Del Rey first mentioned the song on January 28, 2018, while being interviewed by Pitchfork at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City. When Pitchfork asked Del Rey "what's coming next?", she responded saying "I've got a couple of other tracks. I've got this weird track called 'Bartender' that doesn't belong to a record yet" and mentioned that she wishes to create a music video for the song.
On July 31, 2019, Del Rey confirmed that the song would be released on her then-upcoming album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, when she revealed the album artwork and tracklist.
"Bartender" is featured on the setlist of the Norman Fucking Rockwell Tour, played after "Norman Fucking Rockwell". Del Rey performed it live for the first time on September 21, 2019 at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York.
Background and description
The track forms part of a 3-part music video with "Norman Fucking Rockwell" and "Happiness Is a Butterfly", as revealed by Del Rey on September 3, 2019. It was shot and directed by Chuck Grant in 2018, and was originally planned for release in October 2019.
Several scenes from this part of the video were first interpolated in the music video for "Venice Bitch".
|Released||December 20, 2019|
|Producer||Chuck Grant, Lana Del Rey|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Vevo views||14+ Million views|
- The phrase "All the ladies of the canyon" could be a reference to Joni Mitchell's album Ladies of the Canyon, an album where the song "For Free" originated from. A song Del Rey later covered in her album Chemtrails Over The Country Club.
- The canyon is also mentioned in "Happiness Is a Butterfly".
- Del Rey's truck is also mentioned in "Happiness Is a Butterfly", and "Violets for Roses".
- Long Beach, California is also referenced in "The Greatest" and "Doin' Time".
- Bacardi is also mentioned in "Off to the Races", "Girl That Got Away", and "Noir".
- Wine is also mentioned in "Cherry", "Tomorrow Never Came", "Drive By", "Every Man Gets His Wish", and "Dance for Money".
- Cherry-flavored Coca-Cola is also mentioned in "Serial Killer", "Florida Kilos", and "Last Girl on Earth".
- The keys are also mentioned in "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It".
- Crosby, Stills & Nash were a folk group from California.
- "Girls just want to have fun" might be a reference to the famous song "Girl Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.
- "Warm like a gun" might be a reference to the 1968 song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" by The Beatles.
- Poetry is also mentioned in "Brooklyn Baby" and "Norman Fucking Rockwell".
- Trying to escape from paparazzi is also a theme in "High by the Beach" and "13 Beaches".
- Cars are also mentioned in "Video Games", "California", "Driving in Cars with Boys" and "Children of the Bad Revolution", among many other songs.
- The phrase "hold me" also appears in "Cinnamon Girl", "Fuck It I Love You" and "Disco".
- Vine is also mentioned in "Burning Desire", "Every Man Gets His Wish", "Old Money" and "Happiness Is a Butterfly".
- A garden is also mentioned in "Cherry", "Off to the Races", "Gods & Monsters" and "Burnt Norton".
- Beaches are also a recurrent theme, being mentioned in "Cherry", "Summer Bummer", "13 Beaches", "Mariners Apartment Complex" and in the poems "Salamander", "Happy", "My Bedroom Is a Sacred Place Now - There Are Children at the Foot of my Bed" and "Paradise is Very Fragile".
- Lana Del Rey — songwriting, vocals, production
- Rick Nowels — songwriting, production, piano
- Kieron Menzies — engineering, mixing
- Dean Reid — mixing
- Chris Gehringer — mastering B
- Published by R-Rated Music (GMR) administered by Universal Music Works
- Mastered at Sterling Sound