The Nirvana Song Kurt Cobain Refrained From Releasing

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Nirvana released its first album ‘Bleach’ in 1989, but their great success came in the early ’90s when ‘Nevermind’ and their world-famous track ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ hit the shelves. The band has since become one of the iconic representatives of alternative rock and grunge. Kurt Cobain’s brief guitar solo in the song still remains one of the most memorable in rock history.

Although Grohl and Novoselic occasionally contributed to the lyrics, Nirvana’s songs were primarily written by Kurt Cobain, the primary lyricist of the band, who also served as the lead singer and rhythm and solo guitarist. It is known that the legend of Nirvana wrote songs with the cut-up technique. Inspired by random poems and words from the journals he kept, he was putting together several elements to create memorable lyrics.

Besides this technique, Cobain wrote most of his songs based on his own experiences. He is known to have had a difficult childhood, and he struggled with depression for a long time. All of these experiences were reflected in his lines. Thus, the audience was able to relate to Nirvana’s songs, perhaps because the frontman’s lyrics communicated his feelings, struggles, and traumatizing experiences. 

Which Song Did Nirvana Hesitate To Release And Why?

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Kurt Cobain enjoyed using irony and unexpected expressions in his lyrics and song titles, as one can see in their songs like ‘Mr. Mustache,’ ‘Milk It,’ and ‘Floyd, The Barber.’ However, at one point, the band had some doubts about releasing one of their songs. The track in question was ‘I Hate Myself And I Want To Die.’

‘I Hate Myself And I Want To Die’ was supposed to be featured on their 1993 release, ‘In Utero,’ but was dropped from that album and later released as part of their November 1993 compilation album ‘The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.’ That was also Nirvana’s last album.

In his last interview with Rolling Stone in 1994, Cobain mentioned the song ‘I Hate Myself And I Want To Die.’ During the conversation, when he was asked whether he meant the title literally, the musician responded by saying that it was a simple joke and there was nothing more to it.

He explained that the title of the song was purely satirical, but they removed the song from the album because they thought the audience would not grasp it. Cobain stated that many assumed he was unsatisfied with everything and wanted to kill himself. The frontman said that he wished to put such a title to ridicule himself in response to these criticisms.

Cobain explained the meaning behind the title as follows:

“As literal as a joke can be. Nothing more than a joke. And that had a bit to do with why we decided to take it off. We knew people wouldn’t get it; they’d take it too seriously. It was totally satirical, making fun of ourselves.

I’m thought of as this pissy, complaining, freaked-out, schizophrenic who wants to kill himself all the time: ‘He isn’t satisfied with anything.’ And I thought it was a funny title. I wanted it to be the title for the album for along time, but I knew the majority wouldn’t get it.”

Unfortunately, the legendary singer committed suicide in April 1994, about a year after this song was released. Kurt Cobain’s death devastated the entire music world and his fans, but his legacy has survived and he continues to maintain his place among the legends of rock music.