Posted on December 31, 2015 by Trace

J U K E B O X 
N Y E  2015

Kurt Cobain described this song as
“About people, and what they’re expected to act like.”
The lyrics are intentionally contradictory and confusing, with one line rebutting the next:
“As a friend, as an old enemy”
“Take your time, hurry up”

15 Aug 1993 --- Rock Band Nirvana --- Image by ?Jesse Frohman/CORBIS OUTLINEIn this song, Cobain sings over and over, “I don’t have a gun.” Less than three years after the song was released, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head…. or as recent speculation alleges…did he?

Found dead in his home two decades ago after an apparent suicide.

But over twenty years on from Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s shocking death, a new documentary attempts to uncover fresh clues, going as far as to suggest the iconic musician was murdered. Throwing up a dramatic set of questions in the investigation… read more

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

It’s unlikely that Cobain had suicide on his mind when he wrote the lyrics. The gun could be a reference to a time when Cobain’s mother got mad at her husband (Kurt’s stepfather) and threw his guns in a river. Cobain says he recovered some of them, sold them, and used the money to buy his first guitar when he was 15.


The lyrics, “Come doused in mud, soaked in bleach” were taken from a campaign in Seattle that encouraged heroin users to soak their needles in bleach after injecting to reduce the risk of spreading HIV.

The phrase for the campaign was actually “If doused in mud, soak in bleach.” The lyrics as used by Cobain could be about tolerating everyone no matter what they look like – black people being the “mud” and white people being the “bleach.”

The cover of Nevermind shows a baby underwater reaching for a dollar bill attached to a fishhook. This symbolizes that you’re taught to go after money from the moment you’re born. Cobain got the idea for the image when he was watching a TV story on underwater birth.

One interpretation of this song is that it’s about heroin:

“Come doused in mud, served in bleach, as I want you to be” – Drugs are cut with all kinds of rubbish.

“As a friend, as a trend, as a known enemy” – Drugs can make you feel good, like a friend. There’s a trend with them, but they are bad (thus, “as a known enemy.”)

“Well I swear that I don’t have a gun” – A gun could mean a syringe. Cobain also mentions a gun in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

“Load up on guns, bring your friends its fun to lose and to pretend” – Losing could mean giving in to drugs, and feeling high is to pretend.

SOURCES: songfacts.com | dailymail.co.uk


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