I am listening to Lana del Rey's song where she begins with:

Life is awesome, I confess

Using confess this way; I found it rather funny, like a play on words, and if that's the case, hope to know if there's any actual literary technique regarding this.

Genius says just this about it:

She has to confess her awesomeness because it's in spite of some other songs where she sings about the pitfalls of her career or her general 'summertime sadness.'

Also, in my quick googling I dug up a similar expression from The Great Outdoors:

Well, nobody ever accused you of having a grand vision

I'm sure there must be more of such usages, but I'm not sure how to actually look for them, even with a bit of Google Fu I already graduated in.

What is this usage called? Sarcasm, tongue in cheek, play on words? Or is there an actual literary device about this?

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    These are ironic uses of overstatement, common in song lyrics to exaggerate a point: forever and a day, merry Christmas for kids from 1 to 92, even Ladies and Gentleman and children of all ages. – Yosef Baskin Jun 30 '17 at 20:03
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    I don't know if it's a literary technique, but she could be somewhat ashamed of or feeling guilty about how awesome her life is compared to others. My wife and I earn significantly more than some of our friends and relatives and I consequently feel a bit guilty mentioning the vacations we take or the home we own in their presence. Likewise, a friend just lost her daughter to cancer and my wife feels rather awkward mentioning how great our kids are doing on Facebook because she doesn't want to make that parent feel any worse. – Roger Sinasohn Jun 30 '17 at 20:04
  • @RogerSinasohn Lana, in particular, is not ashamed. Maybe I should include more from the linked Genus annotation. – NVZ Jun 30 '17 at 20:06
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    After reading the lyrics, could it be false modesty? – Roger Sinasohn Jun 30 '17 at 20:32
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    Not everything is a thing. This could also be bad poetry. The author had to write words to fill in a line, to match a rhyme or get the meter just right. Its certainly incongruous, because a confession is usually about something bad one has done, and awesomeness of life seems to be more of an opinion. Maybe the author is trying to get across that optimism is commonly derided? Who knows what the author is really thinking, if at all. – Mitch Jan 25 '19 at 17:17

There might be something even more specific lurking out there, but I think it's acceptable to just call this juxtaposition, maybe even a loose form of oxymoron. You're placing two contrasting things next to each other for literary effect.

Accusations and confessions carry a negative connotation. Both imply that there was some conflict or wrongdoing. But "life is awesome" is obviously a positive statement, and though the grand vision itself could be something wicked, "grand" is typically a positive term.


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