Request & respond explanations
  • Don't understand the meaning of the song?
  • Highlight lyrics and request an explanation.
  • Click on highlighted lyrics to explain.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit lyrics

Load up on guns, bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's overbored
and self-assured
Oh, no
, I know a dirty word

Hello, Hello, Hello, How Low (x3)
Hello, Hello, Hello

With the lights out, it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we
are now, entertain us

A mulatto

An albino
A mosquito
My
libido
Yeah

Hey... Yay

I'm worse at what I do best
And for this
gift I feel blessed
Our little group (tribe) has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, Hello, Hello
, How Low (x3)
Hello
, Hello, Hello

With the lights out, it's less dangerous

Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us

A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah

Hey... Yay

(Guitar solo)

And I forget just why I taste
Oh, yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it's hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind

Hello
, Hello, Hello, How Low (x3)
Hello, Hello, Hello

With the lights out, it's less dangerous

Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here
we are now, entertain us

A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

Yeah a denial
A denial! (x9)



Lyrics taken from /lyrics/n/nirvana/smells_like_teen_spirit.html

  • Email
  • Correct
Corrected by PTVfan

Smells Like Teen Spirit meanings Post my meaning

  • U
    + 2
    Unregistered
    The early '90s saw the rise of teenagers thinking it was cool to carry a gun to unless your friends. Although you're risking being arrested or killed the song says they were willing to take the chance. She's over bored and self assured is perfect for the '90s. The '90s saw females become the aggressor's of sex that nearly made the make teens look like and seem like Innocent angels. Hence, oh no, I know a dirty word.

    The chorus is basically the teen calling for help with no answer. Then asks how low must we be as humans not to help. Teens in the '90s felt the rest of civilization just turned there backs to them. Adults asking what's wrong with the kids, are they stupid? The AIDS pandemic was peaked so, because many teens were asexually active they were shunned as ALL teens had AIDS.

    The lyric, I am worse at what I do best is not a contradiction. It's basically saying, the adults and people who run the country/world order look down at me because of the kind of music I play. He still feels thankful and blessed for being lyrical, a musician, and obviously a different sounding voice than all other singers. He says that his little group of band members, 3, have been together a long time, and they'll always be together until he decided it's the end for himself.

    Finally, "I don't know why I taste" which is a way of saying, I don't know why I'm alive. Of yeah, I guess because I'm supposed to be happy/smile.

    This is a just an interpretation that I think gets looked over because of the time period the song came out in. That time period you didn't use lyrical puzzles like you see now. This is just my opinion. Thanks.
    Add your reply
  • I
    + 2
    It_Doesn't_Matter_Who_I_Am
    I don't care if he killed himself or if his wife killed him, all I care about is that he did and still does influence bands today and actually speaks to people through his music even now that he is gone. He is a musical genius, one of the best and the world will never forget him. No matter the reason for this song or why it was made, it's still a great song and it did change music for the better. All I know is that Nirvana is one of the greatest bands of all time, and whoever doesn't believe this can shut their f*cking mouths and go strait to hell.
    Add your reply
  • j
    + 1
    JimmyRocket
    The main arching theme to this song is depression maybe in the current climate: Stories about drug culture, no joy/pleasure, xenophobes/bigots, ignorance and degenerate behavior. The manic music is incongruent to the main theme. Kurt is basically taking a giant dump and they were eating it up with joy and that couldn't have set well with Kurt.

    It's rather ironic that he went out in such a violent suicide. This culture of archetypes that made Kurt sick in the guts was his very ending. He detested the consumer, the idol worshipers, the common norm but in the end with Kurt ripping his head off, he bowed to the fatalistic and violent archetype of human nature, something Kurt detested.
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    He actually wrote this song for his first proper partner, they were really close at one point but due to the pressures of Kurt hitting the big time, the woman could no longer deal with it and decided to leave him. The title "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes from the perfume that she wore which was called "Teen Spirit" and Kurt loved the smell so what he's doing is expressing his true feelings about this woman and making sure that she knows he never forgot her. If you watch the documentary that is about Kurt and his life all the way up until his death, you will learn this.

    Best Nirvana song ever.

    R.I.P Kurt. We all miss you.
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    Why have I been this stupid to throw everything away losing my family my friends my job my house or what I call I'm afriaid even of il. My life was full of joy and happiness. Even though you think it's made of pure loneliness and I was never unhappy until I meet I was unhappy to see you I would always do something stupid just to make someone now look no one would even aknowledge me because you wouldn't laught. You would just keep staring in joy to see me killing myself trying to make you I tried when asking you what would make you happy but you just wouldn't tell a lot of people knew you're just a soul living for no. It's ok if you don't want to be my friend. Just don't kill me because I'm afraid. When I wake up I'm afraid. I'm scared and I'm almost dead. I hope you have a great day. F**k do. Or you really don't care? I'm dead. El problema es que no se si te interesa. P.S. I'm lonely and I will be a good time to time. I am a good time to time money's the same time. I don't want to love you if you're gonna laugh at me for killing me. It's no secret that I have a great day beautiful person to talk to you. You just got me on that never been in love and when I am had to hide it because gay is a great day and night. I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person. Ok just ask any of them. You. I want to be a good time to time. I guess this is why I'm history.
    Add your reply
  • h
    + 1
    HazelDountLovesBullet
    First - wtf to whoever wrote that crap about the pie. Seriously, get a life.
    Nirvana was an awesome band and it sucks that his idiot wife killed him because he was one of the most influential people of his time.
    He wrote this song not only to vent a little, but also to make fun of Guns N' Roses. The chorus "a mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido" refers to the members of gnr directly. I can't remember which title went to which person, but I'm pretty sure the mosquito was Axle.
    Add your reply
  • a
    0
    Andrew Judd
    I have always heard the lyric listed on the Internet as "Oh no, I know a dirty word" as "I know I'm not 'the dirty word'". If you listen to the song there is definitely a 't' after the second 'no' sound. When Cobain was young and later, he was very pro-gay rights and hated homophobia, although he was straight. (Watch the doco "Montage of Heck" for proof of this.) In this song, he's attacking people who can't even say the word 'gay' while at the same time saying he's straight. Of course, he did use the dirty word himself eventually, in "All Apologies", and I think this later song is part of the reason he killed himself.
    For a song that provides a cryptic commentary on Cobain's suicide, listen to "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter.
    I don't know why the internet is awash with what seems to me a false version of the lyrics. I am sure my sense of the lyrics is correct, that somehow a false transcription gained traction as the official transcription. But then I could be wrong.
    Add your reply
  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    I think this song is about how it is to be a teenager. That everyone wants to be cool but the singer wants to be different. He realises "how low" the level from the kids is who want to be "Bad" because it is cool. "guns" represents the kick which the teenager wants to have. In the chorus he mentions creatures which seem like they are not fitting in. And that is the way he feels too.
    Add your reply
  • s
    0
    ShaNeegra
    Well. He died for a good reason. If I remember correctly, he quoted something along the lines of; He wanted to be huge in history. He wanted to make amazing music. And kill himself. And I found his Exact quote.
    “ I'm gonna be a superstar musician, kill myself and go out in a flame of glory, just like Jimi Hendrix”.
    You know what? He did exactly that. :) Yeahh, it's sad that he killed himself, he could've done more. But I'm glad he accomplished what he wanted to do. :) I love this song. I love Nirvana. Aha. Even Kurt. He's amazing.
    Add your reply
  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    This song is a joke. The lyrics are entirely sarcastic/nonsense that's supposed to make fun of the very idea of a rebellion. The title is derived from a friend of kurt's who spray-painted "kurt smells like teen spirit" in his bedroom. He misunderstood it as some rebellious slogan, unaware that teen spirit was actually a brand of deodorant. When he finally found out, he didn't even care, because the song was a joke anyway. Also, the riff is totally just a small variation of the riff from boston's "more than a feeling".
    They never expected this to be a popular song, and when it became just that, they resented it. Sometimes they'd actually lead into it with "more than a feeling" just to make it painfully obvious that this song is a joke.
    Add your reply
  • missmindfreak2010
    - 1
    missmindfreak2010
    Okay to the person below me:.
    You are right about one thing only, that he was one of the most influential people of his time. Now wether he was making fun of Guns N' Roses, I don't care. I love both bands. But his wife didn't kill him. He od'd. Courntey was in absolute, heart-wrenching, sickening love with Kurt. He was like the butter to her toast. There was no way she killed him. He killed himself.
    Because if you haven't noticed, most of Kurt's lyrics have that "psychotic, out there" vibe to them. And that's because he was insane. And don't get me wrong, he was also genius. But most geniuses are insane. I mean look at Vincent Van Gogh, he was a f*****g awesome painter, but he killed himself. Kurt killed himself. That's all there is to it.
    Thanks for reading.
    Add your reply
  • h
    - 3
    HazelDountLovesBullet
    So at least we agree that he was an amazing, influential genius, missmindfreak2010.
    I don't know every little detail because I'm not like a csi or anything. So. Whatever. But I just find it odd that as soon as Kurt was gone, she tried like a madwoman to get the rights to millions of dollars worth of the band's music and albums and everything. There was lengthy court battle between her and Dave Grohl (former Nirvana drummer, current Foo Fighters frontman) for the rights to all things Nirvana. Fortunately, Grohl won.
    Yes, I do understand that his lyrics have a twisted feel to them. Actually, a lot of songs by other bands do, too. Maybe not in quite the same way, but twisted none the less. He was a genius, and maybe he really was mad. But I still say the pieces don't connect for suicide.
    Oh, and Van Goh was truly an amazing artist. I love his work.
    Add your reply
    View 7 more meanings

    Write about your feelings and thoughts about Smells Like Teen Spirit

    Know what this song is about? Does it mean anything special hidden between the lines to you? Share your meaning with community, make it interesting and valuable. Make sure you've read our simple tips.
    U
    Min 50 words
    Not bad
    Good
    Awesome!

    Top meanings Post my meaning

    • U
      + 2
      Unregistered
      The early '90s saw the rise of teenagers thinking it was cool to carry a gun to unless your... Read more →
    • I
      + 2
      It_Doesn't_Matter_Who_I_Am
      I don't care if he killed himself or if his wife killed him, all I care about is that he did and... Read more →

    official video

    Featured lyrics

    0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z