Lorde “Royals” Lyrics Meaning

“Royals” is Lorde’s first song. It’s from her EP called “The Love Club EP” in 2012 and her album “Pure Heroine” in 2013. Lorde worked with producer Joel Little on this song.

In the song, Lorde talks about her simple upbringing and where she came from. People like the song because it has a simple beat and mature lyrics. The lyrics are about her relationship with the media, fame, and rich lifestyles.

In this article, we’ll dig into what the lyrics really mean.

Inspiration Behind “Royals”

In an interview with VH1, Lorde revealed that she got the idea for the song title “Royals” from a picture she saw of a baseball player named George Brett wearing a jersey with “Royals” written on it. George Brett played for the Kansas City Royals for his entire 21-year baseball career and even helped them win a World Series in 1985. Lorde said:

“I had this image from the National Geographic of this dude signing baseballs,” she said. “He was a baseball player and his shirt said ‘Royals.’ And I was like ‘I really love that word,’ because I’m a big word fetishist, I’ll pick a word and I’ll pin an idea to that. It was just that word and I was like ‘This is really cool.'”

Lorde was also influenced by her interest in royalty, like Marie Antoinette and Henry VIII, and that’s why she used the word “Royals.” The part about driving Cadillacs in dreams came from something she wrote in her diary when she was 12.

She was inspired by artists like ASAP Rocky, Drake, Lana Del Rey, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Jay-Z, especially their album Watch the Throne. But she didn’t like how they talked about expensive alcohol and cars in their songs because it wasn’t her reality.

“Royals” Lyrics Meaning

[Verse 1]

I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh

I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies

And I’m not proud of my address

In a torn-up town, no postcode envy

In Verse 1, Lorde is expressing that she has never seen or experienced wealth and luxury like diamonds. She mentions that her exposure to such extravagance is limited to movies and wedding rings.

Lorde also feels embarrassed about her humble background and the place where she lives, which lacks the status or prestige of a fancy address.

She uses the phrase “no postcode envy” to convey that she doesn’t covet or desire the lavish lifestyles often associated with specific postal codes.


But every song’s like

Gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom

Bloodstains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room

We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams

But everybody’s like

Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece

Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash

We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

In the Pre-Chorus, Lorde talks about a contrast between the glamorous and extravagant lifestyle often portrayed in songs and reality.

She mentions elements like “Gold teeth” and “Grey Goose” (luxury items), “trippin’ in the bathroom,” “Bloodstains,” and “trashin’ the hotel room” (reckless behavior), suggesting a wild and opulent lifestyle.

However, Lorde and her friends don’t care about these things; instead, they daydream about driving Cadillacs, which is a symbol of luxury and success but only in their dreams.


And we’ll never be royals (Royals)

It don’t run in our blood

That kind of luxe just ain’t for us

We crave a different kind of buzz

Let me be your ruler (Ruler)

You can call me queen bee

And baby, I’ll rule (I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule)

Let me live that fantasy

In the Chorus, Lorde expresses a sense of detachment from the idea of royalty and excessive wealth. She sings that she and her friends will never be part of that world because it’s not in their bloodline.

They aren’t interested in the kind of luxury associated with royalty and don’t desire it. Instead, they seek a different kind of excitement or “buzz.”

Lorde playfully suggests that she can be their ruler or queen bee in their own unique way, ruling over a world of imagination and dreams rather than the traditional notion of royalty.

[Verse 2]

My friends and I, we’ve cracked the code

We count our dollars on the train to the party

And everyone who knows us knows

That we’re fine with this, we didn’t come from money

In Verse 2, Lorde expresses that she and her friends have figured out a different way to enjoy life.

They count their money while riding the train to a party. Everyone who knows them is aware that they come from modest backgrounds and are content with their circumstances.

Lorde portrays a sense of self-assurance and pride in their ability to find happiness and enjoyment without relying on wealth or extravagance.


(Oh, oh-oh)

We’re bigger than we ever dreamed

And I’m in love with being queen

(Oh, oh-oh)

Life is great without a care

We aren’t caught up in your love affair

In the Bridge, Lorde sings about being “bigger than we ever dreamed,” signifying that she and her friends have achieved success and fulfillment on their own terms.

In the line “And I’m in love with being queen,” Lorde emphasizes her love for the role of being a queen or ruler, not in the traditional sense of royalty, but in embracing her own unique identity and independence.

She declares that life is great without any worries and reiterates that they are not entangled in the superficialities and love affairs associated with the extravagant lifestyles depicted in popular culture.

Deeper Meaning Behind “Royals”

“Royals” is a song that champions authenticity and individuality over superficiality and excess, making it a critique of societal values and a celebration of a more down-to-earth way of life.

In the song, Lorde, a young artist from New Zealand, expresses her disillusionment with the excessive and often shallow lifestyles portrayed in mainstream music and media.

Lorde contrasts her own modest upbringing with the extravagant images of wealth and luxury she has seen in movies and the media. She rejects the idea of aspiring to a life of glamour, stating that it’s not something that runs in her blood, as expressed in the lines, “And we’ll never be royals (Royals) / It don’t run in our blood.”

Instead, she and her friends find contentment in their own simple pleasures, counting their money on the train to a party.

In a a 2013 interview, Lorde described the song as a playful criticism of hip-hop culture and fashion, which got her some criticism. She said:

I definitely wrote “Royals” with a lightness in mind….I was definitely poking fun at a lot of things that people take to be normal. I was listening to a lot of hip-hop and I kind of started to realize that to be cool in hip-hop, you have to have that sort of car and drink that sort of vodka and have that sort of watch, and I was like, “I’ve literally never seen one of those watches in my entire life.”

The song is called “Royals” because it references the concept of royalty and the lavish lifestyles associated with it. However, the title is somewhat ironic, as the song actually criticizes and rejects the idea of aspiring to be like traditional royals or seeking excessive wealth and opulence.

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