Pop Poetry

LordeIf I don’t keep up with what’s going on musically, I feel irremediably old. So I maintain a sampling of Miley Cyrus, Drake, Rihanna and the lesser-known wonders my musician brother keeps me privy to in my playlist. From experience, I can tell you that it’s true, babies love Beyonce.

One new musician that “everyone” is talking about is 17-year-old New Zealander Lorde. She’s on the current cover of the Rolling Stones and won two Grammies this past weekend for her album “Pure Heroine.”

But what I want to highlight is that she is a poetry-loving bookworm. Here is what she told Rolling Stones in her interview:

I have this thing with, like, words being in that perfect order, and you know exactly how they’re trying to make you feel. And the order of the words. . .just, like, slapping you in the heart.

In her songs she ridicules pop music’s obsession with gold and points at the distance this materialism drives between itself and its very audience. She rarely smiles and keeps covered up. Her mother claims she read 1,000 books by age 12. Even adjusted for maternal inflation, this is an awesome figure.

Since song lyrics are the form of poetry that get the most air play today, I wanted to share those of her hit “Royals.” Compared to the usual assortment of “Get Dirty and Dance” tracks, her music, her age and her presence are an infinitely poetic respite.

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 a torn-up town, no postcode envy

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

And we’ll never be royals
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luxe 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

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

And we’ll never be royals
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luxe 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

Ooh ooh oh
We’re bigger than we ever dreamed
And I’m in love with being queen
Ooh ooh oh
Life is great without a care
We aren’t caught up in your love affair

And we’ll never be royals
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luxe 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

Click here to see her stunning, pared-down Grammy performance of this song.

 

Photo by Kirk Stauffer, published in Wikimedia Commons. This is part of my ongoing collaboration with Zeteo Journal. Please click here to see more. 

 

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