Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: In UteroReleased: 1993
Melody Maker, in their August 21, 1993 interview with Kurt Cobain, explained: The lyric for "Dumb" seems peculiarly direct, a song about life's simple, silly little pleasures. Like "I think I'm dumb/Or maybe just happy." Is it intended to reflect that new-found optimism you've mentioned, or should we be reading it ironically? Cobain: "That's just about people who're easily amused, people who not only aren't capable of progressing their intelligence but are totally happy watching 10 hours of television and really enjoy it. I've met a lot of dumb people. They have a --itty job, they may be totally lonely, they don't have a girlfriend, they don't have much of a social life, and yet, for some reason, they're happy."
In Nirvana: The Biography
by Everett True, the author states, "When I first met Kurt, he told me that he acted according to how people treated him. So if they thought of him as a dumb-ass punk rocker, he was more than willing to act like a dumb-ass punk rocker."
The lyrics, "Skin the sun, fall asleep, wish away, the soul is cheap, lesson learned, wish me luck, soothe the burn, wake me up" equate to how it feels so good to fall asleep in the sun, never mind the consequences of sunburn as in the consequences of a passionate relationship or drug use.
Along with some other In Utero
songs, many fans heard bootleg versions of this long before the album came out. At the Reading Festival in August 1992, this became clear when the audience started singing along.