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Rape Me

by

Nirvana



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Kurt Cobain wanted to make a strong statement in support of women and against violence toward them. In his words, the song is a sort of poetic justice. A guy rapes a girl. He ends up in jail and is raped there. It's also believed that the song was in direct relation to his feeling of being raped by the media, in particular Vanity Fair and MTV. (thanks, Justin Gregg - Harrah, OK)
In 1996, Wal-Mart adopted a policy of not carrying any objectionable materials in their stores. While they continued to sell guns and cigarettes, they made many musicians alter their albums before they would sell them, resulting in "clean" and "dirty" versions of many albums. Nirvana had to change the title listed on the album to "Waif Me" before Wal-Mart would carry it.
The guitar in this song is basically "Smells Like Teen Spirit" backwards. Cobain thought that if a song was played backwards it would take on a new character. (thanks, Max - Merrick, NY)
Cobain wrote this from the perspective of a victim replying to a rapist. It's the reverse of Nivana's "Polly," which is from the perspective of the rapist.
At the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, Nirvana were told strictly by MTV not to perform this when they opened the show. In a typical Cobain move, the band strummed the opening chords of the song, sending MTV execs into a panic, before switching to the less controversial "Lithium." (thanks, Matt - Millbrae, CA)
Nirvana
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Comments (117):

Another misconception is that Hendrix "Voodoo Child" intro is Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" backwards, and although they sound similar, is not the case.
- Zero, Nowhere, NJ
Well, musically speaking, I agree with the person who said it's not SLTS backwards exactly, just rearranged in a different order. SLTS chords are FFFA#A# GGGCC; whereas Rape Me chords are GGGCC FFFA#A#. Also they're played in the same positions in both songs but the reason they sound lower in Rape Me is because Rape me is played in standard D tuning whereas SLTS is standard D#/Eb tuning. (I'm pretty sure this is right but feel free to correct)
- Zero, Nowhere, NJ
I've said this about other Nirvana songs. I'm the same age (well, 3mos older) as Kurt and grew up in the area (Wash St. but I'm from Seattle) I still am here too, and now old, unlike poor Kurt. . My female peers and I had such a defensive, one dimensional view of his lyrics when he was with us. We NEVER got it that he was AGAINST violence against women, can you believe it? we thought the opposite, "great music but lyrics are sooo rude" omg, for shame. Now that I'm older, I don't see exploitation in everthing males say, write or do. (And if they are being that, I don't give them the power to cause me to feel fear, they are the ones that need to grow up) So, I am able to get past red flag words, like "rape" and look at the context and consider the possiblity that there are alternative meanings. And that is what made Kurt's lyrics so great (and so sad that I miss out on it when he was alive) is that there are so many alternate meanings. I'm sure he had his own meaning but his choice of words lets the listener construct meaning from the obvious "in your face" literal meanings, then there is word play with phonetics and slang, and then there's the social context possibilities (like "bleach" can mean washing away stains, or clean disinfected in general, or in terms of the needle exchange programs), and then one can identify the lyrics in terms of relationships with other humans, love or hate, known or unknown. To me, that's his genius, not being some guitar god or "the Voice for Generation X" He invites you to find something meaningful for you in his lyrics, be it serious or silly, but something that is yours. I really wish I could have be open to seeing this when he was here, but his words and music is still here and in a way, its like a generous gift to those who wish to partake.
- anna, seattle, WA
omg guis4e!! kurdt kobainneeee was a frikin geniouse! he writed a song backwrds an then put sum deep lyricsw bout his derpresive side n how eh haetd all taht fame! srsly! i knowed him beter than al of you!!!11
also he totes didnt kill himself he was murderd by kourtney!!
- Tom, 0120, Brazil
John from Baumont TX. f--k yes kurt wrote lyrics for us to keep to ourselves. My favorite line is "Im so ugly, thats ok cuz so are you."
- Marcus, Jackson, MI
Nirvana is a feel good rock band. Which is crazy since their name is nirvana.
- Marcus, Jackson, MI
maybe the line "Im not the only one" is a reference to the John lennon song Imagine where he says im a dreamer but im not the only one
- Andrew, Hermosa Beach, CA
All musical opinions aside, statuatory "rape" anyone ? As a writer myself, I second the argument that Cobain wrote with the hope that his music would be, to fans, up for interpretation, and, therefore, lacked one specific feeling. For the sake of my argument, however, it would make some sense for someone to beg (so to speak, relative to the song itself) to experience recurring unions of consented rape - statuatory rape. Additionally, as an under-aged subject is less mature than his/ her suitor, it would be comprehensible for said subject to ponder whether or not he/ she is the "only one".
- Claire, Eugene, OR
Years back, watching Much Music (music channel in Canada) Kurt was in Vancouver and doing an interview and when he was asked the meaning of the song, he said that he had many homosexual friends, and the song was about the oppression of gay people. Whether that was just his "cause of the moment" or whatever.... hard to say. As suggested earlier, it may just be that it has several meanings to him.
- Devy, Corunna, ON
I never found this song offensive to women - it's an empowering anthem.
- Theresa, Murfreesboro, TN
Jeff in Austin is right. IMO, Nirvana had 2 maybe 3 good songs. They were not geniuses like most of you portray them to be. Relax people, Nirvana was good, not great.
- OG, Los Angeles, CA
ZOMFG, I really like this song. I'm at school right now so I stay say much, gotta do some classwork(bummer!). Anyway, I think this song is poetic justice, as well as entertaining.
- jessica, columbus, IN
The lyrics are short and simple, kinda morbid, but it is performed very well. The chorus brings out nothing but raw emotion. It's a shame that Kurt Cobain isn't still here today to give us more music.
- Landon, Winchester, OH
i belevie this song is about kurt wanting to be raped alot by some hot chicks becasue his whole life sucked and he wants to get some other than courtney love.
- Aaron, westside, MI
this song is actually a anti rape song
and kurt was tired of people trying to find a whole bunch of meanings in his songs
ironcily what we're doing now
so he decided to make it blunt and ovious
- lee, northbend, OR
alot of people misunderstand this song and it's meaning, it's really sad. But polly who is about a rapist is not cornered into being "controversial"
But anyway, LOL, Waif Me!
- Jacob, Rocky Mount, NC
This song is about a girl that was raped after a nirvana concert. somepne mentioned that somewhere and thank you for being smart(: its an anti-rape song. dont rape people. its icky and bad.
Jeff from Texas although that is a really really deep way of looking at it, I dont think thats why cobain killed himself.... I would also suggest you get some medication.
- blake, tahlequah, OK
Jeff, from Austin, you're an ass. A lot of songs from Nirvana have lyrics that are genius. Look at "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Milk it." As for a mediocre band... they were #1 at the end of 1991 and brought Grunge in to mainstream for the next four years and Alternative music in general for longer. They were not losing fame: from their last studio album, two singles, "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies/Rape Me," topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks at release. Pennyroyal Tea was going to repeat the pattern, had not Kurt killed himself. Also, I've never met anybody who listened to Nirvana because Kurt commited suicide.
- Patty, China Town, United Kingdom
I agree with John, Beaumont, TX. I believe that Curt often would sing a word repeatedly, but would phonetically morph that word into another word, either related or unrelated to the original. This would allow different listeners to find different meanings in his lyrics. Elaine, park city, UT makes a good case for heroin addiction, and the media rape is believable as well. My interpretation has always been rape by Record Execs and other artists. After each round of "new" music comes a plethora of copycat bands (Bush for instance) that either jump on the bandwagon or are formed by the Record Execs themselves. The similarities in the chords and rhythm to Teen Spirit makes a great case for this as Curt was raping himself (plagiarizing his own song) to create a new song that points out the fact that everyone else was doing it to him.
- Matthew, Mustang, OK
to Jeff, Austin, TX go screw yourself. kurt cobain was a great songwriter. and personally i don't think he killed himself but if you think he did fine. but dont say he did to raise his band to fame. he didnt even like being famous so just shot it! also wal-mart is destroying the world!
anyway i love this song! i really love his voice right at the end its amazing!
- kelly, miami, FL
This is incredible. I love the drums and the words.
- Gino, Bound Brook, NJ
Very good song. I love Nirvana.
- Michelle, Brook Park, MN
Why is everyone hating on Walmart for selling cigarettes and guns? Kurt smoked...and he obviously liked guns
- Jeff, Austin, TX
Many people beleive that they know the true meaning of this song. I beleive that Kurt wrote his lyrics not to have one set meaning for all to understand, but to allow his listeners to interpret the songs the way that they see them and then relate them to their own lives. This gives the music a much deeper meaning and makies it much more personal. I personally, beleive that this song has multiple meanings. Firstly, it is about his feeling of being violated or "raped" by the media as the watched his every move and it is also a response to the article that was published in Vanity Fair in 1992 telling about he and Courtney Love's drug use and calling them unfit parents. His daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was taken away due to this article after exposing his personal life to the public. The line about "inside sources" was sarcasm about he and courtney's beleif that a close friend was the one who leaked information to Vanity Fair. Another meaning: when Kurt was young, he was going to jump off of his roof to commit suicide but decided not to only because he did not want to die a virgin. He followed a slightly retarded girl home from school and started to have sex with her but then became disguisted with himself and left. Later, the girls father found her half naked and took her to the school to file a complaint. The girl was going to identify Kurt by his picture in the school yearbook, but because he was absent on picture day, was unable to. Another dimention to the meaning of this song is that Kurt was very publicly agaist the rape and the abuse of women. This song, no matter how much people want it to be, is not about heroin or any other drug. Another popular belief that is not true is that this song is about a guy who rapes a girl, gets caught, goes to jail, only to be raped there. There is no basis to this belief anywhere in the lyrics however, that is the meaning of Date Rape by Sublime. You people seriously need to look deeper into meaningful words instead of listening to a song, glancing at the lyrics, and just assuming that its about drugs or something like that. while you sometimes may be correct, many songs, such as this one, can have multiple meanings that are much deeper and more meaningful than your initial conclusion.
- John, Beaumont, TX
Kurt Cobain is a genius. He truly is. Killing himself was so freaking smart. By blowing his head off, he turned a mediocre band, who was rapidly falling down the backslope of fame, into instant legends. His songwriting skills, which were Junior High level at best, were instantly hailed as superb. WELL DONE KURTY!!!!!
- Jeff, Austin, TX
Well, Rhiannon, Oklahoma, I'd love to put that up for you, 'cept Nevermind isnt a song. Its an album.
- Sheeberson, Wrightsville Beach, NC
to save from further posts, i know the lyrics are "kiss" not "kick" from my previous comment. that's how it was in the article.
- Laura, Detroit, MI
1996 -- In May, "Reverend" Jim Dillon started the Church of Kurt Cobain in Portland, Ore., honoring the late singer-songwriter and challenging "parishioners," MTV and rock radio stations to fight drug abuse and suicide. Dillon said his sermons are based on Nirvana songs; for example, "Rape Me" ("Rape me," "Waste me," "I'll kick your open sores") is actually about brotherly love, he said.
- Laura, Detroit, MI
The single most beautiful song of all time.
- Katy, Glasgow, Scotland
thanks, tracy.
couldn't have said it better myself
- Echo, Normalville, MA
in one of the biographies it said he wrote this song when now that he was famous his old friends were talking advantige of him
- vincent, san fransisco, CA
He made the guitar riff like teen spirit for a reason. That was no coincedence. And the whole song...can't you people understand metaphors?
- Echo, Normalville, MA
i love this song
i though this song was abou the media and how they abuse him.
anyhow,
this is possibly the most overratter Nirvana song.
- Leela, Balimore, MD
Pretty ironic thing that the riff sounds similiar to Smells Like Teen Spirit, huh? This song is very strangely beautiful.
- Shelby, the other side , United States
kurt cobain was an inspiration to all of the people who didn't give a damn. he (in my eyes) was one of the most intelligent artists that has ever been heard. all of you who think "they suck" need to listen to the songs before you are too quick to judge..and also..if you can write the kind of poetry that kurt did, then you can say they suck otherwise...***k off! peace
- niki, madison, WI
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh they suck
- jeff, miller place, NY
Really the song has different meanings to different people, but to Kurt Cobain the meaning of the song meant what I posted.
- Tyler, Toronto, Canada
The song "Rape Me" is simple to find meaning in. He is simply implying that he wants to be raped, most males are pigs, whether they like it or not. Usually when Kurt writes a song, the meaning is right there, you don't have to look deep into his songs. And the line "I'm not the only one" means, he is not the only one who wants to be raped, as many males are horny. Simplicity is sometimes the most complicated.

*End of story*

>I am always right.<

Signed by : Mr. Nirvana
- Tyler, Toronto, Canada
NOT, smells like teen spirit backwards. sounds a little like it but not played that way
- Artemis, Aberdeen, Scotland
awesome song.......that's gay how they had to change it but they still sell guns and ciggertes........i hate wal mart
- joe, chicago, AR
Whitneys got the right idea im a thru and thru true NIRVANA fan so i read there bio and the song was to get back at Lynn Herschbergh
- Jeff, La Pine, OR
Tray may been out of line but he did have a point. Kurt definitly wasn't in it for the popularity. And on one occasion, Kurt told the media in interviews how the publicity of "Rape Me" was hurting his family.
My opinion being out...Kurt was a genuis, have you guys read the intro to the "NIRVANA" album?
- Jake, Tipton, MI
Kurt,Lake Geneva,you can't say that anybody who claims to be a Nirvana fan and think's Kurt comitted suicide isn't a true fan!!Suicide is just a part of his brilliance,one of the parts why he's a legend.
- Marko, Novi Sad, Serbia
I played the rift backwards, I'm sorry, It sounds nothing like Teen Spirit. It reminds me of the song, but I don't think that was true
- JT, Tullahoma, TN
Tray, your partially wrong. Kurt did not want to be left alone and ignored. Kurt wanted to get his messages across about what he believed in, and so he made himself more popular to do that, and to do that only.
- Spencer, McBride, Canada
well Tray from Somewhere, KS. i dont think you understand how some people feel about cobain. i think its ok to concider yourself a fan. but you are right that a true fan can keep it to themselves.
and dont tell people what kurt wanted. he had a briliant mind. let people think and say what they want about him. if you think he didnt want to be popular thats your opinion, dont be so rude about it.
- jac, boulder, CO
Not sure if anyone's said this, but the main riff actually IS NOT "Smells.." backwards. You can take the chords in Rape Me and put them in a different order, and then it's SLTS half a step (one fret) down, but left the way it is, the main riff isn't the SLTS riff backwards, and it isn't SLTS backwards half a step down either. If you don't play guitar, this may be confusing.
- Cody, Scottsdale, AZ
in the second verse i love when he says hate me and the the riff comes in and they blend to make the melody. incredible lyricaly too. GREAT SONG!
- kim, seattle, WA
you are one messed up person. Maybe you all should get a hint and do what Kurt has asked of you if your such "true fans" and leave him the hell alone. He didn't want all the fame he didn't want to be your idol.... he tried to rebel and everybody thought it was soo cool and liked him even more. Mostely all of his songs aren't so deep as you all try to make them out to be or have you actually tried to read them.. Did you ever notice that after "smells like teen spirit" the lyrics to most of the songs sounded like just a bunch of ramblings.. why do you think that is??? Lets see Kurt was doing all he could to make you people hate him and stop liking him.. he just wanted to be left alone so do the man a favor.
- Tray, Somewhere, KS
R.I.P. Kurt Donald Cobain you came as you were!
This comment really isn't about Kurt Cobain but the kind of person he was. Kurt Cobain would have hated all of us this is something that only Nirvana fans would understand anybody else wouldn't be able to get it. Kurt Cobain was killed. When you "shoot" a lethal amount of heroin your body gets stiff and you wouldn't be able to move your arms how are you going to shoot yourself. Kurt was 5 foot and had his boots on when he was found dead. The gun was so big that to be fired kurt would have to pull the trigger with his foot but his boots were still on. don't worry kurt justice will come some day. anybody who claims to be a nirvana fan and thinks kurt committed suicide isn't a true fan. P.S. see you in hell kurt!
- Kurt, Lake Geneva, WI
All i know is that while being sexually assaulted, by someone i considered a friend, i just kept going over and over the lyrics to this song in my head. It wasn't so much the thought of this person going to jail and getting raped that kept going through my head, but the phrases "I'm not the only one" and "You're gonna stink and burn" that just kept reminding me that the life that this person was living was going to come back to him and in the end he would pay for what he was doing to me.
- girlygirl, norther cali, CA
Before I read that it was about a girl being raped I thought it was about him asking God to find him again. What I mean by again is, as true Nirvana fans know, that when he was living with Krist, he went to church weekly and preached to his stoner friends about the sins of drugs.
- Mykal, Manteca, CA
Kurt Cobain often pointed out that the song was written before Nirvana's stardom, and therefore was not a "cynical comment on fame." The song could be misconstrued as a statement about being "raped" by the media or by drugs, but Kurt himself said that it was "a song of poetic justice, in which a man rapes a woman, is sent to jail, and ends up being raped there himself." So... Quit overanalyzing. It is what it is.
- Cassidy, Janesville, WI
How can you get any deep meaing out of those lyrics?.....the lyrics are so vauge!! I don't see anything resembling jail or anything!
- Tom, Dosen't Matter, CT
I've heard a lot of different things about this song. First I heard that it was about a girl who got raped and then the guy who raped her went to prison and then got raped and I also heard it was about how Kurt Cobain felt about being raped by the press. I think the line "Rape me, my friend" could be about a friend selling him out to the media or something. Also if you watch the Inside NIRVANA DVD they have an interview with Alice Wheeler, a close friend of Kurt's, and she said that it was sort of a feminist anthem, because we all know Kurt hated violence against women so I'm thinking the meaning is probably closer to the feminist anthem thing. And whether you like NIRVANA or not Kurt Cobain was a genius. People say his songs weren't that great or that his guitar playing wasn't good enough but people, come on, it was the simplicity that made the songs great, not to mention the sometimes heart-wrenching lyrics. I don't know how many times I have to tell people that a bunch of fancy guitar and drum solos are cool but they don't make the song. NIRVANA was a great band and they would still be as huge as they are today if Kurt hadn't been murdered.
- Jo Beth, Centreville, MI
Hey Guys I think Ya'll need to read before trying to analyze a song like this. Originally about Rape the act itself from the victims view later he decided to gear it to how he felt. He was telling the world to stp taking away his feelings in his msic. Kurt wrote songs to ease his mindfirst and foremost so his songs were personal but then he release them and everyone would pretend to understand how he felt and whathe was trying to say and he hated this
- daniel, Clinton, SC
I must say though, if you take the first 20 seconds of rape me and reverse it in an audio editor and play it back, It does sound very very similer to the first 20 seconds of Smells Like Teen Spirit.(the strumming pattern of the guitar) I would suggest anyone who doesnt beleive this myth to try it once.
- Cowticket, Indiana, IN
When I first listened to this song, it sounded like "smells like teen spirit," but backwards. How cool is it for a songwritter to play one of his songs backwards to an earlier song that he/she wrote. For all of those people out there who think Nirvana was just a teen angst band with kurt cobain, that druggie skum bag leading them, then F U. I believe that there are mutiple meanings behind the song, but Kurt Cobainh was a genius!
- grunge=dead, nowhereville, CA
The notion that this song is about a rapist who gets raped in prison is a tale that I have seen going around cyberspace for years. It has no basis whatsoever. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the lyrics that even remotely hints at such an interpretation. (Sublime's "Date Rape," on the other hand, is clearly about the very theme that has been falsely attributed to this song.) It seems that the fans want an explanation a bit more interesting than the obvious one that this is just another one of Cobain's self-loathing songs.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
the rape me chords are in the same strumming pattern and are played a half step lower than Teen Spirit. It was done on purpose as a shot at the media
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
To whom it may concern,
Analysis on rape me obviously this is not based on facts though some of the things i have read are just yeah horible! rape me my friend rape me again- is referring to heroin raping or violating his body. how can a friend rape you ? Heroin for a short period of time can give you feelings of euphoria while later once the effects have worn off you feel miserable. Im not the only one - he is not the only heroin addict. hate me do it and do it again- he hated himself for his lack of self control while at the same time he just kept doing it he couldnt stop the repition. waste me- referring to the drugs which were completly distroying his body. taste me my friend- the heroin being shot up and going into his body his friend heroin tasting him. my favorite inside source- possibly heroin being his drug of choice inside his body. ill kiss your open sore- the heroin needle going into his wounds which were probably inflicted by the needle in the first place. appreciate your concern- i think he understood the consequences of his actions yet he couldnt get a hold on the situation. youll always stink and burn - shooting up inevitably causes abscesses which obviously will stink to say the least and as for the burn it always burns shooting up!
- Elaine, park city, UT
dude! this song is soooo good! the instrumentals could be probably be played by 2 brain dead, vegetable, midget toddlers wiht ease! i absolutley love kurt cobain too!nobody else could write a song about sexually abusing people and ruining there lives better than he could! hes my favorite suicidal heroin addict of the 20th century! rock on kurt! all of the people who listen to your crappy music will burn in hell with you some day!
- Pat Long, E Nopo, NY
Rape Me was about a lot of things we can't even begin to comprehend. Not only is it about the media and poetic justice, it's about his unhappiness with his bandmates, his stomach ailments, etc.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
We are not raping Kurt(He would think so, but hey..) We are sharing our comments...
Rape me was (I think) about his fans(and about a raper) who rape him by wanting him to play songs they want and beeing someone he isn't...
- Rutgen, Antwerp
In theory you guys are raping Cobain right now coming up with all this crap about what the songs about.
- Dan, Lee, NH
"in principle the song is a modern contradiction guy rapes a girl goes to jail and is raped there
Kurt Cobain 1993"

Kurt was also making a statement to vanity fair pubicly raping courtney through their magazine.
- Marc, Niagara falls, Canada
I read that Kurt wrote the song about how when a women gets rapes and the raper goes to jail it will all come back to him and he will get raped
- Heather, Bristol, VA
this song was writted in around 1991..2 years before it was released..this song was a sequel to polly but then he altered the bridge "my favourite inside source" basically the song evolved from a song about rape( kurt said the song was about a rapist who got raped in jail) then it evolved into him being raped by the media
- Ant, Cardiff, Wales
I think that the song is about the feelings frustration and betrayal that comes with rape. (esp. if the act was comitted by a close friend/ relative.)
- Renae, Mill Grove, PA
in response to catie from mn, this song is not about pot. obviosly you dont look for the deeper side of the lyrics. This song is a mixture of the media and a sort-of feminist anthem.Its both. It is so not about pot.
- marlee, nova scotia, Canada
hey Zach Torronto / Canada i will confirm that if you play rape me in reverse that it does actually say rape you cheers m8 as soon as i saw it i thought hey im gonna try that now and yes it does say rape you m/m/.
- ginge, england, England
You people are actually kinda stupid. Come on now. If you are going to write something, know what you are writing about. In 1992 when Frances Bean Cobain was born, Lynn Hirschberg, a writer for Vanity Fair and MTV, wrote an article on how Kurt and Courtney were unfit parents. Due to this article, Frances was taken away by the courts. Kurt had written a letter back to Hirschberg and "Empty TV".. and said he would "do nothing but slag MTV and Lynn Hirschberg".. so he did. He wrote 'Rape Me'. It is about the article. The inside source was none other than Hirscheberg, and he talks about how the media (MTV, Vanity Fair, etc,..) basically took his child, and his personal thoughts, thus "raping him".
- Whitney, North bay, Canada
true kurts guitar riffs are not the most difficult to play, but he put more meaning behind his riffs than Eddie Van Halen did with his solos or whoever you want to chose. Kurt understodd that it wasn't just playing the music that makes good music...its understanding why it needs to be played. The same kinda went for all of the alternative artists of the early 90's.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
'rape me, my friend' i cant beleive thier song "nevermind" isnt on there...can some one put it on there for their friend rhiannon (thats me)? thanks!!!!!!!!
- Rhiannon, Oklahoma
The media angle is nice but I take this song to be literal. The song can take on a powerful new meaning when you think about the mindset of a truly hopeless person.
- Doug, Pittsburgh, PA
A guitarist could be incredibly talented yet play songs that sound like crap. Cobain is a very decent rhythm guitarist. The facts that his riffs aren't "Eruption" doesn't take away from his brilliance as a musician and songwriter.
- Rob, Castaic, CA
There are various meanings of the word nirvana but the main one is a state of complete calmness and compassion.
Kurt Cobain's guitar riffs are easy, he is a horrible guitar player.
- Dave, Philadelphia, PA
OMG!!! I don't understand why people think this song is about raping people...cuz it's not! This song is clearly about Kurt being raped of his own personal thoughts by the media, and other people. He even said later on in an interview or sumthing..."I have been violated by the rape of my own personal thoughts. You have raped me harder than you'll ever know." So...that's what this song is about. He says, "Appreciate your concern, your gonna stink and burn" Which means it's nice that you're concerned bout him but ur raping his personal thoughts and he hates u for that.
- Savio, Toronto, Canada
Hey! Has anyone verified that if this song is played backwards the chorus is rape you? You can reverse the song using any audio-editor. I reversed the track on In Utero, somebody please confirm what I've found. It gave me chills when I heard it.
- Zach, Toronto, Canada
Also, in yet another demo version of this song on the boxed set, a baby can be heard crying in the begining.
- Steve, Albequerque, NM
Why is one of the lines in the solo boxed-set version of this song, "I'm not a smorgasborg (however you spell it)"
- Steve, Albequerque, NM
New theory: The song is not about anyone raping anyone. Like most Nirvana songs, it's less likely to be about what anyone thinks about. Like most Nirvana songs, it doesn't particularly matter what it's about. It could be about the media, or perhaps about how salmon swim upstream, mate, and die. Perhaps neither. Perhaps, the simple fact of the matter is Nirvana wrote increasingly raw, loud, and truly spectacular music. This is one of the songs.
- D, many, MA
Kurdt(thats how u really spell it. not Kurt)

Actually it is legally Kurt. But he was known for spelling his name many many ways such as: Kurdt Cobain, Kurt Kobain, Kurdt Kobain.
- Jonathan, Deltona, FL
You've got to be kidding Jeff. Nirvana changed the face of popular music. They killed off glam rock for good, and they opened the door for so many others. Where the hell do you think Green Day would be right now if it wasn't for Nirvana? As for Kurt and Eddie being the same, that just shows that you don't know much about music. Their styles of writing lyrics are completely different, and their respective bands couldn't sound more different. Nirvana is on the short list of the greatest bands ever, probably only behind Zeppelin and Sabbath, MAYBE Metallica. You wanna see revolutionary? Watch any Nirvana concert and watch how Kurt captivated the audience. When he died, grunge's last breath was gone. And there hasn't been an important band since.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
when reversed the chorus instead of Rape Me is Rape You.
and no it doesnt kind of sound like it or anything like that, it actually is RAPE YOU.
- Zach, Toronto, Canada
There's no difference between Kurt Cobain, or Eddie Vedder or any other grunge rock back 'cept for that Cobain killed himself. He, and his band, were really not that good. At least not as good as people make them out to be.
- Jeff, Detroit, MI
I agree that this song is about Kurt's feeling of being raped by the media. I think the lyrics "My favorite inside source. I'll kiss your open sores" refers to how people worshipped celebrity magazines and media.
- Steve, Albequerque, NM
The guitar part is in fact "smells Like Teen spirit' backwards Kurdt(thats how u really spell it. not Kurt) hated the polished poppyness of Nevermind so decided to make In Utero the album no one who loved Nevermind would buy. He wanted to make it punk. So he reversed the biggest hit htey would ever have and make the lyrics "offensive" to the main stream. I have no clue wht the lyrics are about though, probaly about Heroine like all of their songs.
- dan, Pacific, MO
Kurt wrote this song in response to a vanity fair article about him and courtney. It told about their drug use. They thought one of their good friends told the magazine about them
- kevin, Denver, CO
let it be what it is. he said something he meant, he was a man to explain himself. not everyone you meet can say that now a days.
- Aja, Gloucester, MA
There is two main theories about what rape me is about. one being that it is about Kurts feelings about how the media treats him and the other is that its the song 'polly' from her point of view.
its not about his drug addictions and kurt never raped any one
- Rowan, sydney, Australia
Kurt Cobain was such a genius.I just can't stop thinking about what could have been.Such a terrible waste of talent.He was the best.
- Amanda, Louisville, KY
This song is about somekind of addiction. Yes. I think its romantic.
- mario, riverside, CA
This song is obviously about his addiction to heroin, and how the drug raped him.
Listen to the bridge

My favorite inside source (his drug dealer)
I'll kiss your open sores (his sores from the needle)
Appreciate your concern (he appreciates people's concerns for him)
You'll always stink and burn ( the smell and burn of where he injects the heroin)

the chorus: I'm not the only one, refers to people pressuring him.
- Josh, Edmonton, Canada
this song is about how he was a two time loser then he writes a few songs and every one loves him but its this fake love so he says hate me do it (the first time ) and do it again (still hate him cause hes no different then before) this makes him a more decnet human being then any one ive every known kurt lives on
- manson, taylor, MI
Nirvana played this song on Saturday Night Live despite objections from TV censors.
- Julian, Oakland, AR
The best part of the song is when Dave Grohl freakin pounds the crap out of the drums , cutting the Teen Spirit riff off. THAT's what made Rape Me a classic.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
THIS IS TOTALLY RIGHT- the song rape me has to deal with pot. If you've ever smoked pot, particularly dank...and you take one BIG ass hit...you'll just start coughing up a storm, and you'll eventually blow it out....kurt is talkin about the weed raping you (your throat)- and he was baked when he made this song!
- Catie, Hutchinson, MN
I absolutly love this song, you can really feel, and hear the pain in Kurt Cobain's voice, i really love the part where it says "Hate me, do it and do it again, waste me, rape me, my friend" this song is so good.
- Katie, , MI
the "inside source" line was used because Kurt thought that Pearl Jam's manager had told Vanity Fair magazine that Courtney had used heroin while pregnant with Frances Bean. Its a sarcastic line that accuses the manager of being a liar and a rat.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
the song rape me is about how the media was "raping" or robbing him of having a normal personal life. And how the media would watch his every move.
- hailey, chilliwack, Canada
thanking the "inside sources" is sarcasm... he's thanking the media for raping him and making his life hell.
- Rob, Castaic, CA
Why does Kurt thank all his "favourite inside sources" in the sleeve of the In Utero album.
The song is probably about fame and his inside sources are his fans.
- Dave, Brisbane, Australia
During a concert Kurt played "Polly" which is about a girl being kidnapped and raped. The crowd sang along with the chorus, while this happened a few people were raped toward the very back of the crowd. He felt disgusted by the fact, he went publicly and said "I can't believe plankton like that come to our shows" in response to the comment of the rape. He than made the song "Rape Me" which is about a guy rapes a girl gets placed in prison gets raped their and is justice in its own way. Kurt never did rape anyone. The inspiration came from the event at one of his concerts.
- Ryan, Madisonville, KY
in truth Kurt didnt rape a girl, he slept with a very simple girl who was 18. i think he was the same age, what he did was wanted to lose his virginity so he went round specifically to hers and did it, but was disgusted after. So he left, but on Monday everybody accused him. Although using a girl just for sex (and just to lose it) is sexist anyway. However he didnt rape her, it was blown out of proportion.
- Kieran, Harlow, United States
On the greatest hits album version of this song you can hear water trickling at the end of the song. Does anybody know what this represents?
- Evan, Orlando, FL
I have never read that it was he lead a girl to the woods to rape her. I read that, one day as a kid he was about to commit suicide by jumping off his roof. He decided though that he couldn't die a virgin so he followed a slightly-retarded girl home from school and ask to go inside. When he started to "do the deed," he became disgusted from it, and that she had a really bad smell, and left. Later her father found her half naked and called the school saying she had been raped. She was going to identify Kurt out of the yearbook, but he had skipped picture day and wasn't in it. Also, he was fasonated by Tobi and her femminism, as well as women in general and their ability to bare children. He highly respected her views and if the song is a reflextion of her it would be a means of respect and not a spoof. All-in-all I believe the song is about the media as well as a friend of his who was raped and then killed. They performed some concerts to raise awareness to rape victims because of his friend, at least I'm pretty sure about that part.
- Stephen, Broadalbin, NY
GREAT SONG...kurt is a genus!!! nuf said
- gary, hamilton, Australia
Its about the media and his record label takin all his money and exposing him, it doesnt mean litteraly "Rape me"
- Gilliann, Dublin, Ireland
I dont think Kurt Cobain would actually rape anyone.
Quote by Kurt: ||Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate woman about how to defend themselves What really needs to be done is to teach man not to rape, to go to the source and start there."||
- Jessica, Del Rio , TX
I read Kurt Cobain's diary, which was published, and in it is a story about how he lured a mentally challanged girl into the woods and raped her, but then she turned out to be smarter than she appeared and told on him. He said it was his inspiration for the song but i don't know if this actually happened or if it was one of his dillusional stories, which is most likely.
- Patrick, Marlton, NJ
ive always thought of this song as Kurt's way to lash out at the critics and other people that picked apart every little thing that he did, and read way too far into his lyrics and actions. its like they were raping him...
- Terri Lynn, Heart's Desire, Canada
kurt wrote rape me while he was dating tobi from the grunge band "bikini kill". she was a harsh femenist so i guess kurt decided to do a spoof on it sort of.
- chantal, whistler, Canada
I heard Kurt Cobain wrote this song about the press and media always on him.
- Holly, Pensacola, FL
When Nirvana performed at the VMAs, they wanted to perform this song but MTV thought it would upset people. Instead, they decided on Lithium. However, when performance came, Kurt started playing this song before breaking into Lithium, making the people at MTV nervous. Also, Walmart nearly banned In Utero from it's shelves for this song. Now on the back of In Utero at Walmart, it says "Waif Me" but has the same lyrics.
- Allison, Somewhere, NJ
Various "inside sources" told the media about his drug problems out of concern for his daughter and ended up getting her taken away. This was inspiration for the brige of the song.
- Blake, Texarkana, AR
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