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Yes, There Are Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 3: The Dispenser of Wisdom


Welcome to the third installment in my series examining Judeo-Christian values and ideas in the Smashing Pumpkins' album Oceania. Last week, I delved into the album's opening track, "Quasar" and Billy Corgan's use of the abbreviation of the sacred Hebrew name of God.

This week I'm looking at the third track, "The Celestials," and I have to admit that I had a difficult time understanding the song - much less finding some meaning in it - until I searched the lyrics and found a comment on one of those lyric sites. The commenter wrote:

Billy Corgan, in the interview "From Mellon Collie to Oceania" with Matt Pinfield, said...that this song is almost as if the same guy that was singing on Mellon Collie, is singing to a kid from today with the experience he has, almost sort of warning him of what to do.

Then it hit me. I imagined Corgan today, singing these lyrics to a young, idealistic rocker, set on wearing the Zero t-shirt and singing lyrics about being a "rat in a cage." Or perhaps he is speaking as a father to his child. In this light, he is imparting wisdom and sharing experience in small nuggets, almost like fortune cookies - or proverbs.

Endlessly they'll set you free

Give you reason to believe


Never let the summer catch you down

Never let your thoughts run free

Even when their numbers draw you out

Everything I want is free

'Til the end


Take a chance if you should go

Face upon your happy home...

You were always on your own

You can't escape


Never let the summer catch you down

Never let your thoughts run free

Even while their numbers call you out