Meaning of Royals by Lorde
Lorde goes beyond the sparkle of pop culture in her breakout smash “Royals,” shedding attention on the stark difference between luxurious aspirations and ordinary realities. Royals was recorded in July 2012 and released on June 3, 2013.
The single topped the charts in a number of countries throughout the world, including Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. In the United States, “Royals” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks and was awarded Diamond certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A top-selling single, moving 10 million copies around the world. It has been certified nine times platinum in Australia, seven times platinum in Canada, and six times platinum in New Zealand, where it was the second most played song of 2013.
Here’s a look at the lyrical landscape of “Royals,” which reveals a story of dissatisfaction, a yearning for authenticity, and a veiled critique of modern-day nobility.
Dissatisfaction with Wealth and Fame
The central theme of “Royals” is disenchantment with the glittering seduction of money and celebrity. Lorde delves into the rhetoric surrounding wealth, class, and status prominent in capitalist to analyse the longing for such riches by those who haven’t experienced them.
Lorde’s distaste for the opulent lifestyle portrayed by certain pop musicians in their music is made clear in this song. She mocks the high-end stuff rap stars boast about having in an effort to criticize materialism. Themes of wealth inequality and “unabashedly pop [songs] attacking unabashedly pop music” were also cited by other critics. The lyrics of “Royals” have been characterized as “romantic and playful” and as “simultaneously vulnerable and imperious” by The Guardian.
“Royals” takes conventional components of popular song lyrics and flips them, criticising the commonplace celebration of material extravagance in current music. The song makes light of costly products such as gilded grills, Grey Goose, and Rolexes, challenging the norms of what’s deemed ‘cool’ in music, particularly in hip-hop culture.
Yearning for Authenticity
The words express a desire for a life that goes beyond the surface gloss. Lorde accepts the fact that she will never be a princess and rejects the glamour and shine that comes with it, seeking instead for an exciting life that deviates from ordinary worldly.
Indictment of Undeserved Musical Royalty
“Royals” is also seen as an indictment of those at the pinnacle of the music industry who haven’t earned their positions and are undeserving of their ‘royalty,’ advocating for a new wave of artists unburdened by false idols and who value authenticity over superficial acclaim.
Surprisingly, the inspiration for “Royals” came from an unexpected source. Lorde was inspired by a portrait of Kansas City Royals baseball player George Brett, which prompted her to think on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, which she encapsulated in her song.
Impact and Legacy
“Royals” didn’t just connect with listeners because of its catchy music, but its message struck a chord with people all across the world, earning Lorde two Grammy Awards and established her as a unique voice unafraid to confront the status quo.
Through “Royals,” Lorde challenges listeners to question the luxurious picture frequently depicted in popular culture and to ponder on the validity of one’s wants. The song is a strong protest against mindless materialism, as well as a call for a more true, grounded appreciation of life.