Little Fury Things – Unravelling the Sonic Labyrinth of Emotion

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Dinosaur Jr.'s Little Fury Things at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Dive Into the Heart of the ‘Rabbit’ Metaphor
  5. Unraveling the Track’s Tension Between Aggression and Introspection
  6. The Elusive Quest to ‘Feel it All’
  7. The ‘Sunlight’ of Truth and Its Blinding Rage
  8. Deciphering the Song’s Hidden Message: A Quest for Self


What is it?
Who is it?
Where is it?

A rabbit falls away from me, I guess I’ll crawl
A rabbit always smashes me, again I’ll crawl
Tried to think what’s over me, it makes me crawl
Then she runs away from me, faster than I crawl

I stopped to call, tried to feel it all
Stuck my hand and pulled real hard
Got stretch in miles, not in yards
Then I read, about all those who believe all of your lies
Sunlight brings the rage right in your eyes

[Chorus: x2]

Full Lyrics

A scorching anthem that claws at the fringe of raw emotion, ‘Little Fury Things’ by Dinosaur Jr. is a fusion of noise-rock intensity and vulnerability. The 1987 classic from the band’s album ‘You’re Living All Over Me’ serves as a time capsule for the underground musical revolution taking place in that era, capturing the essence of indie rock’s rough-edged charm and pain-infused lyricism.

When dissecting the lyrics of this enigmatic track, one can’t help but to tumble into the psyche of J Mascis, the frontman whose strained vocals and guitar wizardry define the song’s visceral soundscape. Each line could be interpreted in a myriad of ways, inviting a deep-dive into the possible implications and meanings swirling amid the distorted chords.

A Dive Into the Heart of the ‘Rabbit’ Metaphor

At its core, ‘Little Fury Things’ seems to envelop the listener in a metaphor rich with ambiguity. The ‘rabbit’ could symbolize the elusive nature of desire or happiness, which ‘falls away’ and ‘smashes’ the narrator, leaving him to ‘crawl.’ This cyclical struggle, mired in an animalistic imagery, speaks to the human condition – the eternal chase after what persistently eludes us, and the inevitable pain that ensues when we get too close.

The idea of the chase, whether it be for love, success, or a sense of identity, is a recurring theme across Dinosaur Jr.’s discography. Here, Mascis encapsulates a sense of futility and perhaps resignation in the way ‘she runs away from me, faster than I crawl.’ The distance grows, regardless of the efforts to close the gap, hinting at the Sisyphean battle against the forces that dwarf our human efforts.

Unraveling the Track’s Tension Between Aggression and Introspection

Musically, ‘Little Fury Things’ is a tempest. The juxtaposition of Mascis’s hushed, almost detached delivery with the aggressive intrusion of his guitar’s feedback mirrors the internal struggle inherent in the lyrics. This push and pull between introspection and the chaos of rage experienced ‘in your eyes’ could also reflect personal battles with inner demons or the friction one encounters with external entities.

Mascis does not just sing; his guitar literally speaks, with solos that wrench open the floodgates of emotion. The turmoil present in both the instrumentation and the words creates a canvas for listeners to project their own fury things onto – those personal battles and irritations that we carry with us and at times let define us.

The Elusive Quest to ‘Feel it All’

A recurring line in the song, ‘I stopped to call, tried to feel it all,’ could be seen as an admission of defeat or a moment of epiphany. It’s the human yearning to understand and to truly experience the depth of our feelings that kneads the dough of this song’s core. Feeling ‘it all’ might be a moment of clarity or an overwhelming surge of emotions that can’t be compartmentalized but is deeply felt nonetheless.

The narrator’s attempt to grasp something substantial, reaching out and ‘pull[ing] real hard’ only to find that what they can stretch is ‘in miles, not in yards,’ might symbolize the vastness of the emotional landscape they’re trying to navigate – too immense to be fully understood or held within their grasp.

The ‘Sunlight’ of Truth and Its Blinding Rage

The line ‘Sunlight brings the rage right in your eyes’ adds a layer of irony to the struggle. Here, sunlight, typically symbolic of clarity and truth, brings not peace but ‘rage.’ This could indicate that in truth, there is no solace, only more fury. The lies that one believes, as referenced earlier in the song, may be easier to live with than the harshness of reality brought into light.

The idea posited here is that there is an anger that comes with enlightenment, an irritation at the realization of how much falsehood we accept in our daily lives. This poignant observation wrapped in a simple verse illustrates the sharp songwriting that Mascis brings, giving the song a philosophical edge that slices through the listener’s conscience.

Deciphering the Song’s Hidden Message: A Quest for Self

Buried within the feedback-laden riffs and strained lyrical delivery may lie a deeper yearning for understanding one’s place in the world, which can also be seen as the song’s hidden message. ‘Little Fury Things’ can thus become an anthem for all who search for meaning in the chaos, who crawl through life trying to grasp onto things that seem just out of reach, and who fight against the truth that illuminates as much as it enrages.

In the end, ‘Little Fury Things’ is a compendium of emotion, a musical treatise on the complexity of the human soul. It resonates not because it provides answers, but because it aptly articulates the questions we’re often too inarticulate or afraid to ask ourselves. Dinosaur Jr. gives a voice to the silent battles waged within, and in doing so, validates the experience of countless individuals who find solace in their siren songs of fury.

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