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The Meaning Behind The Song: Buddha Worm by Zach Sherwin

The Meaning Behind The Song: Buddha Worm by Zach Sherwin

As a Music Technician, I have come across countless songs that have left a lasting impact on me. However, there are few songs that have resonated with me as deeply as “Buddha Worm” by Zach Sherwin. I first heard this song on a lazy afternoon, while surfing through a friend’s eclectic music collection. Little did I know that this quirky, yet thought-provoking tune would leave such a lasting impression on me.

“Buddha Worm” is a whimsical track that tells the story of a day in the life of a worm. At first glance, it seems like a lighthearted anecdote about saving a worm from potential harm. However, as the song progresses, it delves into deeper philosophical themes of mortality, vulnerability, and ego. Sherwin whimsically reflects on his own mortality, drawing parallels between himself and the worm, ultimately finding humility and enlightenment through this seemingly insignificant encounter.

Verse 1: Worm’s Rescue and Ponderings

The song begins with the narrator stumbling upon a worm on the sidewalk. Fearing that it might be crushed underfoot, the narrator decides to save it. Using credit cards as makeshift tools, he moves the worm to safety. However, to his surprise, instead of showing gratitude, the worm reacts aggressively. Sherwin highlights the irony of the worm’s response, questioning the effectiveness of its self-defense against predators like birds. This incident leads him to shake his head in confusion, observing the worm’s futile struggle.

The lyrics portray the worm’s struggle as insignificant in the grand scheme of things, highlighting the narrator’s initial condescension towards it. This raises the question of how often we dismiss or underestimate the struggles and defense mechanisms of those we perceive as weaker or lesser than us.

Chorus: You’re Welcome, Worm

In the chorus, Sherwin humorously sarcasticizes his role as the worm’s savior. He declares, “So, I say ‘You’re welcome, worm’ – both for moving you to safety and for letting you think your flopping scared me off, thus allowing you to escape me.” This sarcastic yet oddly compassionate statement sheds light on the narrator’s ego, subtly suggesting that even acts of kindness can sometimes stem from self-interest or the need for validation.

Moreover, the chorus introduces a new aspect to the narrative. Instead of merely reflecting on the worm’s struggle, Sherwin begins questioning his own mortality and control over his destiny. This transition marks a turning point in the song, as the focus shifts from the worm to the narrator’s own journey of self-discovery.

Verse 2: The Narrator’s Epiphany

In the second verse, Sherwin recounts a close call with a truck that nearly hit him at a crosswalk. This incident triggers an epiphany, making him realize the irony of his earlier condescension towards the worm. He ponders whether he has any more control over his destiny than the worm did, emphasizing their shared vulnerability and the unpredictable nature of life.

This verse serves as a reminder that we are all susceptible to the whims of fate. Whether we are a worm or a human being, our existence is inherently fragile and subject to unforeseen circumstances that can change our lives in an instant.

Chorus: Thank You, Worm

The chorus takes on a different tone in the second repetition, as Sherwin expresses gratitude towards the worm for showing him humility and helping him recognize his own mortality. He acknowledges the worm’s vulnerability, stating that it reminds him of his own fragility. Through this newfound perspective, Sherwin strives to shed his ego and embrace a humbler approach to life.

By comparing the worm to Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual figure who founded Buddhism, Sherwin highlights the profound impact this tiny creature has had on his journey towards enlightenment.

The song concludes with a playful spoken section, injecting a hint of humor into the introspective track. Sherwin cheekily presents himself as sensitive and caring, providing an unexpected glimpse into his personality through a few lighthearted takeaways.

“Buddha Worm” is a song that effortlessly blends humor with introspection, leaving listeners with a profound message. Through the seemingly mundane interaction between a human and a worm, Zach Sherwin explores themes of humanity, vulnerability, and the universal struggle for enlightenment. So next time you encounter a worm struggling on the pavement, take a moment to reflect, for within the smallest of creatures may lie the deepest revelations.

Album title: Brutus (2016)


Release Date November 1, 2013

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