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What Does Lorde's "Royals" song mean?

Updated on September 13, 2013
Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor
Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor | Source

Ella Yelich-O'Connor, also know as Lorde (her stage name) is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Lorde was born on November 7, 1996 in Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand. Her song entitled "Royals" which was release in 2013 peaked at number 3 in the US, number 1 in New Zealand and number 4 in Canada. Royals has hit the number one spot on the US Alternative and US Rock charts.

Lorde's "Royals" Song Full Lyrics

Verse 1
I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town
No post code envy

Pre Chorus
But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

Chorus
And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule...)
Let me live that fantasy

Verse 2
My friends and I we've cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this
We didn't come from money

Pre Chorus & Chorus


(Oooh ooooh ohhh)
We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen
(Oooooh ooooh ohhhhh)
Life is game without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair

Chorus

Lorde "Royals" Video

Royal's Meaning and Interpretation

The reason why I like Royals so much, is not only of the beat and the vocal quality, but of the lyrics that I think are pure genius.

This song is about how the influx of songs these days are about materialistic things, glamour, money, fame, riches, and women - amongst other things.

This anthem is anti-rap in it's purest form. You'll notice that most rap music talks about treating women as "objects," diamonds, money, cash, drinking expensive liquor, expensive cars, jewellery, etc.

Lorde is just being real with us that most of us will never attain that level of money, luxury and wealth. I'm glad she wrote this song because it just goes to show you that someone else is thinking reversely about the images that these much rap songs and even Hollywood put in our minds.

This song is the epitome of most (if not all) rap music. Because it seems to me, that all (or the majority) of rap songs talk about the same thing. Money, treating women as objects, partying in the club, drinking mass amounts of expensive liquor, how many and what kind of cars they have, etc. This is definitely a refreshing change of pace that kind of makes fun of just how shallow some people are, and how rap music contains no substance these days.

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Verse 1 Interpretation & meaning

I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town
No post code envy

Verse one talks about diamonds and addresses. FIrst, she's saying she cut her teeth on wedding rings (diamonds of course) in the movies because that's all that she has seen. The media and Hollywood portrays this lavish lifestyle and all that she has learned was from the movies. Hence, her saying that she's never seen a diamond in person. She later goes on to say that she's not proud of her address. And that there's no postcode envy with where she's from. It's not like we're going to want to go to where she's from. Whereas many people know the Beverly HIlls zip code by heart (90210). And you see how the media engraves this in our mind?

Pre Chorus Interpretation and Meaning

But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

In the pre-chorus, Lorde goes on to say the essentials of the materilistic life and much of the substance of what rap songs are about. Things like gold teeth or "grills," Grey Goose fine liquor, fine watches, doing drugs in the bathroom and living lavishly and not caring about the hotel they stay at when on the road. Lorde says we shouldn't care about these materialistic things because "we're driving Cadillac's in our dreams." Sometimes fantasy is much more reliable and consistent compared to reality. You can also escape the pressures of reality by just dreaming. And when she says "we don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair," means that we really don't care about all those things that you think are so important.

Chorus Interpretation and Meaning

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule (I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule...)
Let me live that fantasy

The chorus is quite simple. Lorde will never be famous and materialistic to that extent. It's not who she is. She appreciates different things in life, and it's not those things.

Verse 2 Interpretation and Meaning

My friends and I we've cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this
We didn't come from money

Here, Lorde points at her reality. Her and her friends count their dollars, as in single dollar, as opposed to $100 dollar bills on public transit. Not in a Maybach. And they're just fine with accepting this. They think that money is irrelevant and not important.

Bridge Interpretation and Meaning

(Oooh ooooh ohhh)
We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen
(Oooooh ooooh ohhhhh)
Life is game without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair

Isn't this so ironic? Lorde has created a song poking at this stylish lifestyle, which in turn made her the top of the charts (hence "I'm in love with being queen"). She KNEW that she had a hit on her hands.

© 2013 jaydawg808

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    • profile image

      DiDi 3 years ago

      I heard this song for the first time with my sister Arlene, reminds me that(oh yea I heard this song with my sister )I say that in my head hehe then I Jam out to it. It'll probably be a memory song

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Had no idea she was so young. Wow, very talented singer, this Lorde gal is!

    • profile image

      Alexis 3 years ago

      I love this song so much I wish I could buy it

    • Brittany Kussman profile image

      Brittany Kussman 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I never rally paid that close attention to the lyrics of the song, and you bring some interesting points to light. Great hub and an excellent interpretation of the song. I really like how you point out how this is an anti-rap anthem. Very interesting!

    • Tro Iskedjian profile image

      Tro Iskedjian 2 years ago

      Although there are many powerful rap songs that do touch upon meaningful messages, unfortunately we live in an era where the only songs that make it to the radio are the ones glorifying a materialistic and non-stop partying lifestyle. Great interpretation of a very meaningful and powerful song by such a young talent.

    • harrist profile image

      harrist 2 years ago from on the Net

      what I like from this song is saying "I'll rule" like( auuu) :P

      maybe its just me, :p hehhee!

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