I was scared of dentists and the dark
I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations
Oh, all my friends are turning green
You're the magician's assistant in their dreams

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You're gonna sing the words wrong

There's this movie that I think you'll like
This guy decides to quit his job and heads to New York City
This cowboy's running from himself
And she's been living on the highest shelf

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You're gonna sing the words wrong

I just wanna, I just wanna know
If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay
I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can't have it, I can't have it any other way
I swear she's destined for the screen
Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen, oh

Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You're gonna sing the words wrong

Oh lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You're gonna sing the words wrong

Oh lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You're gonna sing the words wrong
I got a lump in my throat because you're gonna sing the words wrong



Lyrics submitted by deck, edited by Mellow_Harsher, thatismahogony, blarhblarh

"Riptide" as written by James Keogh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Riptide song meanings
Add your thoughts

16 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Comment:I'm a dentist and I don't like when people are afraid of me!
    docrockon October 31, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General Comment:i don't know why but I've always seen this as this awkward kid who deeply falls in love with this free spirited girl who also has tendencies to get sad and traumatised and run off and do fuck all for a bit. He fears for her when she goes through these dark stages, however is so infatuated with her at the same time. idkk just what i got
    chadtheladon February 03, 2014   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation:It's a break up song. Or rather the anticipation of a break up from a woman he loves who no longer loves him or has been attracted to another.

    "And it comes unstuck"

    "Lady, running down to the riptide
    Taken away to the dark side
    I wanna be your left hand man"
    He wants to marry her, he loves her but she doesn't love him.

    "I love you when you're singing that song and I gotta lump in my throat cos your gonna sing the words wrong"
    He wants so badly to hear her say "I love you" but she can't or won't.

    Just my interpretation anyway... Better than something about Trannys...
    waywardkittyon August 17, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:Music videos either make or break a song- this one made me love this song even more, and watching him live at the Arias 2013. This guy is a genius! His voice sounds even better live.
    I believe this song is about a girl he loves who is slowly changing before his eyes.
    "I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations" meaning he'd conquered that fear and now he's found her.
    "All my friends are turning green" His friends are jealous because he has this beautiful girlfriend.

    "Lady, running down to the riptide,
    Taken away to the dark side". His girlfriend gets caught up with bad people or an addiction or something that is changing her ways.

    " i wanna be your left hand man" But he loves her so much he'll still stay and help her no matter what happens

    " I love you, when you're singing that song, and
    I've got a lump in my throat,
    Cos your gonna sing the words wrong" The relationship starts going downhill because she's saying things and doing things that are out of character. It makes him feel sick inside that she's not the girl he first met.

    "This cowboys running from himself" Meaning he's confused with why she's become this way so he questions himself and that maybe he's he's not good enough.

    "And she's been living on the higher shelf" He's always worshipped her and put her up on a pedestal.

    "I just wanna, I just wanna know,
    If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay" He asks her for the truth, he wants to know if she really loves him.

    And that's my interpretation of some of the lyrics in this song ;)
    ElectraHeart2000on December 10, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation:It's definitely NOT a break-up song. It's about a woman's fears of loving a "cowboy who's running away from himself", and of a man who's afraid he isn't worthy to stand in the presence of a pretty woman. They are both stuck in these fears, in these darksides.

    The riptide is a division of ways, a decision. The woman asks him whether he's going to stay or not. "I just wanna, I just wanna know
    If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay" - he's remembering when she said it, how she looked.

    He answers that he will be her "left hand man", marry her. And it transforms their relationship from one of fear to one of hope.

    They become unstuck - it's a reference to a song by The Cure called "Doing the Unstuck" - a couple in love are about to break up, but then decide to start over again. It's a very positive and moving song, and its reference shouldn't be missed.
    yarlypipon January 17, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:<3 velocite
    alfyon August 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I believe this song is about a socially awkward and lonely young man who is in love with a beautiful girl. In many respects it's similar in themes to Radiohead's Creep.

    I have a strong feeling that the movie in the second verse is a reference to Midnight Cowboy. Midnight Cowboy is indeed about a man who quits his job in a small town and moves to New York, but is overcome with loneliness in the big city. The reference to a 'cowboy running from himself' makes me even more sure that Vance Joy are alluding to it, the film that helped make this great song famous:' youtube.com/… Everbody's Talkin conveys the emotion of loneliness better than any song I know.

    The chorus is rather heartbreaking when you understand that song is about loneliness of a boy in love with a beautiful girl, unable to act on it. I think the 'lump in my throat' line is a stunningly good lyric.
    TheOxon March 25, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I don't get it
    tyty2006on April 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:trannys <3 best line of the song by far
    thatismahogonyon August 09, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I feel like he is breaking up with her, because he loves her so much, but she has taken on a drug problem. I kind of get the vibe that he's at his wit's end and is either saying it's him or the drugs.
    aaronplaneon October 19, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain