From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
Promotional single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedAugust 1996
Studio sessions
GenreAlternative rock
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Alan Moulder, Billy Corgan, Flood
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Tonight, Tonight"

"Muzzle" is a promotional single by The Smashing Pumpkins for their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It was one of the last songs written by Billy Corgan for Mellon Collie, with the song's lyrics referring to what Corgan thought the public's perception was of him at the time.[1] It was rumored to be the Smashing Pumpkins fifth and final single from this album, as is evidenced by the fact that a promotional single for the song was issued to radio stations worldwide. However, the song "Thirty-Three" was released as the fifth and final single instead. The band went on to perform "Muzzle" for their next television appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with replacement drummer, Matt Walker on February 25, 1997.

There was a rumor that a music video was actually filmed for "Muzzle" with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, but was never released. Billy Corgan has, however, denied this.[2]

Composition[edit | edit source]

Originally composed on piano, "Muzzle" was one of the last songs written for Mellon Collie. Corgan has said it took a lot of convincing to get Jimmy Chamberlin to play with such "joyful abandon" on the drum fills, and it was this persistence that opened the door for Chamberlin to express himself emotionally instead of just focusing on technical precision.[3] Ultimately Corgan considers the song among the best examples on Mellon Collie of the band coming together to quickly form ideas "from doleful sea shanties into epic rockets."[3]

Lyrically, Corgan has said "Muzzle" was partially written as a proactive attack on critics who he felt were going to hear the repetitive lyrics and tell him to "shut up".[1] The song title has a literal meaning, as Corgan explained: "The idea of a muzzle refers to thinking my life would be far simpler if I just kept my trap shut."[3]

The outro lyrics could be interpreted as spiritual language reminiscent of Hinduism.[4] Corgan wrote that the repeating vocal lines with slight variations may have been a nod to Bob Dylan, but the true musical inspiration is unclear.[3]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Max Weinberg getting "competitive" with The Smashing Pumpkins on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, February 25, 1997

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

i fear that i am ordinary, just like everyone
to lie here and die among the sorrows
adrift among the days
for everything i ever said
and everything i've ever done is gone and dead
as all things must surely have to end
and great loves will one day have to part
i know that i am meant for this world
my life has been extraordinary
blessed and cursed and won
time heals but i'm forever broken
by and by the way...
have you ever heard the words
i'm singing in these song?
it's for the girl i've loved all along
can a taste of love be so wrong
as all things must surely have to end
and great loves will one day have to part
i know that i am meant for this world
and in my mind as i was floating
far above the clouds
some children laughed i'd fall for certain
for thinking that i'd last forever
but i knew exactly where i was
and i knew the meaning of it all
and i knew the the distance to the sun
and i knew the echo that is love
and i knew the secrets in your spires
and i knew the emptiness of youth
and i knew the solitude of heart
and i knew the murmurs of the soul
and the world is drawn into your hands
and the world is etched upon your heart
and the world so hard to understand
is the world you can't live without
and i knew the silence of the world

Track listing[edit | edit source]

US promo CD single

Release history[edit | edit source]

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
August 1996 Virgin DPRO-11555 • 7087 6 11555 2 5 CD US & Canada Discogs MusicBrainz

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 33
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[6] 1
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[7] 57
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[8] 10
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[9] 8


Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessDisc one – Dawn to DuskStudio
MuzzleUS promo CD singlePromo
The Aeroplane Flies High2013 Reissue bonus DVD: Live at Malsaucy Lake, Belfort, France; 4 July 1997Box set
Thirty DaysVideo
Neath The Darkest EvesOriginal video releaseLive • Video

Tour stats

Personnel[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Moon, Tom. "Smashing All the "Alt" Expectations", Orange County Register, December 1996 (available online).
  2. Daher, Karl (1998-05-29). "Listessa Interviews Billy Corgan". Listessa. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Billy Corgan. Mellon Collie 2012 reissue liner notes
  4. "Muzzle Lyrics (annotation)". Genius. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  5. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9930." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  6. "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9821." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  7. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard.
  8. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  9. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit | edit source]