Pillars Turn to Butter

Everything is open
Nothing is set in stone
Rivers turn to oceans
Oceans tide you home
Home is where the heart is
But your heart had to roam
Drifting over bridges
Never to return
Watching bridges burn

You’re driftwood floating underwater
Breaking into pieces, pieces, pieces
Just driftwood hollow and of no use
Waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you

Nobody is an island
Everyone has to go
Pillars turn to butter
Butterflying low
Low is where your heart is
But your heart has to grow
Drifting under bridges
Never with the flow
And you really didn’t think it would happen
But it really is the end of the line

So i’m sorry that you turned to driftwood
But you’ve been drifting for a long, long time

Everywhere there’s trouble
Nowhere’s safe to go
Pushes turn to shovels
Shoveling the snow
Frozen you have chosen
The path you wish to go
Drifting now forever
And forever more
Until you reach your shore

You’re driftwood floating under water
Breaking into pieces, pieces, pieces
Just driftwood hollow and of no use

Waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you
And you really didn’t think it could happen
But it really is the end of the live

So i’m sorry that you turned to driftwood
But you’ve been drifting for a long, long time

 
 

Driftwood is the second single taken from Indie band Travis’ second studio album, The Man Who (1999)

 
 

In an interview for NME, Fran Healy revealed that, “The title reputedly comes from the advice of one of my close friends. He advised me not to leave college to concentrate on the band. The lyrics focus on a character who has abandoned all his connections and is now like driftwood – “breaking into pieces… hollow and of no use, waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you”. Driftwood is a song for the person in your life who has so much potential and, yet, doesn’t use it, because they’re afraid of falling on their backside, you know, they’re afraid of making a fool of themselves. But, yet, if they put their minds to it and just threw their plate out the window, they would actually do a lot with it and make themselves happy and other people happy. The chorus came about while I was watching an episode of Cheers. The episode involved an employee overhearing their boss stating that he was going to get rid of the “driftwood” in the company. I then went to do the washing up, and the first line in the chorus just came to me. Also, our original idea was to include the lyrics “caterpillars turn to butterflies”, but it was too long to fit with the tune, so we shaved off syllables, changing it to “pillars turn to butter.”

 
 

 
 

The music video was filmed by Garth Jennings in St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls, located in Carshalton, Surrey. Travis later reprised the teaching roles portrayed in the video for a cameo role in the 2007 Comedy-Drama film Son of Rambow.

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A Keen Hunter of Butterflies and Moths

Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) as a child

 
 

“In her childhood Virginia Woolf was a keen hunter of butterflies and moths. With her brothers and sister she would smear tree trunks with treacle to attract and capture the insects, and then pin their lifelike corpses to cork boards, their wings outspread. It was an interest that persisted into her adult life, and when she discovered that I too was a bug hunter, she insisted that we go hunting together in the fields around Long Barn, our house in Kent, two miles from Knole, my mother’s birthplace. I was nine years old.

 
 

Butterfly, Duncan Grant, 1957

 
 

One summer’s afternoon when we were sweeping the tall grass with our nets and catching nothing, she suddenly paused, leaning on her bamboo cane as a savage might lean on his assegai, and said to me: “What’s it like to be a child?” I, taken aback, replied, “Well, Virginia, you know what it’s like. You’ve been a child yourself. I don’t know what it’s like to be you, because I’ve never been grownup.” It was the only occasion when I got the better of her, dialectically.

I believe that her motive was to gather copy for her portrait of James in To the Lighthouse, which she was writing at the time, and James was about my own age. She told me that it was not much use thinking back into her own childhood, because little girls are different from little boys. “But were you happy as a child?” I asked.

 

Excerpt from Virginia Woolf by Nigel Nicolson