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Smashing Pumpkins: Zero Meaning

Song Released: 1996


Zero Lyrics

my reflection dirty mirror
there's no connection to myself
i'm your lover i'm your zero
i'm the face in your dreams of glass
so save your prayers
for when you're really gonna need 'em
throw out your cares and fly
wanna go for a...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jun 14th, 2007 6:28am report


    I feel that this song definitely deserves an interpretation. There are so many things that this song could be about, religion, drugs, unrequited love, and being in love with your depression. Personally I think it's about the last one, "i'm in love with my sadness". Like if you think about the "she" in the song as his depression it makes perfect sense. yeah..



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 22nd, 2015 10:27pm report


    Nobody else thinks this song also deals with the term, ("zero" of a function)?



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 25th, 2014 8:16pm report


    Billy uses certain words as references to people. Zero and Glass are references to two aspects of himself. Glass is the rock superstar, loved the world over, outgoing, eccentric, and unassailable. Zero is the real inner self, doubting, depressed, lonely, and trapped.

    Note that these words are used in many other songs (for example he refers to his army of fans as the ghost children in the song of that title). He also uses other names frequently such as Ruby and June to refer to previous love interests.

    This song is about how he seems himself to how others see him; most notably "I'm your Zero, I'm the face in your dreams of Glass". This song is about his wife and how she doesn't see the real him, even though she is the only one that he needs to do so.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 30th, 2012 12:08am report


    Look at this song through the lense of an affair. Speaking from experience this is the only song I've ever heard that I can put meaning to each line. For example, "intoxicated with the madness". I was taken with the madness of an affair. I'm sure my interpretation is unique because of the woman, but overall, for me at least, it's about a woman that you can't be with. We broke it off because of guilt, so the "you blame yourself" part speaks true too. After it is all over, it's about loving a woman you can never have. Long and short is, I don't know if Billy ever did something like I did, but after its over, this song captures the feelings exactly.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 13th, 2012 3:46pm report


    I think the son is about cocaine-

    The beginning when he says "dirty mirror, no connection, to myself" - he never saw himself as someone who would be a cocaine addict.

    "I'm your lover, I'm your zero"

    Cocaine has power to make u feel great( lover) , and has power to make you feel like shit and worthless (zero)

    " dreams of glass"- fiends cocaine (done on a glass mirror)

    "I never let on, that I was on a sinking ship, I never let on that I was down" - he kept his cocaine addiction private and even as he was becomming more addicted and dependent he never let people know.

    "emptiness=cleanliness=lonlyness= godliness "

    After he snorted coke the mirror was clean , after the mirror was clean (no more coke) , he was lonely because everyone left (because he had no more coke and was just being used for coke , or because his coke addiction caused everyone to leave him or because he would have to do it in privacy ["I never let on.."])
    And he uses the word god because cocaine make you feel like a god (powerful, unstoppable, ect)

    "throw out your cares and fly... Wanna go for a ride"

    Cocaine makes all your worries gone and he's asking if you wanna "go for a ride" aka do some coke with him - or "ride the all white Benz "(slang for snorting coke)

    "you blame yourself, for what you can't ignore, you blame yourself for wanting more"

    He blames himself for ignoring his increasing cocaine use and blames himself for wanting more and more coke"

    "she" is that white lady (cocaine)

    "the one for me, she's all I really need" when your on coke that's all you really care about ( so that's all he really needs and your don't care much bout other shit than doing more coke)

    That's what I think, I used to do a lot of coke so maby that's why...



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 22nd, 2011 10:16pm report


    There is not two characters in this song, the reflection and the "she" are the same object. "She" is an emotion (take sadness for example, or a state of being).

    Exposed in the mirror references ("I'm your zero") and pointedly in the line ("I'm in love with my sadness"). I'm the face in your dreams of glass. If you want to use "Zero" and "Glass" as characters associated to Billy's later comments it works. Their names represent concepts and are interchangable with lowercases.

    It's about self consumption. And being honest about it.

    It's about making a choice to stay sick.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 13th, 2011 7:01pm report


    ok here goes.
    It helps to watch the videoclip. The way i see it is that there are to Billys. "Real" billy and "Mirror Billy" who is his depression, his madness.

    Billy wants to be in love. He looks at the mirror and tries to convince himself that love will make everything all right, it will make him normal and happy.

    Billy:
    my reflection dirty mirror
    there's no connection to myself
    Mirror:
    i'm your lover i'm your zero
    i'm the face in your dreams of glass
    so save your prayers
    for when you're really gonna need 'em
    throw out your cares and fly
    wanna go for a ride?
    (a ride of mania, depression, drugs)
    Billy:
    she's the one for me
    she's all i really need
    cause she's the one for me
    (now Billy will try to convince Mirror, that the depression he feels will be solved, it will lead to rebirth, Mirror does not agree):
    Billy:
    emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness, and....
    Mirror:
    ... god is empty just like me!
    (even God is alone, and has nothing)
    intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness
    (this remark is very aware. could be either Billy or Mirror, or both).

    Mirror:
    bullshit fakers, enchanted kingdoms
    the fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth
    (Mirror explains that all the people out there who promise romance and happyness are either lying or stupid)

    Billy:
    i never let on, that i was on a sinking ship
    i never let on that i was down
    (Billy tells of how he tries to hide his depression).

    Mirror:
    you blame yourself, for what you can't ignore
    you blame yourself for wanting more
    (Mirror wants Billy to embrace the madness, to become something more. A rock star?)

    Billy:
    she's the one for me
    she's all i really need
    she's the one for me
    she's my one and only



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 17th, 2009 10:37pm report


    My reflection, dirty mirror...
    he sees his reflection as something that can best be seen, either by himself or his lover, in a mirror that is dirty and unclean.

    its no connection to myself...
    and in this reflection he sees a monster and disassociates himself from it.

    im your lover, I'm your zero, I'm the face in your dreams of glass...
    he sees himself as a lover and a loser and the face that she sees in her dreams of glass(mirrors)

    so save your prayers for when you re really gonna need em...
    hes telling her that he is a lost cause and not to pray for him so as not to waste her prayers; to save them for someone/thing that really matters.

    throw out your cares and fly, wanna go for a ride?
    yet despite all his feelings of self hate, he loves her and continues to spend time with her as long as it is destined to last.

    shes the one for me, she's all I really need cause she's the one for me(self explanatory)

    emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and god is empty just like me...
    show how he views emptiness transforming into loneliness all the way to being like God, who has the whole earth below him but not a one sentient being that can understand him and fill the void of being utterly alone. alone, surrounded by people.

    intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness...
    he is so used to being alone and sad that he's grown accustomed to it to the point of being in love with it and fearing almost any other change.

    bullshit fakers, enchanted kingdoms, the fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth...
    hating the insincerity of people and their happy little sham ideas of bigger, better lives with better clothes to strengthen their façade, while they chew at the same black teeth and souls like we all do.(at least, those of us who think for ourselves)

    i never let on that I was on a sinking ship. I never let on that I was down...
    he says to her(mostly himself) that he did a good job of disguising and hiding all his self-loathing feelings from her.

    you blame yourself for what you can't ignore. you blame yourself for wanting more...
    he sees how he has been the catalyst for the destruction of their relationship, even though she is the on appointing blame on herself for wanting him and wanting something he can't be as a person.

    the end of the song is his last, undying attempt, despite everything, to tell her how fucked up he is, but she is still the only one for him.

    this is just my interpretation. I'm sure one out of a million. If you have half a brain you ll realise how straightforward this is. I believe that most good rock should be kind of abstract in its lyrics, but that's whats so fun about music and thinking for yourself; you can interpret any song any way you like....

    except for rap. everything the lyrics say is EXACTLY what they mean.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 14th, 2009 4:54pm report


    This song is about unrequited love, but also about being depressed and not seeing yourself as anything-"I'm your lover, I'm your zero."



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 27th, 2009 3:03pm report


    "Intoxicated with the madness i'm in love with my sadness" Intense deep words. i think it's about being in love with being sad. that you want everyone to know your sad.



  11.  

    pencilsharpener
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    Jan 18th, 2009 1:55am report


    he says it's empty just like me so it is more than likely about depression.




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