"Butterfly Caught" as written by Robert Del Naja, Neil Davidge and Grantley Marshall....
Weightless falls
Honeysuckle
Strangers
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
Radiate
Open lips
Keep smiling for me

Darkened skin
Afraid to see
Radiate
Open lips
Keep smiling for me

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


Lyrics submitted by bocmaxima, edited by alotofnumbers

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

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Butterfly Caught song meanings
Add your thoughts

23 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +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
  • +1
    General CommentIt's very creepy cus, when you connect the dots of Del Naja's artwork, the prevailing theme of Illuminati-type symbolics, child abuse, and occult fetishism appears.
    Now in regard to that read the lyrics and judge by yourself whether the lyrics appear to be referring to a child taken to a very dark place, being used by cult fetishists and then ending up dead. As simple as that. Let me break it down:
    Weightless falls Honeysuckle - (easy prey)
    Strange this - strangers, lights from pages (strange this, as in strange symbols and places, strangers as in people you don't want to know, lights from pages in reference to occult rituals, (mind i say light is a common word used in illuminati occult ritualism))
    Paper thin thing - protected by the naked eye (A vulnerable child used, without the knowledge of others. Mind i emphasize the word Eye)
    Nearly worn, kneeling like a supplicant (this part is disgusting just as it sounds, it requires no breaking down)
    Darkened skin afraid to see (a child defiled is indeed "afraid to see" and see being another reference to the eye)
    Radiates (the perpetrator sees this as a beautiful, illuminating thing)
    Open lips, keep smiling for me (could be a stance in which Del Naja defends the victims by encouraging them to speak and carry on with their life or; another sexual reference in which he clearly is the perpetrator and on the wrong side of the story)
    Weightless cool honeysuckle (dead child)
    Fair skin, freckles, uncut teeth tranquil Eyes (pay attention to tranquil Eyes reference since it is a dual metaphor referring to pleased perpetrators and the tranquility of a deceased persons eyes)
    Bite my lips is actually *On my lips, shhhhhh, under your feet (the victim is silenced forever since it is dead and never to be found)
    This might be hard to grasp but the connection to the victim is blurred, Del Naja in his video is the butterfly, but that can be a reference that either he is standing with the victims or that the victims live through him and on his skin making him the perpetrator as it is portrayed at the end of the video. This revelation is very disturbing. I am actually not an advocate of conspiracy theories, but this is far more ominous because it is a well known, world respected author. Hope everything is on the right side of things.
    alotofnumberson September 02, 2017   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

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain