"Today" as written by and William Patrick Corgan....
Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow
Tomorrow's much too long
I'll burn my eyes out
Before I get out

I wanted more
Than life could ever grant me
Bored by the chore
Of saving face

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out

Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings

Today is
Today is
Today is
The greatest day

I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you

Today is the greatest
Today is the greatest day
Today is the greatest day
That I have ever really known

Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by tur2rr2rr

"Today" as written by William Patrick Corgan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Today song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentToday was the first song, Billy Corgan wrote after the 18 month long Gish tour. Before
    Today was written, Billy was depressed and suicidal. Today was a "things-can't-get any
    worse" song. Today made Billy realize he should give up trying to be what everyone else
    wanted him to be. "I reached a point in my life where I felt like I was living through some
    old character," he(Billy) says. "It's like you assume some character and you take that as
    far as it can go and then it doesn't work anymore, so you shed your skin-and that's kind of
    what happened to me. I had become something that I probably am not in order to succeed
    and at some point I realized that, whatever I was, was hurting me, so I needed to go
    through the process of getting rid of that person. I had to kill off one part of me so that I
    could go on, and some of that started in the writing of the songs."
    Soot and Starson April 15, 2002   Link
  • +9
    General CommentThis song is obviously about suicide, but I'm surprised at some of the interpretations here. My take on it is that it is that moment you decide you want to kill yourself. I've felt this feeling before and at that moment you really don't feel sad anymore. You actually feel at peace and empowered. If you ask someone that is going to kill themselves "what is wrong?" the answer will almost always be "nothing" if they have already made up their mind. They don't need your help any longer they don't need your approval any longer they don't need any input whatsoever from you any longer. So with this main thought in mind I'll go by lyrics:

    "Today is the greatest
    Day I've ever known"

    As described above they're finally at peace and all is well now because they have a plan.

    "Can't live for tomorrow,
    Tomorrow's much too long"

    Again, the decision is made and it won't be long before they execute their suicide.

    "I'll burn my eyes out
    Before I get out"

    Another thought that someone that is going to kill themselves has is "How will people remember me?". And ultimately for a severely depressed person they decide that they don't care how people will remember them. You have some people that will threaten suicide to get back at people and such, but those aren't the ones you have to watch out for its the ones that simply don't care about anything anymore. So this line to me is just another step in the process of coming to the conclusion of killing yourself. You will forget about all wordly things that you've seen because soon it will all be over anyway.

    "I wanted more
    Than life could ever grant me"

    Sticking with the theme of accepting your decision to kill yourself this might be a thought that goes through your head. The thought that you can never be happy living.

    "Bored by the chore
    Of saving face"

    As stated above once someone decides they're going to do it they don't care how others will view their action. Many people feel sad and like killing themselves at one time or another, but most people will think about others and decide that ultimately it isn't the right thing to do. They'll have thoughts of things such as, "Will it hurt?", "What if I survive?", "What is the best way to do it?", and "Who am I leaving behind?". For those that finally decide they're going to go through with it though they don't have these thoughts anymore. They've thought about it and rethought about it over and over and are simply too worn out to worry about it any longer and it is time to just do it. So again they kind of emotionally let go of what people think about them.

    "I'll tear my heart out
    Before I get out"

    They will stop caring about the people they once loved. How can they kill themselves if they still have ties to this world? They can't so they have to let go and forget about what people will think, how people will view them, family, and friends. So this verse along with the other "Before I get out" verse is burn my eyes out and tear my heart out. Since burn eyes comes first I view this as forgetting about the people they'll leave behind, but not until later in the song when they're ready to tear their heart out do they actually find the strength to not care and move to the next step of the suicidal process.

    "Pink ribbon scars
    That never forget"

    They have had a failed suicide attempt previously.

    "I tried so hard
    To cleanse these regrets"

    In their failed suicide attempt previously they tried really hard to kill themselves, but still didn't succeed. This lets them know they're going to have to try harder and it also reaffirms the fact that they're a failure.

    "My angel wings
    Were bruised and restrained"

    Thinking back to when things were okay and they were innocent. Even from early on they had problems and were held back in some way from doing what they wanted to do or what was important to them. This can really mean the earliest instance they remember where they felt bad like things were hopeless.

    "My belly stings"

    And for "leavemesour" I think this line is the hurt you feel right after remembering that beginning of it all. The reason your belly stings in this instance is because you start to think what could have been if a few different decisions were made or a few things took place. You start to gain a little hope of what could have been basically. But this is no time for hope and earlier you made the deal with yourself to not care about any of this stuff anymore so you push it back down and you pushing it down and hiding it away physically pains you.

    "I want to turn you on
    I want to turn you on
    I want to turn you on
    I want to turn you"

    I have two interpretations of this:

    1) This is a specific instance of the problem that the person is having. What I mean is "I want to turn you on" could mean the person is killing themselves over some girlfriend/boyfriend that they couldn't satisfy. I don't really like this interpretation though.

    2) It could also mean nothing specifically and just be a way of showing that the person went through with killing themselves because the fourth line cuts off before it is finished. I like this interpretation a little more.

    "Today is the greatest
    Today is the greatest day
    Today is the greatest day
    That I have ever really known"

    And its the greatest day they have ever really known because they're at peace and they know it will be over soon.
    Vortex33on May 17, 2008   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI think that the genius of this song is the fact that it could be so hopeless sounding and beautiful at the same time so that the song both complimented and conctradicted itself. The catchy guitar, to me, represents that everything on the surface is happy and right. The depressing words show how, if you look beneath the surface, you find a whole world of darkness and hurt. It really is brilliant. In many ways, its about more than suicide, its practically a world view of everything having a nice appearance but a sad and futile depth to it. Genius in every sense
    whataweirdoon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is basically Billy's "joke" about how he wants to kill himself. Sardonically saying 'this is the greatest day of my life because from now on, things are so bad that they can't get any worse'. It's rather nihilistic, in a way. Anyone else agree?
    DeathRockBoyon May 28, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI always loved this song, but as a Pumpkins' fan, I felt this song overshadowed many of thier less appreciated works, and I always had a slight grudge against this song. Not anymore. To me, this song represented Billy hitting rock bottom and becoming depressed to the point where all he could do was laugh about it. The song is beautiful and blissfully hopeful musically, and the starkly contrasting, sarcastic lyrics make this song the literal definition of irony. Never before has irony been so moving, majestic and amazing. In terms of analyzing specific lines of the song, one thing most people seem to miss is the meaning of the "I wanna turn you on" line; to me, I think it represents how Billy was trying so hard to garner positive attention and to build a positive public persona, and it simply did not turn out. He wanted to turn us on, but in trying to do so, turned some people off. Otherwise, all the other lines are covered somewhere in the comment box. Smashing Pumpkins=Most Important Band of the 90's, end of discussion.
    PJP9623on September 08, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's about living every day with the awareness that you could die at any time. Which is something that everybody "knows" on an intellectual level, but most of us have defense mechanisms in our minds that don't let it fully sink in. Because it would be a terrible burden to be fully aware of that, wouldn't it?

    Not entirely.

    When you know that, at any moment, you could be dead, it makes you grateful that for now, you aren't. In this moment, you are a living, breathing human being. The past doesn't exist anymore, and the future is just an idea, and one that could be ripped away from you in a second at that. Right now is all you have, and the only thing you can count on, thus, every day that you can open your eyes and take a breath is the "greatest day," no matter what is happening to you. It's the only day you really have, after all, and it would be a shame to waste it. Note the line at the end: "that I have ever REALLY known." Finally realizing the true value of another day of life.

    It sounds like the speaker in this song spent a lot of their life hesitating. Until they were a better person, until their life was better, until they were "sure" about everything... Always worrying and never satisfied. But that isn't any way to live, is it? No matter how flawed you or your life is, your time to be happy is NOW. Because you might not get another chance.

    I don't think it's really a "cheerful" song or a "dark" song. I think it has a bittersweet sense of urgency, with all the happiness, fear, and sadness that go along with it. Sure, you might not get another tomorrow. But you have today.
    Atagamay41on August 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commenton the opening line of the song he says "ever", and the second time that line is repeated he says "never"...at least thats how the lyrics are in the booklet
    treestumpon December 05, 2001   Link
  • +2
    General Commenttreestump: yeah, I guess you're right. I just listened to the song, and he sure does say "never known" in the second verse. Thanks for pointing that out.
    hezaon December 07, 2001   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy mistake...
    Pumpkin-86on December 14, 2001   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNah... Billy never did attempt suicide.
    Because if he had, he knew he would succeed.
    Geek UKon April 14, 2004   Link

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