Summertime Sadness the Real Story – Day 185 – HALFWAY (I convince Sam he likes Lana Del Rey live on Air)

HALF WAY! Today marks the halfway point of my year long journey. My friend Sam asked me to come on his radio show at phoenix radio. So I asked if I could write him a story live on air. He agreed. I asked him to give me a song that he hated live at 3:30 today- then I had an hour to write the backstory to that song to convince him the song was good. He told me he hated Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness (listen here). So I set to work in the studio. At 4:30 I was done and he invited me back on air to read the results. 

The lyrics talk of a girl all dressed up asking for one last kiss before someone leaves. I thought about kissing and remembered an episode of Radio Lab podcast (listen here) about how vampire bats look like they kiss each other- but are in fact feeding their friends by spitting blood into the others mouth. And thus this story came to be: 

When they first found the babe they tried to feed her blood. But the babe just wailed. After much trial and error they learnt the babe would eat fruit.

And so the babe grew into a girl. They named her Lana, meaning ‘glowing’ in Battish, for she was their light in the dark.

During the day, they would nestle round her and rest. Lana would look up at her hundreds of doting parents, their eyes glinting down at her from the cave walls. At night, a few would stay with Lana and the rest would leave the cave to feast and find her fruit.

But the girl did not stay a girl forever. And when she turned 16, the bats could see the sadness in her eyes. So they gathered a mass of fruit and stole human clothing from washing lines during the night. In the morning they told her she must go. She must see her own kind.

The cave filled with the sonic echoes of sadness as Lana left, her translucent white skin glowing in the summer sun. 


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