Territorial Pissings

Album: Nevermind (1991)
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  • Recorded right into the mixing deck during the Nevermind sessions, this song is a two-and-a-half-minute punk lambasting of the typical "Macho Man." In addition to being about sexism, the song is also about the way Kurt Cobain saw Native Americans treated around his home town of Aberdeen, Washington.
  • Along with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana played this on their first Saturday Night Live appearance, after which they destroyed their instruments. The episode was on January 11, 1992.
  • The beginning features Krist Novoselic singing part of the 1967 Youngbloods song "Get Together." "Maybe some baby boomers will hear that and wonder what happened to those ideals," said Novoselic. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Millbrae, CA, for all above
  • Nirvana appeared on the British TV show Tonight With Jonathan Ross show and were told to play "Lithium." Instead they ended up playing this song before smashing their equipment and leaving the stage. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    JT - Tullahoma, TN
  • The second verse ("Never met a wise man/If so, it's a woman") points to Kurt Cobain's feminist views. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Gettysburg, PA
  • The portion of "Get Together" that Noveselic sings in his highly garbled voice is the chorus:

    Come on people now
    Smile on your brother
    Everybody get together
    Try to love one another right now

    While talking to a Brazilian publication named O Globo about the inclusion of these lyrics, Cobain said, "The song speaks of people who join together to be cool and try something new, the ideal contrast to the macho men I'm portraying in 'Territorial Pissings.' We didn't mean to be offensive to the guy who wrote it. The idea of being positive and causing change in society and the world was appropriated by media, who turned it into something ridiculous, a caricature."

Comments: 21

  • Radek from Szczecin, Poland"When I was an alien,
    Cultures weren't opinions"
    When Kurt was little, he was like an alien to this world, right? He didn't know much about it (just like every kid).
    Then, when he/we grow up, we discover many cultures and how they fight with each other.
    Back in the old days, cultures - goths, metalheads, punks, etc. - were just packs of friends who liked the same music and liked to dress up in a strange/rebellious way.
    If you were a metalhead, you didn't necessarily have to hate punks.
    This song is about senseless fights amongst men. That's my opinion.
    So, "Come on people now, smile on your brother
    Everybody get together, try to love one another right now"
    Sorry it's so long ;)
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjThe "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you" line used to mean a lot to me when I was suffereing from chronic anxiety. I don't know how to explain it, I guess someone's telling him not to worry becuase "you're just being paranoid," but then he says to them, "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you." Any other interpretations?
  • Caleb from Stratford, CtThe part of the song that says (when i was an alien cultures weren't opions) refers to when Kurt was young and thought that he was an alien
  • Caleb from Stratford, CtThe part of the sonng that says when i was an alien cultures weren't opions refers to when Kurt was young and thought that he was an alien
  • Caleb from Stratford, CtThe part of the sonng that says when i was an alien cultures weren't opions refers to when Kurt was young and thought that he was an alien
  • Collin from Fort Worth, TxThis is one of Nirvana's only 'punk' songs.
  • Jean from San Lorenzo, Puerto RicoAs MusicMama said it reminds of Punk songs. I'm not a fan of punk but after hearing this song I've made Punk a part of my life like Trash Metal and Grunge.
  • Guy from Benson, NcI wouldn't think being told you look like "An older version of Courtney Love" could be taken as a compliment. She aged herself with all the drugs. She's held together with plastic and botox.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyIn some weird way, this makes me think of some punk-rock songs. Maybe it's the satire of it, which begins, really, with the very first stanza. If you're of my generation (!), you recognized it as the chorus of "Get Together," a song that a number of groups (including the Youngbloods and pre-Surrealistic Pillow Jefferson Airplane) during the '60's.

    "Get Together" was actually quite a good song that was used for lots of hippies' and Middle America's dimwitted (or dope-addled) exhortations to peace and love, in much the same way that Albrecht Durer's hands in prayer has spawned chotchkes you see in practically any religious-goods store.

    Thankfully, I don't see a similar fate befalling this song. And I think it would be hard even for anyone to use it in a '90's tribute (if indeed anyone wants to do such a thing). It's certainly one of the best of its time, even without the legend of Cobain.

    Speaking of Kurt, sort of: The other day, someone told me a look like a somewhat-older version of Courtney Love. I didn't mind hearing that, any more than I mind hearing this song!
  • Supanerd01 from Melbourne, AustraliaI love this song, it's my personal Nevermind favourite. I just love the incredible rawness of it all.
  • Nathaniel from Taftville, Cti agree with jake this song is easyto play on guitar as well the only hard partis strumming fast now which isnt fast either try playing TTFATF
  • Defri from Samarinda, Indonesiai agree with Jake's opinion...

  • Echo from Normalville, Mawell hush mah mouth
  • Jake from Bettendorf, Iayou guys have no idea this song is cake to play...its about how hard it is to be a outkast and when he was little and used to pretend he was a alien nobody judged him..this is a good song for when your about ready to break someones face
  • Echo from Normalville, MaThe words make alot of sense, too. The second verse for example:you wuldn't expect upfront a band like nirvana to care so much about equality and feminine rights. (in utero demonstrates this beautifully, as does polly) Go Kurt
  • Echo from Normalville, MaMy hands fell off trying to play this--it's great
  • Joe from Chicago, Ari love this song......probably one of nirvana's best.....and it's so enegetic as well.....if you're ever tired of nirvana's grunge stuff than listen to this....... plus it's one of their most punk sounding songs
  • Sam from Portsmouth, VaKrist wasn't mocking the lyrics to "
    Get Together". He acually likes the song. He said it because someone in the studio told someone to say something so he recited "Get Together."
  • Sam from Portsmouth, United StatesAnother great song by a great band R.I.P. Kurt
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrI didn't know it was Krist mocking the "Get Together" lyrics; always thought it was Kurt.
  • Erik from Willow Hill, Pai like how punk this song sounds
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