'Royals' By Lorde: Poem Analysis

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The hit single ‘Royals’ by Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) took the music scene by surprise in 2013. Many have identified, acknowledged and some even commended the anti-materialistic nature of ‘Royals’ that celebrate the mundanity of the lives of the majority of young people. Hence, it is not surprising that ‘Royals’ stood out amongst the sea of songs by artists that yield to the pressures of the hyper-materialistic society. Lorde critiques materialistic culture specifically within the pop music industry in her song. This is most apparent in the pre-chorus in which she lists materialistic ideals like fancy cars and diamonds on timepieces before claiming: “We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams” and “We don’t care we’re not caught…show more content…
In essence, material consciousness creates material reality; when we are aware of our material worth, we begin to subconsciously judge ourselves and our achievements in life. This is how social hierarchies and identities are created. Issues surrounding the concept of materialism are in fact building blocks that are idealised and exist only because people create, place and keep them there (Mack, Ott 43). Lorde highlights in ‘Royals’ that the relationship between material wealth and success is set within the present society through the moulds of material consciousness, and that the extravagant way of living by the rich is glamourized in “every song” by artists who inadvertently create the ideal that material wealth equals success in…show more content…
This further contradicts the message of anti-materialism in the song. Unless the audience notices the almost insignificant qualifier prior to the listing of false ideals: “BUT every song’s like…” and “BUT everybody’s like…” it would easily lead to misinterpretations of the song, making it highly indistinguishable from the sea of materialistically upraising songs like Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”. This is because, being the portion of the song that dwells in the minds of the audience, it may seem like the song is supporting materialism and not criticizing it as constant vocalisation of such vices may cause the manifestation of a materialistic anthem

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