Song of the Day: Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins

Bullet with Butterfly Wings” is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. It was the lead single from the band’s 1995 double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The song won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.This song was the band’s first Top 40 U.S. hit, peaking at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also spent six weeks at number 2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and peaked at number 4 on the Album Rock Tracks chart.[citation needed] The song was named the 91st best hard rock song of all time by VH1. The song was ranked number 70 on the list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time” of Rolling Stone.

Lyrics:
The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the gameEven though I know – I suppose I’ll show
All my cool and cold – like old jobDespite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Now I’m naked, nothing but an animal
But can you fake it, for just one more show?
And what do you want?
I want to change
And what have you got, when you feel the same?

Even though I know – I suppose I’ll show
All my cool and cold – like old job

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Tell me I’m the only one
Tell me there’s no other one
Jesus was the only son, yeah.
Tell me I’m the chosen one
Jesus was the only son for you

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
And someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a-
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a-
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Tell me I’m the only one
Tell me there’s no other one
Jesus was the only son for you

[4x]
And I still believe that I cannot be saved

——–

Billy Corgan, lead singer of the group, has stated that the line “but can you fake it/for just one more show” refers to the band’s headlining slot on the 1994 Lollapalooza tour. This interpretation is also supported by the fact that the first fully played incarnations of the song occurred at a few Lollapalooza shows, as well as on demos recorded early that year. A very embryonic version was apparently recorded during the recording of Siamese Dream; according to Corgan, “somewhere, I have a tape of us from 1993 endlessly playing the ‘world is a vampire’ part over and over.” It was not until 1995 that Corgan finished writing the “rat in a cage” chorus section of the song.

The music video for the song, directed by Samuel Bayer, is a performance video with heavy conceptual elements. The visual look of the video was inspired by the work of Brazilian photographerSebastião Salgado on diamond mining, while, in contrast, the band used the video to debut their new glam rock wardrobes – notably, Billy Corgan’s black shirt with the word “Zero” written in silver, and silver pants. The video also marks the last filmed appearance of Billy Corgan prior to his decision to shave his head.

The band advertised in the media that they were accepting extras for the video and got an overwhelming response and had almost 2000 extras for the video.

Cover versions

  • Swedish singer Frida Snell performed an acoustic rendition of the song on her 2002 debut album Black Trillium.
  • Scranton punk rock band The Menzingers closed most of the shows on their 2013 tour with Fake Problems a cover of the song.
  • Melodic hardcore band Four Year Strong covered this song on their 2009 album Explains It All which is a cover album tributing songs that were made famous by groups in the 1990s.
  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik made a cover of the song for the 2001 compilation album A Gothic–Industrial Tribute to The Smashing Pumpkins.
  • Groove metal band Skinlab covered this song on their 2004 compilation album Nerve Damage.
  • Nu metal band Ill Niño covered this song on their 2010 album Dead New World.
  • The Ghost and the Grace covered this song and released it as a one-off single in 2009.
  • Hawthorne Heights made a cover of this song.
  • Melodic Hardcore band Empire covered this song in 2012 as a one-off single.

In other media

The song is used, slightly edited, as the title song for the Animal Planet reality television series Whale Wars, which follows the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as they chase Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The song is also used in the South Park episode “Whale Whores”, which parodies Whale Wars.

“Weird Al” Yankovic performed the chorus in “The Alternative Polka” from his Bad Hair Day album.

Featured as a playable track in the video game Guitar Hero 5.

It was also used in the launch trailer for Dead Space 2.

The song was the TNA Lockdown wrestling pay-per-view theme song for 2009.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1988–2000, 2005–present
Labels Caroline, Constantinople, Hut, Martha’s Music, Rocket Science, Virgin
Associated acts Spirits in the Sky, Starchildren, Zwan
Website http://www.smashingpumpkins.com
Members Billy Corgan
Jeff Schroeder
Mike Byrne
Nicole Fiorentino
Past members James Iha
D’arcy Wretzky
Jimmy Chamberlin
Melissa Auf der Maur
Ginger Pooley

image by  NegativeFeedback

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