Lana Del Rey explains the emotional meaning behind her Kintsugi lyrics

24 March 2023, 11:56

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By Sam Prance

What does Kintsugi mean? Here's what Lana Del Rey's Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd song is about.

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Lana Del Rey's Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is finally here but what do her 'Kintsugi' lyrics mean?

Today (Mar 24), Lana Del Rey released her ninth studio album Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. With production from the likes of Jack Antonoff and Zach Dawes, the record has been praised by critics as a highlight in Lana's ever-growing discography. From 'A&W' to the wild 'Judah Smith Interlude', it's a true Lana album through and through.

A fan favourite track on the project is 'Kintsugi' and the meaning behind Lana's 'Kintsugi' lyrics is heartbreakingly beautiful.

What are Lana Del Rey's 'Kintsugi' lyrics about?

Lana Del Rey Kintsugi lyrics: The meaning explained
Lana Del Rey Kintsugi lyrics: The meaning explained. Picture: Mat Hayward/Getty Images, Interscope Records

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broking pottery without trying to disguise that the fact that the pottery was broken. It dates all the way back to the 15th century and it treats cracks and breakages in pottery by filling them with liquid gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy behind the art is that an object's history, however volatile, ultimately makes it more beautiful.

Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, Lana said: "'Kintsugi' I started writing naturally when my sister and my dad and I were at my great uncle Dick's hospice in Manhattan Beach with all 50 of the Grant members." She then added: "Almost don't need to explain that metaphor to the idea of falling apart and rebuilding one's life back even more beautifully."

Lana revealed that singing with her family around her uncle's bed she had an epiphany. Lana said: "I always thought I sang to get out of my small town and then I realised that has nothing to do with it. And then somehow I went from talking about family to talking about people I'm dating, to talking to my dad, that I miss them."

Lana Del Rey on Kintsugi, lessons she's learnt, and the minutia of everyday life

In 'Kintsugi', Lana sings about family members of hers who've passed away, how their deaths affected her and how she was able to work through her grief. In the second verse, Lana sings: "And I just can't stop cryin' 'cause all of the ways / When you see someone dyin' / You see all your days flash in front of you / And you think about who would be with you."

Lana then references 'Kintsugi' in the third verse. She adds: "Think by the third of March, I was cracked open / Finally, the ground was cold, they wouldn't open / Brought by the sunlight of the spirit to pour into me / There's a name for it in Japanese, it's "Kintsugi"."

Lana Del Rey - Kintsugi (Audio)

Describing the song in a conversation with Billie Eilish for Interview, Lana said: "With this album, the majority of it is my innermost thoughts. Some of the songs are super long and wordy like 'Kinstugi'."

She then added: "I was almost nervous to send the voice notes to Drew Erickson".

'Kintsugi' will no doubt mean a lot to any Lana fan who's experienced grief.

Lana Del Rey's 'Kintsugi' lyrics

VERSE 1
There's a certain point the body can't come back from
In one year, we've learned the turn of the mouth
The depth that the chest cavity takes
Chucky was there for three out of three
I was there for the third 'cause I couldn't be
There for the one who was closest to me
But I can't say I'd run when things get hard
It's just that I don't trust myself with my heart
But I've had to let it break a little more
'Cause they say that's what it's for

CHORUS
That's how the light shines in
That's how the light shines in
That's how the light gets in (Mm-mm)

VERSE 2
So everyone was there, they were standin', laughin'
And I'm on the side with my tears streamin' down
There's somethin' about the clutch of the wrist
He thought mine was his to carve into his mouth
We've only got hours
And I just can't stop cryin' 'cause all of the ways
When you see someone dyin'
You see all your days flash in front of you
And you think about who would be with you
And then there's Donoghue

BRIDGE
Daddy, I miss them
I'm in the mountains
I'm probably runnin' away from the feelings I get
When I think all the things about them
Daddy, I miss them
I'm at the Roadrunner Café
I'm probably runnin' away from the thoughts in the day
I'd have things to do with them, but they say

CHORUS
"That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in"

VERSE 3
Think by the third of March, I was cracked open
Finally, the ground was cold, they wouldn't open
Brought by the sunlight of the spirit to pour into me
There's a name for it in Japanese, it's "Kintsugi"
They sang folk songs from the '40s
Even the fourteen-year old knew "Froggie Came A-Courtin"
How do my blood relatives know all of these songs?
I don't know anyone left to know songs that I sing

CHORUS
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
It's how the light gets in

BRIDGE
But daddy, I miss them
I'm at the Roadrunner Café
Probably runnin' away from the feelings today
In the snow-capped mountains of the desert
Daddy, I miss them
I'm in the mountains
Probably runnin' away, I've been meaning to say
That there's nothing to do except know that this is

OUTRO
How the light gets in
Like cracking, the light gets in
It's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
Then you're golden, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah
Just another folk song, but anyway
I try so hard, but that's okay
It's how the light gets in
It's how the light gets in

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