Song Lyric Sunday — Quit Bugging Me

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is all about bugs and insects. We experienced an ant problem in our home this week, but rather than dwelling on those damn ants, I thought I’d focus instead on delightful lightning bugs, AKA fireflies, by choosing the song “Fireflies” from Owl City.

“Fireflies” was the debut single from American electronica project Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes. Frontman Adam Young wrote and produced the track, with Matt Thiessen also producing and providing guest vocals. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks in 2009. “Fireflies” was Owl City’s only top 40 hit on Billboard Hot 100 until three years later when “Good Time,” a duet with Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen, peaked at number 8 on the chart.

Young described the song as “a little song about bugs and not being able to fall asleep at night.” The song is built around a “bleepy” synthline and includes lyrics about insomnia, fireflies and summer. He said that he suffers from insomnia and often has difficulty falling asleep. He wanted to write a song about his inability to sleep in a whimsical way that portrayed the condition of insomnia as lighthearted and almost more of a blessing than a curse.

Young said, “It’s ironic that when sleep and I cannot bring ourselves to meet is often when inspiration strikes hardest. I’d just been on vacation to Iowa the week before I wrote the song and was amazed at how many fireflies came out at dusk. I didn’t really have to think about making a connection between insomnia and lightning bugs, it just sort of happened and the song basically wrote itself. It was a lot of fun.”

I always enjoyed this lightweight, upbeat song. It reminded me of my youth when I would run around at night capturing fireflies in a mayonnaise jar where I had punched air holes in its lid. Of course, I’d ultimately set the captured lightning bugs free.

Here are the lyrics to the song “Fireflies.”

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

‘Cause they fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You’d think me rude but I would just stand and stare

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

‘Cause I’d get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread (thread, thread)

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 (when I fall asleep)

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

To ten million fireflies
I’m weird cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell (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)

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 (when I fall asleep)

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 (when I fall asleep)

(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)
(Because my dreams are bursting at the seams)

17 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Quit Bugging Me

  1. J-Dub July 11, 2021 / 8:57 am

    I can’t listen to this song without crying like a baby. Reminds me of someone very special who is no longer here. Good memories though. And I can always use a good cry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael B. Fishman July 11, 2021 / 11:46 am

    Never heard this one before and I liked it. Sorry about the ants. Were you able to get rid of them or did you have to call someone in? They can be a real pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen July 11, 2021 / 10:45 pm

    Lightening bugs are way better than invading aunts. Fireflies are awesome, and the song is fun… comes across that he had fun. Yeah, that’s why the song works so well… we get to remember staying outside later in summer, running and reaching forth during dusk and dark.

    Liked by 1 person

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