From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedJuly 27, 1993 (Siamese Dream)
November 12, 2023 (12" single)
Studio sessions
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan, James Iha
Producer(s)Butch Vig, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology

"Mayonaise" [sic] is a song by The Smashing Pumpkins first officially released on the 1993 breakthrough album Siamese Dream. It was written by Billy Corgan and James Iha and was recorded from December 1992 to March 1993 at Triclops Sound Studios, with production by Corgan and Butch Vig.

The song has gone on to become one of the bands "beloved and iconic" songs in their catalogue.[2] In 2012 it won a Rolling Stone readers poll for "The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs" by "a significant margin".[3] In 2021, Kerrang ranked the song as the band's fourth best,[4] and it was voted the #3 most underrated song of all-time by the Ultimate Guitar community.[5]

In April 2023, the Netflix series Beef featured the song in the episode "Figures of Light", sending the song to the #5 position on the Billboard LyricFind Global and US charts.[6]

In September 2023, just over 30 years after the song was released, "Mayonaise" finally received a commercial offering. Released through Capitol Records as part of the Siamese Dream 30th Anniversary celebrations and shows,[7] it is a special edition 12" maxi single. The two-sided 45 RPM vinyl featured the studio recording on one side, and the live acoustic performance from Vieuphoria on the other side.[8]

Song title[edit | edit source]

Corgan apparently got the title for the song after he looked "in [his] refrigerator".[9] Later, he stated in an interview with a Colombian radio station that the name stands for the phonetics of 'My Own Eyes'.[10] Again at the Gish-aversary event in 2021, he further explained the title originated from a line in "Rhinoceros", open your eyes to these mustard lies, and not just a play on words with 'My Own Eyes' as previously believed.[11]

While appearing on the podcast REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart on October 20, 2022, Corgan admitted that previous explanations for the song title were inside jokes and disclosed the true story. The band visited Japan in 1992 while touring Gish and noticed that the record company had mistranslated a lyric from Gish into a fan booklet as "mayonnaise seas". The band thought this mondegreen was funny and used "Mayonaise" as a temporary song title when recording Siamese Dream but it eventually stuck.[12] On July 4, 2023, Corgan stated on Q101's Brian and Kenzie Show that the mondegreen cited above was from a lyric on the song "Rhinoceros".[13]

Composition and equipment[edit | edit source]

The song written by James Iha and Billy Corgan and was recorded from December 1992 to March 1993 at Triclops Sound Studios. Iha stated that he "...came up with those chords and did a demo of it, it was an instrumental demo of the song. I played it for Billy and he liked it, he came up with the vocal melody and the lyrics. We worked on the arrangement together." For the intro, Iha used a cheap Kingston guitar he got at a pawnshop, which had "terrible" intonation according to Triclops engineer Jeff Tomei.[14]

The howling feedback heard during the refrains (i.e. at the ~2:01 mark) is from a $65 Kimberly Bison guitar, which Corgan nicknamed "Kimberly Kay". The feedback would occur whenever the guitar wasn't being played, so the band used it to their advantage.[10] Kimberly Kay was also used on "1979", "Panopticon", and "Pissant".[14][15]

Versions[edit | edit source]

Several versions of the song are available. Before being officially released on Siamese Dream, an acoustic mix (labeled as an outtake) of the Siamese Dream recording was featured on the Mashed Potatoes box set given to friends in 1993-1994. It was also a part of the official promos Still Becoming Apart and The Smashing Pumpkins 1991-1998, with a slightly phased acoustic guitar part and a tambourine. Most recently, a live acoustic version was released on Earphoria and the Vieuphoria video. The Vieuphoria version, originally broadcast in 1993 on the British television show Naked City, features the band playing the song intertwined with footage of the band.

On a the Smashing Pumpkins tribute album MySpace Smashing Pumpkins Tribute, compiled by MySpace and Spin, The Academy Is... covered the song.

The band Emanuel also covered the song on the 2005 Smashing Pumpkins tribute album The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins.

Videos[edit | edit source]

Live at Metro Chicago, 1993

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

fool enough to almost be it
cool enough to not quite see it
pick your pockets full of sorrow
and run away with me tomorrow

we'll try and ease the pain
but somehow we'll feel the same
well, no one knows
where our secrets go

i send a heart to all my dearies
when your life is so, so dreary
i'm rumored to the straight and narrow
while the harlots of my perils

and i fail
but when i can, i will
try to understand
that when i can, i will

mother weep the years i'm missing
all our time can't be given
shut my mouth and strike the demons
that cursed you and your reasons
out of hand and out of season
out of love and out of feeling
so bad

when i can, i will
words defy the plans
when i can, i will

fool enough to almost be it
and cool enough to not quite see it
and old enough to always feel this
always old, i'll always feel this

no more promise no more sorrow
no longer will i follow
can anybody hear me
i just want to be me
when i can, i will
try to understand
that when i can, i will

Single release[edit | edit source]

At the Siamese Dream 30th Anniversary shows, a special 12-inch, 45 RPM peach-colored maxi single of "Mayonaise" became available for pre-order. 100 copies were autographed by Billy Corgan, with the non-autographed copies of unknown quantity. Both quickly sold out. Before online orders shipped by November 20, 2023, it became available in-store at Madame ZuZu's on November 12.[16]

The maxi-single may be considered as part of The Smashing Pumpkins archive releases, despite both tracks being previously commercially available. Many of the maxi-singles included the standard archive team note, which explains efforts taken to ensure quality of the live recordings.[17] This may however be simply as the vinyl release was overseen by Madame ZuZu's like other archival releases, thus the note was included in the usual manner.

All tracks are written by Billy Corgan and James Iha.

2023 maxi-single
1."Mayonaise"Siamese Dream5:49
2."Mayonaise" (acoustic)Vieuphoria4:20
Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
November 12, 2023 Capitol MMLP-A007 12" vinyl (peach) US Discogs [1]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

The Smashing Pumpkins

Technical staff

  • Butch Vig – production, engineering, mixing
  • Jeff Tomei – engineering
  • Tim Holbrook – engineering
  • Alan Moulder – mixing
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering
  • Melodie McDaniel – photography
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering (2011 remaster)[18]

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2023) Peak
LyricFind Global Songs (Billboard)[19] 5
LyricFind U.S. Songs (Billboard)[20] 5


Quiet and Other SongsDemo • Bootleg
Siamese DreamOriginal releaseStudio
Mashed PotatoesBootleg
3 Feet HighBootleg • Live
Mayonaise DreamBootleg • Live
Acoustic SeriesBootleg
Unplugged: 100% Pure Acoustic PerformancesBootleg
Live At The RivieraBootleg • Live
The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Promotional CDPromotional • Compilation
Still Becoming ApartUS & Europe promo CDPromotional • EP
Ghost Children: A Tribute To The Smashing PumpkinsTribute
The Original F.E.M.M TapeBootleg
EarphoriaMain releaseLive
The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing PumpkinsTribute
True Power. True Faith.Promotional • Compilation
Rarities and B-SidesCompilation
MySpace Smashing Pumpkins TributeTribute
Celebrating *20* Years of SadnessLive
Inside the Dream MachineBootleg • Live
Mayonaise Dream: Broadcast from Tower Records. July 1993Bootleg • Live
Thirty DaysVideo
Siamese Dream (Fruit Bats cover)Tribute
Mayonaise2023 maxi-singleSingle

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Terich, Jeff. "Smashing Pumpkins : Siamese Dream (Deluxe Edition)". Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  2. Peterson, Holly (October 24, 2023). "Decoding The Enigma: The True Meaning Behind The Song "Mayonaise" by Smashing Pumpkins". Old Time Music. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  3. "Readers' Poll: The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs".
  4. Law, Sam (November 30, 2012). "The 20 greatest Smashing Pumpkins songs – ranked". Kerrang. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  6. Robinson, Abby. "Beef soundtrack: Full list of songs in Netflix series". Retrieved July 12, 2023.
  7. "The Smashing Pumpkins – Mayonaise". Discogs. November 15, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  9. Corgan, Billy; Iha, James; Wretzky, D'arcy (1996-11-05). "Dublin Chat". Imusic (Interview).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harris, Sophie. "Smashing Pumpkins' 'Siamese Dream': 10 Things You Didn't Know". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  11. Garcia-Hejl, Frank; O'Brien, Pat. "The Smashing Pumpkast – BONUS: Gish-Aversary at ZuZu's (w/ Field Correspondent Pamela Fisher!)". Anchor by Spotify.
  12. Eckhart, Jennifer (October 20, 2022). "Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins on REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart". YouTube.
  13. "FULL INTERVIEW! Billy Corgan On Rivalry with Nirvana, 'Siamese Dream' 30th Anniversary, and more!". YouTube. July 4, 2023.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "1993 Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream". Gearslutz. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  15. An old friend stopped by the studio today, Kerry Brown's blogspot, September 21, 2009
  18. "Smashing Pumpkins Reissues Offer Massive Upgrade in Sound Says Corgan". Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  19. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (LyricFind Global Songs)". Billboard.
  20. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (LyricFind U.S. Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit | edit source]