What does Butterfly mean?

Weezer: Butterfly Meaning

Album cover for Butterfly album cover

Butterfly Lyrics

Yesterday I went outside
With my momma’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


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Dec 18th 2005 !⃝

    The song was written as an apology to a girl Rivers slept with even though she wasn't ready. Hence the lyrics:

    "When I woke up today
    Looked in on my fairy pet
    She had withered all away
    I’m sorry for what I did
    I did what my body told me to
    I didn’t mean to do you harm "

    The connection to the opera are in the following lines:

    In Madame Butterfly, the main character Pinkerton says to his Japanese lover, Cio Cio San (cio cio meaning butterfly) that he would "return when the robin makes his nest" but he never does; "I ain't never comming back".

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 23rd 2017 !⃝

    So this isn't necessarily what I think the song is actually about about per say, but it's a personal interpretation that goes along with the final song on Weezer's Blue Album, "Only In Dreams". I like to think that both of these songs are about a girl (real or imaginary) that haunts one's dreams, so real in that fantasy, but reality is lonely without her. So from the perspective of this individual, "Only In Dreams" is about the sensation and sadness of her existence, dancing with her in a dream, yet upon waking wishing she was real/there, whereas "Butterfly" I like to think is about growing up, learning to accept her absence/non-reality and live with it, growing as a person because they know that they've done things wrong, but maybe now that she's a part of them, in a way, one can become a better person and move on from who they were. I choose to believe this interpretation because I experience this myself, as I have an imaginary dream companion. And deep down, I like to think to myself "Maybe Rivers Cuomo knows how this feels". :)

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 20th 2012 !⃝

    Everybody gets this one wrong. The butterfly doesn't represent a girl. It represents that intangible something that draws the narrator toward whatever it is he's drawn toward. When the butterfly dies, it doesn't mean anything has happened to the girl, it just means that intangible something has dissipated and the narrator is no longer drawn toward the girl. The narrator was never really interested in the girl per se, the way a normal person might be. He was just chasing butterflies, following his muse, regardless of the destruction he left in his wake.

    It's way deeper than a simple riff on Madame Butterfly. Or rape. Or whatever.

  4. mia91
    click a star to vote
    Jul 3rd 2006 !⃝

    This song has little to do about sex, but mostly love. The song is about a guy's relationship with a girl.
    "Yesterday I went outside/With my momma’s mason jar/Caught a lovely butterfly" - he found a beautiful girl.

    "When I woke up today/Looked in on my fairy pet/She had withered all away" - the jar symbolises how he tried to keep her close but he only ended up smothering her until she withered away.

    "I'm sorry for what I did/I did what my body told me to/I didn't mean to do you harm" - he's sorry for what he did, but it seemed so right at the time.

    At the end of the song we see how he knows what he did was wrong and wishes it were different but most of all he's just sorry (this is why River's repeats I'm sorry a few times, because it's the main message he wants to get across, just that he's sorry.)

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 17th 2005 !⃝

    This song is sort of a confession. It's about sex and the way Rivers gave in to his "bodily-feelings" even though the girl he was with didn't want to do it. Pinkerton in general was interpreted as an apology to "all the faceless asian women" Rivers had slept with.

  6. Jeff3417
    click a star to vote
    May 31st 2005 !⃝

    Rivers wrote this song about the opera Madame Butterfly.

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