You're not human
You're a miracle
A preacher with an animal's face

In your sexy
Neon smokescreen
Lie the supersalesmen of vanity

Even your shadow worships you
In your jungle solitude

With the orgies of the sacrament
And the seal of flagellants

You know God saves those who save their skin
From the bondage that we're in

I'm elated
I could cut you
And remove the sheath of your ignorance

Bless the eunuch
And the Skoptsi
Will you hurt me now and make a million?

Say cheese, baby
We all love you
It's a cheap world and you don't exist

Slit the fabric of the right now
Spread your legs and wear the crown

Tell me how long, lord, how long?
'Til I get my beauty sleep?

Now the hourglass is empty
The moment of my de-sexing

Cut it, cut, cut, cut
Cut this cancer from my soul

Now that I've made it
I'm finally naked
I'm finally naked
Yeah, I made it
I'm really naked


Lyrics submitted by NoiseCore

Vanity Fair Lyrics as written by Michael Allen Patton Trevor R Dunn

Lyrics © Hipgnosis Songs Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Vanity Fair song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    Collagen is the most abundant protein found in animals. It is used to reduce wrinkles in the face, through injections. Other products used in plastic surgery also contain animal products.

    "A preacher with an animal's face" - collagen

    "In your sexy neon smokescreen lie the supersalesmen (plastic surgeons!) of vanity"

    "God saves those who save their skin From the bondage that we're in"

    "I could cut you And remove the sheath of your ignorance"

    "Bless the eunuch And the Skoptsi" - Both types of people who had their genitals removed in an attempt to become closer to their religious faith. He is showing the contrast between them, and people who have surgery (they are cut to look pretty (a sin?), while the eunuch and the skoptsi did it to take away their sins, or sexual attractiveness)

    The last few lines also refer to this: "The moment of my de-sexing Cut it Cut it Cut this cancer from my soul Now that I've made it... I'm finally naked... "

    • The "plastic" culture that surrounds him upsets him, and he's expressing this by suggesting, like the eunuch and the skoptsi, that he'd have his testicals removed to be rid of it.
    danargyleon February 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is about a soon-to-be eunuch readying himself for his greatest sacrifice. Obviously he's excited, as expected.

    Hypothermic_Allergyon July 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I'd say it's about how religion asks people to put themselves through stupid things, the example being used is castration (look up the Skoptsi if you don't get it), but could be applied in a wider sense. If I could think of an actual example, I'd give one though.

    My favourite song of all time.

    infotainment_ladon November 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The Latin word for "sheath" is "vagina".

    Indeed "vagina" as a clinical term for the female genitalia indicates the fundamental sexism of the weltenschaung that gave rise to our modern world; with the notion that woman exists for man, but without the notion that man exists for woman.

    "And remove the sheath of your ignorance Bless the eunuch And the Skoptsi"

    There is a strong current in human history of "religion" or psychic development being pursued by those who believe the physical side of humanity, in its rawest form the sexual side, to be inherently corrupt. To paraphrase the gospels, "if your left nut causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it into the fire".

    "With the orgies of the sacrament"

    The eucharist is the mock devouring of the flesh and blood of a human sacrifice, a parody of earlier pagan rites of eating a sacrificial animal, and still earlier rites of actually eating a human sacrifice. The accompanying wine/blood perhaps comes from the bacchanlia, pagan orgies.

    "But it's a cheap world and you don't exist..."

    The illusory nature of the reality of the senses is a common thread in ascetic religion. . .

    "Slit the fabric of the right now"

    as is the metaphor of a "veil" of illusion, and the focus on perception of time, on the "eternal now".

    "spread your legs and wear the crown"

    Babylon, the mother of harlots, drinks the blood of the saints. The eucharist is the drinking of the blood of the Christ.

    "Tell me how long, lord, how long? Till I get my beauty sleep?"

    The elevation of the aterlife in Christianity is only possible at the cost of degrading the present life; if perfection is only attainable in the heaven after death, then why do we not seek out death? Indeed, Christians often have.

    untermenschfurimmeron May 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    The opening line“You’re not human,” states the aim of the following descriptions, laying the format of the upcoming stanzas, first “You’re a miracle” then “A preacher with an animal’s face.” As the stanzas unfold it becomes clear that he’s talking about two separate individuals, both a side of the same coin; those seeking vanity and those seeking holiness, each through self-mutilation that makes them inhuman.

     The lyric progresses through descriptions of what each have to gain, commentary reflecting on the nature of beliefs each of their peers hold regarding their actions, onward toward anticipation and completion of their respective surgeries. The lyric hints at several themes, from pursuit of vanity to quiet remarks that may be referring to Los Angeles (Vanity Fair is from the album titled California) with references to supersalesmen and neon lights.

    With lines like:

    “Will you hurt me now and make a million? Say cheese, baby We all love you But it's a cheap world and you don't exist... “

    it isn’t hard to see that the author’s view of each of these actions is leaning towards negative, if not outright revulsion and disdain, if not mocking with lines from the third and fourth stanzas respectively, “Even your shadow worships you “, and “With the orgies of the sacrament,” each pointing to pursuits of vanity, adulation, and recognition for extreme, albeit surface level changes.

    corbin1180on February 25, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    telling someone how beautiful they are, and they get full of themselves and leave you.

    I'm elated I could cut you And remove the sheath of your ignorance

    Bless the eunuch And the skoptsi Will you hurt me now and make a million?

    youeatpoopon April 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is blatantly obvious. It's about Pastic Surgery and the effects on that culture. It's a fake world and it doesn't exsist.

    paulbrowneart.co.uk

    one who waitson December 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Hypothermic Allergy has hit the nail, in my opinion. I thought it might also be to do with televangelists?

    Artison July 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "one who waits" got it.

    deejuks2on December 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Its about supermodels thinking they really are the airbrushed perfect beauties they appear to be.

    LoQ138on January 25, 2007   Link

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