The original version of the song, from Corgan’s 2019 record Cotillions, is a lonesome but lush country tune that lends itself nicely to a fully acoustic rendition. And the lyrics are, of course, particularly relevant at this moment. On The Tonight Show, Corgan picked up the pace of his strumming a bit as he moved effortlessly through the song’s grandiose verses to reach the simple but potent hook: “Albion sweeps limb from limb/As plucked by poison quill/But don’t stand still/It’s hard, it’s hard times.”
Corgan released Cotillions last November. The record followed his 2017 solo effort Ogilala, as well as the Smashing Pumpkins’ 2018 record, Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. The band was set to embark on a North American tour in April that would’ve served as a sequel of sorts to their 1993 Rock Invasion run, although those dates have since been postponed until October because of the coronavirus pandemic.