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Californication
Song

Californication

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album:
Californication

Song meaning of Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and what the song is about


Released on June 8, 1999, as the lead single from their seventh studio album, "Californication" by Red Hot Chilli Peppers was a critical moment in the band's history as well as a biting indictment of the influence of Hollywood and the American Dream on popular culture worldwide.


The song explores themes of superficiality, the selling of dreams, and the darker side of celebrity while fusing catchy melodies with reflective lyrics.


For Red Hot Chilli Peppers, "Californication" came of age at a crucial juncture. After a period of disarray and lineup changes, guitarist John Frusciante's comeback gave the band new life and inspired new songs. Throughout the song, Frusciante, drummer Chad Smith, bassist Flea, and singer Anthony Kiedis have a strong synergy that blends their funk-rock heritage with a more melancholic, reflective approach.


The lyrics of the song, which explore the contradictions of California and, by extension, America—a place of seemingly endless possibility veiled in serious moral and social quandaries—were written by Kiedis as part of a collaborative effort.


Fundamentally, "Californication" is a critique of the idealised portrayals of Hollywood and the transfer of American culture to other countries. The world portrayed in Kiedis's lyrics is one where people are lured in by the prospect of wealth and celebrity but eventually confront existential emptiness and the annihilation of authentic human experiences. The term itself, a misnomer of "California" and "fornication," alludes to a distorted or illegal interpretation of the California dream.


Lyrics of Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers


 

Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind's elation

And little girls from Sweden dream of silver-screen quotation

And if you want these kind of dreams, it's Californication

 

It's the edge of the world and all of Western civilization

The sun may rise in the East, at least it settled in a final location

It's understood that Hollywood sells Californication

 

Pay your surgeon very well to break the spell of aging

Celebrity skin: is this your chin or is that war you're waging?

 

First born unicorn

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Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

 

Marry me, girl, be my fairy to the world, be my very own constellation

A teenage bride with a baby inside getting high on information

And buy me a star on the boulevard, it's Californication

 

Space may be the final frontier but it's made in a Hollywood basement

And Cobain, can you hear the spheres singing songs off Station to Station?

And Alderaan's not far away, it's Californication

 

Born and raised by those who praise control of population

Well, everybody's been there, and I don't mean no vacation

 

First born unicorn

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Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

 

Destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation

And earthquakes are to a girl's guitar, they're just another good vibration

And tidal waves couldn't save the world from Californication

 

Pay your surgeon very well to break the spell of aging

Sicker than the rest, there is no test, but this is what you're craving

 

First born unicorn

Hardcore soft porn

 

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Dream of Californication

Release Date

1999

Songwriter/s

Kiedis, Smith, Flea, Frusciante

Producer/s

Rick Rubin

Label/s

Warner Bros.

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