Listen: Smashing Pumpkins' 'A Song for a Son'
Billy Corgan laments the child he never had
The first of 44 new songs that will be unspooled for free on Smashing Pumpkins’ website is available now for download on the band’s website. SP’s Billy Corgan told AOL’s Spinner that “A Song for a Son” is about the child he never had. It’s a moving, disquieting tune.
"It's got something to do about not having any kids and thinking about why I don't have any kids," Corgan tells Spinner. "And then also kind of thinking about my relationship with my father -- there's some kind of connection there, but it's not overt. I didn't set out to write that. It just rolled out of me."
“A Song for a Son” opens with a long elegant piano intro, redolent of Gary Jules’ dreamy version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” before Corgan starts singing in a strange, affected voice (think a little Jagger-esque), about how this is a song for a son that he never had. The lyrics take a few strange turns that we can’t figure out what he’s singing about, but we’re sure it’s about fathers and sons and even fallen sons (or at least we think that’s what that line about Daughters of the Revolution carrying their sons back home is about...).
The piano gives way to a psychedelic, dense guitar break that sounds like something out of Ten Years After’s “I’d Love to Change the World.”
Then it goes back to a haunting, doll-like feel as a harpsichord replaces the guitar, for an otherworldy, spooky feel as Corgan sings, sadly, “This is a song for a son, this is a song for a sailor/the best I ever had/he sailed without a map.” It’s as if the non-existent son, made real for these six minutes, has somehow evaporated into thin air.
“A Song for a Son” is part of “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope,” the new collection from SP that will eventually be bundled in 11 four-song EPs.