Background[edit | edit source]
Two snippets of an early demo featuring slightly different vocals and instrumental leaked on June 25, 2018. A third snippet leaked on October 19, 2018. The full demo leaked on September 19, 2019. An early mix leaked on November 10, 2020.
Writing and inspiration[edit | edit source]
Del Rey talked about the song in a track by track commentary for Ultraviolence by saying "Sad girl, cause I'm still sometimes a sad girl, still things beyond my control. Sometimes I do things that I want, above what I maybe should do". She also stated that the song reminded her of "Shades of Cool" because of it's bluesy tone and stays within the theme of the album.
Composition and critical reception[edit | edit source]
"Sad Girl" is a jazz-influenced ballad performed at approximately 119 beats per minute and runs at a duration of 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Kenneth Patridge of Rolling Stone called the track "the most alluring ballad" on the whole record.
Cross-references[edit | edit source]
- The lyric "he's got the fire, and he walks with it" is a reference to the line "fire walk with me" from Twin Peaks; the influence of Lynch's work on Del Rey can also be found in "Blue Velvet", "JFK" and "Carmen".
- The lyric "I'm on fire" also appears in "Summertime Sadness", "Ben", "Body Electric", "Baby Blue Love" and a thematically similar lyric is found in "Lucky Ones". It is a reference to 1984 song "I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen.
- Fire is also mentioned in "West Coast", "Live Forever", "Freak", "High by the Beach" and "Off to the Races".
- Money is also mentioned in "Money Power Glory", "High by the Beach" and "Money Hunny", among some other songs.
- Getting high is a common subject in songs such as "Florida Kilos", "High by the Beach", "Hollywood", "Carmen", among others.
- The phrase "while he gets high" is similar to "while you get high" which appears in "True Love on the Side".
Official versions[edit | edit source]
- Album version — 5:17
- Instrumental version — 5:14
- Demo version — 5:17
- Early mix – 5:18
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
Credits[edit | edit source]
- Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
- Rick Nowels — songwriting, vocal production
- Dan Auerbach — production, electric guitar, synthesizers
- Collin Dupuis — engineering, synthesizer
- Kieron Menzies — vocal engineering
- Robert Orton — mixing
- Nick Movshon — drums
- Leon Michaels — mellotron
- Kenny Vaughan — synthesizers, mellotron
- Seth Kaufman — electric guitar
- Russ Pahl — acoustic guitar
- John Davis — mastering engineer