Lana Del Rey’s “Looking for America” is a modern-day example of the kinds of Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam songs that were popular in the 60s. Artist’s like Joan Baez, the group Peter, Paul & Mary, Joni Mitchell, and even Judy Collins being some of the female protest anthem artists who preceded Del Rey.

I will analyze the lyrics, music, vocal delivery, and single artwork for this song as well as consider this song as it is in line or how it deviates from Del Rey’s overall body of work. Preliminarily, what intrigues me about this song is that there are several places that Del Rey mentions throughout the verse of the song. I plan on analyzing their significance in terms of their history as well as what they might represent today. Location also can speak to cultural and racial identities, so I will be exploring that as well.

I want to explore this song because Lana Del Rey has been a really significant artist for me. I’ve listened to her since high school and I’m still listening to her, including her older works, but mostly her latest works which to me indicates how she has evolved as an artist in her lyrical, musical, and vocal substance.

Because this song was not put onto Del Rey’s latest album, “Norman F—ing Rockwell” I didn’t really listen to this song until recently. There are overt lyrical statements present, but the instrumentation is minimal. The song is protesting against gun violence, and reflects back on a time when children could play outside and not have to worry about getting shot.

A little later in the process I will read articles explaining what specific cultural event happened that Del Rey is responding to. I want to postpone this as much as I can so as not to sway or influence my original curiosity and line of thinking.

This song is important to me because it tackles the heavy issue of gun violence against a light and dreamy soundscape. I will speculate what affect this dichotomy produces for Del Rey’s listeners, as well as describe what affect is has for me.