Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fun with "Cut-'n-paste" Smashing Pumpkins, part 1

I'm in the mood for a little science experiment. I'm a pretty huge fan of that most fantastic of 1990's rock bands, The Smashing Pumpkins. I love their music despite the fact that I think a lot of the lyrics Billy Corgan wrote don't make much sense (especially the songs on later SP albums). For example, here are the lyrics to the song "Annie Dog" from Adore:

"Annie-Dog"

Amphetamine annie-dog
Has her leash and a face
Her velvet spleen her shackle spine
Her diamond curse
It comes with mine

A vessel she
For violent I
Confession arms a wake
Mine, mine you were always mine
Possessed by my taste

And below the angel dog
Combs her hair and sings her psalms
The bombs go off
She doesn't notice
It all goes wrong
She sets things tragic
She is venus
She is mars
She's electric
And the struggle of

Upon my face we leave no trace
But in her stomach mercury aged

She holds the blood
She carves the knives
She digs the wives in our babies

Amphetamine annie-dog
Pulls her trash
And her stories
From place to place
And bed to bed
Gives of herself and the magnet head

Another floor another ceiling
Counting stairs with double meanings

Is it wrong to be swallowed whole
To disappear in her
To give her the priceless peace
Of giving up control

We tumble out into the streets
And annie-dog she drags her leash
Pretty face
Ugly mouth
Bitter bred and so released

And by the no
And by the yes
Annie goes if you couldn't guess

A simple man
A sycophant
Her elephant with the laughing call
She wants clean sheets
And fresh flowers
And dental shots
And the hong kong glue

Amphetamine annie-dog
Has her leash and a face

From my perspective, Billy Corgan shows only a passing familiarity with common usage of the English language in this song, as in many of his songs. I think that the complete incomprehensibility of these just adds to the sheer sonic pleasure of listening to them .

It is my conjecture that the lyrics to Smashing Pumpkins' songs don't need to make sense to be enjoyed. To test this hypothesis, I will take a representative sample (by "representative sample" I mean whatever I feel like choosing) of SP lyrics, remove them from their original contexts and bring them all together in one giant cornucupia of Billy Corganocity. It is my belief and hope that the lyrics to this new ├╝ber-song will be pleasing on a level similar to that of the original songs (for people who don't like the Pumpkins, that might not signify much, but who cares what they think anyway?) and will probably make about as much sense to boot. The results of this experiment* will be forthcoming.

*Okay, so this obviously isn't a scientific experiment by any reasonable definition of the word and the "results" won't really indicate anything more than that I have too much time on my hands, but I'm bored and this sounds mildly interesting so I'm going to do it anyway.

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