Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle

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  • Frances Farmer was an actress who starred in several popular films in the '30s and '40s, but developed a reputation for being very difficult on the set. In 1942 she was arrested for drunk driving and made the mistake of going to Mexico, which violated her parole. When she returned, she was put in a mental institution where she reportedly underwent shock treatments and a lobotomy. She was released in 1950 and began a comeback in 1958, starring in the film The Party Crashers and getting her own TV show called Frances Farmer Presents. In 1970, Farmer died of cancer at age 56.
  • In this song it appears Kurt Cobain is likening himself to Frances Farmer. While Frances was almost infamous for her difficulty to work with and her battle with her movie studio, which forced her into bad roles. She demanded much and later all she got for it was a series of mental collapses and a failed battle with alcoholism. Kurt related Farmer's battles against her contracts with corporate Hollywood with his difficulty with his record label, which he felt was holding him back and stifling his art, making him release poppy stuff he was never satisfied with. Farmer was born in Seattle, but Kurt had a lot more to do with the city than she did, which leads me to believe this is not a musical biography... not Kurt's style. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jason - Cincinnati, OH
  • Cobain and Courtney Love have a daughter named Frances Bean, but she was named after Frances McKee, of The Vaselines, who were a Scottish punk band from the early '90s. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    call me folgers - salem, NY
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Comments: 36

  • Zero from Nowhere, NjFor me, the "I miss the comfort in being sad," part is that, me being bi-polar, when I'm depressed, down on my self, I'm more humble and careful. When I'm happy, or Manic, I feel like I'm invincible and can do no wrong, but I'm also very vulnerable. Don't know if Kurt meant it that way when he wrote it, but he had the same condition. Though everyone's different. Just 2 cents...
  • Laydee from Rock River, WyFor this Amy chick, I was wondering, what your mothers name is. My Fathers name is Scott Elliot, whose Mothers name is Edith Farmer-Elliot, whose sister is Frances Farmer, My father still has the gun thet Frances' father killed himself with, so who is your parent? Aunt Mary was gay, though she won't admit it, so Bruce? Just curious.
  • Amy from Louisville, Kyok i was mistaken im sorry, my mother clarified for me because when i read about frances farmer it doesnt mention she had any children....frances farmer is actually my great aunt! i really need to read up on my family history! sorry!
  • Amy from Louisville, KyFrancis farmer is actually my great grandmother! i dont know much about her but heard this song and my mom told me that it was actually about my great grandmother! I really enjoyed ready the comments on this site....it was very motivating to learn more about my family.....i would love to learn more so if you know of any good sites for more about francis farmer please let me know! thanks
  • Niemand from Zhytomyr, Ukrainethis is one of the greatest songs I have ever heard! It gave me inspiration during last 15 years. 10 years ago or so I saw film "Frances" about Frances Farmer. It is highly interesting.
  • O.l from Syracuse, NyUm selling out? i dont think any grunge band besides maybe STP and some of the post grunge bands sold out....
  • Carl from Eugene, OrI've always thought there was some double meanings in these lyrics. It was a well known fact that Kurt Cobain did not get along with the likes of Pearl Jam and some of the other Seattle bands. I think this song is partly a critique of those bands and people for passively selling out. Of course, the irony is that in a way Nirvana did as well, but Kurt exacted his own sentence for that penalty.
  • Guilliermo from New York, NyIn many respects, I consider this the pinacle of the last great era of rock and roll (often referred to as grunge). I guess we'll never know if the abrupt feedback or volume changes are deliberate or not? Blur's song#2 also features a few bars of undestorted chords before the song begins in full. It shows us that Kurt was a thinking man, and we can only figure that "I miss the comfort of being sad" refers to Prozac or something similar. What a great Time Piece!
  • Ali from Richmond, CanadaI'm a little suprised some of you don't seem to know who The Vaselines are, I mean Nirvana covered some of their songs - Molly's Lips, Son of a Gun, Dying For It, Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam (although in all fairness this was not originally done by The Vaselines either) - sound familiar?
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, Cato answer your question, DiSasTeRpIEcE089:
    yes, reincarnation is stated in the Hindu religon, as the process of being born again.
  • Emitremmus from Desolation Row, United States"I MISS THE COMFORT IN BEING SAD".......wow. exactly my feelings
  • Merel from Ede, United StatesToo much fighting about wether Frances Bean was named after Frances Farmer or someone in the Vaselines, this is about the song people! My only statement: great song...:)
  • Mel from Melb, AustraliaI studied this song in english for poetry. This song is about Frances Framer (Kurt named Frances Bean after Frances Farmer!!!) This song is about the Frances but it also indicates the linking between Kurt and Frances in what they feel.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaLyzette I know what your talking about. That could be just Dave hitting some wrong places on his drum set, or just some sounds thrown in.
  • Lyzette from Moorpark, Caaround the middle of the song, for about 2 seconds, it sounds vaguely like someone is playing the spoons or something. am i right or no??
  • Liz from Toronto, Canadaokay, you people, you obviously don't know Nirvana, Kurt Cobain named his daughter after someone named Frances in the Vaselines, then later realized that he could have named her after Frances Farmer, I don't know if that makes sense, but it makes sense to me, so whatever
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cathis might be wrong but i heard somewhere that kurt named his daughter after someone in the punk rock band The Vaselines, whom Kurt adored.
  • Selene from Albany, Nynick: kurts daughter frances bean was named after frances farmer. i watched a interview with kurt and he was talking about how he came up with her name.
  • Radhika from The BasementThey didn't name their daughter after Frances Farmer. I thought they named her after one of Kurt's relatives?
    And Buddhism came from Hinduism, so it has some of the same concepts. Reincarnation, non-violence, nirvana (this time I'm not talking about the band!)
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlDoes anyone know if Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean is named after Frances Farmer? It seems like she might be.
  • Tamara from Bakersfield, CaThing is... Frances Farmer was connected to Seattle... as much as Kurt. Yet he was wasn't hated as much as she was by the local authorities at such an early age. She was framed a childhood horror for an Anti-God essay at an early age and was accepted to visit Russia at the age of 20 ... with her mother (that was much like Courtney as far as the battle and power absorption) standing infront of the bus as it pulled away screaming that she was a communist after her. Really Frances was not crazy at all... she was strong willed...and wanted to express her art without inhibition. People at that time thought anyone that was an outcast or rebellious in any way was warranted to drastic new treatments. She is a martyr. She was a prisoner to a paranoid society and to her mother... that in her final statement made it appear that in her treatment she was less rebellious and sarcastic... and her mother had destroyed the spark within her.. and returned her to God.. her lifelong victory. She didn't say she was a cocks*cker... she wanted to be placed as a vagabond. She was greatly involved in farm worker movements and in the end was reduced to a drunken mess hosting B films and interviewing celebs that didn't have a shadow of the talent before she endured her 5 years of torture in the sanitarium. It was pegged as more of a concentration camp atmosphere... she was both admired by the same city Kurt was and hated. There is a great deal that I didn't detail here.. if you are interested read "Shadowland" by William Arnold... really amazing.. and the most common comment is that people read it the first time from cover to cover without putting it down. Trust me.. I just did it last night.. didn't sleep and just kept reading.
  • Disasterpiece089 from A Place In, OhIsnt reincarnation a hindu teaching...
  • Lane Presson from Jackson, WyIf you are treated like a mental patient you are likely to act like one.
    -frances farmer on her years in an insane asylum.
    (not an exact quote)
  • Majesta from Waynesboro, VaWhen Frances Farmer got arrested, she put "c*ck sucker" as her occupation on the court documents. What a classic! :) :)
  • Tourette from Aberdeen, Wayuppers, frances was named for a member of tha vaselines, not frances farmer, a common misconseption, what i find houmorous is mt. st. helens is giong to erupt again. interesting if she did come back as fire.... with kurt comming back a lightening, if reincarnation is right, the buddest teaching, kurt would probably coma back as a turtle.
  • Rob from Castaic, Cathis is one of the best songs off of In Utero
  • Kieran from Harlow, United StatesFrances Farmer was condemned in her youth for writing a blasphemous poem that supports atheism.
  • Edwin from Costa Mesa, CaShintoism- The Japanese religion, when one who is famous dies a violent death, he comes back as an element, in this case, Francis Farmer comes back as fire, to burn all the liars, leaving a blanket of ash on the ground.

    I wonder what Kurt came back as. If Love gets hit by lightning, then we'll know.
  • Hillary from Seattle, WaThe line, "She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars, leave a blanket of ash on the ground..." I read was written about Courtney Love. Being, once she dies, and goes through "hell", then she will come back as fire and burn all the liars.
    Thats what I've read.
  • Sean from Sydney, AustraliaAlso its called Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle cause its a song about kurt wanting to burn down seattle not frances
  • Tessa from Louisville, KyThis is a really good song. He really looked up to Frances Farmer in a way. He went as far as naming His daughter after her, Frances Bean Cobain.
  • Kelly from Houston, TxYea, fran was named after Frances Kelley, one of the singers for the Scottish folk band, The Vaselines,(wife of eugene kelly) Kurt loved this band so much if fran was a boy he would be called eugene.
  • Edwin from Toronto, CanadaAlso, both Frances Farmer and Kurt Cobain were from Aberdeen originally.
  • Edwin from Toronto, CanadaThe line Rachel mentions is supposedly a reference to when Mt. St. Helen's will erupt again, potentially affecting Seattle ("all the liars").
  • Rachel from Dearborn Heights, MiI love the line "shell come back as fire to burn all the liars, leave a blanket of ash on the ground" Ive done a lot of research on frances farmer and she was pretty damn crazy.
  • Allison from Somewhere, NjWhen Kurt and Courtney got married, Courtney wore a dress that had belonged to Frances Farmer. Many people think that they named Frances Bean after Frances Farmer, but Kurt once said they named her after someone in The Vaselines.
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