"Riding To Vanity Fair" as written by and Paul Mccartney....
I bit my tongue
I never talked too much
I tried to be so strong
I did my best
I used the gentle touch
I've done it for so long

You put me down
But I can laugh it off
And act like nothing's wrong
But why pretend
I think I've heard enough
Of your familiar song

I tell you what I'm going to do
I'll try to take my mind off you
And now that you don't need my help
I'll use the time to think about myself

You're not aware
Of what you put me through
But now the feeling's gone
But I don't mind
Do what you have to do
You don't fool anyone

I'll tell you what I'm going to do
I'll take a different point of view
And now that you don't need my help
I'll use the time to think about myself

The definition of friendship
Apparently ought to be
Showing support for the one that you love
And I was open to friendship
But you didn't seem to have any to spare
While you were riding to Vanity Fair

There was a time
When every day was young
The sun would always shine
We sang along
When all the songs were sung
Believing every line

That's the trouble with friendship
For someone to feel it
It has to be real or it wouldn't be right
And I keep hoping for friendship
But I wouldn't dare to presume it was there
While you were riding to Vanity Fair

Lyrics submitted by Cherub Rock

Riding To Vanity Fair song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentWell,i think this song is about a broken friendship,where the singer feels that the other person despise this relationship while he offered his sincere love! I like this song! But i'm not sure about about the meaning of song's title...
    sandovalmikeon January 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohn?
    shedontcareon July 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely John.
    spoonzeeson February 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHave you noticed how bitter this song is? Not a Macca trademark, indeed.

    Riding to Vanity Fair would mean that the former friend became shallow, vain, gained vanity. I don't know if it's John - after all, Here Today says a very different thing. Paul could have met someone else who did these things in the 25+ years after Lennon's murder, couldn't he?
    Santiagofon May 18, 2010   Link
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    My OpinionFirst off, McCartney denies it is directed to anyone in particular. I believe that is not quite accurate and here's why. Paul writes a good tune, but his lyrics are frequently unresolved and virtually meaningless until he is focused on a particular subject. It is then that his lyrics become compelling and, well, more interesting. This song seems focused so I feel he has a particular subject in mind. Is it John? No. I sincerely doubt it. Their feuding was over in the 70's and they parted on a good note. John's last interview (in Playboy, I believe) was upbeat about Paul and there was no need for Paul to rebut. George Harrison? Not likely. Ringo? Possible but I have my doubts. Around the time of this song they were having a bit of a falling out - Paul not inviting Ringo to a function that one would have thought Ringo should have been invited to. But of the comments from Ringo concerning the event that I've heard he merely expressed his frustration. There were no put-downs. If anything, it may have more to do with a disgruntled former member of his staff. With his profile Paul gets a lot of these hangers-on. And at the time he was still married to Heather who was notoriously not a person who appreciated Paul's life-style and almost constant paparazzi. Could it even be about her? I give that a slight possibility.
    Tweezeon July 30, 2010   Link
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    General CommentI agree with Tweeze. Very unlikely that John's ghost popped up on this song, but since they were the Beatles, it's easy to go with that. Like Foo Fighters and the supposed Cobain references in their songs, with due respect to the obvious differences between those two.

    I don't think that it might be Heather, though. Would he be speaking of "friendship" in such a case? And I think that they were still together by the time he wrote this.

    Anyway, this song is just plain amazing, and proof positive of Paul's multiple talents as a musician. Godrich's production is haunting, I love the use of the string section here, subdued and dramatic, that great glockenspiel bit notwithstanding!

    One of my favorites from him.
    Santiagofon September 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod - it's about his ex wife Heather Mills - do you people not know anything about him?
    Foreignhandon March 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it is about Heather Mills. Not long after this album was released, they seperated.
    misterclon April 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningForeignhand..you are so right. This is exactly about Heather Mills...in fact when listening to this when it came out I immediately called my sister and said, oh my gosh...Paul and Heather are going to split up...listen to the cd. And then it happened. Also, listening to the entire album is an entire story of what Paul was going through and his feelings. C'mon..."You're not aware of what you put me through
    But now the feeling's gone; But I don't mind; do what you have to do; you don't fool anyone"...this is about Heather. From a Lover to a Friend, is Paul talking to Nancy telling her to don't think of me as your lover, think of me as your friend...and "take your own advice..let me love again.." She was telling him to let go of Heather and love again, and he is telling Nancy the same thing. And "How Kind of You"...about Nancy.....I could go on and on, but I knew the whole story the whole time...it hit me immediately. Even on the Chaos album..."Magic"...that's about when he and Linda met at the "Bag O'Nails"...Linda was on her way out when Paul was on his way in..."if I hadn't stopped you, I'd always regret; a few minutes later, you'd been out that door." Paul is a true romantic and Foreignhand...I agree...don't these people know him by now?
    dittietwinon May 09, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningAnd also on Chaos, in case there is any more doubt...this is about Nancy. Paul and Linda and Nancy and her then husband were friends for quite some time..."we can cure each other's sorrow..."

    "If you love me, won't you call me?
    I've been waiting; waiting too long.
    In my soul is constant yearning, Always singing; singing this song.
    Only love is strong enough to take it on the chin; When did I begin to fall?

    Anyway, anyway, you can make that call.
    You feel free to make yourself at home.
    Aaaaaah; Ooooh.

    If we could be closer longer, that would help me;
    Help me so much.
    We can cure each others' sorrow.
    Won't you please, please, please get in touch?

    If a love is strong enough it may never end.
    Why would I pretend to fall?


    Any way, any way, any way at all
    Any way that you can, make that call!"
    dittietwinon May 09, 2012   Link

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