The Zephyr Song

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"The Zephyr Song"
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album By the Way
B-side "Body of Water"
"Out of Range"
"Rivers of Avalon"
Released August 17, 2002
Format CD, 7" vinyl
Recorded March 2002
Genre Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia
Length 3:53
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Flea, Frusciante, Kiedis, Smith
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"By the Way"
"The Zephyr Song"
"Can't Stop"
Music video
"The Zephyr Song" on YouTube

"The Zephyr Song" is a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the second single released from the band's eighth studio album, By the Way, released on August 17, 2002.[1] The song, as a single, was released in two parts. Both editions held two previously unheard-of B-sides, making it, collectively, hold four non-LP tracks. This is the largest number of accumulated unreleased studio recorded B-sides any solitary single the Red Hot Chili Peppers have ever released.

The single peaked at number 6 on the Modern Rock chart, breaking the band's streak of three straight number-one hits.

The working title for the song during the recording sessions was "Coltraine". During the By the Way World Tour, the song was played extensively at most live concerts; however, it has not been played in full since 2004.


"The Zephyr Song" features backing vocals reminiscent of the 1960s. The song is about nature's healing power and human connection.[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video on December 1, 2002, was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The couple has collaborated with the band on numerous other CDs. It is generally suggestive and reminiscent of a kaleidoscope, by utilizing the same circular and intertwining figures in order to illustrate the psychedelic feel the band was aiming for.

Track listing[edit]

CD single 1
No. Title Length
1. "The Zephyr Song"   3:52
2. "Body of Water" (Previously Unreleased) 4:41
3. "Someone" (Previously Unreleased) 3:24
CD single 2
No. Title Length
1. "The Zephyr Song"   3:52
2. "Out of Range" (Previously Unreleased) 3:58
3. "Rivers of Avalon" (Previously Unreleased) 3:39
CD single 3
No. Title Length
1. "The Zephyr Song"   3:52
2. "Out of Range" (Previously Unreleased) 3:58
7" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "The Zephyr Song"   3:52
2. "Out of Range" (Previously Unreleased) 3:58


The song features an audible glitch in the final chorus. The sixth line of "all the world can pass me by” has a wobble in the word “all” at 3:00 minutes. This is present in all releases of the song’s studio version and has never been corrected.


  • Anthony Kiedis - lead vocal, double-tracked lead vocal (chorus)
  • John Frusciante - lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
  • Flea - bass
  • Chad Smith - drums

Pressing error[edit]

There is a pressing error on some UK versions of "The Zephyr Song" CD1 and CD2 singles. The CDs and inlays have matching catalogue numbers but the B-sides listed on the inlay are on the opposite disc to the one included with the inlay. The reason for this is that both CDs have identical face art. Retailers began to switch the CDs in the cases to correct the problem but the catalogue numbers on the CDs were then mismatched with the inlay numbers. However, this was corrected on subsequent pressings.


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 21
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[4] 11
France (SNEP)[5] 90
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 65
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 22
Italy (FIMI)[8] 20
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 72
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 100
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 49
US Billboard US Modern Rock 6
US Billboard US Mainstream Rock 14
US Billboard US Adult Pop Songs 17