"Papillon" as written by and Mikel Jollett....
All dressed up, no place to run
No car, no girl, no pills, no fun
Nothing to do in this empty room
I gotta get my head together soon

Alone again, no plans, no friends
You come around at half past ten
You say "How are you holding up my friend?
Are you sitting around getting drunk again?"

And I hear the desperation of those lines
Wasted hours, others wasted time
Uh, yeah, I been just fine!

Then we're out the door in an hour more
We stumble down from the second floor
And we're swaying, braying
We don't know what we're saying

And you grab my shirt, your way so curt
I swear to God that this doesn't hurt
When you stare like that, you put on that act
You say something and then you take it back

And I feel as though I've done something wrong
Oh, how I miss you when you're gone

And I wish I had the guts to scream
You know, things aren't always what they seem
When you walk away, I want to stay
Don't leave me here to pace and pray

All these nights I burnt, hours I turned
You think that by now I'd learned
That you're only what you pretend to be
I guess that was just lost on me

I can't stand the way you look at me
In that dress
Oh, happy, alright I might be, I guess
If I wasn't such a mess

I'm such a mess
I'm such a mess
I'm such a mess
I'm such a mess


Lyrics submitted by hugmecolin, edited by Phx27

"Papillon" as written by Mikel Frans Jollett

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Papillon song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favorites of theirs. i think a lot of this album has to do with loneliness and feeling isolated and disconnected from everyone, even those you care about. it's about the disconnect between how one really feels and the act being put on - the frusteration of a disingenuous world and the tiresomeness of getting lost in drugs and drinking and meaningless sex to replace real feelings and emotion. i just love the sarcasm and hurt in his voice when he sings "i've been just fine" then screaming "if i wasn't such a mess" is just great. i'm not sure what 'papillon' refers to exactly but it does mean butterfly in french and i find some nice imagery there - he is grasping at this fleeting, fragile beauty which doesn't want to be caught.
    guavajelly89on October 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso... he's talking to his dog?

    or he's talking to a "butterfly"?
    joe.is.cool12on December 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics are wrong. At the end, he says, "I can't stand the way you look at me in that dress... oh papillon, i might be alright, I guess."

    Papillon sounds like it's just a nickname for the girl to whom, and about whom, he's singing. It doesn't necessarily harbor a deeper meaning. You can search for deeper meaning--like, it means butterfly in French--but I doubt there was much. As brilliant and creative as he is, I doubt he would both use that word in the song and name the song after the word unless it had a meaning that both he and the girl could recognize. I mean, listen to the song. It's angry as hell. He is clearly singing this so that the girl can hear it and feel bad about it. He's trying to remind her of how great they had it by throwing in his old nickname for her.

    It's an incredible song. And live, it's even better.
    tinto1123on July 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPapillon is not just the name of a dog and butterfly, it's also the name of a semi-autobiographical book (and later a movie) about Henri Charrière, who was convicted of murder and sent to prison on Devil's Island. He tried multiple times to escape, until eventually he succeeded. He was called Papillon because of a butterfly tattoo he had. It's possible that that's what he's talking about when he says "All dressed up, no place to run/No car, no girl, no pills, no fun/Nothing to do in this empty room/I gotta get my head together soon." I feel like he's comparing some sort of relationship to escaping from prison, but I'm not entirely sure what.
    Elendoron April 09, 2011   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