The lyrical universe of Lana Del Rey, charted

It was the Queen of Saigon, in the pale moonlight, with the party dress

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To be a fan of, or even just have a healthy interest in Lana Del Rey is to enter a world and mythology every bit as dense and geekable as something by George R. R. Martin. Since breaking out in 2011 with her langorous first hit "Video Games," the aggressively self-styled singer songwriter has gained legions of fans, many of whom are inspired and egged on by the foggy relationship between her lyrical truths and biographical facts. Blue hydrangeas are the dizzying Carcosa-spirals of Lana Del Rey fandom.

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Lana Del Rey sings about Chateau Marmont trysts, drug trafficking in Florida, and taking up with a biker gang. She's talked about her relationship with an unnamed record executive who was the "love of her life," going to rehab at the age of 14, and living in a New Jersey trailer park during an early stage of her career. The world of Lana Del Rey is one of sex, drugs and Americana, and at a certain point the universe she has constructed in her prolific output was no longer reliant on "the real Elizabeth Grant," and became its own towering, novelistic body of work.

Part of that proliferation is due to a steady stream of leaked unreleased songs that made their way to the internet in 2012 and 2013, fans became privy to many songs that were clearly precursors or studies for later official album cuts. But even in her officially sanctioned material there are ideas that she keeps returning to, little fixations and favorite phrases that make her heightened world all the more personal. You can see YouTube commenters getting their minds blown when they find these connections; these small revelations and puzzle pieces are so much of the pull of her music. Like any queen inspiring the love and devotion of millions, she has gone by many names: Lana Rey Del Mar, Lizzie Grant, May Jailer, Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. But the 100+ plus songs and lyrics below belong to one diamond-like mind.

How to use the chart: zoom in by scrolling up. Hover over a song or lyric to see its connections, click to see details and a full list of associated terms. Move around the chart by clicking and dragging.

And hey, enjoy some mood music with the Spotify playlist below!

Data visualization by Josh Laincz


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