Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

Album: Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" references the forgotten Jergins Tunnel under Hollywood Boulevard in Long Beach, California. Lana Del Rey uses the abandoned underground passageway as a metaphor for her wish to be loved.
  • Built in 1927 with the purpose of connecting pedestrians to the beach, the Jergins Tunnel closed in 1967. Del Rey celebrates the carefully decorated passageway in the first verse:

    Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard?
    Mosaic ceilings, painted tiles on the wall
  • In the chorus, Del Rey likens herself to the closed-off tunnel, fearing she's going to be abandoned by the public in the same way.

    When's it gonna be my turn?
    Open me up, tell me you like it
  • In the second verse, Del Rey continues to feel unappreciated as she references The Eagles' classic number about superficial American culture.

    There's a girl that sings "Hotel California"
    Not because she loves the notes or sounds that sound like Florida
    It's because she's in a world, preserved, only a few have found the door


    Del Rey previously name-checked "Hotel California" on her 2015 Honeymoon track "God Knows I Tried."

    She then compares herself to the Camarillo State Mental Hospital, which now houses the California State University Channel Islands.

    It's like Camarillo, only silver mirrors, running down the corridor
    Oh, man


    Musicians often referred to the Camarillo State Mental Hospital because of its proximity to the media center of Los Angeles.
  • Del Rey pays tribute to Harry Nilsson's 1974 track "Don't Forget Me" on the third verse.

    Harry Nilsson has a song, his voice breaks at 2:05
    Something about the way he says "Don't forget me" makes me feel like
    I just wish I had a friend like him, someone to get me by


    At 2:05, as Nilsson's voice crackles with emotion, he sings:

    Don't forget me, make it easy only just for a little while
    You know I think about you, let me know you think about me, too


    John Lennon produced "Don't Forget Me," and Del Rey wishes she had a friend like Lennon was to Nilsson.

    Lennon in the back, whisperin' in my ear
    "Come on, baby, you can thrive"
  • Del Rey's piano-heavy baroque pop song samples the melody of "Don't Forget Me."
  • Del Rey co-wrote "Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" with Mike Hermosa. A director, producer, and co-owner of Wild7 films, Hermosa dated Del Rey in 2021.
  • Del Rey and Hermosa also co-produced the song with Drew Erickson, Jack Antonoff, and Zach Dawes. Antonoff previously worked on the singer-songwriter's Norman F---king Rockwell (2019) and Chemtrails Over the Country Club (2021) albums. Erickson and Dawes collaborated with Del Rey on Blue Bannisters, also released in 2021.
  • Erickson arranged the strings, conducted the orchestra, and played the piano. Antonoff contributed electric guitar and drums (with Jim Keltner). Both Erickson and Antonoff played the synth bass, and Hermosa performed acoustic guitar with Benji Lysaght. The other musicians are:

    Violin: Paul J. Cartwright, Wynton Grant, Charlie Bisharat and Andrew Bulbrook
    Saxophone and clarinet: Logan Hone
    Cello: Christine Kim and Jake Braun
  • UMG, Polydor and Interscope released "Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" as the lead single from Del Rey's ninth studio album on December 7, 2022. It also serves as the record's title track.
  • Few songs have as many as 10 words in their title, but this isn't even Lana Del Rey's longest. That would be "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me to Have - But I Have it."

    The longest song title we can find is Sufjan Stevens' Illinois track (deep breath): ''The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, 'I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!"

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