From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
Song by The Smashing Pumpkins
Studio sessions
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan

"X.Y.U." (working title "Spum"[1]) is a song from The Smashing Pumpkins' third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It is one of the heaviest songs on the album along with "Fuck You (An Ode To No One)" and "Tales of a Scorched Earth". The song was recorded live[2] for the record with drum and vocal overdubs added later.

The title means "Ex, Why You?", perhaps implying everything ends with YOU, not the letter Z as you would expect to follow X and Y. It is also believed to be a play on the spelling of Russian obscene word "хуй" (pronounced "hu:i") that is translated as "penis".

Background[edit | edit source]

The song originated from jamming[3], so like "Silverfuck" it evolved in several forms over the years. An alternate version dubbed "X.Y.U. (Take II)" was included on the 2012 reissue of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and featured different lyrics. Another alternate version called "X.Y.U. Medley" was recorded live at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles on October 31, 1998. It bundled a variation of the song with teasers of "The Ethers Tragic", "Where Boys Fear to Tread" and "Never Say Never" (by Romeo Void). The recording was included on the 2014 reissue of Adore.

The song was deliberately recorded in a series of live takes, rather than recording and engineering parts separately as was done with many other Mellon Collie tracks.[4] Billy Corgan had apparently been recovering from a cold, and "had trouble keeping my voice fresh, but the garble only added to my sense of desperation that we’d never get that ‘definitive’ take."[4] With each take being a bit faster than the previous, he added that producer Alan Moulder would later consider the final take "the single most exciting moment he’d ever had in a studio."[4] In the end, some bits of an earlier take were included in the final recording.

James Iha told TGM Magazine that he found the song "disturbing," describing it as the "the monster inside of the band trying to get out! … A touch of punk rock from the least punk rock band in the post-Nirvana stadium/alternative spectrum."[2]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Live at Osterrocknacht festival, April 7, 1996, televised live on the German Rockpalast show.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

she didn't wanna be, she didn't wanna know
she couldn't run away cause she was crazy
she gave it all away, she saw her baby break
and in the air it hung that she was dull razors
and i said, i wanna fill you up, i wanna break you, i wanna give you up
from one another, another one should come to one another
no one should come between us
still i was lonely, and she was by my side, my one and only
knows that she could never hide
i couldn't feel her, and it was just a game,
cause i was lonely and she was crazy
rat-tat-tat, ka boom boom, now take that, and just a bit of this
cause i'm a watcher, and i'm a doer of none
come to save you, cause you're all mine
i hurt where i can't feel, i feel where i can't hurt
i know where i can't know, i bleed for me and mine
ka-boom, a rat-tat-tat, and some good ole bliss
cause i'm a sister, and i'm a motherfuck
i am made of shamrocks, i am made of stern stuff
i am never enough, i am the forgotten child
and i said i wanna fill you up, i wanna break you, i wanna give you up
from one another, no one should ever come
in between us, between us and our love
mary had a little lamb, her face was white as snow
and everywhere that mary went i was sure to go
now mary's got a problem, and mary's not a stupid girl
mary's got some deep shit, and mary does not forget
and this is how mary's garden grows, and this is how mary has her ghosts
and into the eyes of the jackyl i say ka-boom
now we begin descent, to where we've never been
there is no going back, this wasn't meant to last
this is a hell on earth, we are meant to serve
and she will never learn
bye bye, baby goodbye


Live At The RivieraBootleg • Live
Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessDisc two – Twilight to StarlightStudio
666Bootleg • Video
The Aeroplane Flies High2013 Reissue CD 6: Live Inside the Dark GlobeBox set
Adore2014 Reissue CD 6: Kissed Alive TooStudio
The Friends & Enemies of Modern MusicBootleg
The Original F.E.M.M TapeBootleg
Oceania: Live in NYCLive • Video

Tour stats

Personnel[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Corgan, Billy. "Cenotaph (with Diana Dagaz)". Thirty-Three (Podcast). Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 James Iha. Good Vibrations - TGM Magazine. December 1995
  3. Billy Corgan Instagram Q&A, October 2, 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mellon Collie reissue liner notes

External links[edit | edit source]