I'll strike it if I don't like it
Gimme a club and I will have myself a riot
I'm a monkey with a brick on my shoulder
And I'm getting bolder

Let's deny and defame
Let's destroy and recreate in our glorious name
And when the joke of our centrality is upon us
Grovel and decry

Our vanity
Disgraced to face our own humanity
In a world that mocks our tragedy

Hyper-aware and impaired
Terrified by natures mocking stare
Yearning for significance beyond our animal ken
On which we do depend

Such vanity
Isolated with our own inanity
Entangled by our callow gravity
Disgraced to face our own humanity

Lyrics submitted by MIKERUPTION

Vanity Lyrics as written by Greg Graffin Brett W. Gurewitz

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Vanity song meanings
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  • 0
    My InterpretationThis seems like a song about misfits. In the sense that they just don't know how to fit into society.

    The first verse is a fair description of someone who is blunt and aggressive.

    The second verse is expressing the futility of their existence. If they got their way, and rebuilt everything the way they wanted it wouldn't suit them. They don't have a plan, and their way has not real value.

    The first chorus, means that no matter how good they feel about their achievements - in comparison to the world's cruel judgement, they will become insignificant. Disgraced to Face seems like a play on words "face to face" as if the face of humanity is on one side, but their face is a disgrace. They are a sad excuse to society, a pariah.

    The next verse - not sure about the hyper aware and impaired part. the first thing I think of is Autism, or something. And maybe it is.
    Or maybe it's a reaction to the feelings from the first part of the song... having an urge to fit in, but not being able to. where it used to be aggressive and fun, now it's beat down and paranoid.
    Yearning etc - they don't belong with their clan, so they must rise above them - if only they would get the social acceptance to do so.

    the last chorus - Callow Gravity? these are just kids, aren't they? With their experiences of the world a negative reflection of their abilities.
    leemodon February 08, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about people that make a fuzz about anything that they don't like, The Extremists of any kind. They are so vain.
    AlanMarleyon February 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is describing humanity's basic nature as animalistic, angry, violent, self-important, and of course vain.

    First verse--describing the anger and violence of humanity, as well as saying that humans are merely animals after all.

    Second and third verse--Humans throughout history have destroyed other cultures, mocked and destroyed their works, and replaced them with their own cultural icons, all to glorify ourselves and satiate our vanity. Then, when we're the ones being destroyed by another culture, we denounce our vanity and grovel for mercy.

    Fourth verse--We're hyperaware of our shortcomings and failures, yet impaired to be able to fix them. We have to constantly elevate humanity's importance, make ourselves feel special in the universe, to differentiate ourselves from other animals. And ironically, we depend on those "lesser" animals for everything.

    Fifth verse--Kind of reiterating what's been said. We as humans, in our vanity, constantly need reassuring that we're better than others and that we're special in this world.
    qhejlik11on February 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's a swipe at the toxic culture around social media.

    The first verse could pertain to the 'selfie' phenomena and instant gratification culture where it's about being seen and not a lot else.

    Second verse - it's someone else's fault or take the credit for others' creations, but please click the 'like' icon. Ridicule me and I'll lash out.

    3rd - putting yourself on show and crave all the attention, but get upset when you're the butt of the joke and not in on it.

    4th - you say "look at me", but you're laughing at me and pointing at me. You want to be relevant and famous beyond your own mediocre suburban existence.

    5th - not knowing how irrelevant you really are and not willing to face up to it.

    My take lacks the depth of other responses and is probably a dumbed down version of what's already been said, but I think of selfie taking halfwits and their dumb faces and how they're pretty empty vessels as people, so "Vanity" is what springs to mind.
    Ads74on July 04, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationCreationism? Some lines support this, like "Yearning for significance beyond our animal ken", and the reference to a monkey. Kickass song, either way!
    greenpepperon May 08, 2021   Link

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