The Nonsensical Song
“Fireflies” is the first single from Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes as well as the single that made its way up to the top spot in music charts from all over the world. It did not just claim the top spot from charts such as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and radio stations but as well as iTunes’s top downloaded list of songs. The song’s success may be due to the fact that the single contains unforgettable fancy electronica tunes and pleasant drumbeats combined with Adam Young’s soft, emo-like voice. But above all the characteristics this song has, the song has been remembered for what might be its most arguable element: its lyrics. Is it truly nonsensical?
Well, it’s not the song’s fault that some people would regard the song as nonsense. It might be because the song itself has fancy choice of words and these words try to create a world of playful imagination. This world of imagination is suggested by the song to exist in the persona’s dreams. The first few lines even appear surprising and unrealistic. “You would not believe your eyes if ten million fireflies lit up the world as I fell asleep.” The song is suggesting that the persona encounters some creatures in his sleep. It doesn’t stop with these fireflies. As the song goes along, the persona encounters more imaginative creatures in the lines “Cause I get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs as they try to teach me how to dance.”
Not only do these creatures appear but they also teach the persona how to dance. Although this can be an indication of personification, it may appear quite absurd. To think that bugs that can teach “foxtrot above a person’s head” is really ridiculous.
The lines that pertains to his dreams account for most of the imagery that can be found in this song. He tells the audience that “my dreams are bursting at the seams”, indicating how wonderful his imagination can be when his sleeping at night and how his rather awake when he’s asleep.
Bibliography: "Escapism". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 14 May 2010
"Fireflies". Billboard. 14 May 2010
Young, Adam. "Fireflies". Metrolyrics. May 14, 2010
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