You and me
Meant to be
It's destiny,
Pure lunacy,

But for the last time
You're everything that I want and ask for.
You're all that I'd dreamed.
Who wouldn't be the one you love?
Who wouldn't stand inside your love?
Protected and the lover of
A pure soul and beautiful you.

Don't understand.
Don't feel me now.
I will breathe
For the both of us.
Travel the world.
Traverse the skies.
Your home is here
Within my heart.

And for the first time,
I feel as though I am reborn
In my mind
Recast as child and mystic sage.
Who wouldn't be the one you love?
Who wouldn't stand inside your love?

And for the first time,
I'm telling you how much I need and bleed for
Your every move and waking sound.
In my time
I'll wrap my wire around your heart and your mind.
You're mine forever now.
Who wouldn't be the one you love and live for?
Who wouldn't stand inside your love and die for?
Who wouldn't be the one you love?

I remember the first night Talia and I spent together. We had just discovered that we were both Pumpkin fans, and listened to this song together, snuggling together on my bed. In retrospective, I can now see that that had been the perfect prelude to the fiery romance we lived through that first summer.

The Smashing Pumpkins' song lyrics are usually not this coherent. To me, that's their essential charm. Billy Corgan usually only writes teen poetry and then puts music to it; really bad teen poetry. That's why they are appealing to me, in my late adolescence. It's as if the intensity of emotion, the intensity of Corgan's perpetual teen angst precludes him from writing lyrics that make sense to anyone, except at a visceral level. That is what I get from listening in my relative maturity to The Smashing Pumpkins. Intensity of emotion. The words don't make sense, but compounded with the music they do, and they explain to me, never too late, what my teenage years were like. I remember feeling these storms, and now the Pumpkins' music reminds me of those feelings.

In the confusion of ordinary Pumpkins songs, Stand Inside Your Love is a rare treat because the lyrics actually make sense. This is an ordinary straight-up love song, and the only ordinary Pumpkins love song I can think of. Corgan himself stated in an interview that it's probably the only love song he's ever written. Arguably, "Perfect", "Ava Adore", or "To Sheila", all tracks from the previous album Adore, could also be considered love songs, but they are not as passionate, as evident, as blatant as "Stand Inside Your Love". "You're everything that I want and ask for," these are the common themes of any recognisable pop song, and it isn't often that Billy Corgan puts the conventional to music.

In fact, what sets "Stand Inside Your Love" from the myriad of other conventional love songs out there is that this isn't a pop song. Unlike pop love songs, "Stand Inside Your Love" really rocks. "Stand Inside Your Love" was released as one of the flagship singles of the concept album MACHINA/The Machines of God, which had Jimmy Chamberlain back at the drums, a welcome return after his hiatus on Adore. His percussions complement Corgan's vocals with a power that the drum machine from Adore never could. Each time in the song that Corgan needs to break out in a drawn-out note of passion, Chamberlain is there to signal its beginning and to walk with him in perfect synchrony to its consummation.

James Iha also gives the song a unique "Classic Smashing Pumpkins" feel, as Corgan himself describes it, in the sense that the song could have come from any album and brings memories of their earlier work, when they could have been classified as a grunge or alternative band. Iha's guitar riffs follow along with Corgan's peculiar vocals during the quieter and introspective portions of the song, but seem to almost wrestle for control and prominency with him during the fiercer parts, as if mimicking the game and battle lovers play and fight in their relations.

"Stand Inside Your Love" is also unusual in that Corgan's motivations and intent in writing this song are perfectly clear: it's a love song for his then-girlfriend Yelena Yemchuk. In fact, she makes an appearance in the song's video and dances in black-and-white gothic makeup reminiscent of what Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy Wretzky wears on the cover art of Adore (for which, by the way, Yemchuk was also the photographer).

According to Corgan, he wrote the song lyrics in under ten minutes. All he had in mind was this one line "who wouldn't stand inside your love". Suddenly, a flood of memories and emotions overcame him, and the lyrics spilled out onto the page, just like that. It shows. Their ardour isn't something that can be planned; passion happens thus. I can understand that. An artist's best work is often the most spontaneous.

The song is exactly like this overbearing sentimentality. It's precisely what pure love is. Maddening. "Pure lunacy". Moving. "Traverse the skies". Emotive. "I feel as though I am reborn". Reckless. "Don't understand, don't feel me now." Selfless, giving. "I wil breathe for the both of us." Possessive. "You're mine forever now." And questioning. "Who wouldn't be the one you love?"

This summer, a few weeks ago, I went back to Canada to say goodbye to Talia. Our love, though we dared not call it by name anymore but that's what it was, had not waned after our long separation. If anything, it had matured after the tests it endured. We knew, however, that circumstance, cruel fate, and outrageous fortune would separate us again for what could be an eternity. We had to say farewell. We listened to this song one last time. This was our goodbye. Talia cried on my shoulder. And I was left wondering, Talia, who wouldn't be now the one you love?

Goodbye, Tal.

Some of Billy Corgan's thoughts about this song can be found at (accessed July 30, 2005)

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