Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 10: Contentment


Welcome to Week 10 of my series listening through the Smashing Pumpkins' 2012 release Oceania, delving into the lyrics, and looking for Judeo-Christian themes and values. Feel free to check out Parts 1-8  at your leisure. Last week we looked at the value of faith in Track 10, "The Chimera."

This week we're taking Track 11, "Glissandra," for a spin. This tune rocks easily and smoothly, with a driving bass groove and guitar and keyboard lines typical of Smashing Pumpkins' work. As with the rest of the album, Corgan is in fine, confident voice here. His lyrics come from the perspective of someone who has experienced what life has to offer, and he makes some observations:

As life uncovers our unions pulled threadbare

Pleasure taps it’s vein

I’ve been hungry and I’ve been full

And I’ve been sated some more


I used to know

What a wish was for


What’s left for me to leave for you unsaid?

You can’t fill with dread

I’ve been hungry and I’ve been full

Here, Corgan echoes the Biblical concept of contentment. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, we can find instructions to be content with what we have. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon - the wisest man who ever lived, according to the Bible - wrote that he had seen it all, and he knew that pleasure, materialism, and even wisdom do not fulfill on their own. Instead, Solomon says:

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)

In Psalm 37, King David instructs God's people:

3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this...