Album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (1995)


  • This song relates to Billy Corgan's condition of apathy. The lyrics, "Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness," demonstrate how he does not have the feelings or emotions he desired, and is in love with something that he can't have. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    stein - brisband, IA
  • A theme of this song is heaven's unresponsiveness to prayers. It says to save your prayers for when you're really going to need them. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cam - St. Catharines, Canada
  • The band played a portion of this song when they made their cameo on The Simpsons. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cam - St. Catharines, Canada
  • Billy Corgan often wore a black shirt with the word "ZERO" printed across the front. The shirt was usually accompanied by silver pants, and was worn in the "Bullet With Butterfly Wings video. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Fremont - Concord, NH

Comments: 41

  • Mik from SpaceshipBeerme from Eau Claire, you never read "How to influence people and make friends" didja?
  • Preskot from BulgariaI think this song is about all the things inside the listeners that they cannot reconcile deep within themselves. It provokes it.
  • Beerme from Eau Claire, WiYou guys are all dumb this song is so obvious. The first lyrics are "My reflection. Dirty mirror" This is a reference to using drugs. When snorting powders off a mirror your face is looking back at you and there's powder and residue all over the mirror. Next line "There's no connection to myself." This is standard strung out thoughts/behavior as you loose yourself in a drug addiction. Next line "I'm your lover I'm you zero." He's very addicted to the drug he not actually a lover but just figures he must be because its all he does and the I'm your zero part is because he has become a hopeless addict, a zero. Next line "I'm your face in your dreams of glass.' He's referring to the actual drug doing its job of being distributed and getting people high. Especially him self. So he refers constantly to the drug as a real being but since it doesn't have a face or body he has become the face that people see when dealing with the drug so the drug is alive through him. Next "Save your prayers for when your really gonna need em." Come on people addicts deal with horrible withdraw, violence, death, etc... just some really horrible outcomes so all he is saying is its gonna get bad it's not a slight on religion. Some people are tarded I swear. Next "Throw out your cares and fly wanna go for a ride?" My god he's blatantly stating ignore the risks lets get high, come on let's take this ride. K so the "She's the one for me she's all I really need.' stuff well drugs are commonly named after women/women roles. So that's why he's in love and that's why he really needs her, to feel good but she's a two headed monster and makes things really bad when she's not around. I think it's safe to say this song is about HEROINE. Literally heroine means a female hero. And, the way he's saying he needs her and calling himself her zero well dudes a H.Bomb Junkie yah bunch of dummiez.
  • Dyanna from Zagreb, Croatiathis is my favorite song from SP - but when i listened the song i had these impressions - confusion caused with incompatibility between desires/expectations and the real object present, problems with superficial and pointless desire and still feeling want for smth even if awareness (of what the object of desire really is) is present
    its like smth started to provoke repulsion in him all of the sudden - but just because he is aware of it cant change the situation that he still wants it
  • Phil from Gent, BelgiumIt's about loving someone you can't get. This makes you depressed of course. I interpret "I'm in love with my sadness" as "I'm in love with a person who makes me sad ('cause I can't get her)". The way he sings "She's the one for me..." feels like he's completely obsessed by her. Obsessed in a very unhealthy way that's slowly killing him. He's intoxicated with this person. When I hear him sing "wanna go for a ride" it feels as if Billy's asking the listeners if he can drag them down with him. "I never let on that I was down" could mean that he never showed her he was suffering from his love for her.
  • Thomas from Springfield, MoThe song to me is essential three parts that mix to form one larger point. The first two stanzas, "My reflection, dirty mirror. There's no connection to myself" relates the idea that subject of the song is a extremely confused person, who doesn't understand what he really wants. The next part of the song, "I'm your lover, I'm your zero I'm the face in your dreams of glass So save your prayers For when we're really gonna need'em Throw out your cares and fly
    Wanna go for a ride? She's the one for me She's all I really need Cause she's the one for me." is the temptress or anything in that persons life that he wants but believes he is forbidden to access. The next part of the song (the most widely interpreted), "Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness" is the idea that the subject of the song is practicing self pain and retribution to properly "punish himself" for his sins as it were, the lyrics also give the idea that this process is flawed in that it is completely hypocritical. The subject just keeps wanting the forbidden fruit and once he's had it, he repeats the cycle of self-infliction, then goes out and indulges again. The final part of the song, "The fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth I never let on, that I was on a sinking ship I never let on that I was down You blame yourself, for what you can't ignore You blame yourself for wanting more" Is the idea that the forbidden want is so fake and pointless in itself that you can not truly triumph over it until you understand that the want is hollow in itself. So I put them all together and Long story short, the forbidden fruit is not just something enjoyable and beautiful that should be looked away from, but that it is in essence pure wrong and evil. Only by realizing this truth can we truly be free of it. Thanks, just my interpretation : )
  • Matt from Houston, TxThat is a good theory but I'm pretty sure it's just about apathy in general. Like who cares who you are if you don't, or if you can't feel anything then you don't know how to understand pain or happiness so it makes no differance.
  • Elizabeth from Noplacespecial, Fl When I listen to this song I think of how strippers and/or prostitutes feel. Some are empty inside. "Dirty mirror; there's no connection to myself." The way they are in their work is different from who they really are because some strippers have stage personas. Also "I'm your lover; I'm your zero" is kinda like how each client wants them to role play in a different way. "Save you're prayers for when you're really gonna need um." Save your prayers for when you need to ask for forgivness, perhaps? Etc...I don't think that was the intent of this song, it's just what I get out of it.
  • Jcooltrane from Philadelphia, Paiha played the solo in this? i thought billy hogged all the guitar solos.
  • Jared from Hamilton, OnI'm surprised that no one's gotten my interpretation out of these lyrics, but maybe it's just me sticking my views in.

    I think this song is about how love is a waste of your life. Everyone seems to need it because they think it gives them a purpose (I'm your lover, I'm your zero), and once they get into it, they are trapped by commitment and sadness and cannot escape. So they tell themselves and everyone that they're happy (I never let on, that I was on a sinking ship) or they'd have to face the fact that their whole life has been wasted on a false dream (Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness). The repetition of the last stanza is just more chanting to themselves that they are content.

    Pretty much everything fits with this meaning. Read it over.
  • Sarah from Madison, WiThis song is KILLER! One of my favs
  • Dan from Chicago, IlOh, and I agree with Dena from NJ about the Glass/June thing. The song isn't about Billy, but more like two imaginary characters/ideas.
  • Dan from Chicago, IlHere's my take. This song is about a guy who can't have the girl. He had her at one time, but she needed more than he could offer. He was always unstable and depressed, but when he was with her, he was ok. When she left him, he became depressed, hated life, hated god. He begins to thrive on his anger and hatred for everything and becomes an empty shell of what he was, because he no longer loves the things he used to. She feels bad about hurting him, because she does care about him; but she still needs more than he can give her. And throughout all this, he feels that she's the only one who can save him.
  • Emma from Casterton, Australiai really really love this song! one of my favs! go the Pumpkins! gotta love 'em!
  • Anthony from Vancouver, WaDena, Nowhere To Be, NJ
    You are the smartest person I know who has ever bee on the internet.

    And to think I Thought I was the only one who knew that.
  • Don from Eden Prairie, MnThe lyrics emptiness is loneliness, loneliness is cleanliness. those lines are straight psycology. If you think about it why would anyone clean (the example fits best). They would clean to A) Money or B) Attention. If you are cleaning for B obviously you are lonely. So yes loneliness is cleanliness. If you are cleaning for money, you are either going to buy something others enjoy i.e. clothes on a girl. The girl is wearing something new, she is trying to gain attention. She is lonely, again Lonely = Cleanly. If she is buying something for herself like a book or a snack she is bored. And boredom is an feeling of worthlessness or emptiness. By the transitive property. Cleanliness = Loneliness, Emptiness so Emptiness = Loneliness. Seriously could not figure out the godliness part but I think he just said that part because he has a god complex and this is on the ascending of his career. Thought himself to be godlike. It just fit the characteristics of him and the song wouldn't make sense without the four in a cycle.
  • Ellie from Chch, New Zealandamazingly awesome song. so i have to analyze a song for school, and this one is great but does anyone know what the whole enchanted kingdoms fashion victims thing is about? can't quite figure that one out...
  • Stephen from Denver, Coprobably the most metal the pumpkins will ever get. great song about apathy and great symbolism in the lyrics. The dirty mirror part (although somewhat original in its execution) uses a cliche concept. still great song by the pumpkins
  • Quinton from Cartersville, GaI feel that this song is about loving that person you know you can't have.
  • Dena from Nowhere To Be, NjOh and Alex from Madrid -- what a stupid and irrelevant comment. What does that have to do with anything being spoken about here? Apparently Madrid has a backwards music scene. From what I understand, you guys just got your shipments in of Thriller on cassette. Good deal.
  • Dena from Nowhere To Be, NjActually, this song is in reference to Billy's reoccuring theme of Glass and June (Glass and the Ghost Children, Bye June etc). He's always had this ideal about love and signifigant others, and the two objects of this idealism are characters he's used throughout -- Glass (male) and June (female). June isn't a real person per se; it's the name he gave to the perfect female counterpart in his mind. The song "Zero" is really about this relationship between Glass and June. Billy even had plans of making a short cartoon movie about Glass and June, but yeah, that's what I believe the song is about.
  • Ian from Manila, Othersongs of the pumpkins are always hard to understand.i think the song is about that state of being empty(zero) and how everything is related to it.him(being empty) to god(who is empty just like him.)and about the "she"...i think it's lonely when your in that state which probably explains the strong sense of possessiveness(i don't know if god has found his "she")
  • Kitty Cat from Cleveland, OhI think the key part of the song is "intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness." My interpretation of this song is that Billy is, quite literally, in love with and addicted to being depressed and all that goes along with it. When he says "she's the one for me," he isn't talking about a beautiful, unattainable girl, but he is alluding to his dependence on his own state of mind. Basically, Billy is saying that all he needs is himself ("his reflection") and his own self-loathing to function. He doesn't need God or anyone else, because they cannot offer him enough. Err,,, something like that!
  • Stephen from None, IrelandExcellent guitar riff and simple to boot! It totally rocks, as do the first 6 tracks on the first disc of MSIC, I love thre way the matched up all the traks, worked really well.
  • Alex from Madrid, SpainBilly solo album sucks. I don´t know what he tried to do. I only listen to the Bee Gees version he does with Robert Smith. Don´t waste your money in it.
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, Cato answer your ? matt from Millbrae, CA, i read an article in Spin Magazine about how much billy's solo album sucks, viewers even quoted that it was music that there cats wouldnt even listen to. Billy also made some weird relations to asians not taking feelings well, I listened to a bit of his album, and my opinon, you have to have patience to listen to it, i mean its no guranteed platinum, but I like it, its kinda weird tho, its got quite a bit more techno in it.
  • Who from Xxxxxxxxxx, NyIt's just about the sadness he loves.
    I think
  • Malgorzata from Warsaw, Polandthis song is about living your life and realizing that you only have one chnace to do everything you want to do. you have to be wise with the time that is given to you and don't let your life pass you by.
  • Kathy from Melbourne, AustraliaGreatest song SP has. (sp... ew.. simple plan). anyways i just LOVE it. bullets with butterfly wings is good too. I think i heard them on simpsons can't remember but hey kool!!! great band..

    They split up tho didn't they? and Billy Corgan is once again alone. He has an up coming solo album i heard. Apparently he posted an add on newspaper wanting the Smashing Pumpkins back together. I reckon they shld.
  • Austin from Vegas, United Statesbilly sometimes changes the lyrics a bit for this song when performed live. He says "emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and god is empty just like YOU." probably not a big deal or anything, but ya never know. could have some meaning. i guess.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaGreat of the best from SP. Anyone hear how Billy Corgan's solo thing is comin?
  • Lexie from Gaithersburg, Mdthis song was directed at a girl basically saying,"you only need me, i only need you, we don't need god, lets be bad." lol...seriously. like when he says "emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and god is empty just like me." he's saying here that the being loyal to god leads to loneliness because of the fear of sin...he's saying to this girl,"god only brings you loneliness. beleive in me."
    please excuse my idiotic interpretation, im only 12.
  • Derek from Qld, AustraliaBilly once said that when when James was recording that bizarre solo, it was literally making him nautious.
  • Celticknot from Phoenix, AzThis may be a strech, but when I heard this song it reminded me of part from Romeo and Juliet, When romeo is in love with roseline but she swore to remain chaste for the rest of her life. She drives him crazy and depressed.
  • Renee from South Lyon, Mithis is by far one of their best songs... if their was one song to represent sp it would be zero ,its amazing! the sound, lyrics,"Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
    And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me" wow thats just awesome! i think its inner angst within himself... he thinks he is a zero and doesn't deserve this girl he wants. insecurity ,he is in love with his sadness, nad he blames himslef for wanting more than he deserves. thats how i look at it i suppose
  • Mike from Chicago, Il"We like to call this style of our music 'Cybermetal.' 'Zero' has six rhythm guitars, with two line-in 12-string acoustics, plus those wacky Iha leads. Tracked live with overdubs added later, this is a true mover as well as the first song that was recorded for Mellon Collie, James has always said this reminds him of Judas Priest." -Billy Corgan (Guitar World 1/97)
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlThe song is just about unrequieted love, obsession, and depression. It's written from the point of view of someone who despises themself because they love someone who won't love them back.
  • The Prynce from Dillon / Hamer, ScFrickin' AMAZING song! But was it actually on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness? I never had the album myself 'cause my mom HATED them back when this song came out partially because of the lyrics from this song but I did get a guy to make a tape of it for me but I don'r remember this song being on it.
    I used to have this 'single' (it was more like an EP) with a few other songs on it that are hard to find these days like 'God' and 'Ugly'. It seems they released a lot of EP/Singles like that as I recall... I remember having a ton of 'em.

    But this song is amazing. I've suffered from manic depression my whole life and only recently did I begin getting treated for it and lemme tell ya... this was THE song for when I fell into a depressed state. The guitar work is GREAT. Billy's vocals are GREAT. The lyrics are to kill for.


    -=The Prynce
  • Mariah from Miami, FlYeah, you'd think more Pumpkin fans would comment? This song really show talent from all of the members. Too underrated.
  • Kristen from Campbellville, CanadaYa don't you hate it when the songfacts aren't about the song meaning, and I agree great song but all there songs are.
  • Ben from Beaverton, OrIm really suprised that there aren't more comments about this song. its so good and its some of the harder pumpkin stuff. lyrics are hard to interpret, but their good.
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