Song Lyric Sunday: The Smashing Pumpkins, “1979”

Jim’s prompt this week is "Alternative," and while I’m not a great fan of Alternative, I do just happen to know of a band that’s apropos of the prompt.

The Smashing Pumpkins are an alternative band from Chicago who had some ties to Loyola University, where I went to school, and spent some time right here in Marietta, Georgia not too long ago. Practically tailor-made for me. Anyway, "1979" was written by the band’s frontman Billy Corgan and was the second single released from the band’s third album, 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Here’s everywhere that it reached the Top Ten in 1996:

Saves me a little typing… Source: Wikipedia

Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
You and I should meet
June bug skipping like a stone
With the headlights pointed at the dawn
We were sure we’d never see an end to it all

And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below

Double cross the vacant and the bored
They’re not sure just what we have in the store
Morphine city slippin’ dues, down to see that

We don’t even care, as restless as we are
We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we’d go, beneath the sound of hope

Justine never knew the rules
Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls
No apologies ever need be made
I know you better than you fake it, to see

And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below

The street heats the urgency of sound
As you can see there’s no one around


And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for April 2. 2023.

21 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: The Smashing Pumpkins, “1979”

  1. Listening to this brings so many good memories. Smashing Pumpkins is such a Chicago band. A friend of mine used to hang out with James Iha, the band’s guitarist, in high school, which I found rather odd since he was at least a decade (or more) older than her.


  2. I really like this song. I wish I would have had time to do this…I would have picked a Replacement song.
    During the eighties it was the music I liked because I didn’t like Madonna and many of the others dominating the charts.


      1. I turned 13 in 1980 and I should have liked them but I was stuck on the Beatles, Who, Stones, and Kinks and I wanted music like that…the only place to find it was the Alternate bands.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised by it myself. You have all the old bluesmen (most were born in the south, but they’re known in Chicago), jazzmen like Ramsey Lewis and Herbie Hancock, the late, great Lou Rawls, the Chi-Lites, The Buckinghams, the Cryan’ Shames, The New Colony Six, The Ides of March (who are from Berwyn in the western suburbs, where Jim Peterik is from), Chicago (naturally), Chase, and a whole bunch more…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That whole period baffles me, too. I knew of the band from having seen a feature in a magazine from Chicago, but knew nothing about their music, so the song pick was a shot in the dark…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good choice, John. I always liked this one. The charts you show are mostly the airplay ones, and I think it worth adding that this made the top twenty on sales in both the US and the UK, and the album was absolutely massive!


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