Owl City explains reasoning behind confusing ‘Fireflies’ lyric

Adam Young has done the math on the line “‘Cause I’d get a thousand hugs/ From 10,000 lightning bugs/ As they tried to teach me how to dance”

Owl City has revealed the mathematical reasoning behind one of the confusing lyrics from his 2009 hit ‘Fireflies’.

Owl City – aka Adam Young – shot to prominence nearly eight years ago with the single, which went six times platinum worldwide and spent three weeks at the top of the UK singles chart.

Young has only now spoken out on one especially unclear lyric from ‘Fireflies’, where he sings: “Cause I’d get a thousand hugs / From 10,000 lightning bugs / As they tried to teach me how to dance.” Listen to the song below, with the lyric in question popping up at the 1:08 mark.


Having bamboozled fans for years, Young has now clarified his take on the maths that the lyrics invoke after being asked on Twitter to explain whether “each firefly hugs you 1,000 times, or do only 1/10th of the bugs give you a hug?”

“I was the recipient of 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs for a grand total of 10,000,000 hugs,” Young explained in reply. “As the lyrics of the song clearly state, the average layperson would not believe their eyes if 10,000,000 fireflies were to illuminate planet Earth, nor would the average person conclude by natural instinct that 10,000 lightning bugs, acting as a collective group, are capable of embracing a human being 1,000 times without difficulty.

“By the same token, a gathering of lightning bugs in such vast numbers form a sort of ‘swarm,’ and a swam can collectively surround a human and deliver a ‘hug’ that a single firefly, acting according to the dictates of his own conscience, simply cannot. Consequently, I was embraced 1,000 times by 10,000 luminescent insects.”

Owl City last released an album in 2015 with ‘Mobile Orchestra’.

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