Although I never understood the desperation- and suicide-driven adoration for Kurt Cobain, I think that he is one of the best songwriters of his generation. The songs became even more interesting when I found out that he was very influenced by the Beatles – a combination that seemed weird but fascinating. Moreover, I liked his lyrics for their clear metaphors that still leave a lot of room for interpretation – easy to understand for someone who didn’t speak very good English at that time. Here are my favourites:
“The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
It’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings”
While I don’t know what caused him to feel such a way, assuming he was not homeless at this time, the verse creates a strong atmosphere of resignation.
2. In Bloom
“Sell the kids for food
weather changes moods
Spring is here again
Hey – He’s the one Who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along
And he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Don’t know what it means
We can have some more – nature is a whore
Bruises on the fruit – tender age in bloom”
The alleged nonsense makes more sense when you combine lines of the first and the second verse, i.e. “Sell the kids for food, we can have some more”. While it stays nonsense in the given structure, the chorus “He’s the one” becomes hilarious.
“Teenage angst has paid off well
Now I’m bored and old
Self-appointed judges judge
More than they have sold
If she floats than she is not
A witch like we had thought”
This perfectly sums up the hype around Nirvana and the debates about his marriage to Courtney Love. I like the resigned sarcasm.
“Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice”
No background thoughts on this one, again I like the sarcasm.