Remember in 2016 when you could do something fun like go to the beach or a party (god, remember parties) and not have to think constantly about how, oh I don’t know, America might be inching closer to a nuclear war? Or about how packs of white nationalists marching in the streets with torches are apparently here to stay? Or any other ridiculous piece of news that indicates America is totally fucked right now?
Well, Lana del Rey has written a beautiful word salad of a song about that feeling titled “Coachella - Woodstock On My Mind.” Specifically, the feeling of being at Coachella, being distracted by North Korea, and wishing you could just go up to heaven to ask God about what the hell is going on. You might remember it as the mysterious song she wrote in the woods back at this year’s Coachella.
“Cause what about all these children, and all their children’s children,” she sings mournfully. “And why am I even wondering that today?”
A lot of pop stars right now are clearly trying to figure out how to address our political climate in music. And this has led to a lot of vague protest songs, like Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” and Harry Styles’s “Sign of the Times,” which I can only suspect are so insanely non-specific because artists do not want to alienate significant (*cough* Trump-loving *cough*) parts of their fan bases. Asked what he exactly was responding to in “Sign of the Times” in a recent interview, Styles refrained to cite anything other than “just the state of the world at the moment.”
And while “Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind” is a little frivolous (Lana, I love you, but Coachella will never be Woodstock) and far from the genuinely moving “Love,” it doesn’t feel as overwrought as Perry’s and Styles’s attempts at political pop. At least when Lana writes about feeling distracted by America it actually sounds personal. Maybe it’s that special touch of writing in the woods!
Just remember to ask yourself next time you’re at a major corporate-branded music festival, what about all these children?