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Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock - Lyrics Meaning

This song was released on the 1993 album Siamese Dream. The Smashing Pumpkins had many internal obstacles to overcome in order to get the album made, most noteworthy of those were the heroine addiction of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, the break-up of bassist D'Arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha and lead singer Billy Corgan's own suicidal depression. The song is about the band's negative impression of the music industry. The lyrics are sarcastic and made for spite. "...they know who is righteous, what is bold" is in reference to the industry dictating what is considered cool and stylish. The second verse begins with phrase "Hipsters unite!", and Corgan urges the audience to come watch the band as they play to the latest flavor-of-the-week music scene. The band is expected to portray this aloof coolness, when in actuality they are afraid to be on stage and scared that the music won't sell or be liked by the masses.

The second and third refrains of the chorus have Corgan repeatedly asking, "Let me out", which means that he is sick of the grip that the music industry has on him and he wants to be rid of them. Corgan was under extreme pressure to produce the album on time and under budget, and when deadlines were missed, the label began to visit the studio to,"check up" on the band. This only led to more pressure and enmity toward the label and industry in general. In the end, Corgan says that the record label is only interested in how much money the band can make for them.

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