Pale Horse

Songfacts®:

  • Billy Corgan explained to MusicRadar.com: "Pretty much from beginning, this was one of those ones where you have a good riff, and you say, 'I'm going to write a song around it.' The original demo, which was very stiff and choppy [sings] – 'Da-da-da-da-dum' – with a drum machine or something, but you actually say, 'I really like that feeling.' So then it becomes 'Can we convert that to the band?' Right away, the band said it was a really great song.

    A lot of times when you have that kind of riff, you don't want to get too tricky," he continued. "It creates a hypnotic effect. You don't want to change keys too much, so I leaned back on some of those artists who used space well. In old Pumpkins ideology, if you started with that riff, the song would get bigger and louder. In this ideology, it actually gets smaller, and that's how you get the dynamic back up."
  • The song is named after one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which is found in chapter six of Revelations, the final book of the Bible. The Christian apocalyptic vision is of the four horsemen, two being agents of war and two of famine and pestilence, setting a divine apocalypse upon the world before the Last Judgment.

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