Fireflies

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“Fireflies” by Owl City

There is something about growing up that makes you yearn for the simplicity of your childhood. Maybe it’s the ease of decision making or the difference of what money can buy. When you’re a child you can make decisions by using the “eenie meenie miney moe” or “one potato, two potato” method. Having a handful of shiny quarters can buy you your favorite candy and a plastic ball full of silly putty. Your days revolved around playing in the mud and dirt in your backyard. But as children, we don’t take advantage of these childhood pleasures. We push ourselves to take on adult lives but once we reach adulthood we automatically want to switch back. The song “Fireflies” by Owl City is not only a great song to jam to in the car but it’s a song with plenty of meaning behind it. Adam Young uses the genre of music to effectively portray his ideas of childhood innocence and time.

Adam Young creates exigency by expressing a sense of yearning or a desire to escape back to childhood innocence. Upon first hearing the song, one is intrigued by the melody and simple lyrics, it’s not until one actually questions the artists intent that they began seeing the deeper meaning of Adam Young's lyrics. Throughout the song Adam describes childlike qualities and activities. The song starts by telling us we would "not believe" our eyes, a statement that suggests the song will cover some sort of fantastic occurrence. Then the song progresses into a dream-like quality. The speaker actually speaks of fireflies as if he were surrounded by them. The fireflies are supposed to stand for a specific event or situation, hence the question, “Who would catch fireflies?” The answer is innocent children. The song speaks about the innocence of youth and how quickly that innocence escapes us. Adam also creates exigency when addressing our issue with time. Adam says “I’d like to make myself believe, that planet earth turns slowly.” These lyrics depict the fact that childhood and all of its wonderful innocence is lost too quickly and that we should indeed hold on to the simplicity of childhood things such as finding magic and entertainment out of catching fireflies. Nowadays children are seemingly maturing faster, by being exposed to themes of adulthood at younger age, and children begin to lose their childlike innocence faster so by the time they are adults they never got the chance to enjoy the joys of childhood. This song is an attempt to bring people back to the simplicity of enjoying their childhood in a time when kids these days are attempting to grow up faster, usually trying to act older than their real age, which has brought about the saying, “13 going on 30.”

The song “Fireflies” is mainly targeted towards an adult audience, but is also towards kids and youth. Young’s lyrics could be a call out to all adults to try to embrace their inner child. "To ten million fireflies I'm weird 'cause I hate good-byes I got misty eyes as they said farewell (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(jar, jar, jar)." This line is a good example of clinging to areas of childhood. He's "saved a few and kept them in a jar" in case things get too "bizarre" as if to remind him of a simpler time, a time when things were beautiful. The lines about not sleeping and bizarre dreams could be symbolic to this face paced adult world being a bit of a nightmare and hence he has recreated his simplistic childhood as his reality. I think those are the moments he wants to slow- the simple ones, the beautiful ones- whether they are from childhood or just a simpler time. We are sometimes sad that time goes so quickly and we lose our childhood. But Adam Young still has fireflies- "I saved a few and I kept them in a jar" or memories- of his childhood, and whenever he wants to go back to his childhood innocence, he looks there. Here he is calling out to adults and...
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