A Caterpillar crawled to me one day and said
"Oh what the hell goes on inside your swollen head?
I don't believe that you can see as much as I
Now close your eyes and tell me what do you say?"

"I watched nine cats dance on the moon
A flamingo stalked into my room
It bowed its head to me and knelt
To reveal the cards it had dealt
An ace, three jacks, two queens, four kings
Then turned them into burning rings
The flames jumped out and chased four mice
Caught by their tails they turned to ice

A cloud appeared outside my door
And through the window saw four more
And on the back of each cloud sat
Two rainbow smiles in wizard's hats
They threw five clocks down on my bed
The chimes danced out on golden threads
And turned to footprints on my wall
Sequined tears began to fall"

The caterpillar gasped at me and said
"My god if that's what's going on inside your head
You can see so much more than I
I think it's time to turn into a butterfly."

Lyrics submitted by Ministry

The Nostalgia Factory Lyrics as written by Steven Wilson Alan Duffy

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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The Nostalgia Factory song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentAwesome song.

    I think the whole of the Nostalgia Factory cassettes and the fake history of Porcupine Tree contained within the cassettes had meaning in that they generalized the modern prog scene as a "Nostalgia Factory", constantly rehashing everything from the 70's and never coming up with anything creative. Not sure that the song has anything to do with this, but I thought I'd bring it up.
    Tabuckton January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice song.. a catchy title too. Porcupine Tree is an amazing band.
    MMM88on December 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are pretty literal i think... It's just a song telling a (weird) story.
    Panguion July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis really confuses me frankly. My version off On The Sunday of Life has none of the middle lyrics at all. Can anyone explain this?
    solarionon September 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo much beauty that's went untouched. This is pure genius.

    Alan Duffy, whoever he is, wrote these lyrics. I honestly love his lyrics for early porcupine tree and think they are some of the bands greatest lyrics ever. I wish I could learn more about what happened to him and his role in the band, because I'm really interested in their past history more so than their current work.

    To me these lyrics are just about the amazing things humans can do in contrast to simpler life forms. It is also about taking LSD (hence the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds reference) and the visions it produces. "You can see so much more than I," says the caterpillar because he does not have a brain and lacks the intelligence we possess. It is illustrating the power of our minds and the beauty we can create.

    This song makes mentions towards a higher power and also evolution. If every small creature wishes to evolve upon seeing something greater than itself, it means that there has always been something bigger for the cycle to have started.

    Limitless interpretations, great song.
    DementedPuppyon February 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have the same problem as solarian. I don't hear the lyrics in the middle.
    MikePortnoysBeardon March 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI have On the sunday of life on vinyl, and the lyrics are there. They're just buried extremely deep in the mix. If you listen to the mp3, during the quiter parts in the middle solo, you'll vaguely hear some fragments. Too bad they threw them away like that, because I think it's more beautiful imagery that a This Long Silence or a Nine Cats.

    Alan Duffy was a high school friend of Steven who went on to become the manager or boss for the record company wich released the first PT-Albums. The 'lyrics' were some poetry he had written in high school and gave to Steven to use.

    Really like the old-skool name. Has a somewhat melancholic sound to it.
    OldSkoolon June 22, 2012   Link

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