"Butterfly Nets" as written by Justin Rice and Christian Rudder....
Calm that wicked wind,
To pick you up
And carry you off eastward,
Though I did release you
For to seek a warmer sky

Should you be blown back
Know that I will always run to greet you,
Still surprised to catch you
Every time

Armed with this small butterfly net
I will face the world alone
And never be lonely

So calm that wicked wind,
And if you go, you could be gone forever
I will play awhile here
By and by and by and by

Armed with this small butterfly net
I will face the world alone
And never be lonely

Up and up you go
For to steal the secrets of the heavens
Will you share them with me
My bright and brilliant spy?

Should you be blown back
Know that I will always run to greet you
Still surprised to catch you
Every time
Still surprised to catch you
By and by and by and by


Lyrics submitted by sebharper

"Butterfly Nets" as written by Justin Rice Christian Rudder

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Butterfly Nets song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI walked in to the concert today as they played this song. it was so beautiful.
    kozmikon July 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentprobably my favorite by bishop allen (though it's so hard to choose!). the melody has such a sweet sentiment throughout, it reminds me of being young and filled with wonder. and though it might be about letting go of someone special, it's about doing so without any resentments or regret, and welcoming whatever may happen. i like to listen to it when i'm sad because it makes me hopeful. the saxophone part just makes me float...
    underratedon April 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe the lyrics above have some slightly incorrect words ("come that wicked wind" instead of "calm", formatting, maybe a missing "only" here and there after "...small butterfly net") but they are close enough for someone to take a look at and understanding the heartfelt message of this song.

    To me, this song has only the meaning that was taken on by a certain event in my life. I was trying to create the best mix CD possible for a friend to simultaneously communicate my criticism and my deep care for her in a seamless group of songs.

    After downloading Bishop Allen's May EP, this song quickly caught my attention. I listened to it again and again and knew the song would fit perfectly on the mix I was making, as my friend and I were to be parting ways for some thrilling post-secondary education, her going a little east. So of course from the very first line of the song I knew this song would forever be special to me, and maybe special to her.
    kbavon June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my best friends is going to army reserves training in the next month or so. im pretty sure when he leaves im going to make him a mix cd with this song on it. i love it.
    pimpmylizon December 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just broke up with someone I'm still in love with and this song describes exactly as I feel. Except the waiting awhile part. I would wait forever if I had to.
    ModstRobon February 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I definitely feel like this summarizes my most recent relationship ending. He's actually heading out east, so that little detail just makes the song that much more "connectable".

    It's a truly wonderful song. I could almost describe it as "huggable". You can really melt into it.

    "calm that wicked wind,
    to pick you up
    and carry you off eastward,
    though i did release you
    for to seek a warmer sky"

    it's sort of saying that they need to go about this without anger or deep regret. she's letting go of him because he feels like he needs to leave in order to accomplish something better.

    "should you be blown back
    know that i will always run to greet you,
    still surprised to catch you
    every time"

    She says that if he decides to come back to her for whatever reason, she'll always be there to welcome him with open arms. she'll take him, even if she doesn't know why since he's been gone.

    "armed with this small butterfly net
    i will face the world alone
    & never be lonely

    so calm that wicked wind,
    & if you go, you could be gone forever
    i will play awhile here
    by & by & by & by -"

    i'm not positive about the butterfly net thing, but i think this might say that she'll be out there alone in the world, but she won't be lonely. she has a net that he can fall back on whenever he needs to. s/he shouldnt be resentful. she'll be waiting for him, no matter how long it takes.

    "up & up you go
    for to steal the secrets of the heavens
    will you share them with me
    my bright & brilliant spy?"

    while he's out exploring this purpose for which he left her, she's hoping he'll share some of these new discoveries (meaning he'll be coming back to her somehow and make the break-up actually mean something).

    that's just my take on it. feel free to contradict me :)



    braveliltostaon November 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just found out that a close friend of mine died suddenly from the flu, and then this song came on. "Up and up you go / for to steal the secrets of the heavens / will you share them with me / my bright and brilliant spy?" is making me bawl my eyes out. RIP Bryan. I love you.
    sharkycharmingon March 14, 2014   Link

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