Courtney Love reveals alternate lyrics Kurt Cobain wrote for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit
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Courtney Love has revealed that Nirvana's most recognised hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit, ended up having completely different lyrics and being a whole 'different song' to what Kurt Cobain originally drafted.
The band's lead single from 1991 rock album, Nevermind, was written just weeks before the album was recorded and, in the short space of time between, most of the original lyrics were scrapped and rewritten for the version we know and love today - according to Courtney Love.
Kurt Cobain's love interest, Courtney, spoke with Rob Harvilla on his 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s podcast. The 58-year-old singer from alternative girl band, Hole, read from her late husband's journals, containing several alternative lines to the hit track.
She explained: “Some of these were in these journals, and some of them are published,”
“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.
“We’re so lazy / and so stupid / blame our parents / and the cupids / a deposit, for a bottle / stick it inside / no role model.”
After that, she moved onto a second draft which read: “We merge ahead this special day / this day giving amnesty to sacrilege / A denial / and from strangers / a revival / and from favours / here we are now / we’re so famous / here we are now / entertain us.”
Harvilla then made the observation that only about five of the original lines made the cut into the final version of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
“The only consistencies that it retains are: ‘Load up on guns and bring your friends’, and ‘Little group has always been and always will until the end’, that’s it,” Love added, explaining that it was a completely 'different song' from the demo she'd heard.
Love told Harvilla that she wished Cobain had kept the line 'Who will be the king and queen / of all the outcasted teens,' in the recorded version. She explained that it would’ve prevented her and her daughter, whom she shares with Cobain, from 'taking on the s***” they had gone through.'
Cobain and Love got married in 1992 and were wed for two years until Cobain sadly committed suicide in 1994 at 27-years-old.
Their daughter, Frances Bean, is now 30 and is pursuing a career in visual art.