Great Big White World by Marilyn Manson Lyrics Meaning – Decoding the Desolation of Disconnection


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Marilyn Manson's Great Big White World at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

In space, the stars are no nearer
Just glitters like a morgue
And I dreamed I was a spaceman
Burned like a moth in a flame
And our world was so fucking gone

I’m not attached to your world
Nothing heals, nothing grows
I’m not attached to your world
Nothing heals, nothing grows

‘Cause it’s a great big white world
And we are drained of our colors
We used to love ourselves
We used to love one another

All my stitches itch
My prescription’s low
I wish you were queen, just for today
In a world so white, what else could I say?

And hell was so cold
All the vases are so broken
And the roses tear our hands open
Mother Mary, miscarry
But we pray just like insects
And the world is so ugly now

‘Cause it’s a great big white world
And we are drained of our colors
We used to love ourselves
We used to love one another

All my stitches itch
My prescription’s low
I wish you were queen, just for today
All my stitches itch
My prescription’s low
I wish you were queen, just for today
In a world so white, what else could I say?

‘Cause it’s a great big white world
And we are drained of our colors
We used to love ourselves
We used to love one another

All my stitches itch
My prescription’s low
I wish you were queen, just for today
All my stitches itch
My prescription’s low
I wish you were queen, just for today
In a world so white, what else could I say?

Full Lyrics

Amongst Marilyn Manson’s extensive catalogue, ‘Great Big White World’ stands out as a stark introspective on isolation, discontent, and a soul crying out for color in a monochromatic reality. Drawing a sonic landscape that is as chilling as it is thought-provoking, Manson dissects the heart of human detachment and societal alienation in a veritable palette of darkness edged with the deceptive glitter of a world that’s too gone to heal or grow.

As we dive into the crevices of this track’s haunting lyrics, a vivid and visceral narrative unfolds, one that holds a mirror up to the bleached bones of a culture that once vibrantly loved itself and each other. Manson’s poetic despondency is a sobering anthem for a world where the intrinsic colors of identity and connection have been drained away beneath a great big white facade.

Galactic Isolation and the Stardust Morgue

The song opens with cosmic imagery, conjuring a chilling sense of distance and existential disconnection. Describing stars as ‘no nearer’ and glittering like a ‘morgue,’ Manson paints a vivid picture of detachment, not just from the people around us, but from the universe at large. The universe, a space once thought to hold infinite possibilities, is rendered sterile and lifeless, as if the artist is floating aimlessly through a cold vacuum.

The elusive dream of being a ‘spaceman’—a timeless motif for ambition and adventure—quickly sours into a nightmare of being burned alive. Here, Manson deftly inverts this dream into an omen for modern existence, sacrificing the individual’s fire for the sake of a hollow voyage through plodding human experience.

Uncoloring the Canvas: Social Disengagement in a Palette-less World

The chorus’s beating heart lies in its tragic refrain: a ‘great big white world’ acts as a metaphor for a cultural landscape stripped of diversity and vibrancy. Manson mourns the loss of personal and shared identities that were once as distinct as individual colors. This bereft world emblematic of drained emotions emerges as an autopsy report of contemporary culture where true self-expression and brotherhood have faded into a homogenous and lifeless canvas.

Manson’s vocal delivery of feeling ‘drained of our colors’ encapsulates this bleaching process, articulating a grieving process not just for the individual, but for the collective soul of society—a lament for the times when self-love and mutual affection were celebrated, not censored by unspoken norms and oppressive uniformity.

The Tortuous Tug-of-War with Addiction

Burrowing beneath the surface of societal critique is the raw, personal battle with addiction, encapsulated in the visceral sensation of itching stitches and a dwindling prescription. The song taps into the overwhelming sense of dependence and desperation that accompanies substance abuse, while also alluding to the mental shackles that bind us in a perpetual cycle of needing more, yet receiving less.

The line ‘I wish you were queen, just for today’ could serve as a mournful plea for salvation, expressing a yearning for a guiding figure to reign over the chaos, if only momentarily. In an existence so devoid of color, moments of leadership or semblances of order provide a fleeting escape from the pressing constrictions of addiction.

Exposed Wounds and Petals of Pain: The Brutal Beauty

Manson juxtaposes the tenderness of roses with the violence of tearing hands, embodying the beauty and barbarity of life. Visual metaphors of ‘so cold’ hells, ‘so broken’ vases, and destructive roses further illustrate the agonizing side of existence, where seeking beauty or solace often leads to personal harm. It’s a visceral embodiment of the pain that often precedes healing—though, in this great big white world, healing is a myth.

The invocation of Mother Mary, a figure of purity and benevolence, mired in miscarriage, amplifies the perversion of innocence and corruption of faith. The act of praying like insects infers a blind, fervent devotion to a salvation that’s become as empty and ritualistic as the world Manson criticizes.

Deciphering the Hidden Anthem of Anomie

Beneath the dissonant thrum of industrial beats and the overture of nihilistic poetry, ‘Great Big White World’ conceals an anthem of anomie—a term sociologists use for the breakdown of social bonds and the widespread feelings of disconnection. Manson masterfully captures this state of normlessness, where individuals feel alienated from the communal tapestry and their innermost selves.

Within this miasma of despondent lyrics lies a compelling call to action: a denouncement of the societal constructs that bleach away the vibrancy of the human spirit. Listeners are invited to recognize the ‘great big white world’ as a construct, and are thus subtly urged to reclaim the lost colors of their personal worlds.

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