Moby “Flower” Lyrics Meaning




In this piece, we’re taking a close look at Moby’s song ‘Flower’ and diving into its meanings and the story behind it. This track stands out for its catchy tune and repeating lines, and has found fans in both its remixed form and as a nod to traditional African-American folk music. We’ll investigate where the song came from, how it’s used today, and why it resonates with so many people.

At first glance, ‘Flower’ might seem simple, but if you listen more carefully, you’ll find there’s more to it. We’ll break down the message in the main chorus and the extra verses that give us more angles to consider. Plus, we’re going to talk about how ‘Flower’ became well-known from its spot in the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ and how it’s sparked a wave of fitness challenges online.

So come along as we dig into the rich history and influence of ‘Flower,’ showing how it connects the dots between yesterday and today.

Custom quote: ‘Songs like ‘Flower’ act as bridges across time, proving that good music can always find new life in fresh contexts.’

The Straightforward Lyrics of ‘Flower

Examining the straightforward lyrics of ‘Flower,’ one can observe their simplicity and lack of complex narrative or multiple layers of meaning. The main lines of the song, often misheard as ‘bring Sally up, bring Sally down,’ are actually ‘green Sally up, green Sally down, last one squat gotta tear the ground.’ The lyrics derive from the original children’s song ‘Green Sally Up’ and incorporate a field holler melody common in African-American folk music.

The dance that accompanies the song involves squatting low and coming back up, which explains the main lines of the lyrics. The phrase ‘last one squat gotta tear the ground’ playfully threatens the slowest participant with assigned work in the field, adding a dark twist to the bright melody.

The lyrics ‘Old miss Lucy’s dead and gone, left me here to weep and moan’ occur between the repetitive hook and have different interpretations. In the original recording of ‘Green Sally Up,’ two more lines follow: ‘If you hate it, fold your arms; if you love it, clap your hands.’ ‘Miss Lucy’ refers to the slave owner who has died, leaving the slaves to their harsh lives.

The following two lines offer listeners two options for reacting to the death, one positive (clapping hands) and one negative (folding arms). The song briefly breaks into the ‘Miss Lucy’ section, emphasizing that the work will continue regardless of the singers’ or audience’s feelings.

The Origins of ‘Flower’ as a Remix of ‘Green Sally up

The origins of ‘Flower’ as a remix of ‘Green Sally Up’ can be traced back to its incorporation of a field holler melody commonly found in African-American folk music. The original song, ‘Green Sally Up,’ is a children’s tune that involves a simple dance where participants squat low and come back up.

Moby’s version of the song takes this traditional melody and adds electronic elements, creating a modern take on an old tradition. The lyrics of ‘Flower’ are straightforward and lack a complex narrative, with the main lines often misheard as ‘bring Sally up, bring Sally down.’ However, the correct lyrics are ‘green Sally up, green Sally down, last one squat gotta tear the ground.’

This playful twist adds a dark undertone to the bright melody, as it threatens the slowest participant with assigned work in the field. Overall, ‘Flower’ showcases Moby’s ability to blend different musical styles and create a timeless piece of music.

The Dark Twist in the Lyrics of ‘Flower

The dark twist in the lyrics of ‘Flower’ adds a haunting element to the otherwise uplifting melody. This unexpected darkness adds depth and complexity to the song, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.

Here are four reasons why the dark twist in the lyrics of ‘Flower’ evokes strong emotions:

  • It reveals the harsh reality of slavery and the oppressive conditions endured by African-American slaves.
  • The mention of Old Miss Lucy’s death highlights the loss and grief experienced by the slaves, emphasizing the pain and suffering they endured.
  • The lyrics offer contrasting options for reacting to Miss Lucy’s death, presenting listeners with a choice between positivity and negativity.
  • The repeated phrase ‘last one squat gotta tear the ground’ implies that the work continues despite the pain and hardship, highlighting the resilience and strength of the slaves.

These dark elements in the lyrics of ‘Flower’ serve as a reminder of the historical atrocities and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The Different Interpretations of the ‘Miss Lucy’ Section

In the lyrics of ‘Flower’, the ‘Miss Lucy’ section offers various interpretations. This section occurs between the repetitive hook and consists of the lines ‘Old miss Lucy’s dead and gone, left me here to weep and moan.’

One interpretation is that ‘Miss Lucy’ refers to the slave owner who has died, symbolizing the end of their oppressive regime. The lyrics express the sadness and despair felt by the slaves, left behind to mourn their loss.

Another interpretation suggests that ‘Miss Lucy’ represents the institution of slavery itself, which continues to haunt and oppress even after the death of a particular slave owner. This interpretation highlights the ongoing struggle and pain experienced by those who were enslaved.

‘Flower’ has become a widely recognized and frequently utilized song in popular culture. Its catchy melody and infectious rhythm have made it a favorite choice for various activities and media. Here are some examples of the modern usage of ‘Flower’ in popular culture:

  • It gained significant notoriety when it was featured in the opening credits of the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds,’ introducing the song to a wider audience.
  • The song experienced a massive resurgence due to its popularity in viral fitness challenges on the internet, where participants would perform squats to the beat of the song.
  • The misinterpretation of the lyrics as ‘bring Sally up’ instead of ‘green Sally up’ contributed to its use in fitness challenges, adding a fun twist to the exercises.
  • ‘Flower’ has remained popular on various platforms and continues to be used as a soundtrack for people’s activities, showcasing its enduring appeal and versatility.

The modern usage of ‘Flower’ in popular culture highlights its ability to captivate and engage audiences across different mediums and contexts.

The Universal Appeal and Enduring Power of ‘Flower

The enduring power and universal appeal of Moby’s version of the song ‘Flower’ lies in its ability to bridge past and present, transcending time and cultural boundaries. The song manages to unite two different times, as children would dance to the original version, and modern people use it as a soundtrack to their activities. Its catchy melody and repetitive nature contribute to its universal appeal, making it a song that resonates with people from all walks of life.

Additionally, ‘Flower’ serves as a testament to the enduring power of music, showcasing its ability to preserve tradition while adapting it to modern sensibilities. The internet’s influence has played a significant role in the song’s continued popularity and reach, further cementing its place in the cultural zeitgeist.


In conclusion, the song ‘Flower’ by Moby holds a deeper meaning beyond its catchy melody. Its origins as a remix of the traditional African-American folk song ‘Green Sally Up’ adds historical significance to its modern usage.

The dark twist in the lyrics and the interpretations of the ‘Miss Lucy’ section further deepen the narrative.

‘Flower’ has gained notoriety through its inclusion in popular culture, such as its use in the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ and viral fitness challenges.

Its universal appeal lies in its ability to bridge the past and present, making it a timeless and impactful piece of music.

As the saying goes, ‘A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.’ ‘Flower’ blooms as a symbol of connection and resilience.

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