Lounge Act

Album: Nevermind (1991)


  • This is a song about heartache in a relationship. It contains a reference to Teen Spirit ("I still smell her on you").
  • The title comes from the fact that Nirvana thought that the bass intro sounded like something a cheesy lounge band would use.
  • This is the only song Kurt Cobain admitted was about his much maligned ex-girlfriend, Tobi Vail. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Millbrae, CA, for all above
  • The line, "I'll arrest myself, I'll wear a shield" refers to a tattoo Cobain had on his shoulder, which was a shield with the letter 'K' on it. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexei - Dallas, TX

Comments: 43

  • Sam from OregonIt's about cheating plain and simple. Thought that insecurity you feel knowing what's happening and still smelling that person on the person you love
  • Ed Smith from Baltimore In Come as You Are the book, the song is said to have been about Tracy finding out about Kurt and Toby as he never formally broke up with Tracy and was in fact with Toby while still with Tracy. The line is said to be from Tracy's point of view.
    I can still smell her on you
    Some lyrics are clearly not aligned with this though as Kurt was known to take lines from notebooks hed written years prior. He liked the sounds of certain words more than meaning
  • Pete from GermanyIt is a song he wrote about his stomache problems.
  • Chicken from PoxWhat grade on bass is this song
  • The Dude from So CalI still smell her on you was originally I still smell him on you - since this song is about Vail, it makes more sense.
    Love Buzz is another link to Shocking Blue as a cover. Awesome bass line in this one as well.
  • John from Montezuma, KsThe shocking blue ripped off the doors on that Bass line.
  • Assia from RomeHi everybody! I'm an Italian girl and I'm trasleting some English songs so as to learn new words. Could you explain me what does "lounge act" and "smell her on you" mean? I think I haven't found the correct meanings of these sentences in this context. Thank you so much!
  • Ben from UsaI sort of used this song to apply it to my own life, so this probably isn't right, but I always thought of it as suspecting your best friend, someone who's almost a brother to you to be cheating with your girlfriend.
  • Robbie from Utrecht, NetherlandsKrist Novoselic pays tribute to Klaasje van der Wal, bass player of Shocking Blue. Says he was a big influence:
  • Tracy from Galena, NvI need to really sit down and listen to this song. It used to be a fave ,but it has been a while.
    That written, If the song was written from a Woman's point of view , then , perhaps the whole bit about " I can still smell her on you." could be the words of a jealous Girlfriend? I do not know. It was just a passing thought....
  • Denny from Hoensbroek, NetherlandsThe bassline from Lounge Act is inspired by a song by Shocking Blue - Send me a postcard. This was told by Krist Novoselic himself in a blog.
  • Candys from Paris, FranceI totally agree with John , The bass in "Lounge Act" is definately reminding of the bass in " Take it as it comes " ... Did some research and no1 seems to have noticed the similarity before you John !
  • Karl from Ingatestone, United KingdomNirvana gave 90s rock a new sound, that sound was called grunge, not death metal. Please, if you are a fan of this May 1992 Nirvana song, please dont ask yer gran if it was death metal. I have been a Nirvana fan since March 2003 and this song really takes the biscuit
  • Seth from Ararat, VaThe song is written from a woman's point of view.
  • Jeany from Whittier, CaHere's how it's related (loosely) to Smells Like Teen Spirit or why people think it is. Kurt has admitted this song is about Toby Vail. One night Kurt was out tagging with his friends and a friend of him and Toby spray painted "Kurt Smells like Teen Spirit" on his wall. She was referring to Toby Vail's deodorant, Kurt thought she meant it in a different way at first and that's where he got the title for Smells Like Teen Spirit. So, since the song is about Toby Vail, the line "still smell her on you" could be reference to still smelling her (or I guess her deodorant) even though it didn't work. Which means something more if you can wrap your brain around it. His lyrics usually were implying something else or had greater meaning than face value, like the fact that Sappy isn't really about the bug in the jar, the bug in the jar signifies something bigger, you gotta think what the bug in the jar means. Other songs (admitted by members of the band) had absolutely no meaning at all.
  • Johnny from Pittsburgh, Pawhy does everyone seem to think every nirvana song is about heroin? i don't get it. actually this is a song about toby vail.
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --This has become my favorite song on Nevermind. The chorus is just so catchy.
  • Jessica from Birmingham, AlThis song is awesome
  • John from Cheyenne, WyTo me, the bass intro does'nt sound like a lounge act but more like the bass from the doors' take it as it comes. great song though.
  • Scott from Wyandotte, MiPersonally i believe this song is about a relationship Kurt had where in it there was Lies Depression and cheating and he was blinded by it all and then the line"I still smell her on you"Referring to him finding the guy who she cheated on him with
  • Kevin from Albany, OrI don't think this song's so much about Kurt being bi as it is him trying to write a song from a girl's point of view.
  • Alexis from Rochester, MnAs always, I found a Nirvana song that describes exactly how i feel about something. I'm a very paranoid person, and I could have sworn that my friend and my boyfriend had a thing going on... and my boyfriend was pretty much my best friend...always has been :X.. anways, the chorus for this song was pretty much how I felt..
    "I've got this friend you see, he makes me feel. And I wanted more than I could steal. I'll arrest my self, I'll wear a shield. I'll go out of my way to prove I still.. smell her on you."
  • Dortez from Mesa, Azwow its pretty cool how touchy people get over there bands. All i know is nirvana is awesome and this song seems to be under the radar for most people for some reason. Dont know why but it need more air time!
  • Samantha from Columbus, Ohum no.
    the line isn't "I want him more"
    it's "I wanted more"
    learn your lyrics before you make comments.
  • Tyler from Farmington Hills, MiThe Line "I got this friend, you see Makes me feel,
    I want him more" looking at the "I him more" part, relates to how Kurt said "I would be bi-sexual if didn't find Courtney"
  • Drew from Worcester, Magreat song but i always assumed this song was about heroin. "i got this friend you see who makes me feel wanted more than i can steal" seems like a reference to addiction. i believe kurt was singing to dope as if it were a person but thats just my take on it
  • Echo from Normalville, Mathe bass rocks! Oh yeah--and the K is for k records. The shield thing's just a coincedence
  • Ronnie from Morganton, Ohthis song is deffinatley one of my favorites. All you who said the base is awesome are right
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaProbably the best Nirvana song EVER. In a really bizarre way, it reminds me of the last week of school when I was in 6th grade. It was hot outside, and carpooling home we'd listen to this album and this song'd hit me in a weird way.

    And Derp, whether or not that's a reference to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is debatable because the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was named after the fact that Kurt Cobain's friend "smelled" his girlfriend on him.
  • Derp from Jackson, Msthe line "I still smell her on you" is not a reference to Teen Spirit at all. Just because it has smell in it dosen't mean it parallels it.
  • Mykal from Manteca, CaOne of my favorites. Any guy who's been cheated on knows how it feels.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaThe K stood for K records, the label that Tobi's band Bikini Kill was signed to.
  • Conrad from Southwest Harbor, Me"i've got this friend it makes me feel i want it more then i could steal, ill arrest myself" is about a drug even though the rest of the song is about a a girl
  • Derp from Jackson, Msthis seems to be a song about a girl cheating on her boyfriend "I still smell her on you" maybe he knows the guy who shes is messing around with.
  • Derp from Jackson, MsI agree this is one of the most underated Nirvana songs this alond with Sliver. The last verse is awesome RIP KURT
  • Ally from Pasig, Otherthis sh*t is for the "cool guy": oh yeah no offense too, its all right if Matt knows so much abt nirvana because other bands out there simply suck and so do you you stupid f*ck
  • David from Loganville, GaThis is probably one of the most underrated Nirvana songs of all time. When Kurt does the repeat of the first verse up an octave and he's just screamin' his lungs out, you can feel the raw emotion in his voice and it just makes you want to scream along with him...AWESOME.
  • Jenny from Worcester, MaI think this song is about kurts own battle with second guessing, is it me or her? type deal when your really jeaslous but you just dont want to be...but you cant help but want to prove them wrong...
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, CaYea, I totally agree with "cool guy" i think this song has great bass guitar in it. It was one of the first things my Tom learned how to play on his bass, I love this song also Tom, but I think its great that Nirvana was one of the very few bands that really played their instruments and acually gave each one a "part," instead of just drowning the music together they really show it out and then just *twang (sid Vicious)
  • Nick from Plainfiel, IlOne of my favorite Nirvana songs. I think it has a great baseline and awesome lyrics. Kurt Cobain is a genius! NIRVANA RULES!!!!!!!!!
  • Rob from Castaic, Cathe bass in this song is friggin insane
  • Cool Guy from Compton, CaOK Matt, I looked, and I agree with you.
  • Cool Guy from Compton, CaMatt from Millbrae, I give you props to knowing so much about Nirvana. No offense in all, but there are many other great bands out there, so how come you only know a lot about just one.
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