Meaning of “Lola” by The Kinks

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Lola” by The Kinks is an iconic song that tells the story of a romantic encounter between a young man and Lola, who is revealed to be a transgender woman. The song is set in a club in Soho, London, and narrates the protagonist’s experience of meeting and dancing with Lola. It’s about the confusion and surprise of the narrator when he discovers Lola’s gender identity.

The song was quite progressive for its time, touching on themes of gender identity and sexuality with a sense of openness and curiosity. It challenges traditional notions of gender and sexuality, and does so with a catchy, upbeat tune.

Dive into the intriguing narrative of The Kinks’ “Lola,” a song that playfully and thoughtfully explores themes of gender identity and the complexity of attraction.

“Lola” Lyrics Meaning

“I met her in a club down in old Soho” sets the scene in a lively, urban setting, introducing the character of Lola in a social, nighttime environment.

“When she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine” – this line humorously depicts Lola’s physical strength, surprising the narrator and hinting at her masculine traits.

“Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand / Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man” – the narrator expresses his confusion over Lola’s gender presentation, highlighting his lack of understanding about transgender identity.

The chorus, “La-la-la-la Lola” is catchy and memorable, making the character of Lola iconic and central to the song.

“She picked me up and sat me on her knee / And said ‘Dear boy, won’t you come home with me?'” – this part of the song further blurs traditional gender roles, with Lola taking the initiative in the romantic encounter.

“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls / It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world” – these lines are pivotal, emphasizing the song’s message about the fluidity and complexity of gender and sexuality.

“Well, I left home just a week before / And I’d never ever kissed a woman before” reveals the narrator’s innocence and the transformative nature of his encounter with Lola.

The concluding lines, “But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man / And so is Lola” highlight a sense of acceptance and self-awareness in both the narrator and Lola.

Overall, “Lola” is a narrative that challenges traditional perceptions of gender and sexuality, presented in a light-hearted yet thought-provoking manner.

Why Was “Lola” Written?

“Lola” was likely written as a reflection on the changing social attitudes towards gender and sexuality in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The state of mind of the songwriter, Ray Davies, might have been one of observation and commentary on the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the time.

The song serves as a playful yet meaningful exploration of gender identity, pushing the boundaries of traditional pop music themes. It reflects a growing awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, packaged in a catchy, accessible song that has since become a classic.