"Butterfly Caught" as written by Robert Del Naja, Neil Davidge and Grantley Marshall....
Weightless falls
Strange this
Light from pages
Paper thin thing
Protected by the naked eye

Pearly sunrise
Nearly worn
Kneeling like a supplicant

Darkened skin
Afraid to see
Open lips
Keep smiling for me

Darkened skin
Afraid to see
Open lips
Keep smiling for me

Weightless cool
Fair skin
Uncut teeth
Tranquil eyes
Bite my lips!
Bite my lips
Under your feet

Lyrics submitted by bocmaxima

"Butterfly Caught" as written by Grantley Evan Marshall Grantley Marshall

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Butterfly Caught song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentWell, I see this song in the context of the video. (Mostly because I can't really understand 3D's mumbling. But oh what sexy mumbling it is... moving on...) I think the song's about depression and self-loathing, and how it could eat away at your being. 3D's in this stark urban room with a moth, and his skin is gradually taking on the moth's patterns, while the moth slowly becomes more and more debilitated. I think this means he's drawing out the negative energy from the moth and taking on the negative energy. He's making a small problem (the moth) very big, by letting it take over. He is consumed by his inner fears, depression, doubts, ugliness, until it completely covers him.
    hallospacegirlon January 24, 2008   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI strongly disagree with the interpretations that this is about "seizing the moment." It's about lost innocence and emptiness.

    First, there's the title: "Butterfly Caught." A butterfly is symbolic of beauty and, in eastern cultures (which have influenced Massive Attack's music), the soul. It's also symbolic of transition. A butterfly being captured means a soul being confined, abused, and damaged. Something beautiful being stifled and repressed. And another transition is occurring--the loss of innocence that I mentioned.

    The "pearly sunrise" line isn't about seizing the moment. It's about a new day beginning--one full of loss.

    The sexual imagery is metaphorical. The song isn't about sex, but sex is used to convey an impression of someone being exposed to the cruel world, or their internal emptiness, or anything other realization of how horrifying their conditions are.

    Youthful imagery ("uncut teeth," etc) is spliced with the sexual imagery to create discomfort and emphasize the theme of lost innocence. The "keep smiling for me" line that's repeated sounds completely predatory.

    Finally, it ends with "under your feet" as a metaphor for powerlessness and hopelessness.

    In the video, he sits alone in a sparsely furnished apartment to symbolize emptiness, and he gradually changes into a moth to symbolize his internal struggles consuming him.

    Again, this isn't about seizing the day. It's also not quite about sex, even though it uses sexual imagery. It's a haunting, pessimistic song about losing one's innocence and dreams and hopes and finding oneself in a vacuous, lonely world with no escape, and being consumed by depression, rage, guilt, envy, frustration, and self-hatred.
    ccivion September 14, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell the "Butterfly Caught"is tattod on my back so ill guess this song is kind of personal to me.
    I love the song and the video and the concept of how to define our generation .
    We are a generation caught in limbo , and the frustration that builds upp around trying to solve universal problems when the westworld problems is killing you . Its hard to explain this on english...
    Well its alot about cynism and frustration .... ..
    i love it
    nuwanon July 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionAlso, I'm fairly positive the lyrics are either "tempted by the naked eye" or "tainted by the naked eye," contrary to what it says here.
    ccivion September 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThe official video is about someone who falls out of line being ostracized, so I think it's about a search for individuality in the face of a conformist society. I also agree with Nuwan.
    Oneiromanceron April 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentseems like massive attack trying to become a butteryfly's life.

    this is a really good song yo! the song becomes a butterfly, and when you feel yourself biting it's lips you become the butterfly, fair skin freckles, uncut teeth.

    the dull transitions and wing beats, it's to make you become a butterfly.
    freeter mcbeanon December 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVideo for this is intense...

    Much like the song. I love it
    Sirius1on January 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVery dark, I think it's about seizing the moment (hence the title "Butterfly Caught"...
    One of my favourite Massive Attack songs...
    NTTon June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with ntt's sentiment, that this song is about seizing the moment. to me, anyway, 'butterfly caught' serves as a reminder that every moment is precious. "under your lips, under your lips - shh, under your feet" in particular, that kills me - we spend so much time chasing after meaning or whatever in our lives that we miss the small things, glimmering "under our feet". and the imagery in the lyrics, not to mention the beautiful background music - ohh. definitely a highlight from '100th window'.
    rainingforyearson November 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI loved all the inputs here. At first, I knew it was dark and serious, than I just felt in love with the video too, then I just had to find any hidden meanings to it. That I did here, I agree about the pessimistic aspect of this. I feel like I can relate, I stress so much about something so small. This song described that feeling, too bad there was no closer. Perhaps I wanted the song to help me out of the phase, but I guess we just have to learn to control that. Easier said then done. Love the song, my favorite massive attack track and one of my all time favs.
    mojaamon February 26, 2008   Link

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