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"The Blackest Day" (also registered as "Blackest Day"[1]) is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels that is featured as the eleventh track on Del Rey's third major-label full-length album Honeymoon, which was officially released worldwide on September 18, 2015.

Background and composition[]

The song is a ballad influenced by jazz, rock and trap genres with references to American jazz singer Billie Holiday, electric guitars and rolling snares from a drum machine. The verses are stripped back, featuring guitar playing over a bass synth as drums slowly build towards a more heavily produced chorus. The chorus includes layered background vocals to add to the instrumentation as well as synth strings and a harp. After the final chorus, the song crescendos into an outro that ends with Del Rey repeating "I'm on my own again". The bridge of the song subtly samples the melody of "I Will Follow Him" by Peggy March.

The first demo of the song produced by STINT was leaked on October 14, 2020. It features a different instrumental. A second demo is rumored to exist.

Lyrically, the song is about the heartbreak of a lover leaving. The track runs at 6 minutes and 5 seconds, making it the longest track on Honeymoon, with approximately 108 beats per minute in the key of F♯ minor.

Critical reception[]

Chelsea Smile of PopMatters called "The Blackest Day" the most powerful song on the record, saying that it "recounts the excruciating break up of a relationship, and the tone to Del Rey's voice is so emotive, it's as if she's nearly crying at points."[2]

Live performance[]

"The Blackest Day" has never been performed live in its entirety. On August 10, 2018, in Budapest, Hungary, Del Rey performed a snippet of the song a cappella per audience request during the LA to the Moon Tour.

Cross-references[]

Official versions[]

  • Album version — 6:05
  • Instrumental version — 6:08
  • Demo version — 6:19

Lyrics[]

Carry me home, got my blue nail polish on
It's my favorite color and my favorite tone of song
"I don't really wanna break up, we got it going on"
It's what you gathered from my talk, but you were wrong

It's not easy for me to talk about
I have heavy heartstrings
I'm not simple, it's trigonometry
It's hard to express, I can't explain

Ever since my baby went away
It's been the blackest day
It's been the blackest day
All I hear is Billie Holiday
It's all that I play
It's all that I play

Because I'm going deeper and deeper (Deeper)
Harder and harder (Harder)
Getting darker and darker
Looking for love
In all the wrong places
Oh, my God
In all the wrong places
Oh, my God

Carry me home, got my new car and my gun
Wind in my hair, holding your hand, listening to our song
Carry me home, don't wanna talk about the things to come
Just put your hands up in the air, the radio on

'Cause there's nothing for us to talk about
Like the future and those things
'Cause there's nothing for me to think about
Now that he's gone, I can't feel nothing

Ever since my baby went away
It's been the blackest day
It's been the blackest day
All I hear is Billie Holiday
It's all that I play
It's all that I play

Because I'm going deeper and deeper (Deeper)
Harder and harder (Harder)
Getting darker and darker
Lookin' for love in all the wrong places
Oh, my God
In all the wrong places
Oh, my God

You should've known better
Than to have, to let her
Get you under her spell of the weather
I got you where I want you
You're deader than ever
And falling for forever
I'm playing head games with you
I got you where I want you
I got you, I got you
I got you where I want you now

Ever since my baby went away
It's been the blackest day
It's been the blackest day
All I hear is Billie Holiday
It's all that I play
It's all that I play

It's not one of those phases I'm going through
Or just a song, it's not one of them
I'm on my own
On my own
On my own again

I'm on my own again
I'm on my own again
I'm on my own again
I'm on my own again

Credits[]

Personnel

  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting, production
  • Rick Nowels — songwriting, production, organ, pads
  • Kieron Menzies — production, engineering, recording, mixing, drums, bass, synth, samples
  • Trevor Yasuda & Chris Garcia — engineering
  • Patrick Warren — strings
  • Trevor Yasuda — additional effects
  • David Levita — electric guitar
  • Adam Ayan — mastering

Technical

  • Mastered at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine

References[]

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