"Zero" as written by and Billy Corgan....
My reflection dirty mirror
There's no connection to myself
I'm your lover I'm your zero
I'm the face in your dreams of glass
So save your prayers
For when you're really gonna need 'em
Throw out your cares and fly
Want to go for a ride?

She's the one for me
She's all I really need, oh yeah
She's the one for me

Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty just like me
Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness
Bullshit fakers, enchanted kingdoms
The fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth

I never let on, that I was on a sinking ship
I never let on that I was down
You blame yourself, for what you can't ignore
You blame yourself for wanting more

She's the one for me
She's all I really need, oh yeah
She's the one for me
She's my one and only


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by joey2_96, silvertyrs, BIRDDUDE830

"Zero" as written by William Patrick Corgan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Zero song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentGood points, only you may consider a more specific argument, that being the nature of the self destructive behaviour. I would suggest the particular behaviour is bulimia. This is strongly suggested by "charcoal" or blackened teeth. Fahion victims follows logically as the victims of bulimia. The bullshit fakers and enchanted kingdoms are the respectively the modelling industry and department stores. Models usually have naturally high metabolisms, which they don't tell overweight women, and thus they are bullshit fakers. Department stores can almost take people off into a fantasy land of sorts, and that suggests the metaphor I put forth.

    In the beginning of the song, we see the lines "My reflection: dirty mirror/ There's no connection to myself"
    The meter is trochaic octameter suggesting a religious element, as though the narrator worships the mirror, but it does not connect to the thin figure being reflected.

    In the bridge, the narrator rants, "emptiness is loneliness," so he needs food to fill that void. "Loneliness is cleanliness" suggests that when he eats, he feels dirty. Then he says that "cleanliness is godliness", implying that once he is empty again, by purging, he will feel powerful.
    six_strung_outon October 31, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTwo words: Courtney Love
    Whiffeton November 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhen he says "I'm you lover, I'm your Zero," I think Zero means fool. You know, like "I'm a fool for you", that kind of thing. The reason I say that is because I know Corgan is into that hocus pocus tarot card bullshit and the fool (a tarot card in the major arcana), is often numbered "zero". I don't know if anybody's said that before, but yeah. Besides that, I really have nothing new to add to what others have already said
    Redgrieveon November 02, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think 'She' is a metaphor for cocaine, The whole song refers to drug related situations. For example:

    "My reflection, Dirty mirror"

    Chalkheads use mirrors to snort coke off of.

    "Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness"

    He enjoys being sad because it's an excuse to 'Intoxicate' himself with 'Madness'

    "Fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth"

    People who fake coke addiction to look cool have to reap the negative side-effects too (One of which being tooth decay)

    You could name any line in this song, and it fits perfectly with my explanation
    Spoonmanon June 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit sounds like he's talking to a christian to me. allow me to explain! "save your prayers for where you're really gunna need 'em" and "you blame yourself for what you can't ignore, you blame yourself for wanting more".
    the 2nd quote could well be about the christian wanting sex and a relationship and the christian thinks it's wrong to think this so he blames himself!

    there's obviously something more to this song too...
    Maggoton June 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThanks to my twisted little head, this song's always reminded me of an eating disorder. *sigh*
    errky39on January 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSpoonman you clever thing.

    Dirty mirror- from coke
    Blow helps you to 'detatch'
    Throw out your cares and fly..wanna go for a ride - speaks for itself
    God is emtpy just like me - delusions of grandeur from the coke.
    On and on it goes...

    But at the same time, view it as you want to...this is what it means to me, and thats the beauty of the pumpkins songs...They had released cds etc without lyrics for the reason that you should hear what you wanna hear, and take it for what you want.

    Its not rocket surgery.
    Futurizaon June 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song DEFINES every point of my highschool grievances!! It's amazing how one song could do it all! I have been struggling for 2.5 years with on-&-off depression--you know, normal teenage depression. It became increasingly worse when my best friend was diagnosed with the REAL bad depression. She pulled out of school almost one year ago.

    "My reflection, dirty...to myself"-->My identity crises in Soph. year
    "Im your...dreams of glass"-->Me wishing that I could express myself better (I worked on that! It's all gooooood!)
    "So save...need 'em"--> Me losing my faith in God
    "Throw all your...for a ride?"-->I was a top grade student. I wished I could let myself go for a ride many times.
    "She's the one for me..."--> my great dependecy on my best friends and my love for them, esp my bff that got sick.
    "Emptiness..just like me"-->As things never seemed to get better with my bff, things got worse for me. I gave up God completely and have never since felt connection to God.
    "Intoxicated...my sadness"-->I withdrew into myself. I became very depressed. I couldnt focus in school. I couldnt associate with anyone. I was cutting myself and tearing at my skin to numb anxiety. I continuously imagined dying. I knew I was killing myself, but it was the only thing I could feel.
    "bullshit fakers...teeth"-->Me rejecting the society around me and all the people in it.
    "I never let on...that I was down"-->I didnt share my feelings and thoughts with anyone--not even the my best friends that I would've died for. And I know that I never will tell my bffs.
    "You blame...ignore"-->Me blaming myself for not loving my sick bff more. I blamed myself for her suicide attempts. I blamed myself for the fact that she is still not in school. I blamed myself for being anrgy with her that she would hurt me so much.
    "You blame...wanting more"-->Recently, I stopped blaming myself for these things. But I began to blame myself for wanting different friends that would hurt me and suffocate me so much. I blamed myself for beginning the break of a friendship circle.
    "She's the one...and only"--> How I bitterly think of all the ways my depression has really been caused by my bffs depression. We have been so close and so bonded, that I actually take on her sickness. It makes me think of how I must live for myself.

    And, just so yall no! I dont cut myself anymore and I am living very happily. Tho I spend a lot less time with my circle of friends, I am much happier and looking forward to graduation and art school! Love to all of you... SMASHING PUMPKINS FOREVER!!!!
    rainofhearton January 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyes i agree with Spoonman on page 3. everything makes perfect sense.
    "wanna go for a ride?"
    may mean
    wanna do a line?
    "i never let on that i was on a sinking ship"
    may mean,
    i never showed that i was addicted to cocaine,
    "you blame yourself for what you cant ignore, you blame yourself for wanting more"
    may mean,
    you blame yourself for not being able to stop & ignore your wants & needs for more coke.

    :/
    my favorite pumpkins song.
    ever.
    cherubROCKon July 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe line: "intoxicated with the madness, Im in love with my sadness" i think says that he is afraid of a change because he feels that since being alone (the madness) is now part of his personality (intoxicated), any change would turn him into something he isnt... i can SO relate to this line
    silverushon November 22, 2009   Link

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