The Reason Behind Kurt Cobain’s Constant Rape Theme In His Nirvana Lyrics
Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is often considered to be one of the most influential musicians in the history of music thanks to his career with his band which lasted only for seven years. Regardless of his short-lived music career, Cobain managed to list himself among numerous other legendary songwriters through his angst-fueled songwriting.
Kurt Cobain Wrote ‘Rape Me’ As An Anti-Rape Song
As many of you know, ‘Rape Me‘ was written by Kurt Cobain and is the fourth song on Nirvana’s third and final studio album, ‘In Utero’ which was released in September 1993. The track was also the band’s last single release before Cobain committed suicide four months later.
Despite sounding inappropriate at first glimpse, ‘Rape Me’ is actually an anti-rape song, written from the point of view of the victim. During an interview with Spin in 1993, the Nirvana frontman revealed the true meaning behind the song and stated that it’s like fighting back to rapists and saying how strong that individual is.
Kurt Cobain’s statement during the interview follows:
“It’s like she’s saying, ‘Rape me, go ahead, rape me, beat me. You’ll never kill me. I’ll survive this and I’m gonna fucking rape you one of these days and you won’t even know it.'”
According to Cobain, his band was trying to help raise awareness about sexism by writing songs such as ‘Rape Me’ since it has such a direct message that it creates an impact that nobody could misinterpret. Being the brilliant songwriter he was, the musician somehow managed to create a song against rape with the title, ‘Rape Me.’
Kurt Cobain Wrote ‘Polly’ After A Girl With The Same Name Was Raped
For those of you who may not know, ‘Polly’ is a song by Nirvana, once again written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain. The track is the sixth song on their second studio album ‘Nevermind’ which was released in September 1991. The song managed to become one of the greatest tracks of the band and often is praised thanks to the mystery in the lyrics.
Kurt Cobain actually wrote the track about an incident in Tacoma, Washington in August 1987. The horrible incident involved the abduction and rape of a 14-year-old girl by Gerald Arthur Friend. After the man kidnapped the little girl while she was leaving a rock concert, he suspended her upside down from a pulley in his mobile home and raped and tortured her. Fortunately, the 14-yer-old girl managed to escape by jumping from his truck at a gas station, attracting attention from surrounding people, and the kidnapper was convicted for his crimes.
While writing the track, Kurt Cobain decided to add another aspect to the story and mentioned the incident as if the kidnapper was fooled by the victim who pretended like she was enjoying what he was doing to her. This action caused the kidnapper to let his guard down long enough for the victim to escape.
Lucky for Cobain’s fans, he managed to once again take a different look into this tragic incident and wanted to represent women who have been mistreated, therefore, afraid of incidents such as this. Just like every other song, the musician wanted to represent gender equality by demonstrating the struggles women have to go by using an extreme example.
You can listen to ‘Rape Me’ and ‘Polly’ below.