Vine Street
Harry Nilsson Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

My baby left this mornin'
With everything I had
She didn't give me no warning
And that's why I feel so bad
Oh, Anita (wah-la-la-la)
Anita (wah-la-la-la)
I need some sympathy (wah-la-la-la)
Anita (wah-la-la-la)
I love ya (wah-la-la-la)
Come and sit by me, oh-oh

That's a tape that we made
But I'm sad to say it never made the grade
That was me
Third guitar
I wonder where the others are

Vine Street
We used to live there on Vine Street
She made perfume in the back of the room
While me and my group, we'd sit out on the stoop
And we'd play for her the songs she liked best to have us play
On Vine Street

Vine Street
The crack of the backbeat on Vine Street
Swingin' along on the wings of a song
Lyin' secure, self-righteous and sure




Why, we'd things to say if the people would pay
To have us play on Vine Street

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Harry Nilsson's song "Vine Street" describe the heartbreak that a man experiences after his lover leaves him unexpectedly. He sings about the pain that he is feeling and how he needs sympathy from someone who understands what he is going through. The repeated use of "Anita" is a plea to his former lover to come back to him and comfort him during this difficult time.


The second verse is a reminiscence about a time when he and his band lived on Vine Street, and he reveals that they used to perform songs that his lover enjoyed. However, the mention of a tape that they made that "never made the grade" hints at the dissolution of their relationship--perhaps music was something that they used to bond over, but it wasn't enough to hold them together. The final verse describes the joy that he and his bandmates felt while playing music on Vine Street, but it's clear that those days are gone and that he is now left with only memories of the past.


Overall, "Vine Street" is a poignant ballad about loss and heartbreak. Nilsson's emotive vocals and the simple, repetitive melody serve to amplify the song's themes and convey the depths of the singer's sadness.


Line by Line Meaning

My baby left this mornin'
My girlfriend left me this morning


With everything I had
Took everything I owned with her


She didn't give me no warning
She left without telling me


And that's why I feel so bad
This is why I am feeling so down


Oh, Anita (wah-la-la-la)
Addressing Anita with an expression of emotion


Anita (wah-la-la-la)
Repeating Anita as the direct address


I need some sympathy (wah-la-la-la)
Asking for comfort and compassion from Anita


Anita (wah-la-la-la)
Repeating Anita as the direct address


I love ya (wah-la-la-la)
Expressing love towards Anita


Come and sit by me, oh-oh
Inviting Anita to come sit beside me


That's a tape that we made
Referring to a recording they created


But I'm sad to say it never made the grade
Unfortunately, the recording was not successful


That was me
Referring to oneself


Third guitar
Playing third guitar


I wonder where the others are
Curious about where the other band members are now


Vine Street
Referring to a location where they used to live


We used to live there on Vine Street
Stating that they resided on Vine Street in the past


She made perfume in the back of the room
Describing what his girlfriend did while they were living on Vine Street


While me and my group, we'd sit out on the stoop
Meanwhile, Harry and the members of his band would be outside sitting on the stairs


And we'd play for her the songs she liked best to have us play
They would perform songs that she enjoyed listening to


On Vine Street
Reiterating the street name


The crack of the backbeat on Vine Street
Describing the sound of the beat on Vine Street


Swingin' along on the wings of a song
Enjoying the rhythm and melody of the music


Lyin' secure, self-righteous and sure
Feeling confident and certain about themselves and their music


Why, we'd things to say if the people would pay
They would have more to say if they were paid more


To have us play on Vine Street
They would accept payment to perform on Vine Street




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: RANDY NEWMAN

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Comments from YouTube:

George Cruickshank

This is high in the running for my favorite song. I'm sure the fact I grew up on a street named vine has nothing to do with it lol

Alien SexGod

Great Voice Harry. Great songs an piana by Randy! <3

The Cinematic Mind

The day where we get a Randy Newman autobiography will be a special day.

ROMMIX

Also covered by Van Dyke Parks on his experimental Song Cycle album.

Maz

does anyone know what the intro is? i get that he explains what it is but this intro isnt in newmans origional.
makes me think its an older recording of harrys that didnt make the grade...
Because randy newman is the piano here and it was done the two of them, maybe it was a song of his?

EdisPorter

I wanna know too

Pinecone Ghost

This seems to be a convention with various covers of this song Van Dyke Parks and Harpers Bizarre use different intros. Quite a cool idea.

Maz

@Pinecone Ghost great add, thank you!

Qthesun1

Yeah, each artist that covers this song uses a snippet of an unrelated recording they made previously. The first line of the song “that’s a take, that we made, but I’m sad to say it never made the grade” is a reference to that recording

EdisPorter

@Qthesun1 im more interested to know if it is an unreleased Newman song or unreleased Nilsson song

Also I've seen an interview with Van Dyke Parks where he said that he chose to cover someone else's song for the beginning of his version of Vine Street.

3 More Replies...
More Comments