Big Long Now

Album: Insecticide (1992)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song appears to be about an alien encounter. There's not much to go by, but some lines like "She's not turning green," "Why can't I hear" and "Instantly grow" lead many to think this song is about extraterrestrials.

    According to Chad Channing, who was Nirvana's drummer when this song was written, Kurt Cobain didn't know what it was about either. Chad ended up supplying the title. He told us: "He (Cobain) goes, 'Well, I don't really have a title for it,' and so I just off the top of my head, 'big... long... now?' I was trying to think of something how the song felt. Because it was slow, heavy, and something that we were doing now. So I thought, 'big long now?' And once again, Kurt was like, 'Okay, let's do that.'"

    Chad supplied the title for "About A Girl" in similar fashion. In our 2013 interview, he talks more about his time in Nirvana and how Cobain wrote songs.

Comments: 15

  • JwadeI think the song could be about being a body, maybe the female that the song puts is the forensic, and how she is not impressed, scared of do what she does..Maybe.
  • Lex from Bay AreaSounds like a shameful recount of group sex.
  • Lou from PortlandThe song makes me think of my years working in healthcare - It's from a patients perspective. Things like "put this side up" is like talking to your nurse asking her to raise the rail on the hospital bed; and things like she's moving through - like a nurse going about her patient care business routinely moving past the patient daily. And "can we show our faces now" could be referring to nurses wearing masks while caring for patients.
  • Thomas from CaIt's about Jang Geum, the first female royal physician in Korea. She was given the title of "Dae" Jang Guem, meaning "Great" Jang Guem. When written in Hanja (Korean word for Chinese writing) the name is written as 大長今 (大 big 長 long 今 now).
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjI don't think it's about the media, Kurt and the band weren't that big when they recorded this song, and Nick, Fresh Meadows, NY, you don't have to actually experience something to write about it.
  • Mart from Lima, PeruMaybe is about sex...
  • Nick from Fresh Meadows, Nyi dunno aliens that look like paparazies? did they have cameras, all i could say that that is one of the most depressing songs next to something in the way, i feel like its the end of the world. but i would strongly suggest that its about him resenting the fact that he was always hassled with media and cameras and questions about drugs and suicide. i dunno i believe in aliens i dont think we are alone, but i dunno it seems a little far fetched, i mean when did he have the time to meet an alien and then be so cool about it and right a song
  • Travis from Lehi, UtI'm with Kane. This song is about being trapped and constantly longing and searching for something you might never have.
  • Gabriel from Laval, QcI think it actually refers to Cobain's popularity. he couldnt go out because of fans and paparazies "Can we show our faces now?"

    "Endless climb" might refers to his non-stoping growing popularity, and "Why am I shown?" to medias giving him front pages.
  • Bronte from Sydney, Australiai think it is about, kurt and courtney.
    getting bad media.
    eg. "can we show our faces now"
    i dunno, that is what comes to mind.
  • Kane from Vancouver, WaI think it is acually about Kurt feeling like he's imprisoned in himself or it's about hus childhood and how other people didn't seem to listen to him at times. I think I'm right.
  • Felix from Chandler, AzI believe this song is actually in reference to the book of Genesis in the bible. Namely the story of Adam and Eve.
  • Carlito from Cameron Park, CaThis song is really creepy. It gets inside of your head and won't come out. It makes you feel really wierd.
  • Eloise from London, EnglandI think it's the "green with envy" thing, too. I haven't heard the Extra Terrestrial meaning before, Matt. Interesting though....
  • Me from Somewhere, Ar"She's not turning green" simply means she's not getting envious. Ever heard of the phrase "Green with envy"?

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