Many listeners believed that this song is about the life and death of fellow Seattle grunge rocker Kurt Cobain. There are several lines that could refer to drug usage in the song. For instance, "artificial tear" could symbolize substances dripping from a syringe. Also there is a mention of a "cigar box on the floor," and a cigar box was found next to Cobain's body.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published November 20, 1994, Eddie Vedder addressed the song, explaining that it was about his state of mind, and that the cigar box was simply where he kept his tapes. Asked if the song was about Cobain, Vedder replied: "No, that was written when we were on tour in Atlanta. It's not about Kurt. Nothing on the album was written directly about Kurt, and I don't feel like talking about him, because it [might be seen] as exploitation. But I think there might be some things in the lyrics that you could read into and maybe will answer some questions or help you understand the pressures on someone who is on a parallel train."
Edie from El Paso, TxI think the "cigar box on the floor" reference is in reference to what he carried his school supplies in as a child.
Patrik from Bratislava, SlovakiaOn youtube you can find the version of this song with original lyrics (before vitalogy album):
I could take the sun I could call the couple anyone I won't tell the comfort in the world I can't take it off I won't say, "Enough, it's not my fault" I won't care, there's something in the wind Take me as I am I don't need this I die just to live Immortality... I could paint﻿ the moon I could reflect light into a room If I could, the fortune (all be there) I could paint it all I won't say, "Enough, it's not my fault" I won't call the altar in the air Take me as is I don't need this I die just to live Immortality...
I can't take a walk I won't fight this world I won't save it all It﻿ is not my fault
Take me as is I don't need this I die just to live I won't stay long I'll be long gone I die just to live...
Joey from Westville, NyIf Eddie says it not about Kurt, then it's not. The cracks beneath the door... metaphorical bliss like music should be.
Sarah from Portland, OrEddie Vedder said that this wasn't about Kurt, but at the same time he said it was about a person on a "parallel train" and had described him and Kurt as being on parallel trains from one another. So, who knows? Celebrities lie to the press all the time. I mean look at Kurt! He told people he lived under a bridge and all sorts of fantastic stories so he could keep his life to himself. I guess we'll never know for sure what this song is about.
Taylor from Jacksonville, Fl"rape me" isn't about kurts feeling towards the media at all. its an anti-rape song. he wrote it before he was famous AND he said it was a blunt anti rape song in interviews.
and i also think that the "priviledged whore" is a reference to Courtney. just an opinion tho
Alex from Colebrook, CtYou people who state your comments like they are fact suck. If you think you actually have a good point show some backup for it, don't just write the first dumb thought that occurs to you. Opinion =/= fact. Maybe the Comments section would be more than a joke if people posted well thought out, worthwhile comments.
Natasha from Oostende, BelgiumI think that he means that it is not ONLY about Kurt. And I have in mind an idea that the "privileged whore" shows on a certain wife, but it is too venturous thought...
Patrick from Vero Beach, United StatesI think the line "As privileged as a whore, victims in demand for public show" could be taken as a reference to Nirvana's "Rape Me" which is a song about the way Cobain felt that he was being treated by the media, his "fans", and even his family and friends.
Sivan from Seattle, Wai think it is about kurt. but eddie just doesn't want to say that and i understand him .
Kurt from Millmerran, AustraliaIf this is about Kurt Cobain. Pearl Jam rock! Kurt Cobain forever
Ash from Charleston, WvGod this is a good song!!
Obzcure from AucklandIndeed eddie said its not about kurts death. infact he wrote it before kurts death he says. The cigar box (according to eddie) was a place where he used to hide his lyrics. Cigar boxes are also places where herion addicts hid their needles. Pearl jam though did play this song after kurts death and eddie dedicated it to kurt by duct taping a letter K (for kurt.. duh) over his heart.
Laurie from Stony Point, Nythis song is about troubled kids and finding some kind of "home" they always feel they dont fit in or cant belong. the heartache to find love (not sexual, family love). the feeling of having no one to care for you and how society would rather not deal.
Elliot from St. Louis, MoThis is a good song. Did Pearl Jam release this as a radio single? I thought it sounded familiar the first time i heard it.
Matt from Millbrae, CaThe line "cigar box on the floor" references to how a cigar box was found on the floor at the scene on kurt's death.
Arman from College Station, TxEddie Vedder said this song is not about Kurt Cobain.