Lana Del Rey got into the protest song game with the dreamy “Coachella-Woodstock in My Mind”.
One of the only good things to come out George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency was protest songs. Everyone from Radiohead to Rilo Kiley had something to say about Dubya’s leadership skills, or lack thereof. So when Trump won the election on that grey November eve, the one solace we found was that perhaps protest music—which had subsided during the Obama years—would once again flourish.
So far so good. In January, Fiona Apple unleashed “Tiny Hands,” a scathing diss track that mocks Trump’s tiny appendages. A few months later, Kendrick Lamar released Damn., a fiery assault on Donald Trump masking as a rap album. Now, it’s Lana’s turn.
This isn’t a headshot in the vein of “Tiny Hands”. Instead, Del Rey openly wonders where it all went wrong. She looks to God, not Trump, for the answer. Del Rey wrote the song on the way home from Coachella, where she’d spent the weekend partying while the world around her felt like it was going to shit.
“I guess I was in it ’cause, baby, for a minute/ It was Woodstock in my mind,” she sings. “What about all these children?/ And what about all their parents?/ And what about all their crowns they wear in hair so long like mine?” At its core, Del Rey’s attempt at political pop is really just a way to reconcile her own complex feelings about how to act in this current political climate.
She laments that she’d “trade the fame and the fortune and the legend” if she could “ask him one question.” If that question is: “Should go back to Coachella next year if Trump is still president?” then the answer is yes, especially if it leads to another song this good.
Del Rey explored her privilege making music in a Twitter image accompanying the announcement of the single.
“What a blessing it is to make music in general,” she wrote. “And to have the freedom to put songs out about things that move me in real time.”
Listen to “Coachella-Woodstock in My Mind,”—which we hope will be on Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album Lust for Life—below.