Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind

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Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind

Bob Lind Elusive Butterfly

Folk Music

The song “Elusive Butterfly” was written and performed by Bob Lind in 1965. Singer-songwriter Bob Lind, who was part of the sixties folk music scene, penned this unusual romantic ballad. In the song the narrator tells of his search for romance, which he finds as elusive as a butterfly. Lind was signed to a deal by prolific jazz producer Richard Bock and his label World Pacific Records. “Elusive Butterfly” was originally released in December 1965 as the B-Side of Bob Lind’s debut single “Cheryl’s Goin’ Home.” When Florida radio station WQAM flipped the record, the response to “Elusive Butterfly” was strong enough to get World Pacific Records to promote it as the new A-side.

“Elusive Butterfly” hit the charts in the spring of 1966, and it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart. In Australia, “Elusive Butterfly” went to #2 and stayed there for three weeks in July 1966. This gave jazz label World Pacific Records its one and only pop hit.

“Elusive Butterfly” features a string arrangement that provides an absolutely gorgeous counter-melody. The arranger was Jack Nitzsche, a major contributor to Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.”  Nitzsche is also known for his work on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones, as well as writing scores for One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest, The Exorcist, and Officer And A Gentleman, among others.

Over the years, many artists have covered “Elusive Butterfly. Some of the cover versions were as follows: Petula Clark (1966), Cher (1966), Billy Walker (1966), Lou Christie (1966), Johnny Mathis (1966), Bobby Vee (1966), Glen Campbell (1968), Gary Lewis and The Playboys (1968), Aretha Franklin (1969), The Lettermen (1969), The Four Tops (1970), Dolly Parton (1984), Jane Olivor (2001) and Livingston Taylor (2006).

Here are the lyrics for “Elusive Butterfly” by Bob Lind:

“You might wake up some morning
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind.
And if you’re quick enough to rise
You’ll catch the fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow.
Out on the new horizon you may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings.
And if the sleep has left your ears
You might hear footsteps running through an open meadow.

Don’t be concerned; it will not harm you.
It’s only me pursuing something I’m not sure of.
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love

You might have heard my footsteps
Echo softly in the distance through the canyons of your mind.
I might have even called your name as I ran searching after something to believe in.
You might have seen me runnin’
Through the long abandoned ruins of the dreams you left behind.
If you remember something there
That glided past you followed close by heavy breathing.

Don’t be concerned; it will not harm you.
It’s only me pursuing something I’m not sure of.
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ commercial free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “Elusive Butterfly” by Bob Lind.

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Jane Minogue

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