“Life’s too long, (as the lemming said)”
This is the song I refer unbelievers to when they don’t take Ian Anderson’s songwriting chops seriously enough. Because I seriously do take him seriously as a writer, and I think he’s among the best. Now the moth here is a clear metaphor for the fragility of life, and the eternal futility of pursuing unattainable things which we don’t understand. Like the moth, we flutter our lives away bonking our heads and burning our wings against an incandescent light bulb, when we should have stayed in the dark forest eating and mating. And like many people, moths are both beautiful and frustrating in their stupidity. Tossing existential metaphors aside, the song is also an exhortation to enjoy the simple pleasures of a spring night. To me, who rarely leaves the city, it’s a bittersweet reminder of just how good it feels to just sit back, stare into the darkness, listen to the bustle of nature, and watch the moths die.