Vultures by John Mayer Lyrics Meaning – The Flight From Mediocrity to Excellence


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for John Mayer's Vultures at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Some of us, we’re hardly ever here
The rest of us, we’re born to disappear
How do I stop myself from
Being just a number?
How will I hold my head
To keep from going under?

Down to the wire
I wanted water, but
I’ll walk through the fire
If this is what it takes
To take me even higher
Then I’ll come through
Like I do
When the world keeps
Testing me, testing me, testing me

How did they find me here?
What do they want from me?
All of these vultures hiding
Right outside my door
I hear them whisperin’
They’re tryin’ to ride it out
They’ve never gone this long
Without a kill before

Down to the wire
I wanted water, but
I’ll walk through the fire
If this is what it takes
To take me even higher
Then I’ll come through
Like I do
When the world keeps
Testing me, testing me, testing me

Wheels up
I got to leave this evening
Can’t seem to shake these vultures
Off of my trail
Power is made by power being taken
So I keep on running
To protect my situation

Down to the wire
I wanted water, but
I’ll walk through the fire
If this is what it takes
To take me even higher
Then I’ll come through
Like I do
When the world keeps
Testing me, testing me, testing me

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
What’cha gonna do about it?
What’cha gonna do about it?
What’cha gonna do about it?
Don’t give up, give up, give up
Don’t give up, give up, give up
Don’t give up, give up, give up

Full Lyrics

When John Mayer released ‘Vultures,’ fans and critics alike were quick to take note of its intricate guitar work and soulful grooves. But beneath the smooth musicality lies a lyrical depth ripe for exploration. ‘Vultures’ is more than a song; it is a journey through the challenges and introspections of an artist and perhaps every person striving for authenticity in a world that often feels predatory.

The track from Mayer’s 2006 album ‘Continuum’ weaves a narrative that is both personal and universal, embedded with existential questions and a relentless push for self-actualization. Let’s dive into the layers of meaning behind this haunting tune and uncover the hidden themes that make ‘Vultures’ a perennial piece of Mayer’s musical odyssey.

Survival of the Authentic: The Battle Against Conformity

The opening lines, ‘Some of us, we’re hardly ever here. The rest of us, we’re born to disappear,’ serve as a poignant acknowledgment of the struggle between existence and essence. Mayer touches on a theme common to us all – the struggle to maintain one’s individuality in the face of societal pressures to conform. It’s a reminder that in the hustle to fit in, we risk becoming mere numbers unless we actively fight against disappearing into the collective.

These lyrics beg the question of identity and imply a certain defiance to resist the pull of anonymity. Mayer invokes the existential dread of being inconsequential and issues a call to consciousness – to hold one’s head up and resist the undertow of cultural homogeneity.

The Fiery Path to Self-Actualization

‘Down to the wire / I wanted water, but / I’ll walk through the fire,’ Mayer sings, evoking imagery of trial by fire – a metaphor for the trials one must undergo to achieve greater heights of personal development. This narrative portrays the artist’s willingness to endure pain and hardship in pursuit of growth and self-improvement.

The repeated resolve to ‘come through / Like I do’ serves as a mantra for resilience. John Mayer is no stranger to the scrutiny of the public eye, and this song encapsulates the drive to not only survive but to transcend challenges and emerge stronger.

Unmasking the Vultures: Paranoia or Reality?

‘How did they find me here? / What do they want from me?’ Mayer articulates the paranoia that accompanies fame. The vultures symbolize external pressures, critics, and perhaps inner demons that circle and wait for a moment of weakness to pounce. His narration stands on the border of psychological and real, as the industry and the audience await an artist’s next move with eager anticipation.

In the constant gaze of the public’s eye, the song hints at the invasive nature of fame and the cost of keeping up with expectations. The vulture metaphor is masterfully used to paint the picture of this relentless struggle and the fight to keep personal integrity intact.

The Philosophy of Power in ‘Vultures’

Mayer delves deep into the dynamics of power with the revelatory line, ‘Power is made by power being taken.’ It’s an acknowledgment of the zero-sum game that often plays out in the pursuit of success. He expresses the grim reality of success and influence – to maintain one’s power and position, one must continually be moving, lest one becomes the prey.

This line pinpoints the essence of the song’s hidden meaning – the internal and external tug-of-war for control over one’s destiny. This wisdom Mayer drops is a reminder of the world’s competitive nature and the constant vigilance required to navigate it.

Memorable Lines of Resilience and Determination

The question ‘What’cha gonna do about it?’ is repeated as a refrain, posing a recurring challenge that must be met with action. It’s a provocation to the self, an incitement to rise above circumstances and to not surrender. These lines become a rallying cry for listeners, urging us to remain steadfast in the face of our own ‘vultures,’ whatever form they may take.

By coupling this defiant inquiry with ‘Don’t give up, give up, give up,’ Mayer encapsulates the song’s core message – that persistence and grit are indispensable companions on the road to fulfillment and genuine accomplishment. The mantra-like repetition is not only memorable; it’s empowering, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who dare to soar.

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