Lyric Theory: “Butterfly,” Crazy Town (2000)

This may appear under the wrong heading, as the only “theory” behind what I’d like to examine is that Crazy Town lead Shifty Shellshock wrote these lyrics long before his attempts at sobriety.  The “best” part of this rock/rap ditty is actually the sample running throughout the whole song … which is the work of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, not Crazy Town at all.  At least they know a catchy riff when they hear it, and have the business sense to exploit it?  (Hashtag Sean Combs.)

This “song” — one that many critics love to hate — is a fairly stupid ode to love in the new millennium.  In the span of 3:34, we get references to nipple piercing, tongue rings, sex appeal, getting high (in a proverbial sense), parole, a painful slant rhyme of “message” with “precious,” and the ’60s-inspired phrase “sealed with a kiss.”  Buried within the song’s bridge (if one can call it that … the vocals stay relatively monotonous, but the backing music changes slightly), we have these words of wisdom:

Hey sugar momma, come and dance with me
The smartest thing you ever did was take a chance with me
Whatever tickles your fancy
Girl it’s me and you like Sid and Nancy


Weren’t “Sid and Nancy” violent, erratic, codependent, and addicted to all things illegal?  Isn’t it assumed that the former stabbed the latter, months before dying himself in a most unflattering (yet not surprising) way?  And having well-documented problems with substance abuse himself, should this really be a reference Shifty Shellshock (IF THAT IS HIS REAL NAME — and it’s not) should be throwing around so cavalierly?

Is this quite possibly the stupidest analogy in all of popular music, if not the stupidest lyric, period?

Here they are, in their “prime” — head for zee hills, oh butterfly of Shifty’s affections.

Sid and Nancy

Isn’t it romantic!


One thought on “Lyric Theory: “Butterfly,” Crazy Town (2000)

  1. This raises the question of whether he’s a bad writer or a sad one. If he’s a bad writer, he committed to “tickles your fancy” and then cast about for something to rhyme with it, coming up with the inappropriate “Sid and Nancy” solution. If he’s a sad writer, he wanted to compare himself to Sid Vicious, which would cast his girl in the role of Nancy Spungen. Then he came up with “tickles your fancy” to complete the couplet. Bad or sad, which is better?

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