Friday, December 4, 2015

SO WHAT IN THE HECK ARE THE WORDS TO SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If you listen to Patti Smith's version of Smells Like Teen Spirit, you can understand the lyrics pretty well (click HERE to visit my current Battle of the Bands contest and vote for Joan Jett or Patti Smith in your comment). Joan Jett is fairly understandable, too.

When Nirvana released the song in 1991 as the lead track on their album Nevermind, it took time for the song to become a hit. The alternative-minded DJs realized they had something special and played it frequently. Eventually, it leaked into the mainstream and became Nirvana's biggest hit.

When it went into heavy rotation on MTV, Smells Like Teen Spirit played with subtitles because no one could understand Kurt Cobain.

Yet the song went on to win a number of awards and is on many Greatest Song lists.

Here are the lyrics:



You have until midnight EST on Sunday, December 6, to vote in my Battle of the Bands. I'll announce the winner on December 7.


Our Smells Like Teen Spirit week won't be complete without The Muppets, so sing us out, please, you Mop Heads.



Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

42 comments:

  1. Tori Amos sings a version of it as well. It's so different from the original. I like all the versions I've heard though.

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    1. I haven't come across Tori Amos yet. I'll look for it.

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    2. Here's she's singing it: https://youtu.be/wcHNZVrxEts but the quality isn't the best.

      Here the quality is great: https://youtu.be/vB2c7_vyBSM but you can't see her singing it.

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  2. Kurt had issues. But there were songs in the 60s that made little sense, too. Of course acid might have had something to do with that--LOL! ;)

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    1. I look at song lyrics as poetry. Many poems make absolutely no sense to me.

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  3. Hi Janie - I think I voted! But I loved the Muppets clips ... and seeing the lyrics helps .. cheers Hilary

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    1. You voted. I love being able to look up lyrics.

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  4. HA ha. Muppets are great! This is maybe my favorite song from the childhood!

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  5. Ha! Yes, only words I ever got out of it were "entertain us." And those still appear to be important words for all teenagers today.

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    1. No wonder Kurt Cobain saw it as representing his generation.

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  6. I think I was better off not knowing the lyrics. I'm not sure if it's poetry or the nonsensical ramblings of a heroin addled 20-something. Not hating on Nirvana or speaking ill of the dead, I simply prefer other songs of theirs, and their acoustic set was amazing. Thank you for including some Muppets. Everything is better with Muppets.

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    1. I adore the Muppets. I like the lyrics. They make sense to me, but I'm pretty drug addled, too.

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  7. I always strain to hear and understand the words in some of the songs on the radio, some of which are complete masked by the noise of the background music.

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    1. You can find the lyrics to most songs online. If I'm interested in a song, then I have to know what the words are. I need to write a post about all the song lyrics I've misunderstood.

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  8. The Muppet version is much funnier than the original.

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    1. The Muppets aren't about chaos and anarchy.

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  9. Now if the Muppet version was used, I would have voted for them. I think that is the best rendering:) I never understand lyrics for the most part so I always need them in front of me

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    1. I love the Muppets, but I wanted to have Joan Jett v. Patti Smith. The Muppets will turn up again.

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  10. I had heard OF this song many times, but last night was the first time I'd ever actually heard the song. And this morning, listening for a second time, nuttin' about my opinion has changed:

    This is the dumbest, most overrated song I've ever heard. It makes U2 seem like Mozart. The words are absolutely MEANINGLESS! Hello, hello, hello, Hell-o, People?! Did people really not realize that this song is saying nuttin'? It's just a bunch of words thrown together because they happened to fit in with the rhythm of the song. At least Weird Al's parody has a point.

    I knew the Americonned Sheeple could be easily fooled by many things, but I didn't know we had sunk so low that folks could love gobbledygook gibberish like this and make a god out of the person who penned it.

    I know, I know, I know, I got to go
    We all got to paint the show
    If we live we die we always try
    Oh my, oh my, oh my, it's my eye

    Renege, it's all we can do
    The man, the sheep, it shined my shoe
    Roust your mind, and find the time
    Lighten up, no need to rhyme.

    How low, how low, how low can we go?
    We all got to build the new show
    If love is hate and hate is money
    The songs are god and god's my honey

    Reject the football, kick the headbone
    And knit the skeleton from an iPhone
    I killed the barber and grew my long mane
    That's why I write as good as Cobain.

    Gee, look at that! I guess anyone can write stuffs like that, even me! And think how great I'd be if I actually spent even five minutes thinking about what I was typing.

    What a joke!
    Why did I work 8 straight days since Thanksgiving, averaging 10.5 hour days for $12.40 an hour when I can crank out masterpieces like Kurt Cobain did in under a minute?

    Oh, come Lord Jesus and save us from ourselves!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Your lyrics amuse me, but if you can crank out masterpieces, then why do you earn $12.40 an hour? You didn't vote. You should have stuck with your commitment not to post your true feelings. Again, I remind you of the badge of honor that The Great and Powerful Cherdo bestowed on me. I think you have it, too, but you're not honoring it, young man. Now, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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    2. You wound me, young lady, by implying that I am not a man of my word. I am ALWAYS a man of my word, but... my words are chosen very carefully. The fault lies not with my devotion to my commitments but with the fact that you apparently need to brush up on your Clintonese...

      Surely you remember Bill's famous line "It depends on what the meaning of the word IS is". And if you've followed Hill's testimony regarding her Emails and the Benghazi catastrophe, then you know that Hill speaks Clintonese as well as her pseudo-husband Bill does. And I learned from them - the masters of obfuscation.

      When I wrote "I feel confident that you would not want me to post my honest opinion here about Kurt Co-Bane and this song" I was THERE, not here. This comment section is a different "here", and I did NOT post my opinion in the "here" that is over "there" - where the BOTB voting is taking place.

      >>... "Your lyrics amuse me"

      I'm disappointed to learn that because those lyrics are garbage. The point was to show that ANYONE can throw together a bunch of words in 1 minute and produce meaningless sentences. It doesn't require vision or artistry. Just a junior high school education. Kurt fooled the masses and got rich in the process.

      But if my nonsensical lyrics amused you, then I guess it makes sense that Kurt Cobain's nonsensical lyrics also meet with approval.

      Anyway... I'm done with this topic now. I've changed your blog's title in my sidebar and it will also appear as 'Janie Junebug Righting & Editing' on my individual BOTB blog pages from now on.

      Merry Christmas.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. You called me "young lady." Now you can say and do whatever you like.

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    4. HA!-HA! :o)
      Humor is the balm for all cuts, abrasions, and picked-at pimples. (Pimples? I vaguely recall them. You protly had one just last week.)

      Yak Later...

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    5. Protly? Do you corrupt other languages besides English?

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    6. The only other language I speak is "the language of Love" and, yes, I definitely corrupt that one, too.

      OK, perhaps I exaggerated slightly. You're a young lady, but not so young that you protly had a pimple last week.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    7. I didn't have a pimple last week, but at age 56, I still have break outs from time to time. I thought that being an adult meant I would never have a pimple again. Not true. Maybe it's because I'm so childish that I'm not a true adult so I get zits.

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  11. The original makes my toes curl - in a bad way. I adore the Muppet version. And pairing them with Jack Black? That should take the #1 spot.

    Keep faith, Janie.
    Love to you.

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    1. I love this songs, but I love the Muppets, too. I'm a big Jack Black fan, but I don't think I've seen him in any movies of late.

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  12. Hey! Look at YOU! I love the new look of your blog. :) (You did it up write...)

    Sometimes, it's more fun to hear what people THINK the words are than it is seeing or knowing what they actually are. Like "Bad Moon Riding." Best misunderstood lyrics ever! ♪"There's a bathroom on the right..." ♫

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    1. I always knew it was bad moon, but I thought it was there's a bad moon on the right. Thank you for your kind compliment.

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    2. It took me a long time to realize that the Bee Gees weren't talking about a "bald headed woman" in "More Than a Woman."

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    3. Are they singing More Than a Woman? I haven't heard that song in years.

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  13. When my son was in Middle School, he wrote down the words to "SLTS." After I explained what "mulatto" meant, it was time for "libido." It was then I figured it was time to have "The Talk."
    I started out with, "Libido? Yeah, that's something that Dad doesn't really have anymore."

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    1. I don't believe that for a minute, you stud.

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  14. I'm always thinking singers are saying lyrics that they're not. Womp womp

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    1. Same here. I need to write a post about lyrics I misunderstood for years. I'm grateful that I can Google the lyrics now.

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  15. I'm a Nirvana fan and have to go with Nirvana. :) Though, I do love Patti Smith... but I still have to go with Kurt!

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.