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"Without You" (originally titled "China Doll") is a song by Lana Del Rey from her second studio album, and first major-label release, Born to Die. It serves as the first bonus track from the album.

Background[]

Del Rey first performed "Without You" (then known as "China Doll") on the first official show of the Born to Die Tour at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester on November 4, 2011. The track was written with Sacha Skarbek and produced by Emile Haynie. The first demo of the song leaked on June 7, 2012, featuring Del Rey singing over a keyboard and different lyrics in the chorus of the song. A second demo of the song surfaced later with the same vocal take as the album version over a piano instrumental, as a live studio recording. Both demos omit the final repeat of the chorus that is present in the final cut.

Composition[]

A dramatic pop ballad, "Without You" runs for 3 minutes and 49 seconds at approximately 112 beats per minute in the key of E♭ minor. The song features electric guitars, distorted vocal samples, keyboards, synthesised bass, artificial drum sounds with heavy delay, with Del Rey's voice layered multiple times throughout the chorus with reverb to give a fuller sound. It uses the same male background vocals found in "Lolita", "Blue Jeans", "National Anthem" and "Dark Paradise", of a spoken line from a live performance of "Mary Jane" by Rick James. Structurally it follows the typical verse-chorus structure with the final chorus repeated.

Cross-references[]

Official versions[]

  • Album version — 3:49
  • Demo version 1 — 3:06
  • Demo version 2 — 3:05
  • Paradise Tour version - 4:52 ("Knockin' on Heaven's Door" as outro)

Lyrics[]

Album version[]

Everything I want I have
Money, notoriety, and rivieras
I even think I found God
In the flashbulbs of the pretty cameras
Pretty cameras, pretty cameras
Am I glamorous? Tell me, am I glamorous?

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you wanna see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they all think I have it all
I've nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

Summertime is nice and hot
And my life is sweet like vanilla is
Gold and silver line my heart
But burned into my brain are these stolen images

Stolen images, baby, stolen images
Can you picture it? Babe, that life we could've lived

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you like to see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they all think I have it all
I've nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

We were two kids just trying to get out
Lived on the dark side of the American dream
We would dance all night, play our music loud
When we grew up, nothing was what it seemed

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you like to see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they think that I have it all
I've nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you like to see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they think that I have it all
I've nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing, if I can't have you

Demo version one[]

Everything I want I have
Money, notoriety, and rivieras
I even think I found God
In the flashbulbs of your pretty cameras
Pretty cameras, ooh, pretty cameras
Am I glamorous? Tell me, am I glamorous?

Hello, hello, boy, can you hear me?
I can be your china doll if you like it when I fall
I know, I know, it gets kinda scary
I'm falling down, down, down, down
But it means nothing without you
All the dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

Summertime is nice and hot
And my life is sweet like vanilla is
Gold and silver line my heart
But burned into my brain are these stolen images

Stolen images, baby, stolen images
Can you picture this?
Honey, can you picture this?

Hello, hello, boy, can you hear me?
I can be your china doll if you like to see me fall
I know, I know, that things got kinda scary
But now I'm down, falling down, down, down
'Cause it means nothing without you
All the dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

'Cause we were two kids just trying to get out
Living on the dark side of the American dream
Living life on the run, playing life out loud
And it was nothing like what it seemed

Hello, hello, boy, can you hear me?
Honey, I'm your china doll, watch me when you see me fall.
I know, I know, things got kinda scary
But now I'm falling down, down, down
It means nothing without you
All the dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you
All their dreams and all their lights mean
Nothing if I can't have you

Demo version two[]

Everything I want I have
Money, notoriety, and rivieras
I even think I found God
In the flashbulbs of the pretty cameras
Pretty cameras, pretty cameras
Am I glamorous? Tell me, am I glamorous?

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you wanna see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they all think I have it all
I have nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

Summertime is nice and hot
And my life is sweet like vanilla is
Gold and silver line my heart
But burned into my brain are these stolen images

Stolen images, baby, stolen images
Can you picture it? Babe, that life we could've lived

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you like to see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they all think I have it all
I have nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you

We were two kids just trying to get out
Lived on the dark side of the American dream
We would dance all night, play our music loud
But when we grew up, nothing was what it seemed

Hello, hello, ca-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll, if you like to see me fall
Boy, you're so dope, your love is deadly
Tell me life is beautiful, they think that I have it all
I have nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing, if I can't have you

Credits[]

Personnel
  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
  • Sacha Skarbek — songwriting, vocal production, Omnichord
  • Emile Haynie — production, keyboard, guitar, drums
  • Lorenzo Cosi — engineering
  • Larry Gold — strings arrangement and conduction
  • Steve Tirpak — string assistance
  • Dan Heath — additional strings
  • Dan Grech Marguerat — mixing
  • Duncan Fuller — mixing assistance
  • John Davis — mastering
Technical
  • Published by EMI / Universal
  • Mastered at Metropolis Mastering, London, United Kingdom
  • Mixed at Miloco's Engine Room, London, United Kingdom


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