A Song for a Son

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"A Song for a Son"
Promotional single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedDecember 8, 2009
FormatDigital download
RecordedSeptember-December 2009
StudioPumpkinland II
GenreArt rock[1]
Length6:02
LabelSelf-released
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Kerry Brown, Billy Corgan, Bjorn Thorsrud

"A Song for a Son" is a promotional single by The Smashing Pumpkins. It was the first track released from Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor from the band's 8th album Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.

Recording and composition

The song contains an extended guitar solo, inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, recorded live by Billy Corgan.[2] Written on an acoustic guitar, Corgan left the meaning of the song vague, but later realized it has a lot to do with his relationship with his father.[3] Corgan consciously set the song in 1975, the year he started listening heavily to rock music, considering Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, UFO, and Rainbow influences on the sound.[4]

Producer Kerry Brown wrote:[5]

Billy broke out the Farfisa today and we ran it through a 'secret weapon' It won't be such a secret on Tuesday when I showcase it and its history in the Tech Tuesday blog ... but for those of you curious as to what it could be... *Hint*(Pink Floyd) used one of these devices on some of their recordings.

The "secret weapon" was a Binson Echorec.

Lyrics

This is a song for a son
This is a song for a sailor
The son I never had

This is a song for a kid
This is a song for a tailor
Who stitched up my old heart
Who stitched up my old heart

This is a song for a dog
This is a song for a blown-out bird
The kind that don't return to the nest

This is a song for a star
This is a song for a space invader
Who flew into the sun
Never to return
Never to return

And I am one of many
Many more to come
Many more to come
I am one of many more
Many more to come
Many more to come

This is a song for a son
This is a song for a sailor
The best I ever had
He sailed without a map

This is a song for that kid
This is a song for that tailor
Who stitched up my old heart
Who stitched up my old heart
And broke it all apart

I am one of many
Many more to come
Many more to come
I am one of many more
Many more to come
Many more to come

You daughters of the revolution
Carry back your sons
Carry them back home
You daughters of the revolution
Carry back your sons
Carry them back home

And I, I am one of many
Many more to come
Many more to come

Featured in other media

The song is featured during an episode of The Chicago Code, “Black Hand and the Shotgun Man” (Season 1, Episode 7).[6] The scene involves a child being laid to rest.

Reception

Rolling Stone, after the release of "A Song for a Son" wrote, "Nothing in Corgan’s prolific recording history could have prepared us for the over five minutes of classic rock that is “A Song for a Son,” which starts off with a “Stairway to Heaven”-esque riff before exploding into the rest of ZoSo’s touchstones... If “A Song for a Son” is any indication of what we can expect from 'Billy', each EP will likely be the length of Exile on Main Street".[7]

Ryan Dombal of the online magazine Pitchfork Media described "A Song for a Son" "an epic" saying that "There's a contemplative intro, a shredding solo, and plenty of classic rock panache in between".[8] The song was also reviewed by About.com's Tim Grierson, who calls Corgan "charitable with Teargarden by Kaleidyscope":[9] "Led by a stately piano figure reminiscent of Adore, "A Song for a Son" eventually introduces electric guitars into the mix, climaxing with an ecstatic solo. Overall, it's a moody, vaguely psychedelic number that's a promising start to this ambitious, unconventional, and awesome album."[10]

Personnel

Musicians
Technical personnel

MP3 release

MP3 release
No.TitleLength
1."A Song for a Son"6:03


Released Label Catalog ID Format Country Discogs MusicBrainz
December 8, 2009 Not on label MP3 US 2040444 [1]

Availability

TitleNotesType
Live Smashing PumpkinsLive
A Song for a SonMP3 releaseSong
Widow Wake My MindLimited edition red 7" vinylPromo
Teargarden by Kaleidyscope - Vol. 1: Songs for a SailorCD and bonus 7"EP

References

  1. Perpetua, Matthew (January 4, 2010). "The Smashing Pumpkins "A Song for a Son"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  2. Video of the second half of the solo being recorded Archived April 16, 2010, at the w:Wayback Machine. TwitVid account of Kerry Brown.
  3. Bosso, Joe. "Billy Corgan on The Smashing Pumpkins' new direction". MusicRadar.com. June 10, 2010.
  4. Mervis, Scott. "Smashed Pumpkins: Billy Corgan battles to keep the legacy alive". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 22, 2010.
  5. https://glittercop.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-difference-day-makes.html
  6. https://www.tunefind.com/show/the-chicago-code/season-1/7609
  7. Kreps, Daniel (December 7, 2009). "Smashing Pumpkins Unveil New "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" Track "A Song for a Son"". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 9, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  8. Dombal, Ryan (December 7, 2009). "Hear the Epic New Smashing Pumpkins Track: "A Song for a Son"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  9. Grierson, Tim (September 16, 2009). "The New Smashing Pumpkins Album, 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope,' Will Be Epic ... and Free". Tim's Rock Music Blog. About.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  10. Grierson, Tim (December 7, 2009). "Smashing Pumpkins Debut First 'Teargarden' Track, "A Song for a Son"". Tim's Rock Music Blog. About.com. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  11. "Ain't No Sleep When You're Living the Dream". Blog of Kerry Brown. Posted October 7, 2009.
  12. "Lisa Harriton in the studio with The Smashing Pumpkins Archived October 13, 2009, at the w:Wayback Machine". SmashingPumpkins.com. October 8, 2009.

External links