Nirvana lyrics reflect the band's innovation and
heralded in the creation of grunge music as a subgenre of alternative
rock. The first of the "Seattle bands", Nirvana has gone
on to sell over 60 million records and at one time was considered
the voice for Generation X.
Even though lead singer and songwriter, Kurt Cobain died in 1994
after escaping from drug rehab, effectively dismembering the band,
other members such as Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl have gone on
to perform with other bands and revive some Nirvana songs for compilation
The megahit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the grunge-defining
Nevermind album, came about in an odd way. Apparently, in
the pre-Courtney Love days, Cobain was dating the Bikini Kill's
lead singer Kathleen Hanna. During a night of drinking, she spray-painted
a "Teen Spirit" phrase all over Cobain's bedroom walls.
Cobain used this in the title and Nirvana lyrics for the song.
From the same album, the Nirvana lyrics to "Come As You Are"
have come under much speculation. For instance, so think the lyrics
are about using heroin and others about tolerating black and white
race relations. For instance the line, "Come dowsed in mud,
soaked in bleach" may be interpreted both ways. The lyrics
of this song also mention guns and foreshadow Cobain killing himself
with a gun three years later.
The song "Lithium" has also come under a great deal of
speculation as well. What is known is that lithium is a prescription
medication used to treat bipolar disorder. Without treatment, a
person may spend time in either a manic phase or depressive phase.
What is lost by many who evaluate the song is that it is actually
a love song or love gone wrong song and the protagonist is expressing
some crazy emotions wrapped up in grieving the loss of this relationship.
On the album Bleach is a song called "Floyd the Barber",
which is in reference to a character by this name on The Andy
Griffith Show. The lyrics to this song are a darkly humorous
look television and small town life. According to Cobain the lyrics
were about, "A small town gone bad. Everyone turns into a mass
Nirvana lyrics may be seen as angst-ridden typical of the alternative
rock genre or dark and humorous as can be seen in "Floyd the
Barber". But, no matter what, the Nirvana lyrics that Kurt
Cobain wrote spoke to a generation that still refuses to let them
go and let him go, keeping his memory alive and honoring the band
that began grunge music.