Butterflies

Songfacts®:

  • This breezy guitar track from Travis' ninth studio album is rooted in tragedy. Frontman Fran Healy told Apple Music: "Chasing butterflies is a big, big part of my family history because my uncle, my mother's brother, drowned in the Forth and Clyde Canal - which is the canal that runs through Glasgow. He was chasing butterflies down by the canal, and he slipped and fell in and drowned. He was nine years old, and it was like a nuclear bomb exploding in our family history. And out of that nuclear explosion of an event, my mom was born. The war had just finished. It was 1945, and my grandfather had been a prisoner of war and was waiting to come home, and he got a telegram that he had to come home immediately because his son had died. So here's my granddad, who had gone all the way through the war and survived, only to get the news that his son had drowned months after the war had ended. He had to go back to Glasgow, bury his little boy that he had hardly seen, and then go back to Germany and be demobbed."
  • On a more positive note, Healy also thinks the title represents his creative process. "This idea of chasing butterflies is something I've always felt was a very good metaphor for the act of writing a song," he said. "Songs are like butterflies. They're just like little things that fly around - you catch it, you hold it in your hand and you look at it, and then you record it."
  • Aside from 2008's Ode To J. Smith, all of Travis' albums have reached the top 10 in the UK. 10 Songs continued the trend by peaking at #5.

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