Smells Like Children

Smells Like Children cover
  • Release date: October 24, 1995
  • Genre: Rock, Avant-Garde
  • Length: 54:43
  • Label: Interscope
  • Written by: Marilyn Manson, Daisy Berkowitz, Twiggy Ramirez, M. W. Gacy, Gidget Gein (through remixed material)
  • Cover songs by: David A. Stewart, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye
  • Remixes by: Dave Ogilvie, Joe Bishara, Anthony Valcic, Charlie Clouser

Track List

Marilyn MansonTony WigginsTony WigginsMarilyn MansonTwiggy RamirezM.W. GacyDaisy Berkowitz
The Hands of Small ChildrenXX
Diary of a Dope FiendX??X
Shitty Chicken Gang BangX
Kiddie GrinderRemix by Dave Ogilvie, Joe Bishara, Antony Valcie
Sympathy for the ParentsThe Phil Donahue Show
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)Eurythmics cover (David Stewart)X
Everlasting CocksuckerRemix by Charlie Clouser
Fuck FrankiePerformed by Manson and Tony Wiggins
I Put a Spell on YouScreamin' Jay Hawkins cover (Jay Hawkins)X
May Cause Discoloration of the Urine or FecesPhone call between Manson's mother and grandmother
Scabs, Guns, and Peanut ButterX
Dance of the Dope HatsRemix by Dave Ogilvie, Joe Bishara, Antony Valcie
White TrashX??
Dancing with the One-Legged...The Phil Donahue Show
Rock 'n' Roll NiggerXPatti Smith cover (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye)
Secret untitled songX


Smells Like Children encapsulates a period in the band's life when it was on a self-destructive binge. They were disappointed with their lack of commercial success, pissed off with their life and each other after the tribulations of their last tour, Manson's relationship with his girlfriend Missi was on the decline because he was never around, and instead of working on the next album they were pushed by the record label to go on another tour with Danzig. To make matters worse, the Danzig tour acquainted them with Danzig's tour bus driver, Tony Wiggins, who amplified their chaotic tendencies with drugs, alcohol, and general depravity. Tony Wiggins stayed in touch with them after the end of the tour, continuing to lure them to the same chaotic behavior they engaged in on the Danzig tour. Somehow, despite all the distractions, they managed a creative streak that resulted in 13 songs that would later become the record Antichrist Superstar, but the record label wasn't interested in their demo tapes, and instead had them create an EP to continue promote their debut album. And thus, Smells Like Children was born.

It should come as no surprise given the above introduction that Smells Like Children was a Frankenstein of anything but quality original material. The work of a messed-up and pissed off band who wanted to do a completely different record. This is a record full of remixes, audio experiments, and non-music recordings, a lot of which came from their appearance on Phil Donahue's talk show in an episode about the dangers of moshing. The only musically serious work on this album was the second track and the three cover songs, so in other words- mostly music they didn't write (although they succeeded in making these songs their own, and one of them- Sweet Dreams- became their first real hit). Nevertheless, as it often happens in art, this record became an accurate reflection of who they were at the time, and through that, had picked up a theme of lost innocence. In his autobiography "The Long Hard Road Out of Hell", Manson described the record as follows:

Smells Like Children was supposed to be a record for someone who's no longer a child, someone who, like myself, wants their innocence back now that they're corrupted enough to appreciate it. What began as a very disturbing record had become a record that disturbed only me.

Children's stories and their hat wearing antagonists

Childhood was a key theme in the band's early work, which was rife with references to movies and TV shows that were aimed at children, but often took on a deeper meaning when viewed as an adult. Even though you could already see the band exploring new territory on this record, since it was still a derivative of their previous record, some of these themes of childhood naturally carried over. In fact, in an interview with Axcess, Manson said that with Smells Like Children, he "wanted to make a children's record that wasn't for children", reminiscent of the things that he used to listen to when he was a kid, like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, two movies known for their iconic hat wearing villains, whom Manson drew a lot of inspiration from.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Movie Poster

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory is a 1971 film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor child who wins an invitation to tour Willy Wonka's chocolate factory along with a few other kids. The chocolate factory is a sort of wonderland of candy, but it soon turns out that it's a rather dangerous wonderland, and that its owner, Willy Wonka, is a pretty shady character. For what is essentially a children's story, it skews surprisingly hard towards the horror genre.

In his autobiography, Manson said that:

I've always felt a kinship with Willy Wonka. Even at that age, I could tell that he was a flawed hero, an icon for the forbidden. The forbidden in this case was chocolate, a metaphor for indulgence and anything you're not supposed to have, be it sex, drugs, alcohol or pornography.

On this album Willy Wonka references appear in the artwork and song names. The movie was also supposed to be sampled in one of the songs, but this plan was axed due to copyright reasons.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Movie Poster

This was a children's musical film based on Ian Fleming's novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car. It tells the story of two siblings who grow fond of a racing car wreck that's about to be sold for scrap. After succeeding in raising enough money to purchase it themselves, they name it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the unusual noise its engine makes, and go on various adventures in the car, which turns out to be capable of many magical feats like flying or transforming into a boat. The main antagonist in the story is the Child Snatcher, a hat wearing man with a large nose with which he can smell children, who tries to kidnap the children throughout the story. The Child Snatcher became an inspiration for the song Organ Grinder, which appears on this album in its remixed form as Kiddie Grinder, and he also inspired the cover and name of the album. The album cover is also reminiscent of this character.

The Phil Donahue Show appearance

Band's appearance on the Phil Donahue Show

Marilyn Manson always considered his work to be the product of talk-show America, so it was rather fitting that eventually he would end up as a guest in one of them. In 1994 Manson and the rest of the band were featured on a talk show called The Phil Donahue Show. The episode's subject was moshing, and the band was featured as a music group that has moshing in their shows. Parts from the show were used in multiple tracks of the album with some sound effects applied to them.


During the Portrait of an American Family tour, the band befriended a chicken. It was discovered in their backstage area in a venue in Texas, and Manson decided to adopt it and name it Jebediah. The chicken proceeded to tour with them to multiple locations, performing with them on stage (safely locked in the cage it was discovered in), and sometimes even contributing vocals to the performance. During a show in Dallas, the cage was accidentally kicked open and the chicken flew into the crowd. It crowd-surfed for a little bit before someone took it away, and it was sent to live in a farm... or the grocery store. Since that incident, "kill the chicken" became a euphemism for either getting high or going all the way, and that was the inspiration for the multiple chicken jokes and references in the Smells Like Children era.

The EP that wasn't

During the Danzig tour, Manson and Wiggins picked up a new hobby: carrying out confession sessions for willing fans. The confessions were essentially S&M sessions; the fans were tied naked to a bondage contraption, whipped, and asked to confess something. The confessions were recorded, and two of these recordings were meant to be tracks in the Smells Like Children EP. Since the band didn't have written permission from the participants to use the recordings, the record label forced the band to remove them from the record, but a few thousand copies of the original EP were mistakenly printed and sent to journalists and radio stations. So now we know that instead of The Hands of Small Children, the EP was meant to open with a track called Abuse Part 1 (There Is Pain Involved), which was one of the recorded confessions, and instead of May Cause Discoloration of Urine and Feces was supposed to be the track Abuse Part 2 (Confession). This article will cover both versions, since it can be argued that the version with the Abuse tracks is the real version of the album.

Other differences between the leaked version and the final version are samples from movies that were meant to be incorporated in the songs but were removed due to copyright reasons.

About this analysis

Since this album is mainly a remix album of songs from Portrait of an American Family, instead of doing full lyrical analysis, which I did in the Portrait of an American Family analysis, I will instead concentrate on the differences between these tracks and the originals, since that is where the crux of this album is. For the missing lyrical analysis, see the Portrait of an American Family analysis article.

Since this article is about Marilyn Manson, I will not be doing analysis for lyrics that weren't written by Manson. I will however provide commentary on the choice of the cover songs, as well as the creative license that was taken on them.

Song Analysis

Abuse Part 1 (There Is Pain Involved) / The Hands of Small Children

In his autobiography, Manson described the story behind the Abuse Part 1 recording:

Wiggins brought a woman backstage who asked to be humiliated and abused. The play started out light, but she kept asking to escalate it further and further until finally she screamed that her life didn't matter and asked them to kill her. The excerpt from the tape had Wiggins worrying that he had gone too far and trying to deescalate the situation. According to Manson, it was one of the few times he had seen Wiggins act with restraint.

On the incorporation of the recording in the album, Manson wrote in his autobiography:

On the [original] album, as soon as she said her life didn't matter and begged to be killed there was a loud, ambiguous, cataclysmic crash and then the bassline of "Diary of a Dope Fiend" slowly kicked in. It was a perfect preface to an album about abuse: sexual abuse, domestic abuse, drug abuse, psychological abuse.

The following is a transcript of the Abuse Part 1 recording as it appeared on the album (the Abuser in the recording is Tony Wiggins):

(Abuser:) This is what you want right here. This is what you want! This is what you want!
(Witness): Tony she said watch it 'cause she is..
(Abuser:) She doesn't want her face hurt. You're okay, aren't you, baby?
(Victim): Oh, god, yes!
(Abuser:) You okay, aren't you? You like it, don't you? Don't you!?
(Victim): Yes!
(Abuser:) You like it, don't you? Don't you!?
(Victim): Yes!
(Abuser:) Don't you? You like it, don't you?!
(Victim): Yes! I like it!
(Abuser:) Yes, you do.
(Victim:) Let my finger go..
(Abuser:) Feel good? Feel good?
(Victim): Oh, god... Oh...
(Abuser:) It's okay, we're not gonna kill you. We're not gonna kill you. We're not gonna kill you. We're not gonna kill you.
(Victim): I don't care. I don't like the value of my life much anyway, so you can do whatever you fucking want!
(Abuser:) We're not gonna kill you! Just relax and enjoy it. Relax and enjoy the pain! There is pain involved. There is pain involved. Relax and enjoy the pain, okay!? There is pain involved! You like it, don't you?
(Witness #2:) Hold up Tony, hold up
(Witness): Tony, hold it!
(Abuser:) You okay? You okay, aren't you? You okay?
(Victim): Yeah
(Abuser:) You okay?
(Victim): Yes. Yes!
(Abuser:) I'm not... I'm not gonna kill you
(Victim): I don't fucking care!
(Abuser:) You know I'm not gonna kill you, don't you?
(Victim): This is so fucking good! This is like...
(Abuser:) You know I'm not gonna kill you, don't you?
(Victim): Yeah! Ah! This is fucking awesome!

On the final version of the album, Abuse Part 1 was replaced with The Hands of Small Children, an audio experiment that was based on a sample from the song Cyclops slowed down to create a creepy sound, and also sped up to sound like a baby crying. Though it could hardly compare to the impact of the Abuse Part 1 recording, it nevertheless plays on a similar theme of abuse and innocence, creating an image of a baby being frightened by something scary.

The Hands of Small Children also has some unofficial lyrics:

La la la la la
Ring around the rosies
Pocket full of posies
Taste the hands of children
Happiness of children
Death lies in little hands of children
La la la la la
These lyrics are based on an English nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o' Rosies, which was also a playground singing game. In the game, the children form a ring, dance in a circle around a person (the "rosy") and fall down when the song ends. The slowest child to do so becomes the new "rosy".

The meaning of the rhyme is unknown, although we know it dates back hundreds of years. The lyrics in the Manson song take the meter and first two lines from the original rhyme, while the rest is made up. This bastardized version is an example of something that was common to the band's creative output during their early years: a juxtaposition of childhood things with sinister or deviant things, with the idea being that childhood is rarely exclusively innocent.

Diary of A Dope Fiend

This track is a rerecorded and rewritten version of the song Dope Hat. It is basically the only piece of original song writing on the album if we exclude the experimental tracks. While the original song was upbeat and kooky, this version is sluggish and sickly, and a perfect soundtrack to the messed up, drug-fuelled state the band (or perhaps just Manson) was in during that time.

The song title is a reference to Aleister Crowley's novel Diary of a Drug Fiend, a fictional novel based on Crowley's experiments with drugs. This thematically ties in with the theme of the song, which is about the relationship between a drug dealer and his drugs (and clients).

The song starts with a message to Manson's ex-girlfriend Melissa Romero, who broke up with him during that time: "Are you still in love with me, Missi? I am so pretty and withdrawn..."

Shitty Chicken Gang Bang

This is an instrumental keyboard track. We hear a calm keyboard melody playing along with what sounds like noises from a chemistry laboratory, and then there's an explosion, presumably because the experiment blew up. The song title is a parody of the kids novel/film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a story about kids who save a magical flying car, and then go on adventures in it. The exploding lab scenario that is implied in this track was probably chosen because the kids' caretaker is an inventor.

Although easy to dismiss as simply dark humor, this track does play into the record's loss of innocence theme by essentially mangling the image of a beloved children's story. It's also thematically fitting to act as segue to the next track Kiddie Grinder, a remix of the song Organ Grinder, which was inspired by the child snatcher character in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Kiddie Grinder

This is a remix of Organ Grinder, a song that can be summarized as being about the relationship between parents, children, and rockstars (or other figures that tempt children).

On the original version (the one accidentally sent out as promotional copies), this track had audio samples of the Child Snatcher from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who was an inspiration for the song.

Sympathy for The Parents

This is an excerpt from the band's appearance in The Phil Donahue Show. Below is a transcript:

(Woman from audience): I want to know um... why it is that all of you seem to have Satanic signs all over you and what is that make... Does this music cause you to do what you do?
(Marilyn Manson): Is that directed at us or the parents?
(Donahue): That's funny... Twiggy?
[Twiggy presses Play on a portable tape recorder, playing the track Scabs, Guns and Peanut Butter] (Marilyn Manson): Does the music cause us to do what we do?
(Donahue): That's your little tape recorder... okay
(Marilyn Manson): We cause the music to do what it does... I think I think moshing is a sign of what Christians would call uh... the Apocalypse

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

This song was originally an 80s pop song by the band Eurythmics. According to his autobiography, Manson got the idea to cover this song during an LSD trip in which he hallucinated a "slower, meaner" version of the song sung in his voice. With this new aesthetic reinterpretation of the song, the band pretty much made it their own, and it became their first hit, paving the way to mainstream success.

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world
And the seven seas,
Everybody's looking for something.
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.
In his autobiography, Manson referred to this song as the centrepiece of the album, saying that:
In a single lyric, it summed up not only the album but the mentality of nearly everyone I had met since forming the band:
"Some of them want to abuse you/Some of them want to be abused.""
I wanna use you and abuse you
I wanna know what's inside you
Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on

Everlasting Cocksucker

This is a remix of the track Cake and Sodomy, a song criticizing white trash America. The title track is a parody of Willy Wonka's "Everlasting Gobstopper", a fictional candy from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory story, which could be eternally sucked without losing flavor. The original version of the album was supposed to have an audio sample of a song sung by the factory's dwarf workers, taken from the movie. As with other samples missing from the final version, it was removed due to copyright issues.

Fuck Frankie

Frankie Proia was Manson's tour manager during the Portrait of an American Family tour. He was fired after he "ran up $20,000 in expenses he couldn't explain", and this track is their way of making fun of him. The track was simulated by Manson who plays the groupie, and Tony Wiggins who plays the abuser.

(Abuser): Say fuck Frankie
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck, fuck
(Abuser): Frankie
(Groupie): Frankie
(Abuser): Say it
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie
(Abuser): Say it
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck him, fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie
(Abuser): Say it
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie
(Abuser): Say it
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie
(Abuser): Keep your focus
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie
(Abuser): Keep your focus, say fuck Frankie
(Groupie): Fuck Frankie, fuck Frankie, fuck, fuck
(Abuser): Frankie

I Put A Spell On You

This is a cover of a Screamin' Jay Hawkins song which was originally released in 1956. Jay Hawkins started his career as a run of the mill blues singer, and initially intended I Put A Spell On You to be a ballad, but then some alcohol was introduced to the recording studio, and he blurted out a wild, demented version instead. The song, along with the cannibalism inspired live performance, was heavily censored, making him one of the earliest shock acts, and the kind of artist who Manson could find natural kinship with.

I put a spell on you
because you're mine
I can't stand the things that you do
no, no, no, I ain't lyin'
I don't care if you don't want me,
cause I'm yours, yours, yours anyhow
yeah, I'm yours, yours, yours
I love you, I love you
yeah, yeah, yeah,
I put a spell on you
lord, lord, lord!
cause you're mine, yeah
I can't stand the things that you do
when you're foolin' around
I don't care if you don't want me,
cause I'm yours, yours, yours anyhow
yeah, yours, yours, yours
I can't stand your foolin' around
if i can't have you,
no one will
I love you, you, you
I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, you, you
I don't care if you don't want me,
cause I'm yours, yours, yours anyhow

Abuse Part 2 (Confession) / May Cause Discoloration of the Urine or Feces

The 10th track of the album was supposed to have another confession recording. Its transcript is recreated here. As always, the interrogator is Tony Wiggins:

(Confessor): I was baby-sitting my little cousin.
(Interrogator): Hmm.
(Confessor): And his father has these... this little stash of those little women magazines and everything. And I made him... He's, like, really young, a little boy.
(Interrogator): How old is he?
(Confessor): Six, seven. Really tiny, and small, and innocent.
(Interrogator): And?
(Confessor): And he showed me the magazines, but they weren't really captivating. And then...
(Interrogator): You okay?
(Confessor): He played with his little innocent penis and I made him dance with me, and...
(Interrogator): Did he get a hard-on?
(Confessor): Somewhat, it's kinda possible.
(Interrogator): How'd that make you feel?
(Confessor): At the time...
(Interrogator): Did you feel like he had done something wrong and did you like it?
(Confessor): Both. I felt very powerful, actually...
(Interrogator): What else did you do with him?
(Confessor): I..orally gratified, uh whatever...
(Interrogator): You sucked his dick?
(Confessor): Yes. And... I just made him do things to me.
(Interrogator): What did he do to you? Did you make him touch you or lick you or what did you do?
(Confessor): I made him do all of those things.
(Interrogator): Hmm!?
(Confessor): I made him do all of those things.
(Interrogator): You wanna be punished now?
(Confessor): Mm-hmm.
(Interrogator): Hmm?
(Confessor): Mm-hmm.
(Interrogator): Better get my belt.
Interrogator slaps Confessor
(Confessor): Ow...

On the official version of the album, instead of the confession, we have a recording of a phone call between Manson's mother (Barb Warner) and grandmother (Blanche Wyer), in which the mother tries to give medical advice to the grandmother who complains of a headache. It eventually turns out that the grandmother didn't take her heart medicine, and I can only assume that the track's name was inspired by a warning label present in the medicine's information slip.

(Blanche Wyer): ...6:30 this morning.
(Barb Warner): I can't hear ya.
(Blanche Wyer): I woke at 6:30 this morning with a headache.
(Barb Warner): Oh...
(Blanche Wyer): I wonder to take 'em or not...
(Barb Warner): I wouldn't take 'em.
(Blanche Wyer): I don't know, the headache is heavier than anything else.
(Barb Warner): It's the first time that you took 'em?
(Blanche Wyer): Second.
(Barb Warner): Yeah...
(Blanche Wyer): I had a little bit of a headache this morning.
(Barb Warner): I wouldn't take 'em, mom.
(Blanche Wyer): I won't take 'em now, 'cause I have a toothache that hurts too a little bit. I've taken everything I got, been thinkin'
(Barb Warner): All that blood pressure medicine you take and stuff too. You shouldn't take those things. You're better off not to sleep then to take the...
(Blanche Wyer): ?
(Barb Warner): Oh, my god! No wonder you got a headache! Your pressure's probably sky high! Why don't... You gotta take that every day!
(Blanche Wyer): I try though...
(Barb Warner): Are you crazy?
(Blanche Wyer): It's been 3 days...
(Barb Warner): That's probably why you have a headache now...Did you take it today?
(Blanche Wyer): I did this morning, yeah.
(Barb Warner): That's probably why you have a headache, 'cause your pressure's up.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah.
(Barb Warner): I don't know how you can forget to take it. And when that's the only pill you take...
(Blanche Wyer): I'm sorry, I have so many pills you'd be surprised.
(Barb Warner): Well, the blood pressure pill is the most important one.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah, I know...
(Barb Warner): There ain't no other one as important as that one.
(Blanche Wyer): I got one more and then I gotta get to the store. I got two refills on it.
(Barb Warner): You only got one pill!?
(Blanche Wyer): I only take one a day...
(Barb Warner): Well, yeah, but you shouldn't let 'em get that low...
(Blanche Wyer): I guess not, but I can take one in the morning and then go get some more...
(Barb Warner): They're expensive! If you have to pay for 'em... Procardia?
(Blanche Wyer): No, the other one.
(Barb Warner): Which ones?
(Blanche Wyer): I gotta pay for procardia.
(Barb Warner): Were you taking that every day?
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah.
(Barb Warner): Well, that's the blood pressure pill... The heart pill, the procardia. And what's the other one?
(Blanche Wyer): Ah, H-Y-G-R-O-T-O-N.
(Barb Warner): Oh, that's something to do with water and... And... Water and, uh, blood pressure.
(Blanche Wyer): This one tag does say it's for blood pressure...
(Barb Warner): Yeah, I think it works like a water pill type pressure, but the procardia's the important one.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah.
(Barb Warner): You have to take that every day.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah.
(Barb Warner): You should take that the first thing when you get up...
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah...I know.
(Barb Warner): Well, how come you ain't got taken it?
(Blanche Wyer): I took it yesterday, the procardia.
(Barb Warner): Well, how come you didn't take it today?
(Blanche Wyer): I had the headache today...
(Barb Warner): That's why you have a headache! You gotta take the procardia... Take it now! That's what it's for, your headache! It's to make your blood pressure come down.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah.
(Barb Warner): If you don't you're gonna ha... You'll have a stroke if you don't take it. If you got a pretty... Headache that bad you're gonna have a stroke...
(Blanche Wyer): I got a headache that bad this morning.
(Barb Warner): Well, you better go take the procardia right now.
(Blanche Wyer): I will, I'll take it when I hang up.
(Barb Warner): You didn't take that other blood... blood pressure pill either?
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah, I did this morning...
(Barb Warner): Well, you should take the procardia right now.
(Blanche Wyer): I'll take the procardia in after nine. Got a horrible morning...
(Barb Warner): Well, you...
(Blanche Wyer): I'm glad you can't see it.
(Barb Warner): Well, how long has it been since you took the procardia?
(Blanche Wyer): Three days.
(Barb Warner): How many?
(Blanche Wyer): Three...
(Barb Warner): Well, see, that's ridiculous... You better go take it right now.
(Blanche Wyer): I will.
(Barb Warner): Then you'll find out your headache will go away.
(Blanche Wyer): Yeah. I've taken it now, the procardia, just yet.
(Barb Warner): Any other medicine you're taking ain't that important. You ain't got nothing but nerve pills. They ain't important.
(Blanche Wyer): I take those every day...
(Barb Warner): Well, the nerve pills ain't that important. The blood pressure medicine's important.

Scabs, Guns and Peanut Butter

This track is just the bass player (Twiggy Ramirez) strumming two chords on an acoustic guitar and humming along, sped up. When the band was featured in The Phil Donahue Show, Twiggy was asked why he is dressed the way he is, and he played this track on a tape recorder as an answer.

Dance of the Dope Hats

A remix of Dope Hat. No trivia here.

White Trash

This is an acoustic rendition of Cake and Sodomy performed by the notorious Tony Wiggins. In his autobiography Manson said that because the song criticizes southern Christian white trash, he felt that "there was no better way to remix it than to have Wiggins strum and twang a redneck version".

Wiggins altered some of the lyrics, so the changed lyrics can be found below. The words [in square brackets] are censored on the record.

virgins sold in quantity, [african-american] heredity
i'm playin' my guitar and i'm feelin' fine,
"why are all the [niggers] in the unemployment line?"
white trash get down on your knees,
time for cake and sodomy
teenage girl, a teenage queen,
'til she's on video, a porno queen
she likes to give head and she likes it mean,
that's why she's my little queen
white trash get down on your knees,
time for cake and sodomy
white boy tryin' to get some behind,
"who says date rape isn't kind?"
who's he gonna goad? Who's he gonna please?
it don't matter, as long as she's on her knees
white trash get down on your knees, time for cake and sodomy

Dancing with The One Legged

During the tour with Danzig, they had a battered doll of Huggy Bear, the pimp from Starsky and Hutch, which was missing a leg. Inside that doll they would hide drugs, and they referred to the use of those drugs as "dancing with the one-legged pimp", so this is what this track's title is a reference for. This track is yet another transcript from the Phil Donahue show.

(Manson):...You're gonna have a bunch of angry kids.
(Audience guest): Well when you do go out to a club, that, you just gotta watch yourself whatever you do. You just can't expect to go out there and just dance and don't get touched and non-violent because that's what it is. The music...
(Donahue): I, I don't see how you...
(Audience member): If you get the music inside your soul, anything can happen. You don't play the music, you can't get it. It's the music.
(Donahue): The music?
(Parent): Music is dangerous.
(Concerned citizen): My sympathy to the parents...

Rock 'n Roll Nigger

This is a Patti Smith cover. It was originally released on the 1978 album Easter. In his decision to cover the song, Manson said that:

I thought "Rock N Roll Nigger" was a song that I could really relate to, and our fans could relate to, about being an outsider. I also thought that nobody else really, in our era of music, had the courage to do a cover of a song like that because, you know, they would get in trouble for the title, but this song isn't about racism. It's about standing up for yourself.
And the world spreads its legs
For another fuckin' star
Cause I am the all-American antichrist
I was made in America
And America hates me for what I am
I am your shit
You should be ashamed of what you have eaten
I'm a rock and roll nigger
Like the original song, Manson's version also opens with a sort of free-form rant that isn't part of the official lyrics.

In a way this part is like a teaser for their follow up album Antichrist Superstar. It contains the theme of "you asked for me, you made me, and now you're gonna have to deal with me" that is part of the Antichrist Superstar concept.

The words "the world spreads its legs for another star" would appear later as a lyric in the Antichrist Superstar song Little Horn.
Baby was a black sheep
Baby was a whore
Baby's gotten big,
And baby's getting bigger
Baby got somethin'
Baby want more
Baby, baby, baby was a rock and roll nigger

How do you like the world around you?
Do you like what you see?
How do you like the world around you?
Ready to be...

Outside of society
Waiting for me
Outside of society
Is where I wanna be

Baby was a black sheep
Baby was a whore
Baby got big,
And baby's getting bigger
Baby got a gun
Got her finger on the trigger
Baby, baby, baby was a rock and roll nigger

Outside of society
Waiting for me
Outside of society
Is where I wanna be
Nigger, rock and roll nigger
I'm a rock and roll nigger
This is your world in which we grow,
And we will grow to hate you
We will grow to hate you
We will grow, we will grow
We will grow to hate you
We will grow, we will grow
We will grow to hate you

1, 2, 3, 4
As in the original song, we reach a break with another free form speech. Manson's version is different from the original song.
I was lost in the valley of pleasure
I was lost in the infinite sea
I was lost and begging for pleasure
And this world is waiting for me
Jimi Hendrix was a nigger
Jesus Christ and grandma, too
Brian Warner (what a nigger)
Nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger
Original lyrics, but the third line is changed. Brian Warner is the real name of Marilyn Manson.
Outside of society
Waiting for me
Outside of society
Is where I wanna be

Hidden Track

After the official track list ends there's a final secret track, which has two parts. The first is a slower, more ominous version of Shitty Chicken Gang Bang. The second part has more crying baby synth sounds and then an argument. The Pogo character is played by the band's keyboard player M. W. Gacy. The identity of the Man character is unknown.

Pogo: What game you wanna play?
Come on, step to me.
Play with me. What game you wanna play?
Wanna play a poop game? Wanna play a knife game?
Poop Party... Do you wanna go play towel?
Man: I hate you!
Pogo: You wanna play broken-glass-against-the-head game?
Man: I hate you, Satan motherfucker!
Pogo: Step to me!


The album doesn't have much artwork. However, there is something to be said about the front cover. The image of Manson is a reference to the child snatcher character from the children's film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, while the font for the band name is taken from the poster for the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory movie. Both of these children's movies also played a role as inspirations on the Portrait of An American Family album, the source material for Smells Like Children.

Album coverChild Snatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Willy Wonka logo

Easter Eggs

The liner notes jokingly list the band members as follows:

  • Reverend Marilyn Manson: Spitting, Self-Mutilation, Chickens
  • Twiggy Ramirez: Mini-Cassette, Fag Bass, Wigs
  • Daisy Berkowitz: Analog Distorted Filth Box, Electric Twangdoodles, Cigarettes
  • Madonna Wayne Gacy: Sound Deformation, Poop Games
  • Ginger Fish: Kiddie Pops, Live Drums

Some notes on that:

  • Spitting and Self-Mutilation are both things Manson did on stage (he would literally cut himself across the chest. You can see the scars from that on the Sweet Dreams music video). The chicken part is a reference to Jebbediah, the chicken Manson adopted while on the Danzig tour.
  • Mini-Cassette seems to be a reference to the mini cassette tape recorder Twiggy took with him on the Phil Dunehue show. The Fag Bass and Wigs part refers to his cross-dressing stage outfits.
  • Daisy Berkowitz's section basically lists him as being responsible for guitar amps and electric guitars. Also, he is a smoker.
  • M. W. Gacy is listed as responsible for sound deformation, referring to all the loops and sound editing he contributed to the music. The poop games part refers to something he says on the hidden track.

Beyond the Record

The era yielded one single and one music video, both for the song Sweet Dreams. The Sweet Dreams single doesn't have any new music or artwork.

Music Videos

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

There was only one video that came out of the Smells Like Children EP, but it was the video that brought them commercial success. The concept of the video was proposed by the director, who also came up with many of the images of the video like the ballerina dress and the pig riding and so on... Playing off of the song's title, it essentially looks like a weird, creepy nightmare, with bizarre scenes and many visual distortions. It was shot in a burned down church.