go with that."
The song's intro is a vocal sample from the 1962 horror movie Carnival Of Souls.
Lana Del Rey usually records her vocals in just a few takes, but she needed a lot more attempts before she was happy with her singing for this song. "The mood that I needed to convey was better than what I was doing," Del Rey explained to NME. "I knew it was important that I came in straight as an arrow with that one. I always feel like I'm creating a new path when I'm doing a song."