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Is This Smashing Pumpkins Song Secretly About Super Mario?

Reddit's crackpot theorists make an extremely compelling case. The world is a vampire?

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The most famous song by the Smashing Pumpkins, the mid 1990s most famous rock band, is "Bullet With Butterfly Wings". Everyone's heard it, and everyone has always thought the lyrics groaned by morose Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan were about the usual 90s topics: depression, anomie, loneliness, and apathy.

BUT! Over at r/shittyfantheories, Reddit user Iamnotbroke has published an extremely convincing close read of the song's lyrics, and come to an entirely unexpected conclusion: Bullet With Butterfly Wings is actually about Super Mario.

What follows are the lyrics to the song (set off in quotations), annotated with Iamnotbroke's theory.

Decide for yourself.

"Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flame."


Bowsers minions, some of whom shoot fire-balls, not to mention jet flames, spinning flame wheels and sentient flames in desert levels and of course Bowser who shoots flames.


"Even though I know - I suppose I'll show All my cool and cold - like old job."


Mario knows what will happen every time he wakes up but he shows up anyway, he now has ice flower power-ups, it is his old job.

"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?"


Mario can change into a frog, cat, racoon etc, he knows it's just a game and when he gets hit he becomes the same as he's always been.


"Tell me I'm the only one Tell me there's no other one Jesus was the only son, yeah. Tell me I'm the chosen one Jesus was the only son for you"


Mario is jealous of his brother Luigi who now gets his own spinoff games even though he is the one and only real hero.

Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.

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