"The Butterfly Collector" as written by and Paul John Weller....
So you finally got what you wanted
You've achieved your aim by making me walk in line
And when you just can't get any higher
You use your senses to suss out this week's climber
And the small fame that you've acquired
Has brought you into cult status
But to me you're still a collector

There's tarts and whores but you're much more
You're a different kind 'cause you want their minds
And you just don't care 'cause you've got no pride
It's just a face on your pillowcase
That thrills you

And you started looking much older
And your fashion sense is second-rate like your perfume
But to you in your little dream world
You're still the queen of the butterfly collectors

As you carry on 'cause it's all you know
You can't light a fire, you can't cook or sew
You get from day to day by filling your head
But surely you must know the appeal between your legs
Has worn off

And I don't care about morals
'Cause the world's insane and we're all to blame anyway
And I don't feel any sorrow
Towards the kings and queens of the butterfly collectors

There's tarts and whores but you're much more
You're a different kind 'cause you want their minds
And you just don't care 'cause you've got no pride
It's just a face on your pillowcase
That thrills you

You carry on 'cause it's all you know
You can't light a fire, you can't cook or sew
You get from day to day by filling your head
But surely you must know the appeal between your legs
Has worn off

And I don't feel any sorrow
Towards the kings and queens of the butterfly collectors


Lyrics submitted by planetearth, edited by songmeaninguse

"The Butterfly Collector" as written by Paul John Weller

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Butterfly Collector song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentdon't piss off Paul Weller or he'll write a song like this about you....
    LolaBaton November 28, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWonder if they're still friends?
    Boss Manon June 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song has to be the best b side of all time and showcases paul wellers cynical and cutting lyrics. How can a man that writes songs as good as this just 3 years later decides that the bitterest pill is the way forward for the band.
    sivillaon December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about an encounter he had in a nightclub and about a transvestite hitting on him and hoping to make him believe he is a woman. It's hard and malicious lyrics that pop up are because he is trying to be fooled by someone who is not what they say they are and he feels he's being taken for a fool . Basically a fraud. It's just that face on your pillow case that thrills you is referring to the make up that's on it in the morning making them believe that they were a woman the night before. Now you know you will see all the lyric references in the song. Out of the caterpillar becomes a butterfly referring to the change from man to woman. She is a butterfly collector,never being one but believing that every time he fools someone into believing they are a woman she thinks she's a butterfly.
    Mr cleanon May 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"How can a man that writes songs as good as this just 3 years later decides that the bitterest pill is the way forward for the band."

    A great question, his dad, the executives at polydor?

    At this point I still think the band saw eye to eye.
    Mojo Workingon September 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is about someone who sleeps around and wants not only notches on their bedposts... but also wants the souls and minds of the people that they're sleeping with. They don't care who they are because they're just faces on a pillow. The butterfly collector has no talents, other than between the sheets, but this is starting to wear off... someone that uses the men or stars she's with to get what and where she wants in life... a social climber.
    Lollyliciouson October 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was on the b-side of 'Strange Town' and is about groupies. I love the way the song seems to quietly seethe with anger through each verse and then suddenly explodes into the chorus with barely a single drum beat as forewarning. Magnificent!
    TheFrumplingtonson April 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song about Susan (circa 1984) who likes to add notches to her bedpost. although she is shallow and insecure
    rubicon19812000on September 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningFrom Wikipedia- Based on a book, but here's the Jam part- The song "The Butterfly Collector" by The Jam (the B-Side of the 1979 single "Strange Town") was inspired by the book, but the song was in fact about Soo Catwoman, who upon the implosion of the Sex Pistols, attempted to become part of The Jam's entourage. The song states the band's contempt for those obsessed with "collecting" reflected fame from contemporary celebrities as a substitute for living their own lives.
    DougDonuton January 22, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment@sivilla,just referring to your comment about'the bitterest pill(I ever had to swallow).that tune was wrote totally tongue in cheek,which is why it's so unlike 'the butterfly collector'
    garageland77on March 02, 2016   Link

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