Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah (Yeah)
Lorde has said that the song refers to the tennis courts in her town, and how life is changing before her eyes.
Lorde’s goal is to figure out how to balance fun and a public life, anywhere from being an artistic figure to being the kid that she is. Her confidence lets her continue to act out and be who she is, complete with escapades and “class clown” behavior, but her maturity makes her realize that the game is coming to an end.
So the tennis court serves as a place of reflection and a last time with her friends before she gets on her first plane.
The tennis court can also be a reference to the French Revolution’s Tennis Court Oath of 20 June 1789 in which members of the Third Estate met on a tennis court to formally stand in opposition to the aristocratic regime of Louis XVI. This relates to Lorde’s recurring “royal” imagery, including, in this song, the words “queen” and “throne,” not to mention her name.
On a different level, Tennis courts are also where a ball bounces back and forth, like a discussion with the court. Likewise, going “down to the tennis court” is a chance to work out the complex emotions and “bounce ideas” off of herself.
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