left some food wrapped up
in a plastic bag
on the kitchen table
way too long
i sat down to eat
next to the bag
i was too tired
to throw it out
i saw a swarm of fruit flies
i took the bag downstairs
when i came back
they were still there
flying jerky patterns
like snowflakes in the air
i’m sorry you’ve got nowhere to go
left straight right straight
i can’t find a reason
i know i’ll keep going but
i can’t find a reason
nothing looks right
nothing smells right
and i can’t land
geometric patterns
smearing out of control
only have enough gas left
for the beercan to the bowl
what can you do but go on?
oh no you make your own mistakes
i cannot bring them back to you
oh no you make your own mistakes
i cannot measure up to you


Lyrics submitted by ruben

Fruit Fly song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentLooking at this song from a non-metaphysical standpoint is a joke, albeit a funny one.

    The "bowl" is the TOILET bowl. You drink, then you piss. It's a mindless process, and part of the human condition, which is also the point of the song. It's essentially a 'sub-metaphor'. The larger metaphor pertains to humans and the world.

    Suppose "God" left some food wrapped up, in a plastic bag of course on the kitchen table for way too long. He comes back and "what the fuck?" He returns to the bag and sees these mindless things floating around, eating, shitting, zig zagging, what have you. Why are they there? Because conditions were suitable, (nasty ass rotting fruit), to attract fruit flies. Why are we here? Because conditions were suitable, (water on Earth), to create life. It's a metaphor for human beings. Matt is a human being, and similarly, he feels like a fruit fly flying around mindlessly, aimlessly. He doesn't know why he is here, but he is, and he's hungry.
    Blakon February 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually this song is much more powerful when taking literally rather than metaphorically.

    What CAN a fruit fly do but go on?
    lewikeeon June 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the fruit flies are a parallel to fruit flies. And the author wanted to give the song (that was created by rotting food) a deeper meaning by adding some lines about the life, the universe and everything.
    bergfalkeon October 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation(Sorry about my english)

    I think this song has two parts :

    One in which matthew writes about "the story that happened in his kitchen"
    about how he saw the fruit flies

    And another part in which he compares himself to a fruit fly.

    he says that no matter which direction he goes he can't find a reason for it at all : "left straight right straight i can’t find a reason i know i’ll keep going but i can’t find a reason"

    he is saying that he can't "land" from the situation he's in : "nothing looks right
    nothing smells right i can’t land"

    "geometric patterns smearing out of control" : in this part of the song i think he's
    talking about the fruit flies like he did before : "flying jerky patterns like snowflakes in the air"

    then he compares himself to a fruit fly again, he says that he dosen't have the energy to do too much or go to far : "only have enough gas left for the beercan to the bowl" just like the fruit fly have only enough energy to fly from a beer can to a bowl.

    "what can you do but go on?" : at this point of the song I think he's talking to himself : what can you do but go on when your in a bad place or situation.
    (awesome line by the way!)

    "oh no you make your own mistakes i cannot bring them back to you oh no you make your own mistakes i cannot measure up to you" : at this point I think matthew is talking to himself again about how he makes he's own mistakes or something like that... I don't really know how to try to explain these lines but you can take it wherever you want :)

    this second part begins when all of the band starts to play
    after the line : "you’ve got nowhere to go"

    I think this is why the song is called : "Fruit fly" and not : "Fruit flies"
    because matthew is comparing himself to a fruit fly

    Well, at least that's how I see it :)
    ronbenatiaon April 13, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the fruit flies are parallel to a relationship that the person is going through. he "left it way too long" and now it's covered with things "flying jerky patterns". maybe he's sick of something that he should of ended a while ago? "I'm sorry you've got no where to go / I can't find a reaon / I know I'll keep going but / I can't find a reason" suggests that. now they're in a state of confusion.

    just a thought.
    sillymofo15on June 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that the song is a metaphor, only using the fly as a representation of the way he perceived his life at that time. "What can you do but go on?" is the defining line of the song showing that although everything is "smearing out of control" and is in a frantic state, all you can do is go on.

    It also is has very visual lyrics where hallucinogens could have either played a part in the lyrical writing or as a background to the initial "out of control life" meaning where the fly is seen by someone potentially trapped in their head while tripping.

    Just the way I see it ^^
    -geekstyle-
    geekstyleon September 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is based on an actual event that matthew had. Sorry for you two who seem to see as a very meaningful song.
    bobjebus16on April 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIndeed. My favorite song from Let Go. In concert Matt said, rather sarcastically, that this was based on a 'true story that happened in his kitchen'. The lyrics obviously reflect that it's about more than that. But still, poor fruit flies...though, I've killed hundreds of them in genetics lab. Maybe I should write a song about that.
    Bromideon September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song finds its beauty in the simplicity of the concept. I
    EvelynMaron May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the line "only have enough gas left
    for the beer can to the bowl". Is he talking about the fruit fly who only has the energy left to fly from beer can to cereal bowl, or the bummed out dude who only has the energy to drink beer and smoke pot....
    shootthemanon April 18, 2008   Link

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