The butterfly is a beautiful creature, often associated with warmer weather.
It is also associated with love, as in the saying “I got butterflies in my stomach when I looked at him”.
The butterfly is a versatile creature, symbolizing both infatuation and metamorphosis – which is perhaps why it’s such a popular theme among songwriters.
There are dozens of rock, pop, and country songs based on the image of the butterfly, a theme which has stretched throughout the decades.
Below we’ll take a look at some of the most well-known songs about the magnificent insect, the butterfly.
Andy Williams, “Butterfly”
Andy Williams’ rendition of the song “Butterfly”, written by Bernie Lowe and Karl Mann, reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 1957.
It also reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in May of that year.
This song has also been covered by Charlie Gracie and The Crests, but is most remembered as being one of Andy Williams’ trademark tunes.
Bob Lind, “Elusive Butterfly”
Bob Lind is an American folk singer who had a transatlantic hit with the 1966 hit single “Elusive Butterfly”.
It reached #5 in both the U.S. and the U.K. The song romanticizes chasing the “elusive butterfly of love”, and is represents the epitome of the 1960s hippie movement.
Bob Carlisle, “Butterfly Kisses”
Country singer Bob Carlisle is best known for his song “Butterfly Kisses,” which won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1997. The song also won the Dove award for Song of the Year.
Mariah Carey, “Butterfly”
Any kid from the mid-90s remembers Mariah Carey’s “Butterfly”. “Butterfly” is the name of Mariah Carey’s sixth album, which features a track of the same name.
The song and album were both released in 1997, and the height of Carey’s career.
HIM, “Rip out the Wings of a Butterfly”
“Wings of a Butterfly” (aka “Rip out the Wings of a Butterfly”) is the biggest hit off of Finnish band HIM’s 2005 album “Dark Light”.
The song went to #1 on the Finnish charts, #10 in both Germany and the UK, and made it to #87 in the US.
Michael Jackson, “Butterflies”
The King of Pop was notorious for his many transformations, so it’s fitting that he had a song called “Butterflies” on his “Invincible” album.
However, the song is about feeling butterflies in your stomach, not the actual insect.
Crazy Town, “Butterfly”
American rap rock group Crazy Town had their song “Butterfly” reach number one in 15 different countries, including the U.S., in the year 2000.
The song is primarily made up of a sample of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Pretty Little Ditty”, with new lyrics added to it.
“Butterfly” is the only completely acoustic song released by American alternative rock band Weezer. It is well known for its simplicity and sincere lyrics.
The Mission UK, “Butterfly on a Wheel”
The Mission UK (simply known as The Mission outside the U.S.) is a gothic rock band that formed in 1986. The band was initially formed by former members of the band Sisters of Mercy.
“Butterfly on a Wheel” was released in 1990 and is similar to another song by the same band called “Dragonfly”.
Muse, “Butterflies and Hurricanes”
Muse’s “Butterflies and Hurricanes” was the last single released from their third studio album “Absolution”.
It was recorded with a studio orchestra and is notable for its Rachmaninoff-esque piano interlude. The song’s title and theme are based around the butterfly effect and chaos theory.
Heart, “Dog and Butterfly”
“Dog and Butterfly” is the title track off of rock band Heart’s fourth studio album of the same name.
The song is considered to be somewhat mellow for the hard rock band, which was known for its aggressive music.
Smashing Pumpkins, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”
“Bullet with Butterfly Wings” was the lead single off the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1995 album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”.
It won the Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1997, and was the band’s first Top 40 U.S. hit, peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The butterfly is a versatile and beautiful creature, as is apparent in the wide array of songs inspired by this fragile insect.
The butterfly is something which spans across all music genres, perhaps in an attempt to truly capture its elusive beauty.
License: Creative Commons
Stacy is a freelance writer. She writes for the Pest Control Sacramento blog.