Cliff-pop-song-professor.png

Welcome!

My name's Clifford Stumme, and I explain the deeper meanings of popular songs. Let's have a conversation about what you think about the songs and go deeper together. Feel free to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

What does "Homemade Dynamite" by Lorde mean?

What does "Homemade Dynamite" by Lorde mean?

"Homemade Dynamite" Lyrics Meaning

The most impressive aspect of "Homemade Dynamite" is Lorde's ability to skillfully meld pop and alternative/indie aesthetics. The song has all the sass a pop queen could ask for, but some of the instruments in the background--particularly a whistle/synth/keyboard sound--give it a distinctly unique and eclectic vibe that doesn't take away from the vivacity of what she's saying. It's a unique song, but let's get into the lyrics.

"Blowing shit up with homemade dynamite"

"Homemade Dynamite" seems to be about Lorde meeting someone at a party and then having an "explosively" good time with that person. It's the beginning of what could be a solid friendship or romantic relationship. But is there a darker side to this chain of events?

Verse 1

A couple rebel top gun pilots
Flying with nowhere to be
Don't know you super well
But I think that you might be the same as me
Behave abnormally

As we'll see in a later stanza, Lorde appears to be at a party where she meets another person who has more in common with her than the others there. She describes herself and him as "[a] couple rebel top gun pilots." They're good at what they do--competent and talented--but they don't follow the norm, and they may be out of place: "Flying with nowhere to be."

She doesn't know him "super well," but she has a good feeling about him and concludes that he "might be the same as me" and encourages him to "[b]ehave abnormally." He's odd, and she likes that. She wants him to be himself because she knows she will.

Pre-Chorus

Let's let things come out of the woodwork
I'll give you my best side, tell you all my best lies
Yeah, awesome right?
So let's let things come out of the woodwork
I'll give you my best side, tell you all my best lines
Seeing me rolling, showing someone else love
Dancing with our shoes off
Know I think you're awesome, right?

In the much longer pre-chorus, Lorde narrates the blossoming of the relationship. She encourages him to "let things come out of the woodwork." She wants to get to the heart of who he is, but she might not be completely ready to be vulnerable herself. She tells him that she'll "give you my best side" and "tell you all my best lies/lines." She's going to try to impress and utilize just enough image managment that she'll be confident that he'll like her. 

[Of course, it's not for certain that this person is a guy at this point, but we're just assuming the "he" pronoun since so much of the rest of this album has been about her relationships.]

We assume that she showing him her "rolling" and "showing someone else love." Despite her not pursuing him directly and perhaps via welcoming him into her normal routine at parties, Lorde seems to be trying to attract this guy.

And they seem to get along well. Before long, they're "[d]ancing with our shoes off," and she tells him, "Know I think you're awesome, right?" She likes him and wants him to know, a good sign for the friendship.

Chorus

Our rules, our dreams, we're blind
Blowing shit up with homemade d-d-d-dynamite
Our friends, our drinks, we get inspired
Blowing shit up with homemade d-d-d-dynamite
Blowing shit up with homemade d-d-d-dynamite
[Now you know it's really gonna blow]

The chorus of "homemade dynamite" truly seems to capture the feelings and chaos of this whirlwind relationship. Lorde mentions "[o]ur rules," "our dreams," "[o]ur friends," and "our drinks." It's interesting that she first covers abstract ideas and then brings the level of her ideas down a few notches to a very concrete set of experiences. Almost as if she tries to elevate the relationship or the conversation to another, deeper level but just gets sucked back into the excitement of the moment. Further suggesting this, after listing the first two, she concludes that "we're blind" but claims they "get inspired" after thinking about the elements of the party they seem to be at.

Lorde continues by alluding to the title. She and this guy are "[b]lowing shit up with homemade dynamite." While it's unclear what she means by "homemade dynamite," a solid guess is that she and he are having a "banging" good time based on means they are able to produce themselves. They are having organic fun and don't need outside forces to facilitate their relationship. She warns him that "it's really gonna blow" in one of the iterations of the chorus, and we get the feeling from the music that they really are having a good time with each other.

Verse 2

Might get your friend to drive, but he can hardly see
We'll end up painted on the road
Red and chrome
All the broken glass sparkling
I guess we're partying

The two want to go somewhere together, but they're both so drunk that they ask for a driver who is also likely very drunk. She knows that if they continue on this adventure, it'll likely end badly, but even if it does end with "[a]ll the broken glass sparkling" on the road from their crashed vehicle, the night will continue to be so magical that the glass will still communicate that "we're partying." The party will continue on, albeit in another context, thanks to the mental readiness they have to have a good time. 

Deeper Meaning of "Homemade Dynamite": Lovers Loving

"Homemade Dynamite" isn't a shallow song lyrically, but the most interesting part of this song isn't the lyrics. It's the music, which sounds original and interesting. But as far as deeper meanings in the lyrics go, probably the best takeaway is to ask what you believe about being able to make your environment seem better by having a positive attitude and outlook that colors what see to reflect better your internal life. That seems to be what Lorde and this fellow are doing, and it speaks to how strongly they believe in haivng a good time. 

What does "The Louvre" by Lorde mean?

What does "The Louvre" by Lorde mean?

10 Worst Lines in Katy Perry's Witness Album

10 Worst Lines in Katy Perry's Witness Album