Lana Del Rey Wiki
Lana Del Rey Wiki

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"Brooklyn Baby" is a song by Lana Del Rey written with her then-boyfriend, Barrie-James O'Neill. It is featured as the fourth track on her second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence. The song was released as the third promotional single from the album on June 8, 2014, following "Shades of Cool" and "Ultraviolence".

Background and writing[]

On May 27, 2014, a snippet of the song was debuted alongside snippets of "Shades of Cool" and "Ultraviolence" in an iTunes exclusive promotional video. The video featured unused clips from the "West Coast" music video. Del Rey announced via Instagram that the track would serve as the second promotional single from Ultraviolence, coming out June 8 of that same year.

Del Rey said in an interview with The Guardian that she wrote the song with Lou Reed in mind. She was supposed to work with him and flew to New York City to meet him, but unfortunately he died the day she arrived, "I took the red eye, touched down at 7am … and two minutes later he died," she said.[1] He is referenced in the line "And my boyfriend's in a band, he plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed".

On October 27, 2017, two instrumental stem snippets and one vocal stem snippet of the song leaked on SoundCloud. On November 10, 2020, the unmastered version of the song leaked.

On October 6, 2022, a snippet of a demo leaked, with a second snippet leaking on May 20, 2023. A third snippet of the demo leaked on December 22, 2023. The studio a cappella leaked on November 14, 2022.


"Brooklyn Baby" is a 5-minute 51 second long ballad playing at approximately 108 beats per minute in 4/4 and F minor. The song is influenced by rock and jazz - seen notably in the scatting that is present throughout the song. A plucky guitar riff is a prominent feature throughout the song and Del Rey's vocals are further backed by a bass line, drums and strings. The male vocalist featured in the song's outro is credited as instrumentalist Seth Kaufman, though he has publicly denied this, stating that fellow instrumentalist Leon Michels is responsible for the vocals.[2]

Critical reception[]

The song received critical acclaim. Miriam Coleman of Rolling Stone described it as a "dreamy song... with a breathy vocals and a melody before moving into Del Rey's typically languid, dreamy soundscape".[3] Duncan Cooper of The Fader stated that "Brooklyn Baby" is the standout track of Ultraviolence, pointing out the "uncharacteristically self-assured gem", "Yeah, my boyfriend's pretty cool/ But he's not as cool as me".[4] Sharan Shetty of Slate complimented the melody of the song, however disliked the lack of "big, chewy vocal hooks".[5] The song was placed at number twenty two on Rolling Stone '​s 50 Best Songs of 2014 list.[6]

Commercial performance[]

The song had a modest success. It reached number 101 on US Billboard Hot 100, being number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[7] It peaked 35, 60, 6 in Australia, Canada and Finland respectively[8][9][10] In France, the song peaked number 33, in UK it reached number 86, and in New Zealand it debuted at 19.[11][12][13] In other European countries, "Brooklyn Baby" debuted at number 50, 87, 36, 16, 64 and 32 in Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.[14][15][16][17][18][19] In Russia, the song reached number ten at the Digital Songs chart.[20]

Live performances[]

Del Rey has performed the track on numerous dates of the Endless Summer Tour in 2015.


Official versions[]

  • Album version — 5:51
    • Instrumental version — 5:47
    • A cappella — 5:29
  • Clean version — 5:51
  • Unmastered version — 5:55

Official remixes[]

  • Kirk Spencer Remix — 4:24[21]
  • Konstantin Sibold Remix — 5:25[22]
  • Pépé's Sixth Henry Mix — 6:04[23]
  • Pépé's Aborted Mixlude — 1:12[24]
  • Pépé's Beatless Poetry — 5:46[25]
  • Richard X Remix — 5:52[26]
  • The Juan Maclean Remix — 7:21[27]
  • The Penelopes Remix — 5:07
  • Yuksek Remix — 4:47[28]


They say I'm too young to love you
I don't know what I need
They think I don't understand
The freedom land of the 70s
I think I'm too cool to know ya
You say I'm like the ice, I freeze
I'm churning out novels like
Beat poetry on amphetamines

I said
I said

Well, my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get down to Beat poetry
And my jazz collection's rare
I can play most anything
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

They say I'm too young to love you
They say I'm too dumb to sing
They judge me like a picture book
By the colors, like they forgot to read
I think we're like fire and water
I think we're like the wind and sea
You're burning up, I'm cooling down
You're up, I'm down
You're blind, I see

But I'm free
I'm free

Well, my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get down to Beat poetry
And my jazz collection's rare
I can play most anything
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

I'm talking 'bout my generation
Talking 'bout that newer nation
And if you don't like it
You can beat it
Beat it, baby
You never liked the way I said it
If you don't get it, then forget it
'Cause I don't have to fucking explain it

And my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get high on hydroponic weed
And my jazz collection's rare
I get down to Beat poetry
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

Yeah, my boyfriend's pretty cool
But he's not as cool as me
'Cause I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

Demo version[]

[Snippet 1]:
Yeah, my boyfriend's pretty cool
But he's not as cool as me

[Snippet 2]:
I get high on Hawaiian tea
I'm a Brooklyn baby

[Leaked lyrics]:
I think I’m too cool to know ya
They say I’m like ice I freeze
Churning out novels like beat poetry on amphetamines
But I’m free, I’m free
Well my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I wear feathers in my hair, I get high on hydroponic weed
And I listen late at night
To my jazz from the seventies
I’m a Brooklyn baby, I’m a Brooklyn baby



  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
  • Barrie-James O'Neill — songwriting
  • Dan Auerbach — production, electric guitar
  • Collin Dupuis — engineering
  • Robert Orton — mixing
  • Nick Movshon — drums, upright bass
  • Leon Michels — tambourine, mellotron, percussion, tenor sax[a]
  • Kenny Vaughan — acoustic guitar
  • Seth Kaufman — electric guitar, percussion, background vocals[a]
  • Russ Pahl — acoustic guitar, pedal steel
  • Maximilian Weissenfeldt — drums
  • John Davis — mastering


Chart (2017) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 35
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 62
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) 32
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 60
Finland Download (Suomen virallinen latauslista) 6
France (SNEP) 33
Italy (FIMI) 50
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 87
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 19
Russian Digital Songs (Lenta) 10
Russian Top Radio Hits (Tophit)[29] 341
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 86
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 1


  1. Jonze, Tim (June 12, 2014). "Lana Del Rey: 'I wish I was dead already'". The Guardian. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  2. xxrk777 (February 27, 2023). Reddit. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  3. Coleman, Miriam (June 8, 2014). "Lana Del Rey Pokes Fun at New York Hipsters in 'Brooklyn Baby'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  4. Cooper, Duncan (June 4, 2014). "Cover Story: Lana Del Rey Is Anyone She Wants to Be". The Fader. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  5. Shetty, Sharan (June 8, 2014). "Lana Del Rey’s Latest Song, “Brooklyn Baby,’ Is a Lovely Ballad". Slate. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  6. "50 Best Songs of 2014". Rolling Stone. December 3, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  21. ISRC: GBUM71406727
  22. ISRC: GBUM71404959
  23. ISRC: GBUM71406725
  24. ISRC: GBUM71406663
  25. ISRC: GBUM71406726
  26. ISRC: GBUM71406728
  27. ISRC: GBUM71406664
  28. ISRC: GBUM71406666


  1. 1.0 1.1 While Seth Kaufman is credited as the background vocalist, he has denied this and has publicly credited Leon Michels.

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