11 Weeks of Pure Heroine: Glory and Gore
Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor
“Glory and Gore” is the seventh track and fourth single coming from Lorde’s “Pure Heroine”. It was also featured on a commercial for the Hulu show, “Vikings”, where it garnered a mass amount of attention. On this song we revisit for the millionth time Lorde’s disregard for the overwhelming obsessiveness of celebrity culture. But this time in a gladiator style of expression that serves as the darker side of Lorde’s music.
Just as in “Team”, Lorde has set us up in another allegory of society where the colosseum is now the setting and the subjects are gladiators. The first instance of this is in the pre chorus, “and the cry goes out, they lose their minds for us, and how it plays out, now we’re in the ring and we’re coming for blood.” Here, Lorde is referencing celebrities as the warriors of the arena and the rest of the world as spectators. “They lose their minds for us” is the close public eye that surveills the lives of celebrities expecting them to fall apart or mess up in their lives of stardom.
In a way, celebrities are like gladiators where the audience doesn’t view them as humans but as a means of entertainment, even if it that means a detrimental downfall. “Now we’re in the ring and we’re coming for blood” alludes to their struggle to embrace the adversity of remaining sane and keeping themselves relevant in the colosseum of fame that they were propelled into. It’s safe to say that this can be connected to Lorde’s own feelings to her sudden rise to fame and frustration to understand how to handle it.
Her conflict with fame is more overtly revealed when she said, “Wide awake in bed, words in my brain: ‘Secretly you love this, do you even wanna go free?’ let me in the ring, I'll show you what that big word means”. As much as Lorde rejects the superficialism of being famous, deep down she knows she’s in denial. When she said, “let me in the ring …” it’s clear that Lorde yearns to make a statement with her platform whether to come out on top as one of the biggest artists in the world or have a tragically derailed music career.
Gladiators enter the arena knowing that death is almost certain yet they still go out and fight and hope to emerge as victorious. The audience applauds the conflict and praises the last one standing of these gory battles. Lorde is implying this is the same concept for celebrities, once they enter the public eye, the arena, they’re immediately faced with scrutiny and calamity; but yet they continue to be a part of it.
While Lorde is playing with the idea of celebrities and gladiators, she does go back to including presumably the mindsets of teenagers in this chaotic image as well. “Everyone’s a rager” and “you’ve been drinking like the world was gonna end” specifically mentions the presence of alcohol, a potentially destructive habit of teenagers. Lorde goes on to say, “we gladiate, but I guess we’re only fighting ourselves”, a reference back to a theme of fending off insecurity and societal pressure that teenagers often face. To bring it full circle, Lorde is saying that we all essentially gladiate our way through life.
Coincidentally enough, “Still Sane” will be examined next week.