Butterfly Lyrics - Weezer

Review The Song (23)



Yesterday I went outside
With my mama's mason jar,
Caught a lovely butterfly
When I woke up today
Looked in on my fairy pet
She had withered all away
No more sighing in her breast

I'm sorry for what I did
I did what my body told me to
I didn't mean to do you harm
Everytime I pin down what I think I want it slips away
The ghost slips away

Smell you on my hands for days
I can't wash away your scent
If I'm a dog then you're a bitch
I guess you're as real as me
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Maybe I can live with that
Maybe I need fantasy
Life of chasing butterfly

I'm sorry for what I did
I did what my body told me to
I didn't mean to do you harm
Everytime I pin down what I think I want it slips away
The goal slips away

I told you I would return
When the robin makes his nest
But I ain't never coming back
I'm sorry
I'm sorry
I'm sorry



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New insight | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/2/12

I always loved this song. To me, I thought it was about how chasing dreams and romance was more intoxicating than the actual reality of what you thought you wanted. Once you've possessed your dream it withers away. Sad, but maybe true.

I recently read the book, The Collector, by John Fowles, which was written long before the song. It was so clear this song was written as commentary on the novel. I almost fell off my chair.

I appreciate this song on many levels.

interpretation | Reviewer: amber_goldz@yahoo.com | 2/21/12

I just was sent this song by someone. For me it is about a guy having sex with a girl and she cares about him but the guy doesn't know what he wants and wants to chase other butterfly's (women). He feels bad for what he did since he wanted casual sex but he really hurt the girl who genuinely cared about him.

I don't know Madame Butterfly, but... | Reviewer: Thom | 12/28/11

First off, the lyrics to this song are beautiful. Quite an amazing song, all in all. It's very complex. As an album, Pinkerton is largely about sex and romance, both of which are largely unrequited. I also think it's about how an intellectual views sexuality (Cuomo being a Harvard grad and all). This is an age where premarital sex is viewed as basically a reality, but Cuomo seems caught up between eroticism and sexuality on some songs ("The Good Life" in particular) and the want for something more meaningful and spiritual ("Why Bother", "Across the Sea", "Tired of Sex"). I think this song is in one sense a reflection on how shallow one-night stands and rampant eroticism are, and how harmful they can be. On the other, I do think it's also about youth, the first stanza seems to me not a metaphor but a parallel. In an innocent act of catching a butterfly, Cuomo damaged something sacred and beautiful. I feel the first stanza is about that childish carelessness which many a young man has with other young women with whom he has had casual sex, and the song is Cuomo's reflection on his actions as a young man as an older and more mature person, and subsequent apology for his childishness.

songs. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/4/11

heres what i found "This song is based on the play Madame Butterfly, which Rivers wept uncontrollably when he watched it for the first time. It's about a sailor that made false promises to a young girl for sex. Rivers relates this to himself. He was over in Japan once and slept with a young girl who loved him and made promises to return and so on. He promised her that it wasn't a one night stand even though he knew that it was and he realized how much he hurt her. The´╗┐ butterfly in this song is that naive girl." - a smart guy from youtube.

Growing up | Reviewer: Mark Phillips | 7/25/10

I disagree with the reviews about it being about a single break-up. Or a concept such as love. Yes, I understand the Pinkerton reference and the title of this song, but I think that's more window dressing in a way.

I believe the song is about growing up. Note how he points out that "yesterday" he went outside to catch a butterfly. I believe this is a reference to how quickly life passes us all by.

The references to not being able to pin down what he wants is simply the transition and confusion that we all feel as we grow into adults.

The final part of the song about returning when "the robin makes his nest" or spring is the final part of growing up, leaving the nest. He says he will return but knows in his heart that he can no longer move backward but most go ahead, alone, into adulthood.

you guys are retarded... | Reviewer: iAN | 5/20/10

This song is about a guy leaving a girl, not the other way around retards. this song is purely introspective. he has fallen out of love and wishes he hadn't. his "fairy pet" is love. it has died. he doesn't want to leave his girl but he no longer loves her and its not fair to stay. it's pretty clear. thing is, so many ppl that listen to weezer do so because they have been dumped and they want to apply their ish to the song but you can't. YOU CAN'TTTTT!!!! stop trying to...its not about being dumped. he didn't rape anyone. he fell out of love and wishes he were still in love. when you guys grow up and find out what its like to have to leave someone else instead getting dumped cuz you're acne ridden highschool fags you will realize the truth of this song.

Butterfly: Comment on Anon's Review | Reviewer: Even More Anon | 2/18/10

I beg to differ with Anon's review, in that: "Madama Butterfly" debuted in 1904, just a tad earlier than WWII! Lt. Pinkerton was in the Navy, so he was not a US soldier. My personal opinion is that it is NOT funny that people, in general, know so little about opera at all! Opera was a form of popular entertainment at the time, much as television and films are today. I'm not trying to devalue opera at all, but just to put knowledge about it in its proper perspective. Furthermore, Anon forgot that 1) Butterfly was a geisha, so, though she might have been at a high level, she was not a wife, and 2) Pinkerton and his American wife returned to retrieve the son that had been born to Butterfly by Pinkerton. It was the loss of the child that was ultimately so devastating to Butterfly.

If you truly want to have your heart broken by a song from Madama Butterfly, it would be "Un Bel Di Vedremmo." Callas is always a good choice. Her voice is honest, and is used as part of her total performance as an actress. Alternatively, to hear "One Fine Day" ("Un Bel Di Vedremmo") recorded in English by Hayley Westenra (not an opera singer), go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMHIMYGHH6o&feature=PlayList&p=D619CAB8C577D2A1&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=34

Finally, IMHO, Pinkerton was an a--hole, leading Butterfly down a road on which he never intended to stay. Better he had left his kid in Japan. Jerk!! (Did I say that out loud?)

Lust | Reviewer: Dylan37 | 1/5/10

I belive this song is about lusting after women, the butterflys. The line 'Everytime I pin down what I think I want it slips away' I think means that the narrator sets his sights and wastes his time on only one women and then she just leaves(hooks up with another guy). The Narrator hates this he wants a life of 'Chasing butterfly'.

Butterfly | Reviewer: Anon | 10/12/09

It is kind of funny how a lot of people know so little about Opera.

Weezer's album 'Pinkerton' was a fairly overt reference to the famous Opera: 'Madame Butterfly' which follows the story of a US soldier in WWII who breaks the heart of, and abandons his Japanese fling when he returns to his home. This song basically summarizes it with a few other bits thrown in to make it more original.

Nice song (sounds terrible when sung unless you have a good range), but is often misinterpreted (I'm looking at you--the guy who thought the song was about rape)

Do you guys know Craig Schuftan? ^^, | Reviewer: MALiCE. | 10/4/09

Well. In his book. Hey Nietzsche leave them kids alone. He talks about this particular song. As Rivers confession himself and his flings etc. But to be honest. I think it's best that everyone has their own interpretation. Weezer is amazing. :3

Possibly the saddest song i've ever heard | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/13/09

"Butterfly" is about rape. The butterfly is the girl who was raped, the Mason jar is where she was when she got raped. The line "I did what my body told me to" refers to not being able to control sexual urges. "I smell you on my hand for days" is a reference to him penetrating her with his hand, "I guess you're as real as me" is when he realizes that he has hurt another human, but the next line "Maybe I can live with that" is about how he thinks he can suffer the guilt, although he also states that he needs a life of fantasy and chasing butterflies, which means he might go back to pretending the woman he rapes are just "fairy pets." The lines "I'm sorry" is Rivers begging for forgiveness from the woman he has violated. This was copied and pasted fromhttp://dumbbaby.net/a/317.shtml. I truly think this is the correct meaning.

Butterfly | Reviewer: Santiago | 2/26/09

I think that this song is about ruining a girl. You may have fallen in love with that free spirited butterfly, but when it came down to commitment, she withered away. Just like in Soundgarden's "Fell On Black Days", Chris Cornell sings "Don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly". Some are just not wired for commitment or its just the wrong time.

This song is also (I think) about the romantic/fantasy emotions that some of us guys have. We feel the world of whoever receives our love. When those feelings of being content or in love were not reciprocated, the other gets angry and tries to bring that person off of his/her pedestal. "I'm a dog/you're a bitch. You're as real as me/but I need fantasy".

The song ends with a promise that he will return when the robin makes his nest. I think that he is referring to her in the sense that one day she will be ready for a commitment. Nest=home.

Oponion and Chat | Reviewer: Brandon Fure | 12/25/08

Hmmm, I listen to this song a lot when I get to this point where I think about a girl I liked. I have a girlfriend who I love with all my heart, but there is that other girl... It felt like love, a fantasy, and every now and then I miss her a lot, but she had a boyfriend (still does) and we just have new lives... It was a romance, and it turned into a drunken romance... I liked her, and when I listen to this song it reminds me of all the good and bad times we had. I know the girl and I were never meant to be, but she said no matter what she'll always love me... I felt so heart broken when her boyfriend came back and I was just some memory to her... Especially because when we sparked and to what I thought "fell in love" she knew I was in a depression because my girlfriend broke up with me... My girlfriend and I are back together, but we went on a break and things went to shit that summer.. I really miss the girl and I've only been truly in love twice in my love. With the girlfriend I have now, and the other girl... I just wonder what it would be like if she chose me... If the robin went away and I had the butterfly... If they butterfly had me... Come to think of it, I wonder if she'll ever see this comment... I tremble when I try to talk to her... I can't in person and online it's so hard... She stole half my heart though... It's odd she pops up every now and then...

lost love. | Reviewer: weezerfan1992 | 11/26/08

i think this song is about a relationship that is falling apart. the butterfly in the jar represents the love that was so delicate in the mason jar but it had eventually died after he realized it was to late- " when i woke up". then he is saying he is sorry and is probably confused with what he wants -" every time i pin down what i think i want it slips away" he is taking to long to decide what he wants and she eventually leaves. he was living in a world of fantasy and not paying attention to what was really going on with his relationship. the last verse with the robin i believe it means that he tried to change his ways and be a better guy but it just wasn't going to happen, things had changed and there was nothing that could be done to salvage the love they once had.

heartbroken | Reviewer: B | 10/30/08

I just discovered my boyfriend has been cheating on me for the past three years, and sending messages to personal's adds on craigslist, asking people to meet up with him for sexual favors. I am heartbroken....... He added this page to my link right before he left. I feel he was trying to explain how he felt. I feel the song deals with the fact that some men even though they are with great women can't resist temptation. So the women they have get fucked over amidst all of the searching. Some men, are still boys chasing a fantasy in their heads. It is hard to live out this fantasy with just one person. However he even states in the song that the girl he cheated on her with is just like him. She will eventually go off to find someone else. He will be left to search, and will loose her for good. Please learn from the song be honest with your lover. If you must go, then do so, but find out if it's realy worth it. before she is lost for good.


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------ Performed by Weezer

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------ 09/30/2014

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