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Song by The Smashing Pumpkins
Released27 July 1993
Studio sessions
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan, James Iha
Producer(s)Butch Vig, Billy Corgan

"Mayonaise" 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]

Song title[edit | edit source]

Corgan apparently got the title for the song after he looked "in [his] refrigerator".[4] Later, he stated in an interview with a Colombian radio station that the name stands for the phonetics of 'My Own Eyes'.[5] 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.[6]

Composition and equipment[edit | edit source]

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.[7]

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.[5] Kimberly Kay was also used on "1979", "Panopticon", and "Pissant".[7][8]

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 the most recent Smashing Pumpkins tribute album, 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


Quiet and Other SongsDemo • Bootleg
Siamese DreamOriginal releaseStudio
3 Feet HighBootleg • Live
Unplugged: 100% Pure Acoustic PerformancesBootleg
Acoustic SeriesBootleg
Mayonaise DreamBootleg • Live
Mashed PotatoesBootleg
Live At The RivieraBootleg • Live
The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Promotional CDPromotional • Compilation
1991-1998Promotional • Compilation
Still Becoming ApartUS & Europe promo CDPromotional • Compilation • EP
Ghost Children: A Tribute To The Smashing PumpkinsTribute
The Original F.E.M.M TapeBootleg • Compilation
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
Live Smashing PumpkinsLive
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. Corgan, Billy; Iha, James; Wretzky, D'arcy (1996-11-05). "Dublin Chat". Imusic (Interview).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harris, Sophie. "Smashing Pumpkins' 'Siamese Dream': 10 Things You Didn't Know". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  6. Garcia-Hejl, Frank; O'Brien, Pat. "The Smashing Pumpkast – BONUS: Gish-Aversary at ZuZu's (w/ Field Correspondent Pamela Fisher!)". Anchor by Spotify.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "1993 Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream". Gearslutz. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  8. An old friend stopped by the studio today, Kerry Brown's blogspot, September 21, 2009

External links[edit | edit source]