Four Great Lyrics By Kurt Cobain

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:

1. Something In The Way

“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

reproductive glands

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.

3. Serve The Servants

“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.

4. Heart-shaped Box

“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.

PS: Some of his earlier works might lack the qualities described above.

Four Great Lyrics By Kurt Cobain

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