"Behold! The Night Mare" as written by and William Patrick Corgan....
I've faced the fathoms in your deep
Withstood the suitors quiet siege
Pulled down the heavens just to please you
Appease you
The wind blows and I know

I can't go on, digging roses from you grave
To linger on, beyond the beyond
Where the willows weep
And whirlpools sleep, you'll find me
The coarse tide reflects sky

And the night mare rides on, and the night mare rides on
With a December black psalm
And the night mare rides on
What I fear is lost here
The wind blows and I know

All you have to do is run away
And steal yourself from me
Become a mystery to gaze into
You're so cruel in all you do
But still I believe, I believe in you

So may you come with your own knives
You'll never take me alive
With all the force of what is true
Is there nothing I can do?

I can't go on, digging roses from you grave
To linger on, beyond the beyond
Where the willows weep
And whirlpools sleep, you'll find me

And the night mare rides on, and the night mare rides on
With a December black psalm
And the night mare rides on

I've faced the fathoms in your deep
Withstood the suitors quiet siege
Pulled down the heavens just to please you
To hold the flower I can't keep


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Behold! The Night Mare" as written by William Patrick Corgan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Behold! The Night Mare song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about Billy just trying to let go the death of a loved one. He explains that it's been tough but he can't "keep diggin' roses from your grave". He must move on. I love the "Adore" album...unfortunately Billy was ripped a new A-hole for this album because it wasn't as commercial as Dream & Collie were. I personally think this is the Pumpkins best album.
    y2doggyon June 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHE SONG IS ABOUT FAITH IN GOD....!!!!!
    I've faced the fathoms in your deep (god is represented through water)
    Withstood the suitors quiet seige (withstood non believers attempts to dissuay his belief in god)
    pulled down the heavens just to please you, appease you (saying that he has and would do anything god asks)
    the wind blows and i know (the intangibility of his belief in god, he can't see it, but he can feel it; god is with him)
    I can't go on, digging roses from your grave (christianity is a religion that largely morns the death of jesus in some ways, returning to his death again and again -no offense implied there)
    to linger on, beyond the beyond. (morning jesus' death in order to get into heaven ..beyond the beyond)
    where the willows weep (where plants (live/human life) meet water (symbol of god as said in "fathoms and deep") in heaven man meets god.)
    and the whirlpool sleep (where god can rest)
    you'll find me (yet again, man and god meeting)
    The coarse tide reflects the sky
    this is the idea in the psalm of david (in the valley of the shadow of death) that says god is with us even when suffering. god being the tide (water again) reflecting the sky)
    and the Night Mare rides on... 2x
    (nightmare and mare come from different old english words, one meaning female horse; the other meaning evil spirit. this "night mare" a dark image of a horse that is also this "evil spirit" which is something taht is inevitably part of life... death.)
    with a december black psalm (a dark image that shows a direct reference to a psalm) (december being a reference to death -i.e. the december of our years)
    and the night mare rides on (the repetition shows the continuity of life and the fact that it will go on even after someone's death)
    What I fear is lost here (fearing being on earth or existing without a god existing...we all fear this, we all wondered at some point about the existence of god, this song preaches the contrairy: blind faith)
    the wind blows and i know (intangibility, faith, belief...whatever you wanna call it)
    all you have to do is run away (god leaving, hard times coming)
    and steal yourself from me (steal not only means rob, but to come and go discretely; god is absent and we feel like we are all of the sudden abandonned)
    become a mystery to gaze into (we analyze god much more when we are doubting as a society)
    you're so cruel in all you do (saying about how god is responsible for everything and things like death are evil)
    but still i believe, i believe in you (this is saying that although he feels god leaves him sometimes, he does believe in god... and he has faith in the end ..or finds faith in the end)
    so may you come with your own knives (to kill wtih a knife rather than a sword is a cliché of a "sneak attack"; this implies that god takes some people swiftly without warning --possibly inspired by the sudden death of a loved one)
    you'll never take me alive (god can take me away, but i wont be living anymore, so we will both lose..bc he wont have my life either, it will be gone)
    with all the force of what is true, is there nothing i can do? (with god and predestination as preached by christianity... is there any way for man to change his destiny or his time of death?)
    repetition of lines 16-13... then lines 1-3....
    the sudden change is taht he says "to hold the flower i can't keep"
    this flower is life... it shows how dearly he holds his life and does not want to let it go even though heaven is promised... this song seems to have been inspired by the death of a loved one and refers to his struggle to maintain faith in god)
    warnerjon December 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI would have to assume that this song was inspired by the unfortunate passing of Billy's mother, as are most of the songs on Adore. My personal interpretation of "The Night Mare Rides On" is two fold. 1) some one on a black horse rides on: as in Life goes on. And 2) it could be a play on words: nightmare- as in a living nightmare that goes on after a loved ones death. Any one care to comment on that idea?
    I definitely have to agree that the last line is the best and most haunting line I have heard.
    ghostchildon April 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually, contrary to most of these posts, I found the song to be it's own kind of satire; Corgan speaks of this msytasl place to which we have all be subject to find love overwhelming. however, love isn't about putting someone on a pedistal. it's about the synergy that comes from the two people involved in the relationship. Furthermore, the part of the song that kind of plays a goofy piano (pardon my musicial ignorance to styles), makes the clearest sense of what drives young lovers together in the first place. Almost like a bad joke, he makes mention that "All you have to do..." which, when a heart is broken, is the first thing the heart broken lover chooses to ignore "what you must do from here". Instead, (or at least in my case), the world ends up with another whiny goth, looking beyond the answer for a sign of what must be done to repair the illusion of what was believed to be a strong relationship.... It's not a song about the girl that got away, it's a song about acknowledging the fact that I cannot let go of this girl.
    DZiembaon March 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm fucking depressed right now... but this song is about her mother of course, he means as nightmare his life 'cause is his life must go on! in my case it relates for the loss of someone is close... as billy says, that someone could find me
    " where the willows weep
    and whirlpools sleep "
    'cause i'm fucking away of all the world and fucking alone too...
    ima_o_terrivelon August 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA loss - considering the time frame when this was composed, I'd say such loss would be the death of his mother, although the lyrics are ambiguous enough to fit into a simple breakup - hits him really hard, and he doesn't know how to escape from the sorrow that haunts him every day, hence the 'I can't go on digging roses from your grave'.

    With the loss, Billy doesn't know how to escape or how to retain the love from that lost person. He mentions how he did everything for her, enduring personal hell (the braces in your deep), loneliness (withstanding suitors), trying whatever that was possible and more (pulling down heavens), yet it was in vain.

    In a moment of pain, he thinks that all this person has to do is to go away swiftly - just 'become a mystery to gaze into, to run away' - but it's isn't possible, he can't get her out of his head. He even finds it unfair: 'You're so cruel'.

    The nightmare - pain - still rides on for him, as he can't seem to find a way to grief over the loss. That person demanded/meant much for him and that leaves him destroyed, but he is aware of the fact that this can't go on, he can't linger on the pain forever.

    It's no coincidence that this leads into 'For Martha', since there he finishes grieving. It's 13 minutes in total of pure, pure Corgan genius.
    Santiagofon March 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI LOVE the guitar solo in this.

    The song reminds me of a Frankenstein-esque love story. Yeah? An innocent, infatuated dreamer who pines for one he can't have. Then, the "...knives...never take me alive" part makes it seem like it's about Frankenstein and an angry mob.

    The interpretation is pretty loose but I like it.
    boribori90on April 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgooood song.
    So_Impossibleon May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song of all time. For whatever reason, themes of lost love have always appealed to me. It's very much like "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe. This song is beautiful; the swirling mist that the music creates serves to compliment the beyond brilliantly sad lyrics of Billy Corgan, the greatest songwriter of all time. This album, ADORE, is worth buying for this one song (not to mention the other fifteen amazing tracks that are on it). The ending gets me every time: To hold the flower I can't keep...
    DeathRockBoyon May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso may you come with your own knives
    you'll never take me alive
    with all the force of what is true
    is there nothing I can do?

    this part is great because he sounds defiant as if he saying, no way you'll ever take me/get the best of me and yet he's hopeless cause he says is there nothing i can do?

    to linger on, beyond the beyond
    where the willows weep
    and whirlpools sleep, you'll find me
    the coarse tide reflects sky

    i like that part too because it seems a bit like a fantasy to me and very slow and mystical.
    Neroon March 12, 2003   Link

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