The wheel breaks the butterfly

Tonsu

Moved to Mars
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Thanks, guys. I've always wondered about that phrase. (Really do wish I could get my head around Pope better sometimes, but it's probably a bit like trying to understand The Simpsons if you happen to be from the 25th century. The pop culture just won't translate without some research...)
Great analogy with The Simpsons! Pope is tricky and you need a mentor (at least I do :() I haven't been able to get through much of it since A-levels (high school).


Oasis hit a really great zone right before the end. Noel's songwriting has matured beautifully (can't wait for his solo album) and skill-wise they had the best lineup ever. The old fans grumble that they didn't sound like the good old days and the critics grumble that they found a sound and stuck with it, but frankly, I think a lot of their best material is on their last two or three albums.
That's great to know, thanks! As far as I'm concerned Noel's always been an incredible songwriter, but I know that only really from the first few albums, I gave up after the singles from 'Giants'. My biggest problem with them I think was that while they had the songs they didn't have the musicianship, and certainly not the singer. Musician-wise, coming from the home of The Smiths, Stone Roses et al even the records weren't good enough. But the vid of Falling Down makes me REALLY curious now, I'll check them out more :)
 

Space Cadet

You have been warned.
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Great analogy with The Simpsons! Pope is tricky and you need a mentor (at least I do :() I haven't been able to get through much of it since A-levels (high school).

That's great to know, thanks! As far as I'm concerned Noel's always been an incredible songwriter, but I know that only really from the first few albums, I gave up after the singles from 'Giants'. My biggest problem with them I think was that while they had the songs they didn't have the musicianship, and certainly not the singer. Musician-wise, coming from the home of The Smiths, Stone Roses et al even the records weren't good enough. But the vid of Falling Down makes me REALLY curious now, I'll check them out more :)
I studied Pope a fair bit in university but struggled with it more than just about anything else. I was always more into the medieval and romantic eras.

Good grief, I've never even been able to listen to 'giants' in one go, I hated it so much. :tongue: They definitely got better again after that- by the end the only original members were the two Gallaghers and the new guys were good (especially Zach Starkey... because you know they weren't Beatles-obsessed enough already. :laugh3:)
 

Melwen

Oh me, oh my!
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I studied Pope a fair bit in university but struggled with it more than just about anything else. I was always more into the medieval and romantic eras.

Good grief, I've never even been able to listen to 'giants' in one go, I hated it so much. :tongue: They definitely got better again after that- by the end the only original members were the two Gallaghers and the new guys were good (especially Zach Starkey... because you know they weren't Beatles-obsessed enough already. :laugh3:)
But Giants have one of the most greatest songs of Oasis:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D431CwC9wTw"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D431CwC9wTw[/ame]

And with Noel on vocals and that solo flute, it's magic:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaNpfEAhBrw"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaNpfEAhBrw[/ame]

Ok, back to topic :p
 

footyfan10

The Scientist
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Fess Up, Who thought the wheel that breaks the butterfly...?

Was a really dumb/no context lyric that just allowed butterfly to enter the song, only to later find out that its an expression?

If you're English, maybe you knew all along. And if you're a massive Oasis fan, maybe you knew as well. I'm American, was once an Oasis fan, and am college educated, and it went completely over my head!

So did anyone else feel stupid to find out? Or was it only me?
 

busybeeburns

mr coldplaying himself
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"Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" is a quotation – sometimes misquoted with "on" in place of "upon" – from Alexander Pope's "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot" of January 1735. The line has entered common use and has become associated with more recent figures.

It can be taken as referring to putting massive effort into achieving something minor or unimportant, and alludes to "breaking on the wheel", a form of torture in which victims had their long bones broken by an iron bar while tied to a Catherine wheel.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_breaks_a_butterfly_upon_a_wheel?
 

Jedi Leo

A guy full of stars
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So the girl in Paradise put a massive effort into achieving Paradise but failed? Meh I don´t like the wiki definition. For my own listening pleasure I will stick to my interpretation, even if it might not be the one intended :)
 

Cheese Nip 2

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It's from a nursery rhyme I believe. That's my favorite lyric in the whole song. Plus it ties in well with the Oasis song falling down (another of my favorite bands), which references the rhyme as well. I think it hassomething to do with losing hope or something.
 

Samuel_94

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I noticed this, still dont get what 'bullets catch in her teeth' means...
 
H

howyousawtheworld

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Wow! Thanks so much guys, I'd never heard that Oasis song, I have to say it's probably the best thing I've ever heard from them (only really heard the first two albums played on continual repeat at uni bars), what a stormer!!

I'll have to look more at their back catalogue. That is real, proper, rock and roll :)

The modern knowledge of the phrase is due to the Rolling Stones' court case in the 60s, which was pretty era-defining in England, and I'm guessing that's what all the tracks on this thread reference.
Tonsu?! Where have you been?! It's a wonderful song! Probably their most unOasis song (and the last Oasis song with involvement by Noel Gallagher). This 22 minute remix of Falling Down (broken into 3 videos) by Noel and Amorphous Adrogynous (Noel's producers on his album after High Flying Birds) will blow your mind.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgdHUMIFGzY"]Oasis Falling Down (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix part 1 and 2) - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79tb1qlHDb0&feature=related"]Oasis Falling Down (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix part 3 and 4) - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vza0c7Fdbu8&feature=related"]Oasis Falling Down (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix part 5) - YouTube[/ame]
 

AnnaElisabeth

Light a fire, a flame in my heart
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I'm completely late to the party :curtain: and I know that the "real" explanation to the line has been posted but I just wanted it on the record that it's one of my favourite lines from the song.

Life goes on it gets so heavy, the wheel breaks the butterfly

To me it really talks about change and that sometimes beautiful, fragile things can break because of that change...

I don't know, it's 2am here and I should go to bed :p

:escaping:
 

chuck kottke

Gearwork for Clocks
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I think it has a meaning in that the wheel (the car) clobbers butterflies (monarchs and many rare species) - the more cars driving about, the fewer butterflies survive. It's an unfortunate matter that milkweed plants often grow along roadsides, and monarchs seem to like to float on the thermals rising off macadam roads here, so cars are taking their toll on the natural population.
When I think about this, this song comes to mind: Butterflies - YouTube
 

periahdark

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I noticed this, still dont get what 'bullets catch in her teeth' means...
Catching a bullet in your teeth is a magic trick where, well, it's self explanatory. Being a magic trick, obviously the person is not ACTUALLY catching a bullet in their teeth but in the context of the song, I think it's supposed to signify something incredibly difficult or dangerous .
 

steff

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The wheel breaks the butterfly. Is a metaphor the wheel is life, the butterfly is the girl (fragile) The elephant in the video is a symbol (weight) of the world. Bullets catch in her teeth.. Its like the metaphor bite the bullet (just put up with things) paradise is such a wonderful song! the symbols, and metaphors pull you in and make you think...
 

Linus

Forever in Coldplay history
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i always sing "the butter fly" :D :lol:
 

arnab_deka

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The phrase means putting massive effort into achieving something minor or unimportant.

It is derived from Alexander's Pope Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot of January 1735.

"
Let Sporus tremble –"What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys, "
 
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