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Butterfly cover
Album track by Weezer
Album Pinkerton
Released September 24, 1996
Recorded Spring 1996
Length 2:54
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 217
Producer Weezer
Status Released
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Falling for You"
(RC# 216)
(RC# 217)
"Sheila Can Do [It]"
(RC# 218)
Pinkerton track listing
"Falling for You"

"Butterfly" is the tenth and final track on Pinkerton.


MP3 Previews

Source is www.LastFM.com unless otherwise stated


"Butterfly" is told from Pinkerton's point of view in the opera Madame Butterfly. Known for its sincere lyrics and simplicity, "Butterfly" remains Weezer's only completely acoustic song to be commercially released. The song consists of just Rivers on solo acoustic guitar and vocals, as well as some light, steady percussion by Karl Koch.

According to a Alternative Press interview with Matt Sharp in 2006, Cuomo brought the song to Sharp and asked for his opinions. Even though the recording included only Cuomo and Koch, Sharp still felt it was "essential to be on the record."

Live performances

Butterfly has rarely been played live in same style that it appears on Pinkerton. The live recording of Butterfly released with the Beverly Hills single features the entire band, with a prominent bass line played by Scott Shriner. Versions like this are often referred to by fans as "electric" Butterfly. On Cuomo's live album Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints, the song was performed by a banjoist. In Weezer's 2009 AOL Sessionessay topics, Cuomo performed the song with harpist Allison Allport.


Butterfly is upheld as a classic by Weezer fans, with some fans claiming it is Cuomo's lyrical best. Although the original Rolling Stone review for Pinkerton is typically looked down upon by fans, many would tend to agree with author Rob O' Connor's words on "Butterfly." After criticizing almost every other track, O'Connor says: "Butterfly" is a real treat, a gentle acoustic number that recalls the vintage, heartbreaking beauty of Big Star. Cuomo's voice cracks as he unintentionally bludgeons the fragile creature in the lyric, suggesting that underneath the geeky teenager pose is an artist well on his way to maturity. This raw emotion is one of the facets of Cuomo's early song writing that many fans have longed for since the post-Pinkerton hiatus.




Yesterday I went outside
With my momma's mason jar
Caught a lovely Butterfly
When I woke up today
And looked in on my fairy pet
She had withered all away
No more sighing in her breast

I'm sorry for what I did
I did what my body told me to
I didn't mean to do you harm
But everytime I pin down what I think I want
it slips away - the ghost slips away

I smell you on my hand for days
I can't wash away your scent
If I'm a dog then you're a bitch
I guess you're as real as me
Maybe I can live with that
Maybe I need fantasy
A life of chasing Butterfly

I'm sorry for what I did
I did what my body told me to
I didn't mean to do you harm
But everytime I pin down what I think I want
it slips away - the ghost slips away

I told you I would return
When the robin makes his nest
But I ain't never comin' back
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry

See also