Heart-Shaped Box

Album: In Utero (1993)
Charted: 5
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  • Kurt Cobain, Nirvana's frontman and the song's author, claimed that this song was inspired by a television report of children suffering from cancer. However, many believe it was really written about his shaky but passionate relationship with his wife, Courtney Love. The lyrics do tend towards this latter interpretation, since they seem to concern themselves with an unstable romance between two individuals. It's worth noting that the lyrics mention Pisces and Cancer, Cobain's and Love's respective astrological signs. Love, after their second meeting sent a small heart-shaped box, containing, among other things, a doll's head, to his hotel room. This is believed to have inspired the song's title. Cobain and Love both shared a love and fascination of dolls.
  • The "Heart-Shaped Box" could be a reference to a uterus. The lyrics talk about the situation of an aborted fetus from the first-person viewpoint.
  • There are many possible interpretations for the "Heart-Shaped Box." It could be a box for Kurt's needles, an actual heart, or a box of love letters. There is no clear explanation, which was probably what Cobain had in mind.
  • According to the book Come As You Are by Michael Azerrad, the idea of the song came from Courtney Love when she presented Kurt with a heart-shaped box full of precious possessions. The song switches meanings between Kurt's feelings over Courtney and his feelings on how women are treated.
  • After Lana Del Rey did a gentle rendition of this song at a 2012 concert in Australia, Courtney Love took to Twitter to give her take on the song. In a series of quickly deleted Tweets, she wrote:

    @LanaDelRey you do know the song is about my vagina right? Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back umm. On top of which some of the lyrics about my vagina I contributed.
  • The original title was "Heart-Shaped Coffin." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Daniel - Wickita, KS
  • There is a plastic-fetus collage on the back cover of In Utero that was designed by Kurt Cobain. This contributed to the album almost getting banned at K-Mart and Wal-Mart. The stronger reason that Wal-Mart wanted to ban the album was that it included a song entitled "Rape Me." However, Wal-Mart in the end did NOT ban the song, because Kurt Cobain conceded by providing them with a version that was slightly altered on the exterior, with the song "Rape Me" listed as "Waif Me," and with the image on the back being a zoom-in of one small part of the original back cover, so that it was difficult to tell that the image was of plastic fetuses. Bassist Krist Novoselic has commented that he told Kurt it wasn't worth it to pander to Wal-Mart like that, and recalls that Kurt responded by saying that Wal-Mart was the only store he could go to when he was a kid and that he didn't want any young fans to be unable to buy their album because of this. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Stefano - Old Bridge, NJ
  • Nirvana's songs "Milk It" and "Marigold" also appeared on the single.
  • The lyrics, "Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back" could be Cobain's way of saying that he wants to climb back into his mother's womb and restart his life. Calling it an umbilical noose indicates his suicidal tendencies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Zac - Brisbane, Australia
  • Evanescence recorded an acoustic version that was released on their "Going Under" single in 2003.
  • The video, directed by Anton Corbijn, is rather odd and depicts a little girl in what seems to be a Ku Klux Klan uniform and an old man with a Santa hat on dressed like Jesus and tying himself to a cross. It also shows a rather large woman wearing a suit of meat for the verse "meat eating orchids forgive no one just yet." Later in the video her uniform turns black and she tries to snatch unborn babies from a tree. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Quentin - Goutier, MS
  • Another prevalent theory is that Kurt Cobain wrote the song about a stash of old love letters his wife, Courtney Love, was given by former flame Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Heart-Shaped Box is also the title of Joe Hill's (Stephen King's son) debut novel about a lonely retired rock star who receives a mysterious heart-shaped box in the mail. Hill explained the significance of the title and its connection to Cobain: '"Heart-Shaped Box,' the song, is likewise about feeling trapped and isolated. Also, the novel is in part about the way a certain kind of very unhappy person will use loud, intense music to hold self-destructive urges at bay, something I think [Kurt] Cobain tried very hard to do. But I only made a mental connection between the two things because of a lucky accident. I was writing the scene where UPS delivers the ghost–in reality, a haunted suit–and I was listening to iTunes, and Nirvana's 'Heart-Shaped Box' just came up on random play. So I put the haunted suit in a giant heart-shaped box, and, eventually, it became clear that ought to be the title."
  • Initially, In Utero was going to be called "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die" - Kurt Cobain's typical response to "How are you?" The final title was taken from a poem written by Courtney Love.
  • A live version appears on 1996 Nirvana album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.
  • Kevin Kerslake, who had previously directed videos for "Come as You Are," "Lithium," "In Bloom" and "Sliver," sued Nirvana over this video. He did some work on it before Nirvana elected to go instead with a Dutch director named Anton Corbijn. Cobain brought a highly detailed treatment to Corbijn, who ended up using this vision for the final shoot.

    The distinctive video became the most-played MTV spot, officially declared as such by Billboard on November 20, 1993. However, Kerslake returned to the scene and sued the band for copyright infringement, claiming that his ideas were the ones Cobain had presented Corbijn with. The band settled with Kerslake out of court.

Comments: 150

  • Hannah But Backwards from InThe song always sounded like a hate letter to Love in my opinion (probably because I don’t care for CL). I’m not sure if I have my facts straight, but from what I’ve read CL made KC drug addiction much worse, in the line “I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap,” I think he could be referring to black tar heroin. In the line “meat eating orchids forgive no one just yet,” I think he’s talking about a particular female part and the forgive no one Maybe a reference to Courtney’s relationship with Billy Corrigan and the bitterness between them. Finally I always thought “umbilical noose” referenced a point in time where KC wanted to leave CL because the drug use had gotten out of hand but then she became pregnant, tying him to this way of living to be a present father. Just some thoughts…
  • Parkjoel from CanadaIt strikes me that no one saw a reference to Jesus Christ (forever in debt to your advice)... That would be calling the gospel an unwanted advice...
  • Nirvana Fan from AmericaWas kurt cobain also an activist fighting aganst the long time struggle in this nation for equality and if you study the vido you see a hint of the kkk with the crosses and the pointed hood hat and out fit and at the same video you see the black pointed hat and black robe out fit and all the crosses and the little girl throw kisses to jesus who believed the greatest thing concecpt of life is to love one another. So was curban he sending a message of the conflict in the nation between white culture non acceptance of the black culture which we are all people and the man on the table is death of discrimination and that what needs to happen to brig peace ending of the hatred and racisim of not only the black culture but all minority cutures which inclueds the live of the unborn which is a cuture withouut a voice or with out a say as to what happens to them. There are so many forms of descrcution in our country and covid has been the hardest to deal with for it has affected every one in one way or another. So the most preciouus thing on earth is life.
  • AnonymousHeart shaped or man stuck in a box? Fight night rivalry siblings pass along
  • Human from Earthmaybe Kurt was against abortion because he also talks about how humans are very selfish and do things like sex then don't want the responsibility of raising a child so they abort it in drain you.
  • Bob from HomeThis song reminds of abortion, Stuck on drugs that is trying to make you happy. It sounds like Kurt Cobain wished he was aborted before he had to deal with all the Trauma he grew up with.
  • Alex from Athens There is a direct reference to heroin. The " magnet tar pit trap" is the black tar heroin.
  • Michael from LubbockI've always been a fan of trying to decipher song lyrics as a personal opinion, never to claim any valid truth or merit. I like to see the lyrics from the pov of who the writer may be referencing as opposed to it always being about the writer. In this case, I'll write this from the pov of an unborn fetus/embryo and a cancer patient. Here's my overly analytical opinion/theory/thought:

    1. She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
    2. I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
    3. I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
    4. I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black

    1. Negative Pisces energy can be gullible, self-pitying, addictive, self-destructive,
    clingy. May be referencing to the diagnosis of cancer. Cancer, as an
    astrological sign) is said to be a compatible pair for Pisces.

    2. Aside from the know heart shaped box given by Courtney, this may be the speaker's reference to an developing fetus. At 4 weeks, the baby's neural tube, the building block of the spine, brain, and backbone, is already formed and is the size of a "poppy seed". This image is referenced throughout the video and of course played a part in Kurt's personal life. This may also refer to the mother's uterus. A bicornuate uterus occurs when a woman has a uterus that is heart-shaped.The shape of a woman's uterus can be significant when she is trying to conceive, as well as during her pregnancy. A woman with a bicornuate uterus may find that her baby lies in an irregular position, which can affect childbirth.
    The "4 weeks" may be referring to the patient diagnosed with cancer.
    For most cancers, stage IV (4) is the highest and means the cancer is more advanced than in the lower stages and may be metastatic.

    3. The Journey of Egg to Embryo (ie conception, ovulation, fertilization etc.)

    4. The desire to be born and rid the Mother of any illness/complications that may prevent the birthing process or the fact that anything consumed by the Mother is therefore consumed by the fetus.

    I've got a new complaint
    Forever in debt to your priceless advice

    Hey, before you go I've have a new concern that needs to be addressed.
    May be from the pov of the patient to the doctor or to God in general. May be the child to the Mother who may be succumbing to the disease leaving said child left alone in the world (assuming the diagnosis was post birth). Forever indebted to advice that is meaningless and has no price value due to succumbing to the illness or just in general. Nice play on words, debt and priceless.


    1. Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
    2. Cut myself on angel hair and baby's breath
    3. Broken hymen of your Highness, I'm left black
    4. Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back

    1. Orchids are said to resemble the female uterus and flower is sometimes used to symbolize the female organ and likened to the fertilization/pollination process.
    May be referencing to woman who use their allure and promiscuity to entice the male gender and are unforgiving (I'm not a sexist, so yeah, just theorizing)
    Or may be referencing to the cancer itself not discriminating the sex of the victim.

    2. May refer to the sensitivity of the patients skin and be expressing how even something as delicate as angel's hair (symbolically not the pasta) and baby's breath (both flower and figuratively) can cause harm to the skin. Angel hair is said to disintegrate/evaporate within a short time of forming. Baby's breath being a symbol of pureness, and innocence are usually used during weddings and may be used to show the contrast of life and death and in comparison to that of a baby's breath.

    3. Hymen (Ancient Greek) in Hellenistic religion, is a god of marriage ceremonies
    (baby's breath) and song.
    Your Highness. (formal) A title of respect used to address a prince or princess.
    May be a form of sarcasm. Referencing "Your Highness" as someone who is impregnated although not a Queen (or married). Or may be referring to the injection site of an IV for chemo or the injection of a drug (heroin) and therefore a clever spelling for "high-ness". Left black referencing the the dead cells/tissue (cancer) or the black tar heroin.
    4. This being from the pov of the now born child/fetus. Having entered the world and been exposed to the enviroment and all its complications, wishes to return to the security of the womb. The umbilical cord that once sustained the life of the child and provided life is now a noose that can return the child home (womb/afterlife, morbid and macabre, yes I know). Pretty damn good visualization of duality and the play on words.

    Yes, I know this is a reach but Kurt was very artistic and used anatomy, illness, poppies and babies throughout a lot of collages and artwork/drawings and lyrics.
    Assuming you've seen the actual video you can draw your own interpretations. know that's a stretch but anyone who is familiar/well versed in Kurt's artwork, writings, know that He had a strong connection with the "Jesus Complex".
    And I'll always believe that Kurt was more artistic, musically and artistically, then given credit and purposely portrayed Himself and his work as simplistic as possible to keep the listener/viewer drawn to the meaning of His work.
  • Kim from UsaHeart shaped box, the gift Courtney have him. This is a song all about the bitch, Courtney, who can't stop complaining and he takes it because he owes her for her supposed advice. Courtney, the Pisces, messes with him when he's weak. Locked in that heart shaped box and can't get out (sometimes I think this is an inside joke because a heart is actually made after the shape of a ladies ass, so maybe he's trying to say he's been stuck in her ass). He was drawn to her magnetic tar pit TRAP, she's not good - it's all just a big trap of BS he's stuck in like tar on the skin. She is absolutely cancerous and spreads evil and if you know anything about cancer it actually turns black in the body so he is saying I wish I could be the one, so high up the food chain from her, and just eat the bitch to be rid of her and make a meal out of it all. "Hey, wait, I've got a new complaint" says Courtney Love ALL THE DAMN TIME but he's forever in debt to that priceless advice that gained him his fame, supposedly tho as I think he's being sarcastic. She likes to say this song is about her vagina, wtf?! How?! If you know anything about their relationship and Kurt's life you'd know this is all an ode to Courtney telling her she is cancerous, toxic, a complaining girl who will open her legs for you and hang you with her umbilical cord noose because she's done exactly that to him, using fatherhood as a new weapon. So now he got cut (weakened,etc) due to their baby as he refers to "angel hair, baby's breath" and being that he needs to be a father now but doesn't want to be doing this with Courtney but she'll cut him with the fact he's a father, use it against him, yada yada you get it.
  • Tristan from Texas"She eyes me like a Pisces"

    "I've been drawn into your magnetar pit trap"

    "I wish I could eat your cancer away"

    I think Kurt just wanted to demonstrate his interest in astrology. A magnetar is a neutron star that is the single most electromagnetic thing in this universe. He uses this, I think, to either explain no matter how far he tries to get away from his addiction, or Courtney he is always drawn back to them. Maybe Kurt wanted to be an astronaut?
  • Fekneim from UsaSeems like he's singing about the relationship between a son and his horrible mother to me.
  • Jerry W F from Orlando Courtney had a heart shaped box with Billy Corgan's (Smashing Pumpkins front man) love letters in it. Courtney was seein Billy before she met Kurt. She kept the box, bugged the s--t out of him. So he wrote a song.
  • Nicholas from Oceanside,caI think this song is about not only about Courtney love but about being addicted to heroin. He says at the beginning "I wish I can eat ur cancer, when it turns black... I've been trapped into your magnet tar pit trap..." In California most of the heroin comes from Mexico, which is a black tar form. He wishes he can eat the cancer when it turns black. I think he meant he wishes he can eat the cancer of addiction to black tar heroin.
  • Amanda Huffman from Salt Lake City Courtney Love gave Kurt a heart shaped box before they started dating. She is a Cancer. He is a Pisces. This song I’m assuming is about his addiction to Courtney and drugs or relating his addiction to her as if she were a drug. Just my translation <3
  • Fredalstair from NjAfter many times of listening to this cool song it dawned on me that it actually resembles the song from Chris Isaak called "Wicked Game." To my surprise I found out that the album that contains this song is called Heart Shaped World and Cobain's song is called "Heart Shaped Box." I thought this is interesting enough to mention as most probably Cobain did it subconsciously as any writer of songs can confirm that many times you pull a song which later on you find out you heard somewhere else.
  • Chris from AnaheimTwo things: a) heart-shaped box was a reference to the heart-shaped box where he kept his drugs. b) the "cancer" in question was his mom's. Source: worked on his documentary, heard the interviews.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, OkI'm not giving any song interpretations here. I just want to say that I still love this song here in 2013. I've been a fan of Nirvana since '93 when I was in college and their music got me through some very tough times in my life. I made it through those bad times and survived into 2013. What a song from the heart! I'll always love it.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjNo Offense, Orlando, but that is extremely ignorant and pretentious to assume that you know for a fact exactly what this song is about. I'm a musician as well like I said in an earlier post and I don't claim to know any more about Kurt or what he was trying to say than anyone else, I did not know him personally, and even if I did, it wouldn't matter because I don't live in his head. I could inform people on the musical aspect on the song if I knew it, but I admit I've never learned to play this song so I'll keep my mouth shut about that area. Now, admittedly Kurt wasn't the best musician in the world, mainly playing power chords, but he was a tremendous artist and great lyricist who wrote about many different things and was very abstract in his wording, a true poet. Like many people here have said whether in this forum or other song pages countless times, music is an art and art can take on many different meanings to different people, even a different one to every person. No one's interpretation is wrong because that is what the song means for that individual.

    If you would have said , "This is what I get from this song," or, "This is what I think it means," I would have respected your post a lot more. Unfortunately, you chose to beat your idea down everybody's throats, which isn't cool.
  • Orlando from Brooklyn, OkThis song is so misinterpreted.. its not about love.. seriously watch the video. The sing is mocking Christianity. Its about reincarnation.. and death..budda. on your death bed. You think jesus.. the fairy tale.. "forever in debt for your priceless advice" Santa hat, Jesus disappears during the chorus because he means nothing in death. I can't believe how many of you are so f--king blind.. but I guess I only understand him because I am a musician. Open your eyes... do you really think he'd want to risk getting killed by saying what the song was about, hmmm? The only hint is watching poor kids with cancer die believing in Jesus, his words. You will climb right back.. logic guys...
  • Ryan from Lynchburg, Va"broken hymen of your highness im left black/throw down your umblical noose so i can climb right back" his mother is his highness and obviously the hymen must be broken in order to give birth to kurt which left him black as in dead and empty because of his addiction and wishes he could climb back into her womb and start over
  • Ryan from Lynchburg, Va"Meat eating orchids forgive noone just yet" is a reference to heroin. The orchid is the opium poppy plant that produces heroin and destroys your body thats why its "meat eating" and it will "forgive noone just yet" because it is a harsh and never lets you redeem yourself, in his opinion.
  • J.c from Chicago, IlInterviewer: "But on "Heart-Shaped Box" the chorus goes "Hey/Wait/I’ve got a new complaint".

    "That’s just me giving an example of how I’m perceived. People don’t realise that I’ll say something and it’ll be quoted in an article, then it’ll be taken out and used in another article in a different place, and then again, and then again. I’ll only have said it once but it looks like I’m complaining all the time. People also don’t realise that in all the interviews before ‘Nevermind’ come out, and in the first few months afterwards, we had different perspectives on what our band was. We just went into it very blindly. We didn’t realise how many interviews we were doing, just knew that we were exhausted every night after talking for hours on end." - Kurt Cobain

    -Heart Shaped Box was also inspired by Jessica Tandy, the original Blanche Dubois, and Vivian “Leigh” starring in Tennessee William’s A Street Car Named Desire.
    (Inspired by Blanche’s Seahorse Pin)
  • Cortney from Los Angeles, CaI listened to a radio interview of Courtney Love in Burbank and when Kurt was across town playing at the Whiskey Go-Go. The dj asked Love, if she was a Pisces and she said that 'Kurt had an old girlfriend that was a Pisces that he said he got along allot better with.' Kurt turned to herion after his other, unknown girlfriend terminated a pregnancy due to Kurt's new found addiction. Kurt quit the band during an interview, because of a fantasy relationship he had in his head and his band members used the words 'inspired by a fictitious relationship. Kurt was pining away for another girl, who he said he use to be angry at and about not having a steady commitment which took place a few years earlier from his marriage and his baby. Also, in his last days, he supposedly bought 2 first class tickets from LA to Seattle, but sat with Duff from Guns-N-Roses on the plane, so I think Kurt probably was hoping to reconnect with his old girlfriend and she dumped him again. So, he killed himself. He sangs weeks not months, so he wasn't singing about Love but another lover.
  • Chayse from Decatur, IlWOW, I don't know WHAT to think, there's all these theories of what it could mean it really gets me thinking, but do you see how much of an artist and how great of a poet Kurt Cobain would have had to have been to have people still wondering what any of his songs mean after all these years but it is true that hechanged subjects in some of his songs and he may have even had multiple meanings to some of his songs. I'm thinking though that the line 'I've been drawn into you're magnet tar pit trap' might mean that he had to use heroin to ease his stomach and back pains and then he became addicted and the line 'I've been locked inside your heart shaped box for weeks' could mean that since Courtney gave him that box they started going out and got married and Kurt was stuck with her. And that idea about the picses and cancer, Pisces supposedly have weak personalities and are easily controlled or dominated. Cancers supposedly are very strong and dominate in personality sounds pretty good it's the best interpretation I've heard. I've got more ideas but It's 2:30 in the morning my time and I'm tired.
  • Angela from Olmsted , IlWalmart is a hypocrite!!!!! I hate Walmart!!!!
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjI don't think people should be glorifyig or putting down mental illness. It's an unfortuante condition many people have to deal with. I suffer from bi-polar disorder (as did Kurt) and have been instututionalized multiple times, but I am not crazy or even violent, in fact I am one of the most easygoing people you will ever meet. My best friend is schizoprenic and is one of the smartest people I have ever met. He taught me to play guitar, we are both musicians. Kurt Cobain was unfortunate to have a less than spectacular childhood, along with with horrible stomach problems and a mentall illness which probably drived him to get addicted to drugs, which didn't help any. Basically what I'm saying is mental illness does not make a person crazy or sadistic. Kurt was a great artist and an intelligent person and I believe if he had proper support system like I was lucky enough to have he would still be alive today. Peace.
  • Amy from Pensacola, FlKurt Cobain came up with the idea to write Heart Shaped Box from Tennessee William's play A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanche had a heart shaped box. Kurt later came up with the idea to say it was something he had made for Courtney. But, Blanche was played by Vivian "Leigh". Who else does a cover of heart shaped box? Evanescence (Amy Lynn Hartzler going by the stage name Amy "Lee"). The real singer, songwriter and founder of Evanescence Amy Lee knew Kurt.
  • Jamiro from Amstelveen, NetherlandsThe Reason it wasnt called Heart Shaped Coffin was because cournety love said that their realtionship wasnt that devastading.
  • Mary Lied from Usa, CaThis song is about a boy a man, that knew not his mother. But to find out later in life when things were just starting to happen for him. Out of no where A mother that needed him, for her life depended on it. A mother that says I'm being punished for what i did when i was young heroin is dumb... A mother that lies in a hospital bed dying while she gets to know her son, his forever in dept to her priceless advice shocked by all this he wishes she would throw down her umbilical noose so i can climb right back. A mother dying of acute leukemia I wish I could eat your cancer... so in a sense the song is about a man that was taken back to being a boy while meeting his dying mother with friends around to support...
  • Ashley from Chester, Pathis one is at - Alec, Mechanicsburg, SD

    Kurt had issues, yes he was mental. it's the results from the drugs. i idolized that man. when i first heard them, i told my mom she said, look. that blond guy in the front with the weird eyes is dead. people love him for some reason and it's weird. this was on the heart shaped box video btw. till that day on, i carved kurt cobains name in my arms with razors and i had to go to Dover Behavior Mental Health System.

  • Noah from Tacoma , WaHe wrote the song about a heart shaped box courtney gave him full of heroine. and im not being a smart ass either im being serious.
  • Stephanie from Hartford, CtIn Kurt's biography, Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross, it said the music video was based off of Kurt's dreams. & the line "i wish i could eat your cancer when you turn black" is his way of saying 'i love you' to Courtney. The title 'Heart-Shaped Box' is, i believe, the heart shaped box Courtney Love sent to Kurt - Which is shown in the video.
  • Rob from Hereford, United KingdomThis song IS Kurt yearning to be like us. Listening to this song creates such a rage and anger for a thing i think only kurt new I try to understand what pain and torment he suffered R.I.P kurt
  • Blue from Salinas, CaThe costume of the child is rather reflective of a religious garment as opposed to the Klan uniform suggestion. That would be in keeping with the Christ and Eros imagery shown in the video
  • Steven from Winnipeg, Mbthis song is very facinating meaning or not its
    good to play along to and listen to
    very inspirational
    second best song to me anyway
  • Alec from Mechanicsburg, SdI think this song is about nothing and was just some crap that came out of a screwy man's head. People read into Nirvana way too much. Kurt Cobain was kind of a freak and his songs reflect that.
  • Keyondra Brooks from Atlanta, GaI think its about being with someone(courtney)first just for the sex,but then she gets knocked up and he has to put up with her crap because they have a child.I think he is calling her addictive like tar heroin.this song is about everything he thinks about her and wishes he could tell her,but he doesn't. The repetition of the first line of the song in the last song shows that her didnt do anything about it and things remain the same.
  • Alejandro from West Bloomfield, MiThe line "She eyes me like a pices, when I am weak" means she looks at me through the corner of her eye because the symbol for pices is two fish and fish's eyes are on the side of thier head. Courtney gave Kurt a Heart Shabed Box before they met, this line could reference how they met
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnWhy does everyone blame Courtney? She's a genius. Love this song.
  • Nate from Syrause, Nyit actually sounds more like a song against abortion, im not really sure, umbilical noose could be condemning the killing of a fetus, forever in debt to your priceless advice is sarcasticly declining bot to have an abortion, i dont really know, just my opinion
  • Alan from Rock!!!!!!!!!!!, TxIt's about a guy who did a chick and she's pregnant and he likes her so he dosen't just bolt so he's trying to convince her to get an abortion, obviously. "Throw down you ambelical noose?" the babies ambelical cord and he's saying it will ruin her life. C'mon I thought it was obvious.
  • Ken from Palmer, Akummmm.....just throwing this idea out there. A way to treat some cancer patients that they can't cure is by giving them morphine to ease the pain. The old guy in the video is first seen in a hospital room with an IV in him and the band sitting with him. He then appears in the next scene in a field of poppys. Morphine is dirived from the oils found in poppy seeds....so I am gonna say that maybe the video makes sense? That the old man is tripping on the morphine the docs gave him? Then later lyrics would make sense, I wish I could go back and eat your cancer, yadda yadda yadda. Also, if Kurt says he wrote it about cancer patients...maybe someone should just believe him considering he isn't around to ask anymore?
  • Xyzee from Boston, MaTo: Daniel of Montreal...
    Actually, if Kurt met Jesus (both Pisces, btw...), he'd think he was the most radical person ever...and he was! Forget religion, but, read up on the man and you'd agree this dude was some bad-ass! So, yeah, I can definitely picture Kurt and "J-man" debating issues (that matter) over a goblet of wine. They have more in common than not.
  • Scott from Hamburg, --I H8 Guitar Hero and all the rest of the music games ... I play bass in real life ppl need to get of their @$$ and if they like the music so much why can't you guys play for real.. when I first stasrted to play bass i was crappy and had no time I thought it was impossible but then I got a message from my preacher he sed never give up now I play bass for my Church and Metal Rocks ** same with Nirvana is the best band there is Bless Your Soul Kurt
  • Susie from Mpls, Mn- Corey, Tulsa, OK
    SEXUAL INTERCOURSE?? Ok, how the hell old are you? I hope maybe 13 when you wrote this pathetic essay...hope you got an "F". unbelievably immature ideas on sex, you obviously have not had any, this song is about domination and obsession both with a person and a drug. Duh, read the other million comments.
  • Susie from Mpls, MnRight at the top of my all time fave Nirvana songs. I love this interp;
    The lyrics, "Throw down your umbilical noose so i can climb right back" is Cobain's way of saying that he wants to climb back into his mother's womb and restart his life. Calling it an umbilical noose indicates his suicidal tendencies. (thanks, zac - Brisbane, Australia)
    This is right on, he absolutely had mommy issues, was weak and obviously suicidal I love the guy but what happened in hois formitive years seemed to have stunted him, he seemed extremely sensitive. I also agree its also a love song for heroin, thats what addicts do.
  • Jc from Cleveland, OhMiasha I studied Latin and Pisces is not derived from the root word for pessimistic, Pisces is the plural form of the word for fish, piscis, And pessimistic is derived from the word pessimus which means worst not evil.
  • Jc from Cleveland, OhI could easily see this song being about his addition to heroin, esp. if he kept his gear in a heart shaped box. I know he felt his heroin addition was a weakness of his. Also I could see the "umbilical noose" being the rubber hose used to tourniquet your arm to raise a vein so he could come right back to his addiction.

    Broken hymen of your highness... I had actually heard that he felt responsible for introducing Courtney to heroin... if that's the case, he could be seen to have taken her heroin virginity and how it left him black or dead inside.

    If angel hair and baby's breath can be seen as heavenly imagery, he's actually injuring himself with something that seems heavenly to him.

    Just another option for an interpretation.
  • Brian from Cairns, Australiayou must be kidding, how could it be any plainer than it is her pussy [or whatever you want to call it], and I assume it is Courtney's. Ditto for tar pit trap. He is talking to the feeling men get when "drugged" on sex, at the same time wanting it again but also wanting freedom, or as Dylan would say "one too many mornings"
  • Z from Somewhere Over The Rainbow, WaThe 'Heart-shaped box' that Kurt is talking about is supposed to symbolise that person's love being empty and shallow. Like a box, it is supposed to hold something, but her Heart-Shaped Box was only holding him prisoner.
  • Ruby from New Orleans, LaThis song is about abortion. Many people ignore this, but Kurt Cobain was fervently anti-abortion.
  • Sadie from Arlington, VaThis is Nirvana best song along with "In Bloom" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" I think Kurt Cobain is the most talented musician the world will ever see. He had amazing talent. "Heart-Shaped-Box is the most unique and orginal song I have ever heard. Nirvana is my favorite band. I think the song is partically talking about his realtionship with his nutcase wife Courtney and partically about wanting to start life over (climb right back) The guitar is absoultly amazing in this song. I love this song it is one of my favorites. R.I.P Kurt
  • Ashley from Adelaide, AustraliaOk jus a hint, if the song was originally called heart shaped coffin, but instead coffin was to harsh and sad so he changed it to box....
    what the hell does it have to do with a box courtney love gave to him?

    just a little thought!
  • Chad from Livingston, KyI love his song, the video for it is awesome. When you ask people if they've heard of Nirvana, the first song the mention is "Smells like teen Spirit" don't get me wrong I love that song to, but "Heart-Shaped Box" is prob. my #1 song from the group.
  • Kenderz from Alamosa, CoThis is to Sarah, Ontario, Canada not everything is so cut and dry maybe in your life it is however, you need to pay attention to detail most of Kurts songs were NOT about suicide, they actually have a deeper meaning, the ocean isnt just a large body of water but a home to millions of creatures some that we as people dont even know exist. Everyone has a tendancy to pick at the obvious but if you open your mind to new things you may just find new meanings to things, Sarah, sit down, dont think, just write the first things that come to your mind reorganize those thought and you may just learn about poetry. Try to not be so shallow and open your mind!! This is one of my favorite songs.
  • V-starr from ?????????, MiThis is a cool song. Did you know it's on Guitar Hero 2?
  • Miasha from Oklahoma City, Okokkay now this could be totally wrong but just by reading in between the lines with the lyrics
    the opening line (""She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak"")
    you could say ""SHE"" as in it aka Heroine or any kinda of addiction eyes me "pieces"" which comes from the Latin word "Pessimistic" which means negative or evil so (IT eyes me EVILY when i am WEAK)
    even if you disagree this song really does
  • Daniel from Montreal, Canadato Robyn, Philadelphia, PA and Cliff Keller, Texas, dont be so sure that jesus existed at all, or that kurt believed in jesus. if kurt DID belive in jesus, i do not doubt that he would openly mock him without remorse and is now probably "in hell" or whatever you want to call it.
  • Robyn from Philadelphia, PaI also have the "Princess Ai" manga collection, & u r right, Christine, Salem, CT. "Ai" is the Japanese word for "Love". In short, the heart-shaped box is made of an unearthly poison called "Tenketsu" which kills. During a robbery, a young pickpocket touched it & was disabled. ("Kent/Kurt" had foiled the pickpocket from stealing it.) L8r, the box "finishes the job" by accidentally killing "Ai's/Love's" best friend, Jen. I believe that the "poison" is a metaphor for "heroin". I do know that the word "Ten" means "heaven" or "heavenly". When I find out what "Ket" & "Su" means, I'll let u know.
  • Robyn from Philadelphia, PaTo: Cliff Keller, Texas. Don't be so sure about the approximate age of Jesus at His death. I grew up believing that he died at 33. But just recently I heard some1 say that He may have died somewhere between 28 to early 40's. As for the Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box" video, can any1 tell me what actually means? Is it in a dream state or what?
  • Tim from Vero Beach, FlThis song is really about When Courtney Love sent Kurt a Heart-shaped-box of candy and she said it was a complete token of her love so he wrote a ong about it
  • Christine from Salem, CtCourtney Love made a manga called 'Princess Ai' in which the main character, Ai (which means Love in japanese), was supposed to portray Courtney Love. She fell in love with a musician named Kent (supposed to ber Kurt) and her cherished possession was a Heart-Shaped Box.
  • Vikki from Staten Island, Nythis song has underlying meaning but Kurt's main inspiration in writing this song was his feelings for Courtney. It is not necessarily a negative song as many many think. "Forever in debt to your priceless advice" expresses his appreciation for Courtney inspiring him
  • Aaron from Pittsburgh, PaI personally think this song is about a purely sexual relationship, with no true love. "Ive been locked inside your heart-shaped BOX for weeks"...or other lines such as: "Meat - eating orchids forgive no one just yet" (which cleary "meat" is reffering to a penis and "orchid" which is a flower which represents a vagina)are two examples.
  • Haylz from Sydney, AustraliaAWWWSOME SONG!!! Truely 1 of their best, Kurts voive had the ability to express what mood he was in at the time he composed that particular song. To me his voice seems as if he really believes in this song, and its subject the way he performed live showed that he really loved music and all that it gives he was and still is a legend!
  • Aleah from New Kensington, ScI love this song, it definetly makes you think....unlike those other stupid pop songs that just say outright 'I'm sad.' "I've been locked inside your heart shaped box for weeks"- Infatuation at it's best, we all have crushes. "I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap"- it's the thing we all face but will never get out of, death or maybe, once again, that pesky infatuation feeling. "Meat eating orchids forgive no one just yet."- Deadly, but beautiful. Vengence, our primitive instinct. "Cut myself on angel hair and baby's breath."- Herione, maybe? "Broken heymen of your highness, I'm left black."- I'm stumped, you figure it out. "Through down your umbelical noose so I can climb right back."- I love Kurt's way of writting and symbolism. This part of the song has to do with going back into the past. All the evil of the world is too much to handle, so he wants to go back to were he started. It can also be a cry of suicide. Let's not forget the chorus, "Hey, wait, I've got a new complaint. Forever in debt to your priceless advice."- It's feeling like someone gives you something that can hold no value, yet they say you owe them for it. Thank you Kurt for this lovely song.
  • Sarah from Ontario, CanadaIt Pisses me off that people just ignored Kurt's "cry fo help" all he needed where some friends a reason to live.. i mean come on he talked about suicide and murder all the time in his music...
  • Gregory from Manalapan, NjThats a coincidence, that website can't be counted because ive used it before and it is used to decode dreams. Only the video was a dream, not the lyrics. And some of you are going crazy about the magnet tar pit trap thing. Dont look so deep into it. Think of something that attracts you and keeps trapping you. Courtney(not sayin she murdered him) was trapping him in a relationship with Frances, because he did not want Frances at first.
  • Alex from H-burg, OhI learned this on a site on what certain words mean and i put in the songs lyrics and i got this

    Words like eyes: Vision. Consciousness and clarity. You will have a pleasant and profitable business and a congenial companion.

    Words like box: Want to keep something safe. Enclose. Contain.

    Words like cancer: Out of control. Preservation.

    Words like back: Changes in life. Family arguments. Approaching money.

    Words like new: Change. Time. Ready for a new start.

    Words like orchids: Unique. Exotic glamour. Looking for something different and uniquely beautiful.

    Words like angels: Compassion. Revelation. Success in love.

    Words like hair: Attraction and sensuality.

    Words like babys: Happiness. Rebirth. Trust.

    Words like down: Overturned. Confusion. Great disorder. You want to straighten something out.
  • Chris from Arlington, WaKurt was being sarcastic (eg. Forever in debt to your priceless advice)
  • Db from England, Englandthe pics in the vid were disturbing dreams he had and use but it is such a gd song and the heart shaped box was the one courtnay gave to kurt.
  • Tom from Hell, CaThe line "Throw down your umbilical noose so i can climb right back" I don't believe relates to Kurts desire to restart his life in his mothers womb.

    Since the song is mostly about his relationship with Courtney Love the first part of the lyric, "Throwdown your umbilical noose" may represent his feelings that her life before the pregancy is over, it's dead, it's changed. You can't live the exact same way as you did before, once you have a kid.

    The second part of the lyric, "so I can climb right back" may represent his amorous desire to get with Courtney during or after her pregnancy.

    While the lyrics originally might have been about kids with cancer, there is such a thing as rewrites. These were likely done around the time or after the time she was pregnant.
  • Maya from Seattle, United StatesSorry to Stefano:

    Being born and raised in Seattle, I can tell you that Kurt never said that about Walmart. There was no such thing as Walmart in Seattle or in washington util well after Kurt had died. There was a Woolworths....M
  • Lance from Oklahoma City, OkAllison I'm so sorry to embarrass you, especially since your theory about black tar heroin has gained you so much support. But it's a fact that Kurt started heroin before he met Courtney, he started it when he was still going out with Tracy Marander. So that denotes your part about her "apparently introducing it to Kurt."
  • Hayley from Sydney, AustraliaI think that the contribution Kurt made to the "grunge" scene has had a bigger influence on music of today than ever anticipated. He may Have had a strange persona about him but he is truely a legend and i love the music hes left behind... its like his voice is expressing his mood and the state of mind he was in at the time truely a legend!
  • Aric from Novi, Mibut thats just what ive gotten off of interviews and i think theres a deeper meaning
  • Aric from Novi, Mi1)this song was origianl written BEFORE he met Courtny for it was on the Nirvana demo album/casset thingy
    2)The video is about a dream and the song is just random words put together into sentences and verses
  • Erin from Fort Wayen, InKurt first wanted to call the song Heartshaped Coffin but Courtney made him change it.
  • Ty from Euless, TxWell, i do agree that the cancer doesnt relate to Kurt, but the pisces definatly does to Love in my opinion. Heres what a Pisces is:

    Imaginative and sensitive
    Compassionate and kind
    Selfless and unworldly
    Intuitive and sympathetic

    On the dark side....

    Escapist and idealistic
    Secretive and vague
    Weak-willed and easily led

    Sounds like a child to me, or atleast not someone who was intimidating. So its not a angery thing to say about Love, or maybe hes talkin about his child. Either way, we know he doesnt just mean fish, because if you notice in SErve the servants he says "I tried hard to have a father, but insted i had a dad." showing hes picky about his words, and theres a certain poetic meaning behind every word in his eyes... im tired of writing, but obviously if it took this much space for one line, this is a pretty deep song. bye
  • Elizabeth from London, EnglandThe line meat-eating orchids forgive no-one just yet is a reference to the traps of sex. Kurt Cobain thought that Orchids looked like virginas
  • Paul from New York, Nythe line "like a pisces" could have been influenced by william burrough's "junky" where someone is described as having "dead fish eyes". Also the term "heart shaped" could be a reference to the symbolic nature and intensity of emotions compared to the actual reality of life and death as shown by the internal organs on the angel on the cover of "in utero". Also, didn't courtney love's father live in and write a history of the haight ashbury district?
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cadavid kurts father is still alive. so no, sorry.
  • David from Birmingham, Englandthis song is about his farthers death and the heart-shaped box refers to his farther cofin
  • Jacob from Mabelvale, Armaybe he is stuck in love with someone..(locked inside your heart shaped box.."..
  • Alex from Loveland, CoI love this song. I personally like Come As you are, but this one is okay too.
  • Edwin from Costa Mesa, Cacourtney love gave THE heart shaped box to neil strauss (according to neil strauss)
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaI saw Last Days. It was okay, it just moved way too slowly.

    And it's not really based on Kurt Cobain. It says that it is very loosely based, but the director just wanted a movie about a heroin-addicted rock star who eventually commits suicide and decided to look to Cobain for an influence.
  • Becca from Hamilton, CanadaOk,so I have heard this song is about Courtney.This will sound dumb, but is it a good song to Courtney or an attack against her?
  • Carl from Lethbridge, CanadaHas anyone seen Last Days yet. That is a pretty good movie based on the last days of Kurt Cobain.
  • Corey from Tulsa, Ok Corey
    English 3/ 6th hour
    January 8, 2006
    Interpretive Essay
    This interpretive essay is over the meaning of 'Heart-Shaped Box' by Nirvana. If you have not heard this song or don't have the lyrics memorized they are at the end of this essay along with my original notes. I believe this song is about sexual intercourse and how it can consume and destroy your life.
    In the first and third verses, which are the same, Kurt Cobain says, 'She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak/ I've been trapped in your heart shaped box for weeks'. This means that he has had sex and he's now addicted, he can not turn down the offer of sex. He also says 'I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap/ I wish could eat your cancer when you turn back'. This means once he started he wasn't able to get it off his mind.
    The chorus goes 'Hey!/ Wait!/ I've got a new complaint/ Forever in debt to your priceless advice.' I am not totally sure what this means, it may mean he's mad cause he knows he's totally obsessed with her, or at least the sex. The chorus is repeated three times and then goes to the next verse.
    The second verse goes 'Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet/ Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath.' This verse was the most difficult to figure out. The first sentence is pretty much calling the woman a 'bitch'. The second sentence is talking about him being sensitive. Next he says 'Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black/ Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back.' This may mean she thinks she is so much better than him, hence 'your highness', that in her eyes he is nonexistent. The umbilical noose part probably refers to the womb and sex.
    The chorus repeats. Then the third verse, same words as the first, plays. The chorus plays again with three extra 'your advice' at the end. The song may have parts that mean multiple things. Tar could stand for black tar heroin, seeing as both Kurt and his wife Courtney were addicted to it. Pisces and Cancer are mentioned. Pisces supposedly have weak personalities and are easily controlled or dominated. Cancers are supposedly are very strong and dominate in personality.
    The music video to this song just serves to confuse anyone trying to analyze this song. In short the video features the band in an odd world with poppy flowers all about and a red sky. The video also stars an old Jesus-like man on a cross wearing a Santa hat and later a Pope hat. 'Jesus' is also in the beginning and end lying in a hospital bed. To confuse matters even more a little girl in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and a woman with her skin missing are wandering about in scenes in the video.
    That said Kurt Cobain probably wanted people to be confused and wonder what he was singing about. He was a great poet and a better musician. This song is likely about the physical and mental destructiveness of sexual intercourse and other interpretations could also be right, Kurt seemed to like to have multiple meanings to all his work.
  • Corey from Tulsa, OkThe whole song is about sexual addiction.
  • Ben from Lindenhurst, IlWhen Kurt says "she eyes me like a pices when i am weak." The Pices symbol is a fish and in 'something in the way' kurt says fish have no feelings. Is there a connection?
  • Donald from Festus, MoThis song will always be debated for interpretation. I dont believe it refers to abortion or children with cancer. I think cancer was in the song because Courtney is a cancer and that isnt entirely unbelievable because Kurt also sites his sign, pisces. Pisces are desribed as emotional and easily manipulated by a more assertive person. Cancer the sign is also believable because cnacers symbol is all white flowers and orchids are white and purple. Also, one of the symbols for cancers is a heart. Tar refering to heroin is probably right on the money. Good one, Arsalan. I've heard different versions of the son... one sayin "buried in a heart-shaped box".....and another saying, "buried in a heart-shaped coffin". I am severly confused by the presense of santa and the pope and jesus and the old guy who played all three on an IV with a fetus inside. Perhaps it represents Kurt and Courtneys relationship being kept alive by a child or child to be.....but Santa????Pope???... like i said, im confused.
  • Max from Austin, TxKurt's joy in life was his baby girl. I really don't think she was a scapegoat to get Kurt to stay with Love. Kurt loved Frances, but anyways my interpratation of the song is just him falling in love, but at the same, in the worst state of living he'd ever been in.
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, CaI love how this song switches from sadness, to suddently getting angry, its genius! The guitar really builds up, and in my opinon, it sounds like Kurt is trying to regret something.
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaThere is an obvious reference to Haight Asbury in the lyrics of the song. Don't know what that is all about.
  • Crystal from Stockton, CaMy favorite part about this song is when Kurt says, "Cut myself on Angel hair and baby's breath." That's actually my favorite phrase that Kurt used out of all of his lovely songs!!!!!!!!
  • Gil from Biffville, NjIn an interview in the latest edition of Spin Magazine.. Courtney Loves says that the song was written about her.
  • Lithium from Kennesaw, GaThis is from Kurt Cobain's journals about heroine use. Just so can see that he used it BEFORE he met Courtney.

    " I tried heroin for the first time in 1987 in Aberdeen (US) and proceeded to use it about 10 more times from 87-90. When I got back from out second European tour with Sonic Youth I decided to use heroin on a daily basis because of an on going stomach aliment that I had been suffering from for the past five years had literally taken me to the point of wanting to kill myself. For five years every single day of my life. Everytime I swollowed a piece of food I would experience an excruciating, burning nauseaus pain in the upper part of my stomach lining. The pain became even more severe on tour due to lack of a proper and and rejimented eating schedule and diet.
    I did heroin for about one month and then found myself realizing that I wouldn't be able to get drugs when we go to Australia and Japan, so Courtney and I detoxed in a hotel room."
  • Craig from Guildford, EnglandEvanescence made a nice acoustic cover of this song. Never expected to hear Amy Lee sing a Nirvana song, heh
  • Jason from Dover, Pathe best Nirvana song ever, cool video too
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cai think there are two versions of this music video. I watched one where during the final verse, Kurt is singing to the camera, and another one when he is lying in a field of poppies.
  • Nikki from Remington, Vato the person that is mentioning Christ as santa clause and then the pope..I've noticed that too.
    The old man in the santa hat looks at the cross. Christmas is supposed to celebrate the birth of jesus..and easter is to celebrate the rebirth, kinda. He was old, and too thin because the legends are fading into something they are not anymore. He wasn't quite sure what to do, so he climbed on the cross. As the pope he was taking back his stance as the main religious figure, because the hat of the pope is one of the most recogniziable on the earth.
    Ravens are scavengers of a sort..not much thoughts on them right now, im a little rusty on my mythology. What I thouhg was interesting also, was the obese woman trying to get the child, and the little girl.
    well anyway, noone wants to hear my in depth, probablly false theories about the video, so email me


    if you wanna discuss, or something.
  • Brandon from Saskatoon, CanadaThis is one of my favourite nirvana songs. it is such a beautiful and moving song. i love the opening tune especially. stay in school and don't do drugs
  • Niall from Toulouse, FranceHave any of you seen Kurt Cobain: A legend of Nirvana? If you haven't, go and buy it. That may change your views about things, TANYA. Hmph.
  • Zak from Elyria , Ohi think the real meaning of this song is that kurt feels courtney trapped him into staying with her by having frances. think about the lyrics closely.

    "she eyes me like a picses when i'm weak"
    "i've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for a week"
    "i've been drawn into your magnent, tar pit trap"
    all these lyrics are about meeting courtney and her drawing him in. seducing him and him falling in love with her.
    "i wish i could eat your cancer when you turn black" is him fallen inlove. he wishes he could take all her pain away and place it apon himself.

    "meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet" this could mean either that he is pissed about the pregnancy. or about the many moods of courtney love.
    "cut myself on angel's hair and babies breath"
    "broken hymen of your highness, i'm left black"
    he knocked her up.
    "throw down your umbillical noose so i can climb right back"
    means that to him their relationship was basically over until she got pregnant. she trapped him. made him come right back.

    "hey! wait! i've gotta new complaint" is how he feels about what courtney did to him. got knocked-up.
    but the line
    "forever indebt to your priceless advice" shows that he is greatful that she had frances because he loves her so much.
  • Cliff from Keller, TxI've read through some things people here have said... and I just have one question. It's about the depiction of Jesus Christ throughout the entire music video. NO one has mentioned it. By putting a santa clause, then later a pope hat on him, are they making fun of him? Are they depicting a Christ figure that's weak and powerless? That, and the numerous crosses throughout the whole thing. There's a cross on the ground in the medical room, the cross itself that the old Jesus person climbs up on (which makes no sesne, as Jesus is old in the music video and was only 33 when he died), and one of the willow trees makes a cross (though that could just be coincidence.)
    Not only that, but the two crows... I always noticed them, first. Kind of reminds me of the two black birds that were always with Odin in Norse mythology. Even though those were supposedly ravens, that's still what it reminded me of.

    Maybe I'm just making a bigger deal than I should by pointing these two things out, but it's a really big idea that's been bugging me for a while now.
  • Jeanette from New Milford, CtI am appalled with most of the comments on here regarding Courtney Love. While I am not a fan Courtney Love, she DID NOT INTRODUCE COBAIN TO HEROIN. Period. Cobain used it well before he met Love. Love is far from an exemplary human being, but these comments about how she "oppressed" him are false. I suggest that you all read "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana" (the AUTHORIZED biography, I might add) to get a real idea as to what their relationship was like. Cobain was disgusted with the scapegoating of his wife that occured when he was alive, and he would be just as disgusted with it now.

    "A big 'f*ck you' to those of you who have the audacity to claim that I'm so naive and stupid that I would allow myself to be taken advantage of and manipulated." -Kurt Cobain, Incesticide liner notes.
  • Tanya from Rotterdam, NetherlandsKurt himself has declared that the heroin-thing was his idea, not Courtney's. He hated it that people blamed her for it, because it was not true. I also read that this song is written because Kurt was very moved by cancer-victims. Especially children. Apparently he cried when he told that.
  • Shelby from L A , CaI heard the song was about Kurt being addicted to heroin. Courtney gave Kurt a Heart- Shaped and it had heroin in it. It got him addicted.
  • Christopher from City, FlThis song is definetly interpretable in multiple ways. For one example, his use of the word hymen (god of marriage which goes along with the Courtney Love interpretations, or the vaginal definition, which goes along with abortion/children with cancer theories).
  • Chris Owens from Belfast, Irelandas for the line "broken hymen of your highness im left black", there are two meanings for hymen. 1.a thin mucous membrane that completely or partially covers the opening of the vagina and 2. in greek mythology, hymen was the god of MARRIAGE, and was often represented as a youth holding a torch. i dont what kurt meant but they both relate to heart shaped box. so u can make your own conclusions.
  • Chris Owens from Belfast, IrelandArsalan's, Dubai,interpretation of this song is spot on the mark read it its a VERY GOOD INTERPRETATION!!!!!!!!
  • Jack from St. Paul, MnI hope to God that a religion doesn't come up from Kurt Cobain and Princess Di's deaths. That would be horrible and creepy.
  • Manson from Taylor, Mikurt made courtney love a heart shaped box before they went out and in the song he mades it clear the box is a curse not a blessing and with other things that single her out (shes a cancer)she was a control freak and she controled his every move this was his only way speak out against her thats why its so misterous he had to get this "code" pass her kurt lives on
  • Liberty from Ablienish Area, Tx***-- The reason it's called "Heart-Shaped Box" is because Courtney and Kurt had both recently started to collect Heart Shaped Boxes. Also I read on the internet an inview done with Courtney Love after Kurt's death and she mentioned that he wrote it in their closet, or a motel closet.. something.. and she when she opened on the closet door he replied "f**k you" and slammed the door.. He was trying to be sneaky... lol which was cute.
  • Trevor from Leesburg, VaI noticed that the words "pisces" and "cancer" both appear in this song. I then did some research and found that Kurt is a Pisces, and Courtney is a Cancer. I don't think this is a coincidence... I'm not really sure what it means, but I think Kurt did it on purpose.
  • Rob from Santa Monica, CaThe video for this song is a frighteningly prescient prediction of Kurt's death. It is definitely my favorite video ever, especially at the very end where Kurt, on his knees, falls forward on his face while Dave Grohl makes a crying face.

    Also, the moment at the end when Kurt suddenly opens his piercing blue eyes is eerily similar to what happens at the end of the last song of the Unplugged set.

    I always said "Kurt died for our sins." He represents the moment in our history when the glorification of fame collapsed in on itself: this thing called fame that everyone thinks they wants is now actually a nightmarish hell for those who actually achieve it.

    I expect a religion to spring up around him and Princess Di within a few decades.
  • Arsalan from Dubai, Otherfound the following on a fan-site, dont exactly remember where.

    Heart Shaped Box


    This song is about the love-hate relationship between Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, which some believe is the root cause of Cobain's suicide. Heart Shaped Box is possible a very cryptic suicide note left by Cobain, which can be easily solved with a little insight.

    The first line [She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak] refers to the fact that Courtney expected too much out of Cobain, and that she was always too controlling. According to astrologists, most pisceans have a particular personality trait, which allows them to be so easily controlled. The next verse [I've been locked inside your Heart-Shaped box for weeks] refers to the heart shaped box that Courtney made and gave to Cobain before they started dating. It talks about how that Cobain fell for that box (which Courtney admits was to draw Cobains attention) and got locked inside a very damaging relationship. The 3rd verse [I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap] is about Courtney inroducing Cobain to Heroin, which was the main cause of his depression in the last few years of his life. "Magnet tar pit trap" refers to Tar Heroin here, which is very addictive and depressive. Also, the video of the song shows poppies, which opium and in turn, Tar Heroin is derived from. The line [I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn back] is a lot more than cryptic, but it probably is about Cobain wanting to kill himself because he felt guilty of something. It also reeks of low self esteem, and Cobain's lack of courage to confront Courtney with his desire to take his own life. The chorus [Hey! Wait!//I've got a new complaint//Forever in debt to your priceless advice] is about a close friend of Cobain warning him not to hook up with Courtney.

    [Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet] refer to several species of carnivorous orchids, which look quite beautiful and tempting from the outside, but are dangerous and deadly from the inside. This line is also about Courtney, and maybe even women in general. It reveals a great deal about the change in Cobain's perception of women after his marriage to Courtney. The next line [Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath] is Cobain's first reference to his and Courtney's child, Frances. In conjuntion with the next line, it speaks of how Courtney hurt Cobain and how Cobain was trapped in thier relationship because of Frances. [Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back] is another reference to Frances. It is about Cobain not being able to leave Courtney because of Frances, whom he deeply loved and cared about. Frances is referred to as an 'umbilical noose' here probably because Courtney used her as leverage to get Cobain back together with her when he left.
  • Mike from Cincinnati, OhThe title is definently coinsiding with the "Heart-Shaped box" given to him by Courtney, and there talk of "pricless advice" Courtney gave him.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaKurt recieved a heart shaped box from courtney before they were even going out, and that's where the title comes from. The line "forever in debt to your priceless advice comes from a fax that Kurt sent Courtney saying "I am eternally grateful for your priceless opinions and advice". Courtney actually co-wrote this song, or at least helped Kurt in the coordination of the lines. Another little story: Krist Novoselic thought that the static-filled, dissonant solo by Kurt was an attempt to sabotage their career, though he didn't mention this until after Kurt's death.
  • T.j from Atlanta, GaAnyway..I think we got the point. Evanecsence does an acoustic version of this song. You should check it out..it's great!
  • Kelly from Orange, Cathe song is about courtney love and Kurts relationship. he was trapped in her heart shaped box meaning they were "in love" but he felt trapped by this love and who wouldnt with the way she made the group go. she had kurt request to get more money from the band. it was split into 90% for him and 5 for the other two. it shows in a scence that she had total control over him and that he knew it and accepted it.
  • Zoe from Uk, EnglandHey wanted to add that on the kurt cobain journals u all so hav eto see his art work its amazing!
  • Zoe from Uk, EnglandI think heart shaoed box is just kurt expressing his feelings. I mean although we probably will never know exactly what its about its a great song and what its about adds to how good it is. If we knew surely it would be boring right?
  • Reisan from Manila, United Statesthe lyrics may have been brought by his subconcious mind speaking through him when he was writing..when he pours out the lyrics into the music as if it was saying something about his life...
  • Bez from Here, EnglandI remember reading something (kurt's diary/notes) which basically explained what this was about. It's about the love/hate relationship between Kurt + Courtney. The line "forever in debt for your priceless advice" refers to something someone said to Kurt when someone gave him advice about dating or marrying her, which he regretted.
  • Randi from Linton, Memadison is right. courtney love actually gave kurt a heart-shaped box once. the song is basically about their relationship and how courtney was a little controlling and always expecting something.
  • Rob from Castaic, CaI agree about this whole censorship thing except for one tiny detail and that is that a young child shouldn't be listening to Nirvana at age 7,8,9... Kurt was a genius but his songs were twisted and depressing and if all that Wal-Mart is doing is protecting the kids... then why not.. It don't really matter.
  • Ed from Victoria, Canadaallison, I have to say you're onto something
  • Chris from San Antonio, TxThis song was pure genius. Kurt Cobain was definately the John Lennon of the 90s. Courtney actually reviewed the song over with Kurt and told him that the lin "I've been buried in your Heart-Shaped Coffin for weeks" was a little to dark and got him to change it to "Heart-Shaped Box"
  • Madison from Redondo, CaI heard that Courtney Love gave Kurt Cobain a heart shaped box and in return he gave her a song:)
  • Dino from Adelaide, United Statesi think the what meant when he said"I've been locked inside your Heart-Shaped box for weeks" means when love gave him the "gift" was he was obssesed and whe he says "Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet" means how on the outside women can be delicate and beutiful but can be cruel and vicious aswell
  • Indigo from Monevideo, South AmericaAllison! when courtney met kurt, courtney had been "clean" for a while. Kurt abused Heroin long before he met courtney. and actually you could say that kurt "introduced" the drugs to courtney (made her start again).

    Courtney And Kurt wrote heart-shaped box together. (and yes, courtney sent a heart shaped box to kurt right before they got together)
  • AimÃ?e from Leicestershire, Englandhe used to tell his family "forever in debt to your pricless advice" when was young
  • Ashley from Wasilla, AkI agree with Tessa all the way. Kurt wasnt afraid to express himself and people shouldn't try and take that away. *r.i.p cobain*
  • Nicole from Fort Lauderdale, FlThe line "She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak" was probably inserted because Kurt himself was a pisces. Pisces are generally drawn to weak people. Whether they be drug addicts, depressed, poor, etc..
  • Tessa from Louisville, KyI think people are really stupid for trying to ban a CD or band. It's freedom of speech and just because Kurt was a little messed up and His songs were a little twisted doesn't give any one the right to take away freedom of speech. People just need to loosen up and wind down because that's a really stupid thing to try to do!! I think Kurt was the best song writer in the history of music. His songs are great, His music is great, and I love His voice. The bands that the stores should ban are the ones that have no talent and don't know what they are doing and are only in it for the money!
  • Kelly from Houston, TxOk, listen. The heart shaped box thing was right, but the rumor is that Kurt was writing a poem, and courtney being the competitive woman that she is, added some things and the poem ended up being heart shaped box. In case anyone is wondering, the heart shaped is in a CObain memorial museum type thing, and the box still smells of her perfume which she sprayed in the box.
  • Tom from Sunnyvale, CaCourtney gave Kurt valentine candy box "heart-shaped" in which kept heroin,needles,etc.
  • April from Houston, TxIt is a fact that Courtney's heart shaped box worked on Kurt cuz (i know it doesn't seem like it) but he's an artsy person inside. Just look at all those awesome covers he did (check out the Kurt Cobain Journal n' the drawings in it). He also thought up the concept of the video. Orchids were used in the video b/c Kurt referred to them as "vagina flowers" and Kurt used the song to mock Courtney but i guess she was just to stupid 2 notice it at all... or maybe she did, is tat why Kurt is no longer with us? hmmm...
  • Lee from Morenci, MiI heard that the title was inspired by the fact that women's genitals are commonly called a 'box' and she had her pubic hair trimmed into the shape of a heart, thus heart-shaped box.
    Just a rumor...
  • Lily from Central Coast, Australia i read once in an article that, the "heart shaped box" was courtneys given to her by BILLY CORGAN, when those two were going out ... and kurt was jealous of this possession courtney had from one of her ex's... its a thought to ponder.
  • Abby from Altoona, IaEverything Dustin said is right...except about the box NOT getting Kurt's attention. He did infact call Courtney and thank her for the box but didn't see her again for awhile- then started dating her. Hey Mike Truitt- it's "throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back"...reference to Kurt being pulled back to Courtney by their child.
  • Dustin from Zirconia, NcOh,and the "Heart-Shaped Box" that is referred to actually never got Kurts attention.He ended up blowing her off, but the met again in later years (obviously) and that vile woman and Kurt were married.
  • Dustin from Zirconia, NcOk, here's what this song is REALLY about. It's about Kurt's final years in which he was oppressed deeply by Courtney. The "Heart-Shaped Box" refers to a box that Courtney gave Kurt when she first met him. Kurt refers to the stranglehold she had on him in the time by use of Frances (their baby for you losers who don't know) the "Umbilical Noose" she had by being the mother of the child Kurt so dearly loved. Courtney, being so ignorant to the fact that songs do contain thought, probably didn't notice all of the references to her. God rest poor Kurt's poor soul.
  • Rachel from Dearborn Heights, MiThe song is about Courtney, "Forever in debt to your priceless advice" .. and the heart shaped box courtney made wasnt made with seashells, but had little trinkets and seashells in it.
  • Mike Truitt from Cincinnati, OhThis song is taken by many to describe the reliance of a mother to her child, and likewise the child to the mother. It also hits on the subject of Kurt's view of abortions.... "Throw down your medical noose so I can climb right back"
  • Allison from Somewhere, Nj"I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit and trapped" is most likely referring to black tar heroin, which apparently Courtney introduced to Kurt. The video shows poppies, which opium is derived from.
  • Nicole from Lynchburg, OhCourtney did give Kurt a heart shaped box. It was made of seashells and it was given to him before they were dating. She did it to get his attention, and obviously, it worked.
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