Analyzing The Lyrics To Owl City’s “Fireflies”
This song has been off the national radar for some time and that is a damn shame. “Fireflies” should be grandfathered in as our national anthem because only in a country filled with nonsensical lunatics can a nonsensical lunatic song become so incredibly popular.
When I listen to this song, I’m enamored by all its strange coded phrases and weird blips and bloops. I can’t help but think that the whole thing is just an old audio transcript of a war submarine sinking to the ocean floor.
I have a theory that if a person actually figured out the meaning of this song, Jesus would come back and take us all out to an Endless Shrimp Dinner at Red Lobster and then cure cancer before leaving the waitress a sizable but modest tip. In the name of all that’s American, I’m willing to try.
“You would not believe your eyes/ if 10 million fireflies/ lit up the world as I fell asleep.”
I really wouldn’t believe my eyes if I saw 10 million fireflies because that’s a blot-out-the-sun type of biblical plague. We’d be in total darkness — which I guess would help Owl City fall asleep, but not for long. See, I did some research (yes, I did research, shut up) and a normal sunny day gives off about 100,000 lumens of light. A single firefly gives off about .025 lumens. If you multiply that by 10 million, you get 250,000 lumens. That basically leaves us with a Lovecraftian living nightmare 150,000 times brighter than the sun. Not ideal for sleeping.
“Cause they’d fill the open air/ and leave teardrops everywhere/ you’d think me rude but I would just stand and stare.”
So the 10 million fireflies are not only floating in an orb brighter than the sun, now you can hear their hellish cries as they flood the world with their exoskeleton tears. Me perceiving Owl City as rude for standing in awe at this phenomenon should be the least of his concerns.
“I’d like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly. It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep, cause everything is never as it seems.”
One day on Earth is 24 hours. One day on Venus is 243 Earth days. I rest my case. Everything is never as it seems unless it’s scientific fact, Owl. Also, this isn’t 7th grade poetry, you can’t throw a bunch of opposites together like being awake while being asleep and pretend it means anything.
“Cause I’d get a thousand hugs/ from 10 thousand lightning bugs/ as they tried to teach me how to dance.”
What is with this guy and his obsession with massive bug infestations? Let’s do some math again. A lightning bug or firefly weighs about 20 grams. Multiply that by 10,000 and that’s 200,000 grams — roughly 441 pounds. If Owl City gets a hug from a quarter ton of lightning bugs, I’m not driving him to the hospital when the weight crushes his chest cavity. Side-note: Are these hugging and dancing bugs the ones who were crying tears just a few moments ago? Whatever the case, I’m not trusting any bug to teach me how to dance unless he also talks and wears a top hat.
“A foxtrot above my head/ A sock hop beneath my bed/ A disco ball is just hanging by a thread.”
I like to make myself believe that Owl City, out of pure demented mania, has decided to make his home in a crawl space between the ceiling and the floor of a multi-level dance studio.
“Leave my door open just a crack (Please take me away from here)/ Cause I feel like such an insomniac (Please take me away from here)/ Why do I tire of counting sheep? (Please take me away from herE)/ When I’m far too tired to fall asleep.”
This is the inner monologue of a split personality serial killer. He’s been ranting about bugs and not sleeping this whole time and now some part of his psyche is begging to be let out. Who is leaving this guy’s door open just a crack? The door should be bolted shut before Owl harms someone.
“To 10 million fireflies/ I’m weird cause I hate goodbyes/ I got misty eyes as they said farewell/ But I’ll know where several are/ if my dreams get real bizarre/ Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar.”
Owl City is trying to tell us that the only thing that makes him weird is that he hates goodbyes. Getting visibly upset over a luminous crying dance plague finally releasing its death grip on the Earth isn’t weird at all. Anything Owl City says at this point, I’m just going to go ahead and timidly agree with because I don’t want him to put my head in a jar (which he’s obviously capable of it).
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I wanted to quit my job. I hated my boss.
His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.”
In a fallen world, hope, like faith, is often the hardest thing to hold onto especially when you need it the most.
Suddenly I was in business. I had payroll to make. And I had a fulltime job on the side.