"Cherub Rock" as written by and William Patrick Corgan....
Freak out
And give in
Doesn't matter what you believe in
Stay cool
And be somebody's fool this year
'Cause they know
Who is righteous, what is bold
So I'm told

Who wants honey
As long as there's some money
Who wants that honey?

Hipsters unite
Come align for the big fight to rock for you
But beware
All those angels with their wings glued on
'Cause deep down
We are frightened and we're scared
If you don't stare

Who wants honey
As long as there's some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Tell me all of your secrets
Cannot help but believe this is true
Tell me all of your secrets
I know, I know, I know
Should have listened when I was told

Who wants honey
As long as there is some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Lyrics submitted by spitfirek7

"Cherub Rock" as written by William Patrick Corgan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Cherub Rock song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentI've always thought it was about the music industry, but I have a different take on what some of the lines actually mean.

    The music industry execs are pretty much telling them what is hip, how it should be done, the kind of things they should play. This was during MTV's round-up of 'grunge' acts (they thought the pumpkins were grunge) and they were all "do a performance video."

    Freak out, give in, doesn't matter what you believe in: Always thought it was just about them as a band, they used to be indie (sub pop) but then they moved to a new major label (virgin). Apparently, they were never really considered indie by most indie bands, that they were "careerists" from the start. I just thought that the lines "doesn't matter what you believe in" just relating to that, the music industry being so critical of what they do, that what they (the band) believes takes no precedence, it's no longer up to them.

    Stay cool, and be somebody's fool this year: They were new to the whole major label thing, they had to play it cool. However, sounds like Corgan knew that they were being made fools of, often being told what to do - Today was initially chosen by the music execs to be the first song off the album - Corgan chose otherwise.

    'Cause they know, who is righteous, what is bold: The music execs are the ones in power, they know when a band is good, they know what music is bold and new.

    So I'm told: At least, that 's what they think.

    Who wants honey
    As long as there's some money
    Who wants that honey? : A little vague. But it seems to fit in with the music exec thing - They only want to support their music provided they get money off it - like before, what they want or believe doesn't matter, just as long as they get their sweet sweet cash.

    Hipsters unite, come align for the big fight to rock for you: Hipsters unite refers to their mainstreamness - it's up to the hipsters to decide their outcome, whether they're a success or a failure. This is seen in the next line, "come align for the big fight to rock for you" - choose a side, you decide whether we can rock for you, will be be a success or a failure?

    But beware, all those angels with their wings glued on: Could refer to the music industry again, being quite fake about how they go about their business, only supporting them if they make money - the execs are funding their music, pretty much being the saviors of the band, keeping them alive. During this time, Corgan had gone through depression, and has said that he thought, if this record doesn't do well I'm gonna break up the band. However, while they may be keeping the band alive, should the band be a failure, they'll be quick to drop the pretense of angels, lose their glued on wings.

    'cause deep down, we are frightened and we're scared: Probably refers to the band, not sure how the new album would do. Like I said before, Corgan was afraid the band would be quite a failure, saying "We felt a great pressure that if we didn't come up with a record that was huge, we were done. It was that simple in our minds. We felt like our lives depended on it."

    If you don't stare: I think he just said this because it rhymed :)

    Let me out: Seems pretty clear. He wants to get out of this routine way that the music industry has put them through, doesn't want the pressure of having to be a success.

    Tell me all of your secrets, cannot help but believe this is true: I think it may refer to the music of the time, maybe tell me all of your secrets (to being a great success), you can't help but believe that what the music execs have been telling you is good or bad.

    I know, I know, I know, should have listened when I was told: Corgan knows, he probably should listen to them, they seem to know what should be done. However, in contrast with the rest of the song, it seems to be more of a giving up sort of statement, saying "Okay, fine, have it your way, I'm tired of it anyway."

    If you look at the lyrics in total, you could see that it starts out as more of a rejection of the music industry itself, saying that they (the pumpkins) should do it their way.
    Then the next verse, it changes, as though he's changing his mind, leaving it up to the world to decide, despite the fear they face in doing so.
    Then the "let me out"s are pretty much a complete "fear taken over" sort of thing, he just wants out of it, screw trying to do it your own way, screw letting others choose it for you.
    Third verse: He's still trying to figure it out for himself, wanting to know the secrets the industry has to offer. However, he's gone into a relapse, giving in to the industry, saying he should've listened what he was told.

    That's just my interpretation anyway.
    yvespon October 13, 2008   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI know and understand that this is about the music aindustry but to me it is about something smaller... High school

    I myself being a high school student interpret it this way:

    The first part is about the popular kids, telling you hwo you should act, what you should do, what styles are in these days, anything like that...

    The Chorus is about how everyones willing to be popular, have friends, be liked, get a boyfriend/girlfriend, the "Honey" Refering to all the good stuff

    The second part is about the people who only pretend to be your friend whether to make fun of you or to make you look like an idiot (Trust me hald my "Friends" are like that. "The angels with their wings glued on" referring to the people who act sweet and nice to you, like "Angels" but it was all fake "The wings glued on"

    "Let me out!" Obviously what half the people that are in highschool think, they want out for good

    The second part is about the people you can actually get along with "Tell me all of your secrets" and "Shouldve listened to what im told" Would be all the trouble you face on your way.

    AGAIN< thats just MY THEORY, the music industry idea makes sense to me, but thats a way I relate to it
    ZombieQueenon October 04, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI cant believe nobody's commented yet, considering the amount of views this song has had. Anyway, it's pretty hard to explain what I think this song is about, but I'll try my best.

    I think it's about the music industry, the "fake" fans (a.k.a "hipsters" in the song lyrics), record companies, and basically the music industry as a whole. "Who wants honey, as long as there's money..." This explains the whole emaning of the song, and is saying the music industry doesnt care if its good music or whatever, as long as it produces the money. And the "fake" fans I was talking about, flock to what's "in" and Corgan obviously doesnt seem to like that much...

    Well that was the best I could do, Im sorry if it didnt make much sense.
    alimaniaon July 14, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti thought hiney was a type of beer?
    haha j/k.. well, it is that too
    this is a great song and yeah that music industry thing makes a whole lotta sence, i wanna know why he says honey though, why not, i dunno something else
    and i wish need4creed would explain what he thinks rather than saying that every one is wrong. grrr
    great song anyway
    smashing_meon December 03, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is "have a cigar" 20 years later
    usa-1on April 18, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about the music industry and being fake. Its about all the people who dont understand the music for the music and just like it because its cool or because someones "hot" or whatever. I think the line, "who wants honey" refers to the truth, the heart, the meaning to what music holds. However many artists are fake and just want money and they dont want/seem to forget about the "honey"
    buwhahaon December 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlimania is CORRECT! If you read the Pumpkin's Biography, it states clearly that Cherub Rock is about the music industry in all it's fakeness and cookiecutterness.
    Annie-Dogon December 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is very Shoegaze
    trapperon February 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentToday I won the reissue of Siamese Dream as a gift, on the inside of the cover has some facts behind the songs and I'll share what Billy said about Cherub Rock:

    "We start the album out with 'Cherub Rock' which is basically my big F.U. to the indie world. If you read the lyrics, that was basically me railing against the hipper-than-thou NYC indie mentality."
    AcidBubbleon August 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think alimania is right. Billy always starts off his albums with a telling song. with machina in the everlasting gaze he starts off boldly wiht "Yaknow, im not dead", which is perfect because after adore everyone thought the pumpkins were dead. Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness starts off with a piano piece of the same name, a very dreary and sad piece which kind of states what the entire album is like.

    Siamese Dream kicks off with this little ditty, which works because at the time when the album came out the music industry (mtv etc) was going crazy over indie rock like the smashing pumpkins, and according to billy (atleast from an interview i read with him at the time) he was pissed off about it.

    "should have listenned to what im told", possibly a record executive talking to him?

    "cause they know who is righteous and what is bold, so im told", possibly what the record executives are talking about the fans. THEY decide what is hip, etc.

    that plus the quotes alimania mentioned.
    Eckoxuson July 29, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top