Fly Trapped in a Jar
Modest Mouse Lyrics


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Of part and parcel
So, well, we're already dead
Well, it's probably been said
That it's always been said
That

One wing isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
To leave

One wing isn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
To leave

I'm gonna shake myself right out the door
I'm gonna take myself when it's finally over
I'm gonna let my own bad self take over
I'm gonna move my arm out with my shoulder
And

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
To leave

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
To leave

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
To leave

First off, Gary was on trial, and drunk before we left bed
As things got better, was it hard to say that he had no idea?
Well, I hadn't noticed but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
So, we all just opened up our mouths and walked to this town
Well, I was walking just a little bit sideways, and you were walking sideways too
Well, I hadn't learned when a front door can be used
Here it goes now

We had darkened doors, so we didn't read what the sign read
Though simple enough, it was to me really tough; the ground needs to be fed
Well, I hadn't noticed, but the people really noticed that they didn't really want us around
So, not a single one of us will ever leave town
Here we go, sir

Our bodies were laid out
They were laid for fifteen yards
Well, two feet above each of our heads was a fly trapped in a jar
Well, I hadn't noticed, but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
So, every single one of us hit the ground
Here we go now

One wing wasn't even, uh
One wing wasn't even enough

Oh, pardon, pardon
So, well, it's already been said




That it's always been said that
We're already dead

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Modest Mouse's Fly Trapped in a Jar present a poignant commentary on life and existence. The opening lines suggest that we are all doomed to death, and it's a fact that has been acknowledged many times before. The repetition of the phrase "one wing isn't even enough" drives home the idea that we are one step away from being trapped and unable to escape. It represents the fragility of life, and how one small mistake or misjudgment can have disastrous consequences.


The second half of the song tells the story of a group of people who are rejected by society and forced to stay in one place. They are trapped like the fly in the jar mentioned at the end of the song, unable to leave due to circumstances beyond their control. The singer seems to want to break free from their predicament, but it's uncertain whether they will ever be able to do so. The final line, "we're already dead," offers a sobering reminder that our time on this earth is limited and we should make the most of it while we can.


Line by Line Meaning

Of part and parcel
We are an integral part of something bigger than ourselves


So, well, we're already dead
We've already lost something that made us feel alive and are now just going through the motions


Well, it's probably been said
This idea has likely been expressed before


That it's always been said
This is a message that has been communicated over and over again


That
Continuation of the previous thought


One wing isn't even enough
We feel trapped and limited, unable to escape our current situation


It isn't even enough
Our current resources are insufficient to make the changes we desire


To leave
We feel like we're stuck where we are with no way out


I'm gonna shake myself right out the door
I'm going to make a bold move to get myself unstuck from where I am


I'm gonna take myself when it's finally over
I'm going to make my exit when the opportunity presents itself


I'm gonna let my own bad self take over
I'm going to let my more reckless side guide my actions


I'm gonna move my arm out with my shoulder
I'm going to make an assertive gesture to break free from my constraints


First off, Gary was on trial, and drunk before we left bed
The situation we're in is chaotic and uncertain, represented by the character of Gary who's in trouble with the law and inebriated


As things got better, was it hard to say that he had no idea?
If things had somehow worked out, would we have been able to admit that we had no real plan?


Well, I hadn't noticed but the people really noticed that they really didn't want us around
We're not welcome where we are, but we're either oblivious to or ignoring this fact


So, we all just opened up our mouths and walked to this town
We arrived here uninvited, and our presence is souring the atmosphere


Well, I was walking just a little bit sideways, and you were walking sideways too
We're disoriented and unsure of our path forward, symbolized by our unsteady gait


Well, I hadn't learned when a front door can be used
We're so lost that we can't even navigate basic social norms


Here it goes now
We're taking the plunge into the unknown, with no clear plan of action


We had darkened doors, so we didn't read what the sign read
We missed a warning or message because we were too focused on ourselves


Though simple enough, it was to me really tough; the ground needs to be fed
Even though the message seems straightforward, we're struggling to understand it and apply it to our lives


Our bodies were laid out
We're vulnerable and exposed, with no defenses


They were laid for fifteen yards
We've been defeated and cast aside, with no hope of victory


Well, two feet above each of our heads was a fly trapped in a jar
There's something within our immediate vicinity that represents our own entrapment and hopelessness


So, every single one of us hit the ground
We've been beaten down and defeated by our circumstances


Oh, pardon, pardon
A desperate plea for forgiveness or understanding


We're already dead
We're so defeated and hopeless that we've already given up on life




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, SCHUBERT MUSIC PUBLISHING INC.
Written by: ERIC JUDY, ISAAC BROCK, JEREMIAH GREEN, JOE PLUMMER, JOHNNY MARR, TOM PELOSO

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@klashr13

[Verse 1]
Of part and parcel
Well, we're already dead
Well, it's probably been said
That it's always been said that

[Chorus]
One wing isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough to leave

One wing isn't even enough
It isn't even enough
It isn't even enough to leave

[Verse 2]
I'm gonna shake myself right out the door
I'm gonna take myself when it's finally over
I'm gonna let my own bad self take over
I'm gonna move my arm out with my shoulder

[Chorus]
One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave

One wing wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough
It wasn't even enough to leave

[Verse 3]
First off Gary was on trial and drunk before we left bed
As things got bad, it wasn't hard to say that he had no idea
Well, I hadn't noticed but the people really noticed
That they really didn't want us around
So we all just opened up our mouths and wallets to this town

Well, I was walking just a little bit sideways
And you were walking sideways too
Well, I hadn't learned when a front door can be used, here we go sir

We had docked in dark so we didn't read what the sign read
Though simple enough, it was demure and tough:
"The ground needs to be fed"
Well, I hadn't noticed but the people really noticed
That they really didn't want us around
So not a single one of us will ever leave town, here we go sir

Our bodies were laid out evenly for fifteen yards
Well, two feet above each of our heads was a fly trapped in a jar
Well, I hadn't noticed but the people really noticed
That they really didn't want us around
So every single one of us fed the ground, here we go now

[Bridge]
One wing wasn't even enough
One wing wasn't even enough

[Outro]
All part and parcel
Well it's probably been said
That it's always been said
We were already dead

Fly Trapped in a Jar by Modest Mouse
Lyrics source: Genius



All comments from YouTube:

@drzkillz7642

The one guy who only plays during the into and outro and just has to sit there idly the ENTIRE song is so fucking hilarious, I love how he's just idly looking around, clearly bored.

@michaelchavez6558

I didn't notice it the first few times I watched this video but now I look at him every single time. I can't watch this video without laughing now

@rebelspirit22

I love reading the comments rock on 😂

@azurebass24

As a professional musician, this is incredibly accurate

@noddatellayu4144

Yes, he should hone his triangle and gong skills, maybe pick up a flag. The look on that guys face is hilarious. Thanks for pointing that out. Modest Mouse drummer, Jeremiah Green, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer which is why I'm exploring their music now. This is a cool video.

@schmecsmix6205

I know it's been 15 years but can we do a music video for spitting venom

@chernobylcoleslaw6698

Under-rated song for sure.

@lockelamora4184

One of my favorites

@chernobylcoleslaw6698

The 3 movements are amazing.

@modestmeeshka

This! Please!

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