Back in the day, when I first heard this song, I liked it but I also felt it was presumptuous to brag about about “statues crumble for me” when you’ve only had one big hit. Eventually, though, I smartened up and I realized that the song’s upbeat sound was hiding the fact that this is actually a very downbeat song about someone who just wishes that he could fly away from all of the world’s troubles. Statues crumble for me was a reference to Ozymandias. Who knows how long I’ve loved you was an homage to the Beatles. Almost all of the lyrics that sounded like they were bragging were actually referring to something else.
“My mother God rest her soul,” is a reference to the song “Along Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. At least at the time that Fly was recorded, all of the mothers of the members of the band were still alive. In fact, they all appear at the end of this video.
This video was directed by McG, who later went on to direct several feature films. You know that famous recording of Christian Bale yelling at a cinematographer on the set of Terminator: Salvation? McG was the director who had to listen to all of that.