Butterfly (streets of the capitol city)

Butterfly (streets of the capitol city)

mike skliar's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

As 50/90 begins on American Independence day, (July 4) I've tried the past few years to start each 50/90 with a sort of 'state of the union' type of song. I had heard sometime in the last day or so that that 'orange disaster in the white house' (as I sometimes call him) has called for a military parade and tanks paradeing down the streets of Washington DC.

So here's this year's entry, a kind of downbeat little bossa-nova tune, recorded quickly on a nylon string guitar, guitar and vocal live recorded on the iPhone with a little bit of post-production on audacity.

EDIT- the next morning (actually July 4 now) I added a verse and did a re-recording, on better equipment, and.. whistling solo!



The streets of the capitol city
Are filled with the rumblings of tanks
Drowning out my patriotism
My thoughts about giving thanks

You robbed the spirit of America
Its now locked up like those kids in a cage
And the lies are flying so frequently
Its always time for the next outrage

A 240 year grand experiment
Two steps forward one step back
But its been two and a half years now
One long panic attack

I’m not saying before it was perfect
But there was class and dignity from on high
We thought we were flying on wings of steel
Those wings were fragile as a butterfly

So where are we left now
What path will lead us clear
The spirits we’re looking for are hidden
Keep looking, maybe they’ll appear

The streets of the capitol city
Are filled with the rumblings of tanks
Drowning out my patriotism
My thoughts about giving thanks

(c) M. Skliar 2019

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Stephen Wordsmith's picture

Hi, Mike! Quite an interesting bit of lyrical dissonance going on here, and the gentle delivery of 'butterfly' stands in stark contrast to the seriousness of this all.

I like the way the song starts in a straightforward account of the political climate, and subtly shifts into a metaphorical world, which allows us to finally unravel the significance of the title. Very cool.

auldy's picture

poignant and well crafted lyrics. You've probably summed up the feelings of many countless individuals. The bleak imagery has a nice juxtaposition against the almost-always-happy vibe of the bossanova. great start mike.

3tdoan's picture

Interesting contrast between the bleak lyrics and the gentle bossa. Congrats on 1/50!

coolparadiso's picture

nice unbalanced balance. Very interesting and enjoyable way of sending a message.

metalfoot's picture

Really liked the musical style to this one a lot and the lyrics are certainly on point!

kahlo2013's picture

Wonderful easy bossa nova feel with the great guitar and vocal delivery in sharp contrast to the biting images and perspective with in the lyrics. The last stanza is poignant and insightful.

DeannaSweidel's picture

You captured what so many are feeling - love the "drowning out my patriotism" line. It's a perfect line.

writeandwrong's picture

As stated in this morning's coffee post, my thoughts go out to those who are answering the call of duty. I say that with no thought to our politicians because the two are not the same. The military, for the most part, are doing their true duty for the love and patriotism of our country while the politicians, for the most part, are doing it for their own ego and control issues...you know...like management, for the most part...haha. I refuse to let anyone rob me of the love for my country, especially politicians. Your words are wonderfully written and timely, with much thought and process. Great performance and therapeutic write.

wobbie wobbit's picture

as mike skliar lyrics as ever and as others have said poignant juxtaposition of fragility and blunder

Swampjaw's picture

Dig it -- love the steel wings/butterfly couplet. And whistling. Fun little groove as the boot of authoritarianism crushes us!

Chip Withrow's picture

I know I've said this before - I'm in awe of how you can turn topical events into such well-crafted lyrics. The gently soulful vocal/guitar combo makes this song even more piercing and pointed. Well done, as always!

katpiercemusic's picture

Looks like I'm not the only one with this sort of thing on my mind. I love the chord progression. Is there a little Bossa nova in there? I like the juxtaposition of light breezy music with such a stressful topic.

tseaver's picture

Lovely accompaniment to your jeremiad here. Love the whistle and verb!