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Vance Joy – Riptide lyrics
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


uh ooh ooh oooh
uh ooh ooh 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

uh ooh ooh oooh
uh ooh ooh 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
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Lyrics taken from /lyrics/v/vance_joy/riptide.html

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Corrected by jess2001

Riptide meanings Post my meaning

  • L
    + 18
    L.
    He loves this woman, he really does. The riptide can be any emotional or physical problem. I believe that part is left to listener interpretation. He wants to follow her despite all this because he believes he truly loves her. This song is lyrically so well written, and these two are the vaguest lines, and I believe these are the lines that can change the meaning of the song from listener to listener. To some it can be interpreted as a risk being taken by the lady or a psychological struggle she faces. It can be interpreted positively or negatively. The general gist is that he loves her no matter what and is willing to stick by her side. Left hand man can be interpreted as someone that follows (compare to right hand man, the more positive and common phrase) or it can be interpreted as a husband (wedding ring in left hand, husband on left walking down the aisle).

    As a personal opinion, it seems that she's not the same woman she was when they first met. She's going through dark times. He's willing to stay with her if she wants to as well. He's got this irrevocable love for her and he wants to be there for her. He still sees her as this wonderful woman and he still has her on this high pedestal despite the seemingly ongoing darkness.
    1 reply
  • U
    + 9
    Unregistered
    Well, my dad showed me this is song when it was first released and I thought it really interesting how in the music video, everything is viewed so literal and evil, maybe. You hear this song thinking of happy thoughts and you see the video and wonder what it means. Obviously, "riptides" isn't ocean waves like it's shown as and we were thinking maybe it's a metaphor like he's found this beautiful, talented girl and he loves her but she has this problem or addiction. He's afraid because she keeps "singing the words wrong", going back to it, "the dark side", and getting worse. This could be completely inaccurate but. Just my thought.
    1 reply
  • U
    + 7
    Unregistered
    To me, the song is about a person, a guy, who's pretty shy, and then finds a girl that he really likes, and finally breaks his shyness to go up to her. And he realizes that this girl is his absolute one love, and he talks to her, has a blast with her, and they end up liking each other. It's a type of love/romance song and he is saying this girl is the one that has actually made him lose the things he was scared of in the beginning. He's scared of all the things and with her he completely forgets those fears. That is my personal thought.
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  • U
    + 4
    Unregistered
    This song is about infatuation with a girl who can't love him the way he loves her. He is the quiet type, while she on the other hand is an inspiring actress. He overcomes his fears in attempt to be with her, but despite his efforts she isn't showing any signs of wanting to be with him. Left hand man means marriage, because your wedding ring is on your left hand. Sing the words wrong, refers to listening to something you don't want to hear. Turning green refers to being sick or envious. Running to the Riptide, means to running to something beautiful that can tear you apart.
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  • U
    + 2
    Unregistered
    I think this song is about a guy who is shy does really no much. He meets this really cute girl everybody loves her and wants to be with her. He steps ups and ask her she says yes and all. But then she starts going through toughf time and she just can't handle it so she starts doing bad thinks (drugs things like that). Well the man wants to stay with her forever but she is just going crazy by the wants to be there left hand man. But as it goes on he does not know if he can take it and starts to question himself on all these thinks then goes and ask her to get her answer if he should stay or leave her.
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    To me its about a guy who falls for a girl who Is different and helps him become more honest and open to change and taking chances but he doesn't know how to be honest with girl at first then finds that she is worth it because she is so different.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    I think the song is about a person who has maybe a little social anxiety and how it has added to their problems and the things they do or turn to that they use as a crutch. And how the crutch becomes an addiction, or learned behavior. In more specific detail, they are socially introverted, in turn they turn to gambling (hence the friends turning green). Running down to the riptide(their addiction) . Taken away to the dark-side is basically literal. When they come unstuck; they're in a "prison" of they're own in speaking in terms of their personality disorder, when they come unstuck they break away only to repeat the old same habits (going down to the riptide).
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  • U
    - 2
    Unregistered
    The song is about Vance Joy and his girlfriend and their life when they grow up and they always love each other every single day per month and year. The relationship just keeps going on and on and on and the bit in the bridge is where Vance's girlfriend when she's the closet thing to the pretty Michelle Pfeiffer that she's ever seen in her whole life and they still look as beautiful as ever.
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  • U
    - 2
    Unregistered
    I think the song is about a man finding a woman that opens him up and helps the dark side. But he loves it because he is enjoying and experiencing the world and everything good and bad about it. Getting "unstuck" signifies coming out of ones shell, falling in love and experiencing life.
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    Top meanings Post my meaning

    • L
      + 18
      L.
      He loves this woman, he really does. The riptide can be any emotional or physical problem. I... Read more →
    • U
      + 9
      Unregistered
      Well, my dad showed me this is song when it was first released and I thought it really interesting... Read more →

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