Lana Del Rey has never been a bog-standard crooner. Since her 2011 debut, she’s become a regular talking point on the internet — whether she’s fielding criticism for “romanticising” toxic relationships, making outbursts comparing herself to several of her (mainly women of colour) contemporaries, or wearing a mesh mask during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. And now, Del Rey seems to have joined forces with the US Army.
On Saturday evening, Jan 22, the US Army appeared to have appropriated a quote from Del Rey and tacked it straight onto an inspirational tweet, whose goal seemed to be to inspire women to enrol in the army. The female sex and Del Rey, with all of her Summertime Sadness, obviously go hand in hand.
The tweet showed a woman crawling under barbed wire with the quote credited to the singer reading, “Being brave means knowing that when you fail you don’t fail forever #SoldierSaturday.”
The internet, of course, went wild for it. Was Lana finally committing to the patriotism and love for her country that she only sang about previously? Was she entering her Kanye-era of politics — was she, shock horror, right-wing?
“Why are you quoting Lana Del Ray and not Julius Caesar or George Washington?” questioned a male Twitter user. Another astutely commented, “The army subliminally recruiting Born To Die girlies.” Hilariously, one added, “If you want Lana stans to enlist, then you’ll need to make Uncle Sam a daddy.”
After doing a little research, though, it’s pretty evident that Del Rey never actually gave the quote to the Army. In fact, it has been attributed to the ‘Blue Bannisters’ singer for years — it’s even the subject of a ‘GIRLBOSS’ quote on Pinterest. At this point, it’s suspect that she ever even uttered the aphorism.
In an attempt to get to the bottom of this, Rolling Stone contacted Del Rey’s representatives and the US Army for clarification. The latter told the publication: “It was found during an online search for motivational quotations about bravery. We often use motivational quotations in our social media content.”
So, despite her love of all things Americana, no, it appears that Lana Del Rey is not a US Army stan — at least not vocally.