speak to me in a language i can hear
humor me before i have to go
deep in thought i forgive everyone
as the cluttered streets greet me once again
i know i can't be late, supper's waiting on the table
tomorrow's just an excuse away
so I pull my collar up and face the cold, on my own
the earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
at the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
steeple guide me to my heart and home
the sun is out and up and down again
i know i'll make it, love can last forever
graceful swans of never topple to the earth
and you can make it last, forever you
you can make it last, forever you
and for a moment i lose myself
wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
i've journeyed here and there and back again
but in the same old haunts i still find my friends
mysteries not ready to reveal
sympathies i'm ready to return
i'll make the effort, love can last forever
graceful swans of never topple to the earth
tomorrow's just an excuse
and you can make it last, forever you
you can make it last, forever you


Lyrics submitted by starla33


Thirty Three song meanings
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81 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI love how this song is linked to Jesus and the bible. That's the beauty and genius of how the bible was written and how it is still being taught. It can be interpreted and tied to just about anything. Like a horoscope....it's all BS. Personally, I think Bullet is about the church. "the 'church' is a vampire, sent to drain.... Secret destroyers, hold you out to the flames" "And what do I get, for my pain? Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game" If I'm wrong, god delete this message before its posted.
    thebrainon November 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne of the most well written, well composed songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening too in my life thus far. At times it does sound like Corgan is referring to Jesus, but also referring to what could possibly his own self doubt or losing faith and regaining it again through music? Either way, we truly have to recognize this piece of literature as a piece of precious history. It is so rare that we as people find a truly talented writer such as Corgan. I am proud to have experienced his music through the 90`s and beyond and will continually pass ti down with the generations to come.
    Steven81on November 03, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is open for interpretation, since I doubt Billy's going to tell us exactly what he was thinking when he wrote this anytime soon. I don't like seeing all these Christians and athiests insulting each other. Personally, I actually agree that Jesus probably does have to do with the title, knowing how spiritual Billy's lyrics always are. But if you don't think so, your interpretation's okay too.

    33's also the number of the freemasons, just an FYI.
    weirdogrrlon January 27, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentalso, your points don't make any sense.

    1. If Jesus was the one preaching, why would he ask people to speak to him in a language he can hear? Wouldn't he say "Let me speak to YOU in a language YOU can hear"?

    2. "Cluttered streets" doesn't mean covered with people, it means dirty and trashy. "crowded streets" would have fit just as well into the song, so why didn't he use that?

    3. Last time i checked, people in Judea didn't have collars and Jesus died with people on either side of him, so he wasn't alone. Also, It was Calvary Hill, not "Skull Mountain." That's where fucking Skeletor lives. Castle greyskull is on top of it.

    4. A jangly walk signifies happiness, not fatigue, thus the "blasphemy" is that he's really depressed, but is acting happy.

    5. I'm no meteorologist, but I think I'm qualified to say that the sun doesn't go up and down every time it starts and stops raining. So "the sun is out and up and down again" only signifies the passage of time, not rain after Jesus dies.

    6. Miracles are "graceful swans of never"? no. The word "topple" implies an accident or a hard fall. Miracles don't topple from God you just tried to fit that line to whatever you wanted it to mean. What if i said it signified snow because snow topples to the earth from the sky? or that it signified the dropping of the atomic bomb because the bomb toppled out of an airplane and onto a bunch of japanese people? that wouldnt make any sense, would it? But yours does because you can relate anything to God and that makes it automatically true.

    I'm Catholic and I've had to write innumerable amounts of essays relating various books, poems, etc. to God and your points remind me of things I wrote when i didn't think whatever I was writing about was actually about God and just had to bullshit my way through a paper to get a decent grade. You can't say something is about God without knowing the writer's background. Billy wasn't religious. You are wrong.
    MolkoPluson February 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBilly wasn't very religious back in the early/mid 90's... it wasn't until the Machina/Zwan days that he started becoming more faithful. He's still not religious in the Christian sense, he just has an appreciation for the idea of religion in general.

    Anyway, I think 33 has incredible lyrics, some of the best Billy ever wrote -- but I'm not so sure if it's about Jesus. I think it's about waking up one day and realizing you are getting older, which gives you a deeper appreciation for love and life.
    gish05on March 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment1. I am a die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fans.

    2. This is my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song.

    3. The number Thirty-Three refers to the highest degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. In this song, as in so many others in the full panoply of Pumpkins discography, Billy is revealing the occult aspects of his drug-scorched mind and soul. (Listen to Sandoz.) The protagonist of the song is on the downward-spiral ride of a drug binge. "For a moment I lose myself, wrapped up in the pleasures of the world." That is why he is so bombed out and wandering the streets with his collar pulled up. His money has all gone to getting high. His possessions have been converted into drugs as well. He is homeless. In this frequently occurring condition, he has traveled all over the place like many an addict-vagabond. He runs across the same old friends in the same old haunts, part of an itinerant army of drug addicts and boozeheads that have been out there riding the rails since there were rails to ride. His mind is wallowing in the raw damage a heavy acid trip might reasonably be expected to dovetail into. The residual beauty of his revelatory trip is streaming around his head in visions of swans toppling to the earth as he comes down. He states that his mental anguish feels like the Earth is laughing at him as he commits the thought-crime of blasphemy against the Holy Bible (Freemasonry teaches karma, reincarnation and the impersonality of 'God'. These doctrines are heresy to 'Christians', whether you are talking about modern evangelists or the medieval Catholic Church.) So all he has to do is get through this rough spot in the trip and then tomorrow, which is "just an excuse away" he will be 'eating supper on a table in a home.' This home is heaven. That is why it can last forever. Love is the highest level in all consciousness. It is the highest vibrational frequency. It is all-encompasing. It is the inevitable destination of each individual soul, when we are wrapped back into the eternal for all eternity. If you disagree, just wait until you die and suddenly wake up to confront these facts all over again, just like you always do, every time you die. If you would like to pierce this shell while still breathing, drop some dose. Finally, the poetic use of the symbol of swans toppling to the Earth is also a complex reference to spiritually advanced personalities commonly known as avatars i.e.: those who descend. Toppling out of Heaven to the Earth is the process of leaving Heaven to incarnate as a person on this planet. In mysticism, swans tend to symbolize people who are not trapped in this cycle of reincarnation but who choose to incarnate so as to help those who are. Billy fancies himself to be one of these spiritually elite beings and who is to say that he is not? Well, that's what I think. Great darn song though!!!!!!!!!
    centraltowercontrol.blogspot.com
    moduson April 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe simply the song is an abstract version of his thoughts on what was happening to his band.The success and what it was doing to him and the band(drugs,bad relationships etc.).
    Its not about Jesus.
    Billy Corgan once wrote He had a million dollars in his bank account from Virgin Records from the first album GISH. And now Virgin was expecting something good from the band. But Billy Corgan IS the band, that amount of pressure almost lead to his suicide. But something happened out of it one day and so TODAY was born from that.

    fast foward to this song and Now we have Billy revisiting "Haunts" but He is a smart guy and found a way to translate it into THIRTY-Three. The irony of it is when the Tarot card reader said'' you''ll reach a higher sucess at Thirty-three..." well he was only twenty-seven when the band reached HIGH success.

    Now what ? he might say-"Mysteries not ready to reaveal.."

    I think the "YOU can make it last " is him telling himself this. An affirmation.

    etc. etc.
    keep listening
    jac90620on November 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo "lagwagon182". I am so sick ot athiest or more or less ANTIthiest giving Christians a hard time or just anyone else just refering to Jesus or the All Mighty. It is just this persons feelings or THEIR interpitation of the song. I am a Christian and am suppost to turn the other cheek but all FOUR cheeks are raw, face and backside! Make an interpitation and leave this guy alone. BTW, Jesus did and does exist. So did Pontius Pilot, as did many other Romans, Jews, Gentiles and HEATHENS!
    Also 33 is a great song.
    Disowned2011on January 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so beautiful. billy said it was about his divorce with courtney love i think? he had to move out of his apartment (as the cluttered streets greet me once again). he's hurt by this breakup and believes that maybe they can still hold on to whatever love is left (and you can make it last). he knows he has to get through this and he has his true friends to turn to blahblahblah. and when he was feeling all this pain he felt that life was meaningless and didn't have the will to go on (tomorrow's just an excuse away). oh yeah and he tried to forget about the pain by doing things (and for a moment i lose myself, wrapped up in the pleasures of the world) but it didn't work because the pain was still there (i've journeyed here and there and back again). ok that's all, i just want to say again that this song is beautiful and the video is surreal and lovely and it ROCKS
    Ethilienon May 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsounds good Ethilien...I like your interpretation...the only thing I could add is that "home" is a safe place for everyone...it's a sanctuary where all your friends are...even at 33 years of age. That's what i got out of the number. Any other reason for the #?
    y2doggyon May 27, 2002   Link

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