Pretty as a Swastika
|"Pretty as a Swastika"
|Song by Marilyn Manson
|The High End of Low
|May 20, 2009
|March 2008–January 2009 in Los Angeles and Hollywood, California
|Hard rock, gothic rock, industrial metal
|Twiggy, Chris Vrenna
|Marilyn Manson, Chris Vrenna, Twiggy, Sean Beavan
"Pretty as a Swastika" is the second track from the 2009 release The High End of Low. Its title was revealed on April 16, 2009, in an update on the band's official website, though it had been floating around earlier and the song was leaked on Mansonusa by a user with an advance copy of the album. The song was written about Isani Griffith, a University of California student Manson was rumored to be dating in late 2008. Manson's then-friend and administrator of the website Mansonusa Filicide stated their relationship was "nothing concrete at this time" and a message was posted on Manson's website on Christmas Eve denying the relationship, stating "The rumors that i have found a 'replacement' for Evan are simply not true."
In an interview with Time published on May 26, 2009, Marilyn Manson explained the title of the song and its alternative, censored title: "Track two is called Pretty as a Swastika. It's something I said to a girl because of her complexion — with black hair, red lips and pale skin. I mean, it was a complex and poetic comment that soon led to intercourse, so I felt no reason for it to be seen as confusing, hateful and destructive. The record label [told me], take it off the album. Rather than do so, I decided to produce it on the inside of the sleeve with a different name, so it'll be sold in Wal-Mart or wherever stores sell guns but are afraid to deal with lyrics. So, I put Pretty as a ($) because all of their motivations are based on money." He elaborated to German Metal Hammer, "Look art is a question mark, but in the song I say 'Let me show you where it hurts'. I say, 'You're as pretty as a swastika'...Is that a compliment or an insult? I don't even know. I see at as a romantic song and almost a discussion between two people, on who controls and who is being controlled in a relationship."
Reviewing for Thrash Hits, Hugh Platt criticized that "the Stooges-rattle of 'Pretty as a Swastika' beats its chest in a manner all too close to the controlled-chaos thrusts of Antichrist Superstar." Platt concluded the review citing "Pretty as a Swastika" as one of the record's top tracks. The Quietus' John Robb described the song as "full-on from the top," having "some nice rhythm changes that you can sense mosh pit action to. [...] This is stripped down and dirty Manson. There is mention of swastikas. The ugliness of humanity is still a fascination for the singer, whose thing has always been reflecting the ugliness of the slavering media back at them. It's a simple but effective trick, and Manson plays [their] game well, always gaining the upper hand. The track is a sneering high IQ rush before collapsing into a weird splodgy bass rumble that outros the song."
In his review for Allmusic, Phil Freeman, who was unsatisfied by the album, noted that the title "Pretty as a Swastika" reads "like Manson-by-numbers."
- "Pretty as a Swastika" — Appears on The High End of Low
- "Pretty as a Swastika (Alternate Version)" — Appears on pressings of The High End of Low shipped to independent record stores
In his interview with Time in May 2009, Manson alluded to a possible music video for the song, proclaiming, "Well, last night I made a video for Pretty as a Swastika and it included my shaving the pubic hair of my special lady friend."
When I see you in the sun you're as pretty as a swastika take you down, down from the inside take you down, down from the inside i want to smash into your face, like a plane, and drown in between your legs take you down, down from the inside take you down, down from the inside i'd die for your sins if you don't kill me while I'm trying, baby let me show you where it hurts let me show you where it hurts let me show you where it hurts there's more than one way, to make you cry When I see you in the sun you're as pretty as a swastika When I see you in the sun you're as pretty as a swastika take you down, down from the inside take you down, down from the inside one of us is a knife one of us is ripe, baby let me show you where it hurts let me show you where it hurts let me show you where it hurts there's more than one way to make you cry Let me show you where it hurts Let me show you where it hurts Let me show you where it hurts there's more than one way to make you cry
- The phrase "Pretty as a Swastika" is a reference to Leni Riefenstahl, who'd been called "pretty as a swastika" by Walter Winchell.
- Q&A: Marilyn Manson. Lauren Bohn. Time. May 26, 2009
- Album: Marilyn Manson - The High End Of Low. Hugh Platt. Thrash Hits. May 25, 2009
- Marilyn Manson's High End Of Low Reviewed Track-By-Track. John Robb. The Quietus. May 12, 2009
- The High End of Low. Phil Freeman. Allmusic. May 16, 2009.