Meaning of Mrs Vandebilt by Paul McCartney

The Vanderbilt dynasty, founded by Cornelius Van Der Bilt, is one of the most famous families of American millionaires. We would not care about these overseas bourgeois, if not for Sir Paul McCartney. In 1973, he composed the song Mrs Vandebilt, which became one of his most popular compositions in the USSR.

Just don’t think anything bad. The former member of the rock band The Beatles did not become like court poets who write odes to those in power. A certain Mrs. Vandebilt (and along with her, Mrs. Washington) is mentioned in passing in the song, apparently symbolizing all the rich.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song Mrs Vandebilt

Interestingly, in Mrs Vandebilt, McCartney omitted the “r” from the world-famous surname. It is difficult to say whether this was a conscious step or a banal mistake. He later said that he did not know anything about this family, except that they own a huge fortune. However, Paul could thus be reinsured against any claims from the Vanderbilts.

McCartney recorded Mrs Vandebilt with Wings in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, but was finally completed in London. Not all musicians wanted to go to Africa, and Paul had to play guitar, drums and bass himself.

Release and achievements

The song is included on the album Band on the Run (1973). It was released as a single only in continental European countries and Australia. Mrs Vandebilt did not appear on the British and American charts and was not popular with local listeners. And Western critics spoke of her, for the most part, disapprovingly.

But she conquered the Soviet music lovers once and for all. In the seventies, Mrs Vandebilt sounded on all dance floors and was one of the main hits of that era. The Kyiv concert of Paul McCartney, which he gave in 2008, proved that the song is still loved in the expanses of the former USSR.

A survey was conducted on the well-known site beatles.ru, the purpose of which was to find out the most desirable song for readers. Mrs Vandebilt won by a wide margin. Paul McCartney, having learned about this, sang it, although he had almost never included the composition in concert programs before. Moreover, he announced the song in Ukrainian.

Interesting Facts

  • The song’s opening lines are a slightly altered line from comedian Charlie Chester’s Tarzan of the Tapes.
  • It is said that McCartney performed the drums on the song so well that he was praised by Keith Moon himself, the legendary drummer of The Who.
  • During the recording of Mrs Vandebilt in Lagos, the studio had constant problems with electricity, so the musicians were forced to resort to the help of generators.
  • In the first two lines of the last couplet, McCartney seems to allude to the financial decline of the Vanderbilt family in the twentieth century, when numerous heirs began to spend money famously.

Lyrics of Mrs. Vanderbilt-Paul McCartney

Down in the jungle living in a tent
You don’t use money, you don’t pay rent
You don’t ever know the time
But you don’t mind

chorus:
Ho Hey Ho…

When your light is on the blink
You never think of worrying
What’s the use of worrying?
When your bus has left the stop
You’d better drop your hurrying
What’s the use of hurrying?
Leave me alone, Mrs. Vandebilt
I’ve got plenty of time of my own
What’s the use of worrying?
What’s the use of hurrying?
What’s the use of anything?

When your pile is one the wane
You don’t complain of robbery
Run away don’t bother me
What’s the use of worrying?
What’s the use of anything?
Leave me alone, Mrs. Washington
I’ve done plenty of time on my own

Translation of the song Mrs. Vanderbilt – Paul McCartney

Far in the jungle, living in a tent
You don’t use money, you don’t pay rent
You don’t even know what time it is
And you don’t care

Chorus:
Ho, hey ho

When your light is barely on
You don’t care one bit
What’s the point of worrying?
When your bus left the stop
You better take your time
What’s the point of hurrying?
Leave me alone Mrs Vandebilt
I’ve spent a lot of time alone
What’s the point of worrying?
What’s the point of hurrying?
What’s the point of taking care of anything?

When your fortune is waning
You don’t complain about robbers
Go away, don’t bother me
What’s the point of worrying?
What’s the point of taking care of anything?
Leave me alone Mrs Washington
I’ve spent a lot of time alone

Song quote

Mrs Vanderbilt was good. I didn’t know anything about her except that she was… a rich person.

Paul McCartney

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