Album: Siamese Dream (1993)
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  • Soma means "body" in Greek. It was the name of a drug in the 1932 Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World.
  • A true breakup song, lead singer Billy Corgan had just split with his girlfriend Christine Fabian when he wrote it (they later married and then got divorced). This song describes how Corgan was feeling after the breakup.
  • Mike Mills of R.E.M. played piano on this song.

Comments: 20

  • Chris from New London Ct “The opiate of blame”
  • Steve Sulak from MichiganI've read it all now. I just have to say that my misinterpretation changed everything about the song for me. I thought he said "God sleeps at last." Meaning that God is done babysitting us and our bad decisions and can finally rest. Which gave the song almost a bonding and break up with God me. I guess there's a million ways to feel about it. I do know that the music is awesome. The bass just rumbles. And no matter how you interpret's, by far, one of their best songs.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, Az"SoMa" is also a designation for a neighborhood of San Francisco, "SOth of MArket Street."
  • Joey from West Row, United KingdomMike from Newark, "Soma" was also the name of a concoction of poppy, cannabis, and the plant that was boiled in water and drank to regain focus in early Indo-European Afghanistan and Central Asia. The plant is not indigenous to India - it had to be imported, thus explaining why it is not commonly seen in India today. However, the plant does hold religious worth as you said. I doubt Billy Corgan would have known any of this, though. Haha.
  • Mark from Mount Vernon, NyTruly a masterpiece of powerful melody and lyric. Pure beauty through the musical brillance of Billy Corgan.
  • Tom from San Diego, CaThis is my personal interpretation of the song.

    Other posters have mentioned that soma is an elixir that induces sleep, referred to it as a drug from a famous novel used to alleviate all pain and unhappiness artificially, and that the song may refer to a breakup.

    I suspect what Corgan is describing is cognitive dissonance - when a person denies a long held belief or a reality because they cannot cope with a new situation or reality which conflicts with it. i.e. someone convincing themselves that someone else is the antagonist and has broken their heart, and that they never loved them to begin with.

    How many times have you ended a relationship, only to later believe that you never really cared for the other person in it because it's easier to believe that than to believe that it was real but that it ended? It happens all the time, and usually people don't even realize they're doing this.

    I believe this is the "sleep" he speaks of in the song. He is attempting to use apparent selflessness ("don't wait up for me," "I'm glad you can depend on me,") to sarcastically and painfully illustrate his knowledge that she will now remember him only as an antagonist who broke his heart, and nothing more, even if this is not the full truth. ("The opiate of BLAME is your broken heart.")

    He is also either describing partaking of the same numbing denial of reality himself, or speaking from her perspective when he sings, "I'm all by myself, as I've ALWAYS felt," which isn't the case because at one time they had to have been in love and felt not alone.

    Anyway, that's just my theory. I could easily be completely and utterly wrong. That's the wonderful thing about music - it can mean whatever you want it to, ultimately, and many artists actually try not to enunciate their songs' meanings for fear of robbing the listener of their own subjective interpretation.
  • Laura from Weymouth, MaNuno, this is one of the my favorite all-time alt/rock songs too, and that's some interesting input. But if you read the lyrics, you'll see that Billy never mentions the word 'soma' once in the song. He's really saying 'so now ... '
  • Nuno from Lisbon, PortugalHi all!
    This is my all time favorite from SP and I just want to tell you what Soma means in Portuguese...
    It simple means "Sum". I know its a long shot, but check the song/lyrics and the only time he uses the word "Soma" is when he starts to say how he is in the end... In the end after all he is by himself, etc. Hope you get what im trying to say hehehe
  • Rehash from Lancaster, NcI came to the conclusion that "Soma" had something to do with "A Brave New World" (specifically the ending of the book) before I came here, I just sought reassurance.

    But you never know, could have been inspired by both a break-up and the book.
  • Kuzma from Moscow, EuropeI`ve heard that Soma is some kind of sleeping potion. Opiate that turns out to be an addictive drug. Anyway it sounds too sleepy and appears to be a lullaby tune. It also sounds too much like "Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans". Just listen to it carefully. I dunno if it is a song about break up with a girl. May be but I assure you that there are far better break up songs of Pumpkins than this one. The song "Pennies" from EP "ZERO" is my real passion.
  • Matt from Pembroke , MaIn the novel A Brave New World, Soma is taken by people to avoid their problems in an artificial manner. The government feeds them with this so that they wil be kept down and remain unable to feel any pain. Corgan's lyrics could mean anything but it sounds like he is describing the novel where main characters have bad nights and simply go home and overdose on soma and pass out.
  • Jim from Dayton, OhOne theory is that the ex-girlfriend was actually Courtney Love. His public discourse with drug use could either support or refute this idea.
  • Nikki from Remington, VaSoma is also a muscle relaxant, generic name carsidoporal. It is addictive.
  • Mike from Newark, NjAs a big Pumpkins fan, "Soma" is my favorite song of all. The soft beginning and booming transition is SP at their best. The lyrics I find to be very straightforward for the Pumpkins, love, breakup etc. The title intrigues me. Soma means many things. Some have been touched on, but it was also the name of an energizing, mild hallucinatory plant in the ancient middle eastern and Hindu cultures. The drug can best be compared to today's Ephedra. In both cultures it was also a god related to the plant. In Hinduism that god was assigned to the underworld. Today there is a real drug actually called Soma that is a muscle relaxer. Perhaps most intriguing is a 1970s Parker Brothers game known as "Soma". It involves 7 differently shaped blocks that together can form a 3x3x3 cube. The object is to construct the cube and various other shapes from these blocks. The slogan for the game is: "Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back." I think this quote perfectly would describe a jilted lover who repeatedly tries and fails to gain their mate back. With each rejection (the hitting back), they are more convinced they must get back this person. It fits right into how Billy Corgan reunited with his ex after the rough breakup and they eventually married. Plus the game "Soma" came out during Corgan's youth. Call it a wildcard to be the meaning. Just hope you won't call me a crackpot.
  • Derek from Qld, AustraliaThis song has always been special to me - especially if i've been thru a break up. I think it's uniqueness in telling both sides of the story is what has always appealed to me. It's too easy to write a biased breakup song so i have to take my hat off to billy (yet again).
  • Wiredpunk from 3rd Rock From The Sun, United StatesI was just told that Soma means an elixir in Sanskrit. Anything which gives life "Rain", Cow's Milk....
  • Kiddo from Curramulka, IcelandBilly Corgan and James Iha wrote this song together (along with Mayonnaise). I didn't know Mike Mills played the piano in it though - interesting fact. All in all, the most rewarding song to listen to, as far as the Pumpkins catalogue goes. I'm by no means a major fan of the band, but this is definitely my favourite song ever. It was played to me right before I found out someone very close to me had died, so it has that personal meaning to me too.
  • Drew from Niagara Falls, CanadaCam, st. catharines...thats like 10 min away frum me lol. im in welland, n e wayz...this song has so much sense of feeling. Unfortunately it seems to suit my mood lately.
  • Rusty from London, CanadaThis song is very depressing. but It keeps my chin up after its over.
  • Cam from St. Catharines, CanadaThis song manages to make me really depressed haha, great song none-the-less.
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