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The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings Lyrics 6 years ago
I don't see how this song could be anything other than a thinly veiled jab at the music industry...

** First: The Verses **

"The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game"

The first verse is Billy Corgan explaining the trade-off between art and commerce ("the game"). What does he get for throwing his art to the wolves? "Secret destroyers" being critics, snarks, executives, etc.

"Now I'm naked, nothing but an animal
But can you fake it, for just one more show
And what do you want, I want to change
And what have you got
When you feel the same"

The second verse is a dialogue with fans regarding the nature of touring and the emotional cost to the performer. Is he just a dancing monkey? The final lines are a call the Alternative scene, imho.

** The Chorus **

"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage
Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage"

Despite all his rage, he's still at the mercy of the music industry. "Why are you trying to change a lost cause?"

** The Religious Allusions **

In Biblical terms, Job was a righteous man who lived with integrity. However, Satan believed Job only lived this way to get God's praise and protection. Satan proceeds to mess with Job in order to provoke him to denounce God...but he remains a man of integrity and ends up even better off than before.

This can be seen as a metaphor for what Billy is trying to say about the music industry. Billy believes that he is being accused of paying lip service to the Alternative scene, when in reality, his artistic integrity is authentic and will prevail in the long run.

The Jesus reference pertains to being sacrificial lamb for the Alternative cause.

** Finally: The Title **

This song is a hit for the music industry while also criticizing it. In other words, a "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"

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