Brow Beat

All the Proper Nouns Referenced on Lana Del Rey’s Norman F—ing Rockwell

Charted and annotated.

The Lana Del Rey Proper Noun Chart
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

As someone who once sang that one of her intimate parts “tastes like Pepsi Cola,” Lana Del Rey knows the value of a well-placed name-drop. (Would generic cola have packed the same punch? Doubtful.) Her project continues on her new album, appropriately titled Norman Fucking Rockwell: She manages to cram 47 proper nouns into an album with 14 songs on it, for a rate of 3.36 capital-letter references per song. For those wondering what the No. 1 answer to a hypothetical Family Feud category that asked for “Things Lana Del Rey Sings About” would be, here’s an index of all the proper nouns Del Rey mentions on the album, annotated where applicable. Survey says! (Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.)

Places [43 percent]

Graph: Places. California: 85%; Non-California: 15%

California [36% of the proper nouns]

• The 405: a highway that runs through Los Angeles’ Westside, from the Valley to Orange County
• America
• California
• Hollywood and Vine: a Los Angeles intersection that’s been associated with the movie business since the 1920s and is also the center of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a perfect Lana mix of glamour and grit
• L.A.
• LBC: Del Rey covers “Doin’ Time” by Sublime, a band that started in Long Beach, California, hence the acronym.
• Laurel: as used in “Happiness Is a Butterfly,” likely Laurel Canyon Boulevard, a major L.A. street.
• Long Beach
• Malibu: a Los Angeles County city known for its beauty and affluence
• Newport: Newport Beach, a wealthy city in Orange County, California
• Santa Ana: winds that affect Southern California, named after the canyon in Orange County
• PCH: the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs along California’s coastline
• Sunset: the famous L.A. boulevard, also the name of the noir about an aging silent film star
• Topanga: a community within L.A. County that is located in the Topanga Canyon, sometimes known for its hippie vibes
• Venice: a wealthy beachside L.A. neighborhood that is also associated with a bohemian lifestyle … and our little Venice bitch
• Mariners Apartment Complex: an apartment complex in Marina Del Rey (yes, Del Rey!), California
• Laurel Canyon: a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills that was a famous gathering place for folk and rock musicians in the 1960s and 1970s

Non-California [6% of the proper nouns]

• Hawaii
• New York
• Black Rabbit: a bar in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood

Music [25 percent]

Graph: Music referenced. California: 83%; Non-California: 17%

California music [21% of the proper nouns]

• Beach Boys
• Bill: On “The Next Best American Record,” Del Rey mentions a Bill, who plays guitar, very likely in California.
• Crosby, Stills and Nash
• Dennis: Wilson, of the Beach Boys, as mentioned on “The Greatest”
• Eagles
• Kanye West: West isn’t a California native, obviously, but he’s classified under California music here because in context of the song “The Greatest,” Del Rey is referring to West at a time when he calls Calabasas home.
• Kokomo: as in the song by California group the Beach Boys
• Bradley: Nowell, of Sublime
• Ras MG: Marshall Goodman, of Sublime
• Louie: Nowell’s dog, considered the mascot of Sublime

Non-California music [4% of proper nouns]

• Houses of the Holy: a 1973 album by English band Led Zeppelin
• “Life on Mars”: a 1971 song by English artist David Bowie

People (non-music) [19 percent]

• Bowery Bums: nickname for the New York City homeless population that gathered on the downtown street the Bowery
• Dad
• God: Don’t argue with me about whether this is a person, where else was I gonna put it?
• John: a past lover mentioned on the song “How to Disappear”
• Joe: Another past lover from “How to Disappear.” John and Joe are pretty plain names, but for an artist who famously made a music video full of Kennedy imagery, it may also be worth noting that they’re Kennedy names.
• Jesus
• Norman Rockwell: mid-20th-century illustrator whose idyllic depictions of small-town American life sometimes contained humor and political commentary
• Slim Aarons: 20th-century photographer who captured the leisure lives of the rich and glamorous
• Sylvia Plath: Mid-20th-century poet who wrote about her mental illness and troubled marriage with fellow poet Ted Hughes; she killed herself at age 30, thus guaranteeing that Del Rey would be obsessed with her.

Brands, drinks, and technology [13 percent]

• Vogue
• Rolling Stone
• Hallmark
• Bacardi
• Cherry Coke
• iPad: In “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me … ” Del Rey sings about using this type of tablet presumably to FaceTime her dad from beyond the grave. iPads are stereotypically beloved by boomers.