Lyric discussion by VerminJerky 


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There seems to be some debate about the exact shades of meaning in the final verse. I think the references aren't terribly obscure or symbolic. They're fairly straightforward.

"On the road to New Orleans"

Specifically, it happened in the bayou town of Slidell, on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. New Orleans is on the south shore.

goo.gl/maps/qtmZN

"A spray of stars hit the screen"

In 1957, Ms. Mansfield appeared on a television show called "Shower of Stars." It immediately followed her debut in starring roles in 1956 and kicked off the most successful year of her film career.

Source: Internet Movie Database. imdb.com/name/nm0543790/

I think Siouxsie, in all her morbid glory, is comparing Mansfield's debut and the publicity which followed to the physical impact of the crash. Hitting the silver screen juxtaposed with hitting the windscreen.

"As the tenth impact shimmered The forbidden candles beamed"

These lines reference a story regarding Ms. Mansfield's involvement with the Church of Satan. Supposedly Sam Brody, Mansfield's married lover, angered Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, by lighting altar candles in LaVey's home which were only to be lit by Satan himself.

LaVey is said to have declared to Mansfield that Brody had been cursed by Satan and would suffer a series of car crashes, then die in one within the year. Anyone with him would also suffer death. (The crash that killed Mansfield and Brody in fact spared three survivors in the same car.)

Source: The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue, John P. Newport. Published 1997. books.google.com/books

According to the book, "In order to spite LaVey, Brody lit the forbidden candles on the altar, which only the devil himself supposedly had the authority to light."

LaVey and Mansfield did know each other and were photographed together a number of times. One shoot seems to depict them enacting a ritual together. This incident was also confirmed, in considerably less lurid detail, by Anton's daughter Karla LaVey in a segment on A Current Affair.

youtube.com/watch

(It's worth noting that Anton LaVey didn't believe in Satan or curses any more than he believed in flying pink elephants. The Church of Satan is an anti-theist atheist organization and doesn't believe in the supernatural at all. LaVey might have just said this because he didn't like Sam Brody.)

Apparently some versions of this oft-embellished and retold tale, including the one that reached Siouxsie's ears, have it that Brody and Mansfield suffered nine car crashes before the tenth killed them. It's difficult to source because it's just one version of a story that became an urban legend.

So there you have it. The final verse is a combination of facts and popular legends regarding Mansfield's life and death.

My Interpretation

@VerminJerky Thanks for the info about LaVey and CoS. it confirms something I have long suspected. And people think Hitchens was confrontational.

@VerminJerky so many words just to say, satan lit the candles when she was taken from her family.

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