You know how it is: It’s a dull, hot Saturday afternoon, and you suddenly realize you can’t remember all the words to Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away.” Luckily, Google is here to help you: One quick search for “Lenny Kravitz Fly Away lyrics,” later, and you’re all set, YouTube video at the ready to serve as a welcome refresher. You start the video, and everything seems fine. Except…why is Lenny singing so much about dragonflies? Why is he covered in Milky Way bars? What, frankly, the fuck is this?
Our hypothetical Kravitzhead has run into the algorithm-gaming work of internet mastermind Neil Cicierega, whose “lyric video” for the 1998 hit—which we reported on back when the evil genius behind Mouth Sounds and “Bustin” first uploaded it back in 2014—is now the top search result for people searching for the song’s proper words. The search result—which trumps several more “accurate” versions of the song—was recently noticed by people on the r/videos subreddit, who delighted in the thought of it catching people unaware.
Like much of Cicierega’s more insidious work, “Fly Away (lyrics)” sounds pretty close to the original for a minute, at least until the subtle differences start to pile up in maddening ways. (Even before he starts talking about having sex with candy bars, the refusal to resolve the song’s big refrain starts to build up like anxiety at the base of your neck.) We’re usually not fans of people having their days ruined out of the blue like this, but if it gets more fans onto Cicierega’s demented wavelength, it can’t be all that bad.