What does Teen Idle mean?

Marina and the Diamonds: Teen Idle Meaning

Album cover for Teen Idle album cover

Teen Idle Lyrics

I wanna be a bottle blonde
I don't know why but I feel conned
I wanna be an idle teen
I wish I hadn't been so clean

I wanna stay inside all day
I want the world to go away
I want blood, guts and chocolate cake
I wanna be a real...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Apr 13th 2016 !⃝

    I can honestly relate to this song, but not as much as someone else in my family, so this interpretation is going to be a whopper, haha.

    Let's start off with this phrase: "I wish I hadn't been so clean."

    This points out to the conservative/Christian teenage girls. (Hence the lyrics, "instead of being sixteen and burning up a bible.") The stereotypical teen is described via alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc., but this one girl seems to be avoiding all of that. It does, however, begin to set her apart, making her an outcast and sending her spiraling into depression.

    And then we switch perspectives. This time, I'm going to point out these lyrics: "I wanna be a virgin pure."

    It's obvious that the point-of-view has been changed with this beginning line of the second verse. The girl then goes on, describing how she made terrible choices in life and deeply regrets them. This character also begins to go through depression.

    Now, to focus on the chorus:

    "Yeah, I wish I'd been a teen, teen idle. Wish I'd been a prom queen, fighting for the title. Instead of being sixteen and burning up a bible, (while) feeling super suicidal. The wasted years, the wasted youth. The pretty lies, the ugly truth. And the day has come where I have died, only to find, I've come alive."

    As well as these lyrics:

    "Adolescence didn't make sense. A little loss of innocence. The ugliness of being a fool. Ain't youth meant to be beautiful?"

    These lyrics can be from both girls' perspectives. At this point, they are questioning their values. Being a teen is walking a tightrope of either leaning to 'you're-too-innocent' or 'you're-too-wild.' Peer pressure can make us believe that such things as drugs, alcohol, etc. are normal and should be used to have fun, even if those same things can ruin the rest of our lives.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Apr 29th 2017 !⃝

    The song could have been Marina describing her years as a teenager. The speaks about her regret and is somewhat reflective. At 16 she regretted not experiencing the things that the girls her age were experimenting with. She could have lived a very sheltered life in a very religious home that prevented her from fully 'indulging' in the whimsical activities girls her age were partaking in. Hence the reference to the line," burning up a bible". She spent so much time adhering to the rules of her religious home instead of whoring about petty things like prom and the like. She felt different from the other girls. Her teenage years were hell. The line,"And the day has come...Where I have died" could speak to the day how futile everything was. The death she was speaking of could have been the death of her immaturity or 'her teenage self' for lack of better words. When that part of her died she realised how limited she was in her thinking and truly began to live."Only to find I've come alive", hence the reason for the the two close paradoxical statements. The day her "younger self" died is the day she began to live


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 16th 2015 !⃝

    In my opinion, she went through her teenage years like a lot of girls, she had depression, eating disorders, and had suicidal thoughts. She wished she could've been like the "normal" girls like the prom queens, and whores. She also might have felt like no one loved her and she was going through life alone and she thought she would die alone.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 17th 2022 !⃝

    Teenage years are not what pop culture illustrates; being a fabulous blonde skinny girl that has a perfect life with her perfect boyfriend and being crowned a prom queen. For many people being a teenager can be a period in their lifetime that highlights their insecurities (“ I wanna be a bottle blonde”, “ I wanna be an idle teen”) and makes them adapt unhealthy habits, such as developing an eating disorder (“ I want blood, guts, and angel cake; I'm gonna puke it anyway”), social comparison(“Wish I'd been a prom queen, fighting for the title”) or depression (“ I wanna stay inside all day; I want the world to go away”). This is the reason why this song can be relatable for many. It actually expresses adolescents’ emotions, thoughts and feelings, which are nothing like what pop culture projects.

  5. super
    click a star to vote
    Aug 7th 2018 !⃝

    It's like she wants to be a perfect blonde skinny woman that is a prom queen trying to get a title and wants to eat anything she wishes, but still wants to be skinny so has to puke it afterwards, and she wishes she had everything clean and has OCD, and is suicidal.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 14th 2015 !⃝

    I think she was pretty depressed as a teen, and also separate from other girls: more sheltered, didn't party hard or drink,ect. Also, being bulimic and teased. I think the song is saying she regrets being clean and sheltered, also depressed, suicidal, and bulimic.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 10th 2015 !⃝

    Its about a depressed/sad teen feel like they are not heard and they wish they could a pefect life like those t.v. Shows about high school and the way they could be heard is being a whore,virgen,party like girl, or even being sucidcal. And they feel they wasted they youth of worrying and feeling they are losing faith in themselfs and in life.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 31st 2014 !⃝

    She is saying that as a teenager she was bulimic, insecure, and depressed. She had also been losing her faith (in living?) She wished to had been living a perfect life instead of having to go through these personal problems with herself.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 22nd 2014 !⃝

    I feel that the song is about Marina's highschool years and how she wished that instead of being depressed and losing faith (instead of being 16, I'm burning up the bible) , she wished she had been like those perfect prom queens that you see on TV. "I want blood, guts, and an angel cake. I'm gonna puke it anyways." I feel that in this particular part of the song, Marina was trying to say how she wishes she was skinny and perfect like some real life Barbie. Plus, Marina clearly states towards the middle of the song that you should never think of yourself too highly because after all you'll die alone. What's the point of loving yourself when there's no one else to actually love you.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 19th 2014 !⃝

    I think it means that she was depressed and bulimic as a teen, and now wishes that she had lived a perfect life.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 15th 2014 !⃝

    I think she was depressed as a teen and wishes she would have lived her life like those fake perfect TV show cheerleaders and whores etc. instead of loosing her faith(burning up a bible) and being bulimic (I want blood guts and angel cake I'm gonna puke it anyways). and she feels like she's going to die loving herself which is worth nothing if nobody loves you.

  12. Omd69
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th 2013 !⃝

    I think she's saying how she regrets not living her teenage years. She says shed wish she'd been a teen idle and a prom queen rather than being depressed as a teenager. She also wishes she hadn't thought too highly of herself

More Marina and the Diamonds songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Inertia anonymous
Death anonymous
Carousel anonymous
Cake anonymous
Reach anonymous
The Final Countdown anonymous
Fight Song anonymous
Am I Wrong anonymous
Hey, Soul Sister anonymous
Agora Hills anonymous
From a Distance anonymous
22 anonymous
Cradles anonymous
It's My Life anonymous
Been to Canaan anonymous

(We won't give out your email)