On A Plain

Album: Nevermind (1991)


  • This is a song about writing a song. Kurt Cobain explores many elements of songwriting, including writer's block and trying to find his voice. In the end, he settles on simplicity, saying that he's "On a plain" (or at a high point in life) and that he "Can't complain." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Millbrae, CA

Comments: 23

  • Sam from MinnesotaI don't understand how there could be so little behind this, then I realize, the same guy performed "In Bloom," which is a jab at song messages, so, meh.
  • Lylah from SeattleIt's about getting high. Even if it wasn't so very obvious, as a user. You just kind of know when it comes to songs about getting high. Specially when it starts out with "got so high scratched till I bled" lol, been there plenty of times.
  • Don from Gladwin, MiI can still recall where I was when I heard the news of Kurt's demise. I was a sophomore in high school, what a horrible time for me. Nirvana was one of my few escapes and I feel as though heaven just wouldn't wait for Kurt Cobain. As a recovering addict I agree w/ joel Nashville. To grunge=dead CA "mother dying every night" means she was worried to death if her son would survive his demons."in a dream memories are stored" morphine the base of most opiates like heroin was named so for the mytho - diety Morphius the God of dreams."blackmailed again" means the withdrawls forced him to use."I'm neutered and spayed" heroin users have a severly diminished sex drive, and difficulties I probably can't mention here."what the hell am I trying to say" users lose thier train of thought."lines that don't make good sense" are the track marks on the arms of users.
  • Joel2point0 from Nashville, Tnthis song is probably about drugs. it is about how he gets so high that he can't get any higher so he levels out because a plain is flat but high. " Cry on command" is about every time he gets high the guilt from getting high makes him cry. " Love myself better than you" means he knows that he should stop doing drugs but he would rather follow his selfish feelings than your feelings, so he is conflicted about that. "So what should he do?", but he is high so he can't complain.
  • Samuel from Californication, InWow. Heart-shaped box is not even close to Nirvana's best song. Not even in the top 5. What the heck???

    ...definitely Scentless Apprentice, the Wishkah version.
  • Maria. from Montclair, Ca=]

    love myself better
    than you i know
    it's wrong
    so what should i do?
  • Brigette from Melbourne, Australiai love the harmonies in this song and especially the "ahhh"'s in between and at the end lol
  • Christopher from Greensboro, NcRalph Waldo Emmerson Wrote "to be great is to be misunderstood" and all great men that ever do take flesh, are sure to be misunderstood while they are around, but as soon as they are gone...People start agnologing the gift that they bistowed. So in the name of Emmerson and Mr. Cobin, may your families understand the misunderstood side of being right, after all.
  • Jojo from Boston, Main the beggining of the song you hear him slapping his arm in preperation for heroin
  • Bee from Malibu, Ca"Love myself, better than you"
    is one of the best lines ever written.
  • Aleah from New Kensington, Sc Kurt was definetly an artist, the stuff he writes about is just so freaken awesome and amazing. All his feelings go into his songs; he will allways live on if we play the songs, share the songs, and remember the songs. Kurt wasn't violent or destructive, he taught us how to see ourselves and others as human beings, and just remember: peace, love, empathy, Kurt Cobain. <3
  • Echo from Normalville, Mathat bridge is great
  • Mick from New York, NyThis song was written at at a time whe was being courted by the major record labels and was flying all around the country. "On a plain" is a play on words. The "black sheep got blackmailed" line is about those coporate labels using him. "somewhere I have have heard this before" is about his copying other artists like the pixies debaser with Teen spirit and killing joke with come as you are
  • Akshay from Allahabad, Indiai love the line "love myself better than you"
  • Kevin from Calgary, CanadaThe "I got so high, I scratched 'till I bled" is almost certainly a reference to opium and its derivatives. One of the effects of opium is that the user becomes really itchy. Because it is also a pain-reliever the user may scratch until he or she bleeds because they can't feel the pain/damage that is being caused.

    Maybe he means by the first two lines that he is going to start the whole thing off without even writing words - but by getting high.
  • Joe from Lockport, IlDave gives incredble harmonies whenever they play this song live.
  • Max from Austin, TxI believe his mother was an alchoholic, and that was a methaphor for his real mother being gone for the time being, and in her place, the alchohol made her take on a new personality completely.
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, CaWhen you listen to this song, even if you're depressed like me, you almost feel like you too, are "on a plain," and that you cannot complain, I love the lyrics to this song, it really shows kurt's true passion and talent, song writting, (along with guitar.)
    RIP Kurt, <3
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, CaI love this song, Nirvana was the best band evur, the only thing I have to ask about this song is, what does kurt mean when he says: "my mother died, every night," is he saying something or is he just high??
  • Zak from Elyria , Ohthis song is the 2nd best nirvana song. should of been a released as a single. i think it would of done better than inbloom. heart-shaped box is the best nirvana song.
  • Nick from Plainfiel, IlI heard that the song was actually a poem written by Kurt and that he showed it to his producer and he made a song about it. The poem was about him being in a great place in his life or a high point (a plain).
  • Cool Guy from Compton, Cahe says "i got so high, i scratched till i bled". just to let you know.
  • Cody from Cicero, Inthis song is awesome, i love the line "i got so high i scratched and i bled" i love how it takes the album in a different direction in twords the end
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