“Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)” by Marilyn Manson
The title of this song (“Heart-Shaped Glasses”) is actually a reference to the poster of an old Stanley Kubrick film entitled Lolita. Those familiar with the Lolita mythos know that it more or less centers on the idea of a mature man being sexually involved with an underaged girl.
Well at the time of the composition of this piece, Marilyn Manson was in fact dating a woman, Evan Rachel Wood, who is his junior by almost an entire generation.
As the story goes, one day she visited him wearing the same “heart-shaped glasses” as featured on the aforementioned poster, you know, sorta like a joke. And all of the above combined is what contributed to Manson penning this piece.
However, the first verse can be interpreted as the vocalist and the initial addressee being agemates, and he is harping back to being sexually involved with this “little girl” while they were both in school.
The reason why he is reminiscing on her, as implied by the second verse, is because in the here and now, he is dating someone, despite having grown older himself, who is similarly aged to a schoolgirl. And yes, there is an emotional side to this piece also. The said emotional aspect involves the vocalist admonishing the addressee not to ‘break his heart’.
“When the Heart Guides the Hand”
With that in mind, also note how the subtitle insinuates that the vocalist’s “hand”, as in his sex drive, is being ‘guided’ by his “heart”, i.e. his genuine love for the addressee.
But as far as the verses go, what he is celebrating is the physical side of their relationship, such as being unable to ‘take his hands off’ his current Lolita.
A Case of Sadomasochism?
And concerning the other intricacies of their union, it has been postulated that there may also be some sadomasochism or something of the sort involved in the equation. Moreover in the second verse, the vocalist seems to imply that maybe his girlfriend from the first verse did in fact break his heart.
Furthermore, there is also related terminology that suggests that maybe he too has proven to be a less-than-ideal romantic partner. And keep in mind that this is in fact Marilyn Manson we’re talking about. So perhaps the idea being put across is one that could have been relayed in a simpler narrative pointing to the notions of a tumultuous relationship that is held together primarily via sexual attraction/intercourse.
But at the end of the day, with references to “cutting” and “pins and needles” and the such, some people have interpreted these terms, once again given the artist, more literally.
And also in light of more recent events, bear in mind that Rachel Wood, despite being noticeably younger than Manson, was very much legal and did consent to dating him at the time. And since older men do seem to have a thing for younger women, part of the purpose of this song is in fact in celebration of the vocalist having a relative youngster to bonk.
When was “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)” released?
This song served as the lead single from the colorfully entitled “Eat Me, Drink Me” album. The album in question happens to be Manson’s sixth studio album.
“Heart-Shaped Glasses” itself was released on 17 April 2007. Both it and “Eat Me, Drink Me” are products of Interscope Records.
Manson co-authored and co-wrote this piece alongside a regular collaborator of his by the name of Tim Skold.
“Heart-Shaped Glasses” proved to be a notable hit, topping the UK Rock and Metal chart. It went on to chart in several more countries. For example, Manson gained a top-20 hit with this song in the following countries:
- Denmark – 13
- Italy – 6
- Scotland – 7
- Sweden – 18
- UK – 19
“Heart-Shaped Glasses” makes Headlines in 2022
As of the writing of this post, well over a decade after its release, this song made huge headlines internationally. This largely had to do with its video, as directed by Marilyn Manson. The co-star of the clip is the aforementioned Evan Rachel Wood. This is the actress whom Manson was dating at the time and who also inspired this song.
Also based on its description, said video is more or less semi-adult themed in nature. This is because it features, amongst other images, the two them being depicted as engaged in sensual acts. These acts were so serious that many people speculated they were actually doing it therein.
These are allegations which were denied by Marilyn Manson and initially by Rachel also. However, in late 2020, Wood she basically accused Manson of rape and other forms of abuse while they were dating.
Then in early 2022, she further went on to expound that even though she agreed to participate in the video to “Heart-Shaped Glasses”, she did so under the premise that she and Marilyn would be simulating sex.
However, once again according to Rachel, he rather used to opportunity to ‘penetrate her for real’. Or put more simply, he ‘essentially raped her’, in front of other people, i.e. the film crew and co., at that.
To note Manson is nearly 20 years Wood’s senior. At the time of the filming, he was 38 compared to her 20 years of age. But that said, his lawyer promptly proceeded to deny said rape claims on Marilyn’s behalf.