I miss Long Beach and I miss you, babe
I miss dancing with you the most of all
I miss the bar where the Beach Boys would go
Dennis' last stop before Kokomo..
ChorusAnd I'm wasted
Don't leave, I just need a wake-up call
I'm facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess I'm signing off after all...
If this is it, I'm signing off
Miss doing nothing the most of all
Hawaii just missed that fireball
L.A. is in flames, it's getting hot
Kanye West is blond and gone
"Life on Mars?" ain't just a song
Lyrical analysisOn the Norman Fucking Rockwell track "the greatest" Del Rey expresses her nostalgia for her old relationships and for the "good old days".She opens the track yearning her memories with her lover at long beach.She also mentions "kokomo" which signifies death; she implies that Dennis’s last stop before drowning in the dreamlike Kokomo island’s waters was at a bar.
In the lines of the chorus Del Rey mentions,quote "and im wasted.Dont leave,I just need a wake-up call.Im facing the greatest,the greatest loss of them all.The culture is lit and I had a ball,I guess Im signing off after all.." with these melancholic lyrics she explains to us her being in a state of ruin and despair.Further in the song,she talks about the tragic state of the current cullture,not only imping that the culture is in a state of ruin,but also the effect this has on people seeing the downfall of society e.g "Kanye West is blond and gone".On the line "The cuture is lit and I had a ball I guess Im signing off after all" Del Rey explains to us in her tragedic manor,that the "americana" culture has had a downfall and atleast she enjoyed it while it lasted,but now the time for her to quit has come.She also has hinted to us in the new "Did you know theres a tunnel under ocean blvd" album that the americana and glamourization culture has had a major downfall and how she is tired and sick of it.In the second verse of the song,"If this is it,Im signing off.Miss doing nothing the most of all" she says that if this is all there is to this newly created culture where art is not how it used to be,Lana doesnt want anything to do with it telling us that maybe the whole "glamourizing abuse and drugs" aesthetic which was seen in her older songs was just a artistic concept not that deep to begin with and she got very misunderstood by the media and that she misses her life before the musical success and fame.On the further lines she expresses the change of climate in L.A because of global warming and criticizes the status of the world and constant chaos it is in.Then with the line "Kanye west is blond and gone" she criticizes Kanye West and his,at that time political views where he supported Donald Trump and on "Life on Mars aint just a song" she refernces the David bowie hit song "Life on Mars" and how the at that time attempts of going to mars and potentially starting life there were happening and it wasnt just a hit song title anymore.
My thoughts are that the message Lana Del Rey wants to gives us in her song is that the world is changing and we are currently experiencing a very big downfall of hollywood and culture but alsotalks about her personal life,and how she misses the days she used to spend with her ex lover in long beach California.
The greatest has a soft flowy melody played on the piano.It is written in the key of F Major.The chord complexity is 40,melodic complexity 18,Chord-Melody tension 22,Chord progression novelty 71 and the chord bass melody is 97.This song has higher comlexity than the average song in terms of Chord progression novelty and Chord-bass melody.For more on the greatest`s melody and to learn how to play it on the piano copy and paste in your browser the link below.
Notes:Please not that I am not a professional and some of the lyrical analysis is based on https://genius.com/Lana-del-rey-the-greatest-lyrics and the rest are my personal opinions.The musical analysis has information from https://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/lana-del-rey/the-greatest