Sliver

Album: Incesticide (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a semi-autobiographical song about being deserted by your parents. The words were written by Kurt Cobain and tell the story about a little boy left at his grandparents house and him screaming to go home. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ
  • Dan Peters from the group Mudhoney played drums on this track. Like Nirvana, Mudhoney came out of the Seattle music scene, and for a while were doing much better. Nirvana went through four drummers before finding Dave Grohl; Peters played just one show with the band.
  • This inspired the Weezer track "Heart Songs." Weezer leeder Rivers Cuomo told Rolling Stone magazine about hearing this song for the first time: "I was working at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in the spring of '91, and another cashier, Harold, said, 'Hey, Rivers, I know something you might like. It's called Nirvana.' As soon as I heard 'Mom and Dad went to a show,' I immediately started dancing around. It was exactly how I felt, and they were putting it to music. It inspired me to do the same thing." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The music video for this song shows clips of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter Frances Bean Cobain, who was a year old at the time. Directed by Kevin Kerslake, it was shot in their basement using a Super-8 camera, which is a cheap but versatile camera that creates a home movie feel. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Breanna - Henderson, NV
  • As evidence that Nirvana didn't "sell out" with their Nevermind album, Kurt Cobain pointed to "Sliver" and "About a Girl" as early tracks with pop sensibilities - catchy melodies were always in his quiver.

Comments: 41

  • Dan from EuropeThe song is called ”Sliver” as in a “sliver of memory” - He has a painful fragment of memory from childhood. The song could be about sex abuse. “I couldn’t chew my meat so good” - Did uncle Joe make him suck d--k?
  • Ben from United States This song, on the album Incesticide, is about sexual abuse.

    His parents drop him off at Grandpa Joe's, which freaks him out. He begs his grandma to take him home throughout the whole song. Alternate versions of the song hint at this more directly; "he touched my arm on accident, I swear to god, it hurt real bad." The thing that actually happened is so terrible it can't be spoken of, so he speaks in euphemisms and talks about all the ordinary kid stuff. The story talks about him saying we are mashed potatoes, rode my bike, etc. Which begs the question...if he's just doing regular, innocuous kid stuff, why is he begging to be taken home? Most kids love going to their grandparents house...

    Why the name sliver, then?

    Because...what is a sliver? It's something that you don't want inside your body and you can't get it out.

    Also, sexual abuse victims report feeling fractured into a sliver of their identity.

    Kurt talks about rape and sexual abuse as a recurring theme in his music and art, so I think this is the most accurate interpretation of this song.
  • Zero from The Abyss, NjI've noticed that there are background harmony vocals in the last 2 choruses. Were these done by Dan Peters or did Dave add them later (meaning that there could be another version without harmony vocals)?
  • Angela from Olmsted , IlThe ending always gets me when he says "grandma take me home, where I can be alone" that is so powerful because it sums up how he felt, even though his parents were there....he felt alone! So sad!
  • Thale from Buskerud, NorwayIt's like "stop pretending that everything is fine, I know it's not" And when the two persons who supposedly love you most in the whole wide world is just fighting all the time, it does make you depressed. Thus, the wanna be alone part. The take me home part(s) is probaby about wanting to be a part of a
    'normal' family, one where mom and dad gets along.
  • Bianca Jane Insane from Brisbane, AustraliaI believe Chi Chi the toy monkey makes an appearance in the "Freddie Krueger Jumper" film clip. Chi Chi also appeared in the photograph on the back cover of Nevermind among diseased vaginas and a KISS photo.
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, Nj"Mashed potatoes and stuff like that"...
  • V-starr from ??????, Mii love this song. it's sooo funny :)
  • Nicky from Southampton, EnglandI love this song.
    :)!
    Think it's one of the best from Nirvana.
  • Sanitarium from Sharon, KsSlivers are annoying and painful. Get it now? If not, you need to leave
  • P from Z, United Statesdid anyone else notice what looked like a led zeppelin poster in the background of the film clip (behind drummer)
    also has everyone heard the silverchair myth involving this song?
  • Kris from Gefiance, Oh"Did you notice that you never saw Kurt playing guitar in the video, and Dave was playing the drums instead of Dan Peters.
    - Joe, Lockport, IL"

    there is another, earlier video out for this song, that didn't have dave in it. i'm not sure exactly who the drummer is, i haven't seen it in a while. try looking on youtube for it. i think that this video was before courtney and francis, but don't quote me.
  • Steven from West Carrollton, OhHEY!!! This past summer, I had a cover band named Sliver, and we played some NIRVANA!!!
  • Jenny from Hereford, EnglandThe reason Kurt called this Sliver is that in his early songs a lot of his titles had no meaning to the song and he wanted to confuse people and so he thought that if he called it Sliver people would call it Silver.....and they do ha ha ha ha...this is to be confirmed by reding Heavier Than Heaven ,the definitive Kurt biography and also several interviews he did.
  • Derp from Jackson, Msyeah nick thats off the box-set...i thin we've all heard it
  • Nick from Kingston, Australiain another version of the song he says
    now grandpa had a cigerette
    he touched my arm on acedent
    i swear to god it heart real bad
  • Brett from Austin, TxSLIVER....a sliver here, a sliver there, a sliver of me for gramma, a sliver of me for mom and dad, a sliver of me for uncle joe, a sliver for aunt bee, pretty soon there's no sliver for me..............
  • Ryan Bayne from Monroe, NyIn the songs Kurt says "killing my toe" <-- he was riding a bike and fell of and he hurt his toes.
  • Jer from London, Canadawow it is sliver . ok that makes even less sense
  • Naomi from London, EnglandCalm down Jordan
  • Derp from Jackson, MsWhoever said it says "I killed my toad" is a complete retard. It says "I killed my toe". The box set version is the best though. Anyone know why its called Sliver?
  • Chrissy from ManchesterThis is great. One of Nirvana's best.

    "Mum and Dad went to a show, dropped me off at Grandpa Joe's, I kicked and screamed, said please dont go..."

    I think this partly reflects on how Kurt's tough childhood made him feel.
  • Joe from Lockport, IlThis song is not about any kind of deep poetry or an expession of angst and depression, it's simply a song about a night that he spent with his grandparents.
  • Joe from Lockport, IlDid you notice that you never saw Kurt playing guitar in the video, and Dave was playing the drums instead of Dan Peters.
  • Suraj from Mumbai, Indiajer(canada) its Sliver and not silver
  • Suraj from Mumbai, IndiaFrancis looks so cute in the video
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaI just listened to the entire Incesticide album today...and realized its an amazing record. I know this was a collection of rarities, covers, and other stuff, but this is just a great grunge LP.
  • A from Sunnyside, Wait sounds like to me that hes saying "said now dont you start your crying or (said my kurt dont start your crying)go outside and ride your bike, thats what i did i killed my toe" its an awesome song good video too.
  • Kevin from Castaic, CaKurt says "That's what I did, I killed my toad." Whether this song is about loneliness or not, it certainly is a break from the depressing lyrics, and this song is one of the best.
  • Matt from Millbrae, Caclassic opening bass riff
  • Jack from St. Paul, Mnno wait, i killed my toe is something a five year old would say if he ran over his foot. it was just a way to put the song in the perspective of a five year old.
  • Jack from St. Paul, Mnhe says a killed my toad i thougt.
  • Jer from London, CanadaCan sombody please explain why this song is called Silver
  • Rick from Lancashire, United StatesI think this song is about Kurt being shipped around all his relatives and not feeling like he belonged with any of them and he just wanted a place he could call home
  • Joe from Stoughton, MaOne of my favorite lines of all time:

    "My grandpa had a cigarette, it touched my arm on accident, I swear to God it hurt real bad"

    One of the reasons Kurt was such an amazing writer was that he could write from anyone's point of view. The language in the song is exactly as a 5 or 6 year old.
  • Kieran from Harlow, United StatesNot so much a song about being a small child, but a song about isolation, loneliness and rejection from your parents. a tragic song.
  • Kaylene from Moore, Ori love this song... when i was younger i had to go to a daycare and i used to watch the little kids starring out at the window crying for their mommys, now that i think about its really creepy thinking about the sounds they had mad... it was like a whaling and a longing sound, now that im older i dont cry like that but i do feel like that at times when i can't have something or someone.
  • Chris from Madison, WiIn regards to Rob's question, the lyrics are "She said 'why don't you stop your crying? Go outside and ride your bike' that's what I did, I kicked my toe." the line may perhaps symbolize how when ever Kurt tried something he ended up failing or hurting himself and the sense of defeat Kurt felt from life's simple tasks (riding a bike). i don;t really think the line has that deep of a meaning, but if it does, that would be my guess.
  • Rob from Castaic, CaTo a casual fan, it seems like a funny song about a little kid whining to his grandparents... Its a nice break from the depressing stuff, but it does have these "Cobain's twisted childhood" references. Its still a fun song, especcially to play. One question though, what is that lyric, "So I did, I killed my ... toe?"
  • Joel from Panama City, FlI can toatally relate to this song in every line of the song i can tell a story
  • April from Houston, TxKurt's parents divorced when he was really young and he lived with his grand parents for a while. I luv everything about this song!
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