"Cupid Carries a Gun"
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album The Pale Emperor
ReleasedJanuary 7, 2015
GenreBlues rock[1]
  • Manson
  • Bates
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
"Deep Six"
"Cupid Carries a Gun"
"We Know Where You Fucking Live"

"Cupid Carries a Gun" is a song by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released as the third single from their ninth studio album, The Pale Emperor (2015).

Background and development

The lyrics to "Cupid Carries a Gun" were the first written by Manson for The Pale Emperor,[2] although it was the final track to be recorded for the album.[3] The song was co-written and produced with composer Tyler Bates, who was scheduled to begin scoring music for the US television series Salem shortly after work on The Pale Emperor was completed. "Cupid Carries a Gun" was still in an embryonic, "draft" stage when Bates started work on the score, who said that the track "immediately came to mind" when watching the opening title sequence to the show. After playing the sequence to Manson, the pair then began work on the track, which developed from its "draft" stage to the final album version over the course of a single night. The following day, Bates played the song for one of the show's producers, Brannon Braga, who said that it was the "perfect tone and attitude" for Salem.[3]

Recording and composition

"Cupid Carries a Gun" (2015) A 30 second sample of "Cupid Carries a Gun", as it appeared on The Pale Emperor. Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Cupid Carries a Gun" is a midtempo[4] blues-inspired[5] rock song, which runs for a duration of four minutes and 59 seconds.[6] The song begins with "ghost-like" electric-guitar, piano and an acoustic blues-guitar line, with Manson referencing "witch drums" on the intro. The song's lyrics go on to incorporate numerous other references to witchcraft, before invoking snakes, spiders and "black crow eyes". The title of the tour promoting The Pale Emperor, The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour, is derived from a lyric found on "Cupid Carries a Gun".[7]

According to Ultimate Guitar, the song is written in common time with a moderately fast tempo of 120 beats per minute. The track follows a basic sequence of Em–D–Cm7–Bsus4–Bsus4/G–Bsus4/F# in the verse, while the chorus has a progression of E–G–D–A–E–G.[8]

Release and artwork

Faust in seiner Studierstube.
Faust in seiner Studierstube.

A 51-second portion of the track was first heard as the theme to Salem, which premiered on US television on April 27, 2014, with the song marking Manson's debut as a score composer.[3] In promotion for the release of The Pale Emperor, the track was released as the third single from the album[9] on streaming services such as Spotify and Rhapsody,[10] and for download on iTunes and Amazon on January 7, 2015.[11] The same day, a video containing the audio of "Cupid Carries a Gun" was uploaded on to Manson's official Vevo channel, where it has gone on to receive over one million views.[12] The single's artwork was taken by photographer Nicholas Cope,[13] and is inspired by Ary Scheffer's 1831 work Faust in seiner Studierstude.

Track listing

Digital single

  1. "Cupid Carries a Gun" - 4:59


Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Pale Emperor.[13]



Chart (2015) Peak
Bulgaria (IFPI)[14] 37

Release history

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Worldwide January 7, 2015 Streaming Loma Vista Recordings [10]
Digital download [11]


  1. ^ By Crow, Kory (January 8, 2015) "Hear Marilyn Manson's Eerie New 'Cupid Carries a Gun'". Rolling Stone. (Retrieved October 14, 2017)
  2. ^ Henry, Guillenne (2015). "La Vie de Brian". Rock Hard France. No. 201501. Strass Publishing (published January 2015). pp. 19–25.
  3. ^ a b c O'Connell, Michael (April 24, 2014). "WGN America's 'Salem' Enlists Marilyn Manson for Opening Titles (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Payne, Chris (January 8, 2015). "Hear Marilyn Manson's Creepy, Sex-Addled New Song 'Cupid Carries a Gun'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Thomas, Fred. "The Pale Emperor - Marilyn Manson". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Cupid Carries a Gun - Marilyn Manson". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  7. ^ Grow, Kory (January 8, 2015). "Hear Marilyn Manson's Eerie New 'Cupid Carries a Gun'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  8. ^ "Marilyn Manson - Cupid Carries a Gun Chords". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "Cupid Carries a Gun - Marilyn Manson - Releases". AllMusic. All Music Network. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Pasbani, Robert (January 7, 2015). "New MARILYN MANSON Song, "Cupid Carries A Gun" Streaming Now". MetalInjection.net. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Teitelman, Bram (January 7, 2015). "Marilyn Manson guns it with new song". MetalInsider.net. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  12. ^ "Marilyn Manson - Cupid Carries a Gun [Official Audio]". YouTube. January 7, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Digital booklet". The Pale Emperor (liner notes). Marilyn Manson. London, England: Cooking Vinyl. 2015. COOKCD602X.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ "Bulgaria Singles Top 40". Bulgarian Association of Music Producers. Retrieved September 13, 2015.