Week 25: Don’t take away the butterflies

As so often happens when I write a song without thinking too much about it, I end up not really being too sure what it’s about – a bit like a dream that feels strong and meaningful, but whose meaning may only become clear with time. I’m often surprised by a sudden understanding of one of my songs months or even years later. This is one of those songs where the whole thing happened really quickly – in about half an hour. I’m guessing the butterflies and the nightjars are the ups and downs of my mood swings. And maybe I’m saying to myself it’s ok, all these feelings are important, they’re all part of a process – go with them and live them, don’t resist or reject them. This is a really fun song with the band, with its unusual tempo changes.

25 Don't take away the butterflies
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I was digging for an open feeling
Out where the edge-light opens
And every thought is spoken

I was talking to a friend of mine
About the lure of good things
And what it means for mood swings

Don’t take away the butterflies
Or the valley where the nightjar cries
Deep inside your aching
I believe in everything you feel
Even in the storm with a heavy keel
And deep with laughter shaking

Sometimes you have to sink
To find out what you’re thinking
And rise up dazed and blinking

Sometimes it takes a fool
To find the simple pleasures
And things you just can’t measure


Sometimes you’ve got to let it spin
And run in deeper ocean
To catch the prize emotion

It takes a special kind
Of wild and wily pilot
To find my lonely islet


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