Kurt Cobain, the discarded lyrics of Smells Like Teen Spirit

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On a podcast episode 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s by Rob Harvilla Courtney Love, widow of Kurt Cobain, shared i provisional verses that the singer and guitarist of Nirvana has discarded from the definitive text of the hits of 1991 smells like Teen Spirit. The former Hole frontwoman, invited to sing the artist’s writings a capella, specified that some verses were published in Cobain’s diaries, while others are completely unpublished.


In trying to work out the rhyme scheme for smells like Teen Spirit, Cobain has produced several sketches then unused, starting with jokes about marginalized teenagers. “Come out and play / Make up the rules / I know I hope to buy the truth / Who will be the king and queen of all the outcasted teens?” reads a first draft, then changed to “come out and play and make up the rules/ I know I hope to buy the truth/ Who will be the king and queen of all the outcasted teens… We’re so lazy, and so stupid / And from Vegas, here we are now, entertain us”, text that includes a reference to city ​​in Nevada in which the musician had never set foot at the time. “We merge ahead, this special day / This day giving amnesty to sacrilege / A denial, and from strangers / A revival, and from favors / Here we are now, we’re so famous / Here we are now, entertain us” they continue the sketches, which here allude to thebe famous at a time when the world still didn’t know much about the group. There definitive version of the song he only kept a few bars, such as “load up on guns”, taken from the draft “something I bought and don’t deserve / To know, oh no, a dirty word / Load up on guns and bring your friends / I know , I know it’s wrong to offend / Take off your clothes / I’ll see you in court” and “our little group has always been until the end”, taken from the experimentation “come out and play / Make up the rules / Have lots of fun, we know we’ll lose / Our little group has always been and always will until the end”.


During the episode Love also shared other anecdotes about the relationship with Cobain, from the gift to the musician of a book of texts by Leonard Cohen in his early days disagree with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, untilheroin use made by the couple and the favorite band of Nirvana frontman the Melvins.