From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
Mayonaise single.webp
Promotional single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedJuly 27, 1993 (Siamese Dream)
November 20, 2023 (12" single)
Studio sessions
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan, James Iha
Producer(s)Butch Vig, Billy Corgan

"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.

Despite having garnered considerable radio play and remaining a fan favorite, "Mayonaise" was never an officially released single. In 2012 it won a Rolling Stone readers poll for "The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs" by "a significant margin".[2] In 2021, it was voted the #3 most underrated song of all-time by the Ultimate Guitar community.[3]

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.[4]

In September 2023, just over 30 years after the song was released, "Mayonaise" finally received a commercial offering, as 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.[5]

Song title[edit | edit source]

Corgan apparently got the title for the song after he looked "in [his] refrigerator".[6] Later, he stated in an interview with a Colombian radio station that the name stands for the phonetics of 'My Own Eyes'.[7] 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.[8]

While appearing on the podcast REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart on 20 October 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 was funny and used "Mayonaise" as a temporary song title when recording Siamese Dream but it eventually stuck.[9]

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.[10]

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.[7] Kimberly Kay was also used on "1979", "Panopticon", and "Pissant".[10][11]

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, to be shipped by November 20th, 2023. 100 copies were autographed by Billy Corgan, with the non-autographed copies of unknown quantity. Both quickly sold out.

All tracks are written by Billy Corgan and James Iha.

1."Mayonaise"Siamese Dream 
2."Mayonaise" (acoustic)Vieuphoria 
Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
November 20, 2023 Madame ZuZu's 12" vinyl (peach) US [1]

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2023) Peak
LyricFind Global Songs (Billboard)[12] 5
LyricFind U.S. Songs (Billboard)[13] 5


Quiet and Other SongsDemo • Bootleg
Siamese DreamOriginal releaseStudio
Mayonaise DreamBootleg • Live
Mashed PotatoesBootleg
3 Feet HighBootleg • 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
Inside the Dream MachineBootleg • Live
Mayonaise Dream: Broadcast from Tower Records. July 1993Bootleg • Live
Thirty DaysVideo
Siamese Dream (Fruit Bats cover)Tribute

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Terich, Jeff. "Smashing Pumpkins : Siamese Dream (Deluxe Edition)". Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  2. "Readers' Poll: The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs".
  4. Robinson, Abby. "Beef soundtrack: Full list of songs in Netflix series". Retrieved July 12, 2023.
  6. Corgan, Billy; Iha, James; Wretzky, D'arcy (1996-11-05). "Dublin Chat". Imusic (Interview).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harris, Sophie. "Smashing Pumpkins' 'Siamese Dream': 10 Things You Didn't Know". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  8. Garcia-Hejl, Frank; O'Brien, Pat. "The Smashing Pumpkast – BONUS: Gish-Aversary at ZuZu's (w/ Field Correspondent Pamela Fisher!)". Anchor by Spotify.
  9. Eckhart, Jennifer (October 20, 2022). "Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins on REINVENTED with Jen Eckhart". YouTube.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "1993 Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream". Gearslutz. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  11. An old friend stopped by the studio today, Kerry Brown's blogspot, September 21, 2009
  12. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (LyricFind Global Songs)". Billboard.
  13. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (LyricFind U.S. Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit | edit source]