Sunday Music: Lana Del Ray’s “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”

Lana Del Ray’s like that quirky friend who you look at in a moment and think “what the hell did you just say?!” but then 3 and a half hours later you’re staring out a window before bed, going to yourself, “well that was some stuff. Damn. No seriously, damn.”

The title track on her latest album has been lingering in my head for weeks now. Apparently, there’s an abandoned tunnel, built in the 1920s, for people to safely get across town and to the beach in Long Beach, CA. It’s been closed to the public since the mid-60s and mostly forgotten about. 

At one point, it was pretty awesome. It’s inanimate, and yet it’s infinitely relatable. 

You’re young, useful, beautiful, and then they forget about you. Or at least that’s the way it feels. Because if you’re paying attention, or maybe looking over your shoulder with squinted eyes, you might start to feel like you can sense it coming. 

It’s quite an emotional place to write a song from.

Her lyrics are too much to win a middle-school poetry contest, and too pop to get a Pulitzer, but they’re also Mary Oliver with a midafternoon hangover and irreverent sneer level good. 

Nobody makes stakes quite the way she does. You have to respect it.  

Listen to the song, give the whole record a spin if you like this kind of thing, and read my only other Lana Del Ray post grappling with similar subject matter here