Here Is No Why

Album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (1995)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This is about fame and stardom at a young age, and how it is hard to comprehend that you are becoming popular and famous. The lyrics describe the emotions of a young rock star, "And in your sad machines, you'll forever stay, desperate and displeased, with whoever you are, you're a star." Billy Corgan probably felt this way with his rise in fame and being a well-known rock idol. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Justin - Blaine, WA

Comments: 9

  • Andrew from NcI always felt like this song played homage to Bowie/Ziggy Stardust. Also the Kurt Corgan history is interesting. Heart Shapped box is about love letters Kurt found from Corgan that Courtney had kept. They allegedly had an affair and they had an on again off again romantic relationship before she met Kurt.
  • David from Ancona, ItalyAnd NO, this song isn't about Kurt Cobain at all. It's about Billy Corgan himself, as he explained on many interviews. We all love Kurt but you people should really stop seeing Kurt Cobain references everywhere. If you knew a little more about Smashing Pumpkins you also would know Billy didn't exactly like Kurt Cobain as a person, because Kurt always kept distance with him and didn't want to bond with him (Billy said that on the Chris Isaak Hour talk show: http://www.mojvideo.com/video-smashing-pumpkins-live-on-the-chris-isaak-hour-part-1/1021f01336bdce9f8dcf).
  • David from Ancona, Italy"Billy definitely followed Kurt Cobain. Kurt wasn't even cold in the ground, so to speak, before Billy started going out with Courtney. All of the other comments fit, too."

    Laura I'm sorry but Courtney Love was Billy Corgan's Girlfriend in the pre-Gish and Gish period (1990-1991), way before she met Kurt Cobain.
  • Matt from Houston, TxIt could describe others too. possibly layne staley. don't be as narrow minded to say it could be one thing on your beliefs. Not that I dismiss it. I am just saying, you could interpret it with many other things
  • Laura from Weymouth, MaRoonie, why on earth not? Billy definitely followed Kurt Cobain. Kurt wasn't even cold in the ground, so to speak, before Billy started going out with Courtney. All of the other comments fit, too.
  • Roonie from Huntington, WvWhy on earth would they write so many songs about Kurt Cobain? I think its rediculous to say that this song is about him. This song isnt even close to describe Cobain. Cobain was a grunge rocker, not glam.
  • Derek from Qld, AustraliaI agree with the kurt cobain theory. Whenever i hear the line "somewhere he pulls hair down over a frowning smile" i always think of kurt doing exactly that at the end of the Heartshaped Box video clip.
  • Connor from Flint, MiIn interviews, Billy has described this song as an autobiographic view of the "mysanthropic me," that is, himself as an adoslescent obsessed with glam rock. Many of the lyrics ("and in your sad machines you'll forever stay") do refer to rock (Billy often uses the word "machines" to signify guitars), but the context here does not involve music as a career. "mascara sure and lipstic lost" invokes the signature dress styles of glam rockers.

    "he pulls his hair down over a frowning smile" and "sitting still was never enough" is more dispositional... the teen rocker evidently defines himself in terms of some restlessness and dissatisfaction.

    There's a lot of nostalgia in this song, but it's all recalled with fondness. I personally believe he's smiling at the naivete of a manufactured darkness.

    There is, actually, a valid other interpretation of this song, though Billy has publicly denied it up and down. MCIS is filled with a lot of subtle and not so subtle references to the Holocaust. Here is one of the most explicit. "Here is no why," was a phrase recalled by Primo Levy from an SS Guard, and he has used it to sum up all the brutal irrationality of Auschwitz.

    The official line, though, is that the song was originally called "No Is Here Why" and was "mixed up in the transcription," according to the Pumpkins in an interview with Bill Weinman (Chicago Reader 10/21/95).

    Myself, I don't buy it.
  • Marvin from East Brady, PaI was always under the belief this was about Kurt Cobain, who couldn't handle his rise to stardom and committed suicide. The only way out of his "sad machine" was to commit suicide. This came out within a year of his death, as did the similarly themed "Let Me In" by R.E.M. (who I think dedicated their '94 album Monster to the fallen Cobain and River Phoenix)
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple PilotsSongwriter Interviews

Stone Temple Pilots bass player Robert DeLeo names the songs that have most connected with fans and tells the stories behind tracks from their Tiny Music album.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.