The Nobodies

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"The Nobodies"
The Nobodies cover
Song by Marilyn Manson
Album Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)
Released November 13, 2000
Recorded 1999–2000 at the Mansion in Death Valley, California
Genre Alternative metal, industrial metal
Length 3:35
Label Nothing, Interscope
Writer Marilyn Manson
Composer John 5, Marilyn Manson
Producer Marilyn Manson, Dave Sardy
Media

"The Nobodies" is the third and final single and the tenth track of the fourth album Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). The song was inspired by the Columbine massacre which took place on April 20, 1999. Also, the title was taken from statements made by Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's assassin, stating that he "felt like a nobody."

As early as February 10, 2001, Manson had made indications that the song would be chosen as the album's third single.[1][2] The third single was released in physical format, on September 3, 2001, in the UK and, on October 6, 2001, in the US.[3][4][5]

A remixed version of the song would later appear in the 2001 Johnny Depp film From Hell.[6] Also, despite its usage of harsh vocals, the band has performed an acoustic version of the song.

Contents

[edit] Appearances

"The Nobodies" (2005 Against All Gods)

[edit] Albums

[edit] Singles

[edit] Versions


[edit] Music video

Manson dressed in a devil-like costume in the music video

The music video for "The Nobodies" was directed by Paul Fedor.[7] It premiered on MTV in June 2001.[7] Technical presentation of the video uses shaking camera techniques, varying perspective shots, closeups, and fast scene shot changes.

Originally, the frontman expressed desire to film the music video in Russia "because the atmosphere, the desolation, the coldness and the architecture would really suit the song."[1] Another concept called for the incorporation of the MTV stunt and prank reality TV series, Jackass, due to the song's inclusion in the Jackass soundtrack.[7] However, this idea was abandoned after the show began drawing the ire of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), who was among the politicians who targeted Marilyn Manson for blame after the Columbine High School massacre.[7][8] Marilyn Manson explained the idea for the music video thus,

Quotemarks6 left.png I already had a story for the video that I wanted to do, a sort of Marilyn Manson fairy tale about some children escaping from an orphanage and seeking refuge with me after fleeing from some terrible, evil nuns who abused them—as all nuns do, I guess. So I decided that they would be watching Jackass on television and the nuns would be upset with them, which is why they'd leave. But now I don't know what they'll be watching [...] Maybe Joseph Lieberman—That might be the most appropriate thing. Quotemarks6.png
—Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson: Moral Minority[7]


[edit] Synopsis

The music video begins with children being watched by two oddly dressed, elderly characters with peculiar headsets on. The children seem to be mesmerized by a television showing nothing but static, however their guardians turn it off. Manson is seen in many forms throughout the video, including a devil-like costume in which he appears in when indoors. As the chorus hits, one of the children finds a concealed passageway leading to a snowy forest area where Manson dressed as a tree-like humanoid (as depicted on the single's cover) is singing with the rest of the band behind him. Manson and the children's oppressors begin to have some sort of confrontation as the setting returns back indoors; he pours money from a hollow deer head and scatters it on the floor as the pair kneel down to gather it (this seems to be a trap of Manson's, as when they are kneeling, root-like objects begin to drag them away). Another variation of Manson is later seen, it is similar to the tree-like appearance, though lacking branches and possessing exposed feet in contrast to them being connected to the ground. During the conclusion of the video, Manson and the children are waiting by a machine that is being fed the bodies of the victims of Manson's trap by using the long branches to bring them in. The machine transforms them into a grotesque pie, which the group then begins to eat at a dinner table. The music video has appeared in three forms: the original video, the Against All Gods Remix version (which is nearly identical to the original, however, any scenes of the band members, other than Manson himself, have been replaced with different footage), and the Burn 69 Remix version, which is interspersed with scenes of the movie From Hell.

[edit] Analysis

The video itself seems to contain a vast amount of symbolism. It attempts to expose the controlling and aggressive behavior of the media and religion, a common theme throughout the "Holy Wood" era. The "elderly characters" have costumes that seem to be parodying that of religious figures, and dominate the lives of the depraved children. When the children are discovered to be missing, these characters begin to search for the children using guard dogs and are seemingly intimidated by Manson (this scene can be seen as a possible display of how sheer hostility is used to control and instill fear in others). Upon Manson's appearance, they immediately bend down to kiss his ring and are easily pleased by his donation of money (a sign of their greed and obsession with riches). Manson acts as the savior of the children, shielding them inside his cloak and destroying their tyrannical guardians. The video slightly corresponds with the lyrics of the song (both dealing with media violence), though bears no references to the Columbine High School Massacre, which serves as the primary example of this violence in the lyrics.

[edit] Lyrics

    Today I am dirty
    and I want to be pretty
    Tomorrow, I know that I'm just dirt
    
    We are the nobodies
    we wanna be somebodies
    when we're dead,
    they'll know just who we are
    
    Yesterday I was dirty
    wanted to be pretty
    I know now that I'm forever dirt
    
    We are the nobodies
    we wanna be somebodies
    when we're dead,
    they'll know just who we are
    
    Some children died the other day
    we fed machines and then we prayed
    puked up and down in morbid faith
    you should have seen the ratings that day...

[edit] Trivia

  • The song was ranked 75th " 250 best hard rock song of all time" by swedish paper Aftonbladet in 2011.
  • An acoustic version of the song performed by Kurt Engfehr is featured in the Michael Moore film Bowling for Columbine.
  • The song was featured in the Gumball Episode of MTV Jackass.
  • Additional lyrics were recorded and included solely in the 2005 Against All Gods Mix and the Stephen K Rock Dub Mix of this song.