You are a splendid butterfly
It is your wings that make you beautiful
And I could make you fly away
But I could never make you stay

You said you were in love with me
Both of us know that that's impossible
And I could make you rue the day
But I could never make you stay

Not for all the tea in China
Not if I could sing like a bird
Not for all North Carolina
Not for all my little words
Not if I could write for you
The sweetest song you ever heard
It doesn't matter what I do
Not for all my little words

Now that you've made me want to die
You tell me that you're unboyfriendable
And I could make you pay and pay
But I could never make you stay

Not for all the tea in China
Not if I could sing like a bird
Not for all North Carolina
Not for all my little words
Not if I could write for you
The sweetest song you ever heard
It doesn't matter what I do
Not for all my little words

It doesn't matter what I do
Not for all my little words...


Lyrics submitted by Anne Arbour

All My Little Words song meanings
Add your thoughts

25 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentI feel like the most important line in the song is "it is your wings that make you beautiful." It isn't just that it can't work out, it can't work out for the very reasons he is in love.
    judahnielsenon November 21, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI feel like there should be a disclaimer on this song or something. That final stanza murders me brutally. The banjo juxtaposed with the strings kicks me when I'm down. This comment doesn't make sense.
    enjoytheeightieson December 17, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe combination of cheesy and real is what makes it work. perfect capture of emotion - hackneyed and true (which in itself might be a cliche?)
    jalopyon November 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAmazingly simple

    Unboyfriendable...love it
    peroxide_filthon October 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese lyrics drive home the futility of unrequited love. You can make the person 'rue the day', you can hurt them horribly, you can make them feel like shit, and you can tell them you hate them -- but at then end of the day, they won't come back to you.

    What is beautiful about this song is that the futility covers each end of the spectrum. Even if you wrote 'the sweetest song you ever heard', they would not return. Or alternatively, if you hurt them, it will still do nothing.
    mikecon April 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the most beautiful songs ever...

    Sometimes, you know it can't ever work, but it doesn't make you want it any less.
    Otomodachion March 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits kind of cheesy at the beginning. but at the end. wow. yes. wow.
    bright.eyes.on July 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHits the nail on the head of wanting a relationship but knowing it won't work.

    I love this song.
    popbaby1on May 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow! This song describes everything. The singer feels useless but by accepting it all, he is very mature.

    I could never make you stay...
    gnoxyzon August 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing.
    ShoKillon October 27, 2006   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