"Fireflies" (CD single) Music Poster Image

"Fireflies" (CD single)



Upbeat song about insomnia is odd but inoffensive.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This track gives an honest account of what it's like to have problems sleeping.

Positive role models

Owl City singer Adam Young is a relative newcomer on the music scene, and so far, he's steered clear of questionable behavior.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that though the lyrics in this song are somewhat nonsensical, they contain no real show-stoppers in the way of profane language, sexual references, or other adult themes.

What's the story?

FIREFLIES is the incredibly popular electropop single from Owl City -- a Minnesota-based band that actually consists of just one guy, singer Adam Young. The tune is based entirely on Young's insomnia, with the artist using the track to chronicle his long-time problems falling asleep. None of the song's lyrics are explicit; they're simply a clean description of Young's sleeping problems: "Leave my door open just a crack ... 'cause I feel like such an insomniac ... why do I tire of counting sheep ... when I'm far too tired to fall asleep."

Is it any good?


Heavy on the electro, light on the pop, this synth-infused tune has a lighthearted hook that belies the seriousness of Young's insomnia -- and the singer's child-like vocals add to the misleadingly bright tone. The overall effect may be a little sticky-sweet, but it has undeniable appeal. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the song's theme. Can insomnia be a sign that something else is wrong in your life?

  • When you're finding it hard to sleep, what are five things you can try to make it easier?

Music details

Artist:Owl City
Release date:November 20, 2009
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Fireflies" (CD single) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bymissmurder19 December 15, 2009

Cute song for everybody...

Owl City is a cute, bubbly, one-man band. The songs don't really contain depth, but they're fun and catchy. 'Fireflies' is a very good song, written just because.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBlake_Slaughter January 20, 2014

Love this song

Don't even think you have to be at least 2 for most of the songs I rate, they just don't give a lower age. Odd but, really good song.
Kid, 11 years old December 3, 2012

Fun Owl City song

A little bit of a weird song but I really like it. Hip song. Fun for all ages.Definitely.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?