Doll Parts
by Hole

Album: Live Through This (1994)
Charted: 16 58
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  • Hole frontwoman Courtney Love revealed in a 2020 Instagram post that she wrote "Doll Parts" in 20 minutes while in the bathroom at a friend's house party in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    "It was about a boy, whose band had just left town, who I'd been sleeping with, who I heard was sleeping with two other girls," she explained. "It was my way of saying 'You're a f---ing idiot if you don't choose ME, and here is all the desire and fury and love that I feel for you.'"

    "Good songs don't always come in 20 minutes but the force was strong and that one did," she added. "Anyway, I married that guy."

    The guy she's talking about is Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
  • Courtney Love wrote this song in 1991 shortly after meeting Kurt Cobain; she recorded it for the first time in November that year in an acoustic performance for John Peel's show on the BBC (this version can be heard on the 1995 Ask For It EP). Hole didn't release the song on an album until Live Through This was issued in April 1994, a week after Kurt Cobain died and two months before their bass player, Krista Pfaff, died of a drug overdose. The song took on a new meaning after these losses.
  • In an interview with the August 2010 edition of Uncut magazine, Courtney Love said of this song: "I still don't understand why that one song with just three chords is such a big thing. But it's definitely got some good lyrics. That was a song about Kurt. I wrote it in Boston. So the line 'dog beg,' that's because there was a dog begging me for food."
  • Samuel Bayer, who did Nirvana's " Smells Like Teen Spirit," directed the video for this song, which was shot six months after Kurt Cobain's suicide. In the video, we see stark shots of Courtney Love playing guitar on a bare mattress and outdoors at a creepy tea party surrounded by disfigured dolls. A child representing a young Cobain shows up, playing with one of the dolls and leaving the room at the end of the clip. The video is meant to convey the feeling of death.
  • The album title comes from a line in the movie Gone With The Wind, which is one of Courtney Love's favorites: "I'm going to live through this, and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again."

Comments: 25

  • Arden from TorontoI think this song was actually based on a poem that Love wrote after she met Cobain for the first times describing how she wished he would have interest in her but he was so adored by everyone else which was described in "yeah they really want you, they really want you, they really do". It was about the insecurity she felt wanting him so bad but thinking he wouldn't want her "I want to be the girl with the most cake, I love him so much it just turns to hate, I fake it so real, I am beyond fake". The doll parts was actually a reference to Cobain's obsession with dolls, he made a lot of art surrounding it. She wrote about wanting to be the dolls in the opening lines "I am doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs" and then later "he only loves those things because he loves to see them break". One last line is K (Kurt) stands for knife for the rest of my life". It's kind of heartbreaking because it was written when they were just acquaintances, recorded when they were husband and wife and released about a week after his death. I think the album as a whole has a lot of metaphors to fame and its hardships, especially if you look into I think I would die, heartbreaking, but from my understanding this song was Courtney's ballad to Kurt. Sorry for the rant, I hope someone as music nerd-y as me enjoys it, I'm researching the album for a collection!
  • Sarah from Yuba City, CaAhh i remember the first time i heard this song...i just sat in awe and when it was over, i cried and cried. I know that sounds waaaayy dramatic, but that's just the effect the song has on some people. brilliant. Live Through This is definitely my favourite album of all time :)
  • Mellissa from Laguna Beach, CaDid anyone read "Heavier than Heaven"? It's Cobain's biography. In it, the writer researched their relationship at length. He decorated their houses with broken doll parts for years before he met her. Also, on Valentine's day the year they both toured Europe, he sent her doll parts in a "Heart Shaped Box". All the lyrics are there.
  • Steven from Winnipeg, Mbhmm i like this song...
    its very emotinal but good non the less
    i really admire the lyrics
    and the tone it really sets the mood for the
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnSome songs just leave me speechless, this is one of those songs. Courtney's voice has never sounded better. I heart this ballad.
  • Diane from Kamloops, BcActually Doll Parts is about Cobain. Love penned the song in 1991 after meeting her future husband Cobain) and thinking he wasn't interested in her. The lyrics convey this 'He only loves those things because he loves to see them break... and someday you will ache like I ache.' It was first performed in concerts under the title of "Dissed" and featured entirely different lyrics. The song took on new, more tragic meaning after Cobain died, with Love giving anguished performances of the song on tour.

  • Kendall from Bowling Green, OhThis is for Mark from KY. "Doll Parts" was written and produced before the death of Cobain, so it isn't about Love losing him, but it is about him, the media, and her.
  • Norbert from Milwaukee, WiCourtney is beautiful, sexy, talanted, and most of all real. I don't think most rock stars today are real. They act all wild for the cameras and stuff but then go home and watch tv with the wifey and kids. Rock is rebellion and hell raising and Courtney doesn't just fake it.
  • Paul from Savannah, GaI have to say "Live Through This" is tied as my number 1 album ever.
  • Wade from Sydney, AustraliaThis has 2 be my fav song!!! I love Nirvana and i honestly dont think that it was Cortney who had any impact on Kurts death shore they had a love hate relationship but u can tell by the emotion in the song despite when it wass written that it has a relateion to Kurt and to me i think she really loved him when Kurt went misseing the phew days b4 his death she was the 1 who was trying 2 find him she did care bout him in my honest opinion i think what killed him was not only the drugs but being in the spotlight 24/7, it was a bitter sweet fantasy 4 Kurt it was something he wanted ( to be famous ) But when he reached fame he realised its not what it seemed despite all the fans and all the fame it prooves at the top u can still get lonley and i think cortneys diversity and strength shows through in the use of vocals for this song.
  • Mark from Russellville, KyI'm not a big Courtney Love fan, don't find her particularly attractive. But on one night on SNL when she performed this song, I was mesmerized. She looked really hot. And at the time I believed the song was about her loss of Cobain (whether or not it was) and that lyric and her performance were devastating.
    Mark, Russellville Ky
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, PaI love courtney she is my fasion and musical idol...this song means the world to me because she says everything i feel everyday of my life...i listen to it everyday. her voice wish i had her the music video as well
  • Joel from Columbia, ScI heard this on an episode of SNL. Courtney was totally high. She kept f--king up the lyrics.
    Kinda sad considering Krista Pfaff's death.
  • Shelly from Loserville, Nceveryone all like courtney killed kurt but idk so whatever.this song is about their love to each
    other because what i get from it is when he was alive they shared a love of dolls and doll heads(strange).so when he dead she felt like parts of something whole;doll parts.she awesome and just needs to have people get off her back about everything. =)
  • Mari from El Cajon, Cai think Courtney is a very talented person but i can't stop thinking that there were many strange events that happend before and after Kurt cobain's death. I will admit that this song is incredible, but come on she's a total psycho, who has offened many people, and she's violent
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoI had friends who had an avant synth-pop band called Doll Parts in Boulder, Colorado in the mid 80's. They moved to San Francisco to make it big but broke up instead.
  • Jacob from Atlanta, GaThis is an emotional and dark ballad that is one of Hole's most recognizable songs with Courtney comparing herself to a doll.
  • Becca from Hamilton, CanadaI am not a fan of Courteny, but this is a good song.
  • Hannah from Dallas, Txyeah.. this song was written before kurt died.. but anyway I read in an interview that Courtney wrote this in about 5 minutes. great song.
  • Kurt from D.c, Dcyes yes we all know that the band went through many losses that year but they were both after courtney wrote this song....good song tho.
  • Alyssa from London, EnglandI hate it when people accuse her of killing Kurt Cobain. She might've driven him to do it in some way, but I think the thing that really drove him to do it was the drugs. She definitley wasn't the one who pulled the trigger and people should find out more about her life before they judge. Can you imagine walking in and finding your band mate dead in the bath from a drug addiction and walking into your garage and finding your husband had shot himself? People should actually put themselves in her position before they judge...
  • Sam from Amesbury, MaThis has to be my favourite Hole song, along side with "Northern Star." Courtney is my hero musically. I love her with the most sincerity.
  • Colette from Fraser, MiAlthough people will scream to high heaven that Kurt/ Billy Corgan/ Trent Reznor wrote this song for her, this song was part of a poem she sent Kurt before the album was ever released. In a recent Spin(?) Magazine interview Courtney commented on how she still gets people coming up to her in clubs and telling her how this song impacted them, and for good reason. It is a great song.
  • Tom from Wapakoneta, OhShe brought it all on herself, but, yeah, she has seen hell and back. This is one of two Hole songs I like, the other being "Violet".
  • Michelle from Midland, TxEverybody needs to leave Courtney alone. She has been through enough.
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