The words flow
Decisions made
Idea's mine
But the inspiration not
Dreams of hangers-on
Dreams of getting well
Spells of Esmeralda
Amarose foretold

Splinters in the eye
Sentiments remain
Bones are never asked
Where are we going to
It was never up to me
And yet I pushed until it broke

I love the open road
And all that it suggests
Wheel-wagon dust
Weeds and infidelities
And always swore our love
Never questioned why
In a wooden house
Immovable and silent
And drinking strawberry wine
Forever lost in town

And through the sleeping streets
Night-bound and heavy
Wheels in a spoke
Just a spoken foreign sound

Know my gates are high
My friends even higher
Forgotten in my mind
Yet the scars still lingering
Cloud the blue skies
I'm jealous of you birds
Was the only truth
In a world full of words

Hear the prairie sound
In a friend called Neil
The heart is pointed down
But my spirit pointed up
His voice the siren
Of Greek mythology

I pause with my pen
I begin to defend
Every action taken
Every moment sealed
When I was quick
It coursed through open veins
The will to live
The urgency to move
Behind a panel door
Sealing cherry stain
I played my guitar
And lived those lonesome notes

Like a dog that's down
In a corner just aside
Waiting to be called
Waiting to be yours
Ghosts of a machine
Without purpose or will

I'll often speak of you
But the you was always me
'Cause when I speak of me
It's me I ask of you
So let there be no truth
Just trickery in rhymes
Time the only thing
Waiting still is death

I hope for resolution
Pray one defining moment
Pause without restraint
Barren without child
A child is who I was
A child is who I'll die
A child is who I'll die

Soot in my hair
And stars in my hands
Soot in my hair
And stars in my hands
Soot in my hair
And stars in my hands


Lyrics submitted by alexboy, edited by Mellow_Harsher, willc

Soot and Stars song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is obviously about Star Wars. It describes the feelings of Darth Vader after all has happened and is said and done.
    cheesecakeslolon October 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really LOVE this song. These lyrics, in comparison to the other Pumpkins lyrics, sound differente to me; i see so many double senses in the words (considering fact that most part of musics have no accentuation). I imagine a whole video clip; of quite arcaic scenarios, by which thru billy passes, in a wagon, and ends with him, laying on a hill with a tree (quite like that from Adore), looking to the the stars and holding his hand over his eyes.. soot in my hair; stars in my hand. Anyway, i never heard about Billy´s sexual abuse.. and, in the DVD of GH, is there any video ?
    kallil33on March 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song leaves me utterly speechless. Everyone should hear it.
    Songmeaningsuseron July 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is clearly about death and dying, one of their most profound songs. The first few stanzas are nebulous, but are about getting sick, perhaps an acute stroke, perhaps a fracture (words flow, decisions made by others when initally sick), getting transfused (strawberry wine), being sedated. The middle is about approaching death, with most of your friends being gone already (friends even higher), having to defend your actions in life to God, finally waiting to be called to be one with God. Finally dying, that one defining moment - where at the end of your life you are taken care of like a child, as you were in the beginning. The final lyrics are about being creamated: soot in your hair, and stars in your hands.
    shashankdaveon November 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love how the Pumpkins are like, "we'll have about 100 b sides (75 of which are like mind blowingly amazing, including this song) and we'll just decline to release our best work...instead you get Machina." Then Machina II is far greater as well. Billy just making you chase around the good music folks. They could of released a quadruple album twice over from 1994-2000 there is so many b-sides.
    summerteeth99on February 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbut 'A morose foretold' made sense to me though. moroseness is practically melancholia, if not exactly. 'A friend called Kneel' just seems to suit the stanza as it is talking about the heart being pointed up "In exaltation of heaven" and the spirit being pointed down "in the act of damning hell" I can't swear to this as this just something I picked up off of the exorcist prequel about the designs of angels in churches. 'His voice the siren of greek mythology' does have a strange but relevant meaning. if this is billy talking about god, then he has some very complex feelings surrounding god's designs, and why they seem to leave billy in shit. Everyone has those feelings of having to ask why certain stuff had to happen, 'Spells of Esmeralda' the beauty of Notre dame? why would she be there? oh wait, its because she's a walking example of how beauty corrupts the beholders. Note here the start of the song, and the reason mr Marx got dragged into this song, 'Decisions made, idea's mine, but the inspiration not' this is the old debate of pre-determinism, are the choices you make your own? Well if not, which seems to be the case in this song, the systems put in place for governing it all could be viewed as beautiful synchrony, anyone who views it in hindsight can see purpose and maybe even reason for what happened, but some people can be broken hearted in considering that GOD decided that various different tortures would be necessary, but seeing that denial of his wisdom would achieve nothing and leave us 'ghosts in a machine' Absence of purpose or will. We carry on regardless, but always wondering while we shuffle closer to death. Now you gonna have to take a leap with me on this next one, I could be COMPLETELY WRONG here, but I thought he says 'Bearing without child' instead of 'Barren without child' Which kinda represents billy as learning something wiser and carrying it as though it had the importance of a child. And dying as a child, which one person here thinks is a sense of helplessness, I personally thought was a refusal to give up your innocence and/or naivety in belief before you die. Ultimately the song leaves you with billy's current state after being dragged through those aforementioned events, 'Soot in my hair' I think is a reference to St Angela Merici, who dyed her hair with soot and water so she would not appear attractive to anyone, thus avoiding temptations of the flesh. 'Stars in my hand' as I recall this appears in Revelations and it is a symbol of the Christ, not to say Billy thinks he's Jesus, but that he is enlightened by what he's been through...Even if its left him crestfallen (sorry, couldn't resist). The rest of the song I think is just about the want to be free from a variety of binds. Good song, lovely tune, kudos Mr Corgan.
    KingOfMartyrTownon April 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know why they didnt release this song. I got their greatest hits cd and the second cd has a bunch of unreleased songs and they are really cool. This song is really awsome, i love the sound of the piano in the background and the meaning of the song is being down, needing friends to pull you up, and not leave you down.
    LoopyDiapermouthon April 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is beautiful. i really love it.
    awake&dreamingon August 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit sounds so haunting. perhaps i see this in every SP song but it reminds me of sexual abuse, cause i read in Kerrang that Billy was abused as a child. its only the last verse that makes me think of that though-
    "a child is who i was a child is who i'll die"- like the abuse stays with you forever, and you can't escape the feelingsyou felt as a child.
    ladyboygrrlon April 13, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the piano... I loved it on the GH DVD and spent along time trying to find what song it was, and *ta da* found it. Awesomeness.
    da77ynon April 27, 2003   Link

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