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
We already know from the song’s opening verse that Lorde and her friends aren’t an affluent bunch, but they’ve got a clear perspective (“cracked the code”) on their place in the world. Money is a but of a joke and the world’s greed almost being an inside joke to them.
“We didn’t come from money” refers to old money. An idea embodied in The Great Gatsby where Jay Gatsby struggles to compete with people who have had money for generations. Lorde stated in an interview with Rolling Stone that she is fascinated with old money:
I’ve always been fascinated with aristocracy. I’m really interested in the Ivy Leagues, the final clubs, all the really old-money families, the concept of old money.
Lorde’s interest manifests itself through her Queen Bee persona and the fact that the theme of opulence and Lorde’s problems with what opulence stands for pervades most of her songs.
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