"Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It" (stylized in all lowercase, registered as "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me" and previously known as "Sylvia Plath" or "Sylvia") is a song by Lana Del Rey from her sixth studio album Norman Fucking Rockwell!. It was released on January 9, 2019, as the third single from the album.
Background and inspiration
On January 2, 2019, Del Rey announced the song would be the third single, changing its name from "Sylvia Plath" to "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It", in an since deleted Instagram post featuring a slightly extended snippet.
The song's producer, Jack Antonoff, revealed via Twitter that this song was one of two songs him and Del Rey recorded during their first session in the studio. He added that it was recorded without a click track in mostly live takes over felt piano.
The song was inspired by Sylvia Plath, who was a famous American poet, novelist, and short-story writer.
Del Rey revealed in an interview for Vogue Korea that it took 3 years to finish this song.
An extended version of the song was registered on PPL Repertoire. It lasts 5 minutes and 58 seconds.
August 22, 2019, in her interview with Billboard magazine, she said this about the track: “It was staggered with references from living in Hollywood and seeing so many things that didn’t look right to me, things that I never thought I’d have permission to talk about, because everyone knew and no one ever said anything,” she says in a tangle of sentences as knotty as the lyrics themselves. “The culture only changed in the last two years as to whether people would believe you. And I’ve been in this business now for 15 years! So I was writing a song to myself.” She exhales deeply, sinking back into the sofa. “Hope truly is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have, because I know so much.” Del Rey pauses. “But I have it.”"
- Mention of a debutante is also found in "Fake Diamond".
- Revolution is also mentioned in "Children of the Bad Revolution".
- "Writing in blood on my walls" is a line echoed from "Heroin".
- Del Rey also describes herself as a sociopath in "Serial Killer".
- The keys are also mentioned in "Bartender".
- Sylvia Plath is also mentioned in poems "Bare Feet on Linoleum" and "Patent Leather Do-Over".
- Coffee is also mentioned in "Queen of the Gas Station", "In My Feelings", "Love", "Vacation" and the poem "Never to Heaven".
- Her dad is mentioned in songs like "Radio", "Ride", "Cola", and "Old Money".
- Slim Aarons was a famous photographer that used to take glamorous pictures of celebrities.
- "Hope is a dangerous thing" is a quote from Stephen King and his 1982 novel "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption".
- "The Bowery Bums" is a term used to describe alcoholic and homeless people from New York after the World War I.
- The stage is also mentioned in "Fuck It I Love You".
- Album version — 5:25
- Instrumental version — 5:24
- Single version — 5:24
- Extended version — 5:58
- Lana Del Rey — songwriting, production, vocals
- Jack Antonoff — songwriting, production, piano, synthesizer
- Laura Sisk — engineering, mixing
- Chris Gehringer — mastering
- Mastered at Sterling Sound
- Recorded at Rough Customer Studio, New York, United States / Sunset Banana Split, Los Angeles, United States
- Mixed at Rough Customer Studio, New York, United States
- Buy/stream "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It"
- Lana Del Rey. (October 25, 2018). Instagram. "SYLVIA PLATH from NORMAN FUCKING ROCKWELL 🎥" (Access date: October 28, 2018)
- Lana Del Rey. (@LanaDelRey). Lana tweets lyrics to new song. (October 25, 2018). Twitter. [Access date: January 8, 2019]
- Tang, Estelle. (December 3, 2018). "How Ariana Grande, Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Lana Del Rey Are Changing Pop Music". Elle. [Access date: January 8, 2019]
- Lana Del Rey. (January 2, 2019). Lana teases 2nd snippet of 'Sylvia Plath' as 'Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It". Facebook. [Access date: January 8, 2019]
- Jack Antonoff. (@jackantonoff). Jack tweets about Hope Is a Dangerous Thing. (January 10, 2019). Twitter. [Access date: January 10, 2019]
- Joo-Hyun, Lee. (May 13, 2019). "The curious itinerary of Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey". Vogue Korea. [Access date: May 13, 2019]
- ISRC Code: GBUM71903509