Blue Banisters

Album: Blue Banisters (2021)
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  • Blue is Lana Del Rey's favorite color. On the chorus of this piano ballad, she sings of a past love interest who promised to come back every summer and help her "paint my banisters blue." Del Rey hoped the man would "give me children, take away my pain."

    The rest of the song finds Del Rey on the mend after the relationship didn't work out. Her female friends act as a support system and help her get over her romantic disappointment.

    On the second trip to the chorus we learn it's "her sisters" who now come every summer to paint her banisters green and her blue banisters gray.
  • Various real life people and pets crop up in the song. They include:

    Lana's close friend Jenny (she is one of the girls on the cover of the Chemtrails Over The Country Club album). The song starts off with Jenny questioning the singer about a photo of her sitting on a John Deere tractor. She then asks her about some dry flowers on her dresser. In both cases, Del Rey replies, "Oklahoma."

    In the pre-chorus, Jenny jumps into the pool and swims with Nikki Lane. Another of Del Rey's longtime friends, country singer-songwriter Lane, dueted on her Chemtrails Over The Country Club song "Breaking Up Slowly."

    Later on in the song, Del Rey writes with Lane while Jenny smokes by the pool. They talk about how "the power of us three can bring absolutely anything" except the rain that washes away "diamonds and rust" memories. This is an allusion to Joan Baez's "Diamonds & Rust" where she remembers her past relationship with Bob Dylan.

    Del Rey namechecks her sister, Caroline "Chuck" Grant, as helping paint her banisters green and grey. A photographer, Chuck has shot several of Lana's most iconic album covers as well as her videos for "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Venice Bitch." Grant also has writing credits on the Blue Banisters track ''Sweet Carolina."

    Del Rey recounts her two dogs, Tex and Mex, are "in the bay." The pair of pooches feature on the Blue Banisters album cover with her.
  • Del Rey's "Oklahoma" replies to Jenny may give a clue to the identity of her ex. Her former boyfriend, Sean "Sticks" Larkin, whom she dated for several months to March 2020, works in Tulsa, Oklahoma's police department.
  • Other songs where Del Rey references painting blue include:

    "Norman F---ing Rockwell" (Your head in your hands. As you color me blue")

    "Venice Bitch" ("Paint me happy and blue. Norman Rockwell")
  • Del Rey wrote the tranquil ballad with Gabe Simon, guitarist in the Nashville alternative rock band Kopecky. Simon also produced the track and played the piano and organ.
  • This is the title track of Del Rey's Blue Banisters album. The singer previewed the record in on May 20, 2021 with the release of this song, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire."
  • Chris Ripley directed the video, which Del Rey released on October 20, 2021. The singer planned on having her boyfriend, musician Clayton Johnson, feature in the clip, but she cut his contribution following their breakup. Instead we see Del Rey acting out lines from the track with her sisters; they show up painting the titular banisters, baking a birthday cake, and riding a tractor.


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