Album: Nevermind (1991)
Play Video
  • Polly wants a cracker
    I think I should get off her first
    I think she wants some water
    To put out the blow torch

    It isn't me
    We have some seed
    Let me clip
    Your dirty wings
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself
    I've got some rope
    You have been told
    I promise you
    I have been true
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself

    Polly wants a cracker
    Maybe she would like some food
    She asks me to untie her
    A chase would be nice for a few

    It isn't me
    We have some seed
    Let me clip
    Your dirty wings
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself
    I've got some rope
    You have been told
    I promise you
    I have been true
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself

    Polly said

    Polly says her back hurts
    And she's just as bored as me
    She caught me off my guard
    It amazes me, the will of instinct

    It isn't me
    We have some seed
    Let me clip
    Your dirty wings
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself
    I've got some rope
    You have been told
    I promise you
    I have been true
    Let me take a ride
    Don't cut yourself
    I want some help
    To please myself

Comments: 95

  • Arizona from Holland MichiganWow, when I first listened to this song, I thought it was about abusing a bird, like no joke, I was mortified, but then I looked it up, and saw this, and now I´m absolutely terrified.
  • Empathetic American from Midwest"Sarah from Tacoma, WA" part 2

    Not everybody responds the same to trauma in the moment they are being victimized or tortured over time.
    It breaks a lot of people.
    Some are Fighters that do whatever it takes.
    Your sister, rolling out of the car @ the gas station near Puyallup, WA is one of them!
    I was driving one of my daughters in Fall 2021 to a Soccer game and on the Radio we hear a 4-song Nirvana rock-Block
    I was singing all 4 songs in a nostalgic "haze" but heard her ask in confusion about what he meant, etc...
    I tried to answer some of them but ultimately, I blurted out
    That is the power of music.

    Nirvana hit the music World & society by force/ in a perfect-storm between 1991-1995
    Nirvana ushered in a new kind of Rock N Roll
    as it replaced the tired bands like Warrant & Poison from the mantle of Rock.
    Hip-Hop was just coming into America's mainstream but wasn't quite there YET.
    1991 was before the Internet, back when you still bought Physical Music. in different forms of Media. (CD', Vinyl, cassette)
    MP3 technology was not on the horizon yet about 8-10 years away.
    In those days there were nowhere near the amount of entertainment options competing for your attention.
    If you wanted to listen to Musi then..
    (a) you picked it on the Radio
    (b) You had to pick the Album and Insert it into your Medium and hit Play or cue up the record.
    (Nobody really bought SINGLES and music wasn't in your pocket back then.)

    Kurt was a Voice- for the picked on and Under Represented in Society
    Like many important Artists, he was a tortured soul.
    & that instantly touched a NERVE in America and the rest of the world and somehow became the #1 Album around the Globe.

    A Voice for the uncool kids and victims of bullies that said this stuff actually HAPPENED to me.
    The Teen Spirit" Video visually and lyrically captured the very essence of this message
    8-years before another 2 outcasts and victims of bullying change high school safety forever in Columbine, CO
    He also wrote music inspired by the News of the day.
    Whether it was about the girl in 1987 who was raped in Tacoma or reports of Rape and Bosnian War Crimes, his songs shined a light on the lower members of society.
    Not about celebrities or the rich and powerful in PEOPLE magazine. No different than Bob Dylan or musicians ahead of their time.

    In the 80's nobody was open or accepting if you told someone you had depression.
    In 2021 kids are as transparent as a window and that is mostly good and healthier.
    Kurt was poor and from a broken home and had some level of abuse or neglect somewhere before his dad left and probably not at Grandpa Joe's (Sliver)
    Aberdeen, WA was & still is a depressed Logging Town.
    It just so happened Kurt wrote about being hazed and picked on
    by the Jocks and being mocked or called a "fag" which was commonplace anywhere in 1980's America.
    In 2021 kids are as transparent as a window and that is mostly good and healthier.
    Kurt was poor and from a broken home and had some level of abuse or neglect somewhere before his dad left and probably not at Grandpa Joe's (Sliver)
    If you can't AFFORD it, you don't get to go to therapy because you don't have Insurance or good insurance.
    Kurt used worked out his feelings out in his music as his own 'Therapy" long before Eminem cathartically wrote about getting peed on and beat up.

    Nirvana is NOT what anyone expected or contemplated before. A breath of fresh air that sparked change.
    There will always be a place for Originals as they are the forebearers of change and a new way of thinking.
    David vs Goliath or Ghandi. The small Voice that stands up for itself and represents others.
    It's hard enough to fully accept yourself or like who you are at times, especially as a TEEN.
    It takes courage and fearlessness to publicly put yourself out there for the world.
  • Empathetic American from Midwest"Sarah from Tacoma, WA"

    You set the record straight that the 1987 Tacoma victim was NOT Polly Klaas but your own Sister!

    I'm sending out sincere hopes that she is still a "Survivor" and functioning and possibly mending emotionally from her trauma nearly 35-years ago.
  • Ozzy from Marsfirst off, love that the comments have the only facts. second i think that an important thing to note is that the name polly isnt just random. though the main liyrics are inspire the the unamed victim of gerald friend, but the name polly is inspired by polly class who was raped and murdered when she was twelve years old. the lyics arent about her but i thought it was importand to note
  • Cut Yourself from DeadThe lyrics are "cut yourself"
  • Jen Davies from PaAll I gotta say is Kurt was brilliant period, Especially musically.
  • Colleen from Chicago I knew what this song meant immediately when I first heard it.
    I felt like it was written for me, and I’ve never met Kurt Cobain, wasn’t especially a fan, though we are contemporaries.
    This is a masterpiece of song.
    You see, I was molested from ages 6-9 buy a teenage boy who lived across the street from me.
    Every day, he would ride his bike across the street to my house and “ yo Colleen!” To get me outside to “play”- this later evolved to Pauline- to Polly - to- when I was fully entrenched in the abuse- “Polly want a cracker?”- ie, come out and “play”.
    I idolized him- he was cool- I looked up to him, in my innocence- did what he wanted- I didn’t have a normal reference point.
    It ruined my life.
    I tell no one.
    He is now seemingly a normal grown up with a wife and kids.
    I don’t want to ruin his life as well-so I tell no one-
    And he ruined my sense of self, decency and trust.
    I am very strong, and otherwise lead a functional life. But I will never marry. I will never be able to trust.
    He sold a piece of my soul which I will never get back.
    The tone of the song and the lyrics refelect both the abusers indifference and the dissociative pain of the abused.
    My guess was that Cobain knew abuse in his life- if from only being bullied as a child.
    He knew something of this pain in his heart, and I thank him for sharing with others such as my self. He was a true artist.
  • Bacon from CanadaI thought it was about a parrot lol
  • Daniel Coffin from UsaIf I had to guess what the song was about not knowing about the incident that happened to the young girl. I would have a different interpretation. I listened to this song tonight first time in years, and decided to google lyrics and meaning. So my interpretation not knowing about the rape would be it is a prisoner that is being interrigated, for information, the first line polly wants a cracker to a polygraph poly wants to cracker crack the prisoner, lyrics would you like some food, would you like water, get some rope you've been told a threat on life, promise you have been true, I take that I want'e lieing, want some help please my self, I interpret that as if you want some help tell the truth and it will please yourself, ask me to untie her, self explanatory, the isn't me let me clip your dirty wings as, means the person said it isn't me the interigator would be let me clip your dirty wings to clip or break down to the truth cut the bs and tell the truth, promise you I've been true,, lyrics polly said her back hurts, she caught me off guard, amazes me the will of instinct, the instinct to not break from the interigator. So this was my though of interpretation when I looked over the lyrics for the first time not knowing about anything else. I would like to hear thoughts or comments about my interpretation.
  • Seb from AucklandElliott - The rapist was Gerald Friend the song is about his 14 year old victim but the song is sung from the perspective of the rapist. It is an anti rape song but Kurt was very upset to hear about another rape where the rapists thought it was funny to sing the lyrics to Polly at their victim. Later he wrote the song Rape Me from the victim's perspective. But both songs were based on the mistaken idea that the victim "Polly" (not her real name) had talked the rapist into letting her go by fooling him that she liked him but in fact that turns out to have been a myth that got out somehow and the real truth was she escaped because he didn't think to lock the car door when he stopped for gas and thought her being tied up on the floor was enough but she managed to roll out and be seen by people, which made him drive off.
  • Anna from Seattle, WaI fail to see how any single one of us can really know what Kurt had in mind when he wrote. The meanings of his own lyrics could change for himself over time, too. But, bottom line..no one has ever lived in his head except for him. When interviewed, a lyracist may not even give up everything he/she was thinking, especially in widely publicized statements from interviews. Do you tell everybody everything about yourself ? Would you reveal all knowing the whole workd is hanging onto every word? I wouldn't. So, my point: we don't know and will never know with 100% certainty what his thoughts were.

    Can't we just appreciate the gifts he left us? Songs that touch each of us differently. The wonderful wordplay. The music itself. The fact that he not only gave a d*** about women (and not just as things to f***) he also actively displayed those beliefs and empathy for the whole world to see. Pretty rare in a male "rock star". It also concerns me when everyone goes on and on about the circumstances of his death. I do not have the arrogance to say that I know what happened. However, when everyone gets all tangled up in that controversy, we are losing the very real gifts he left us. Gifts than can never be erased no matter how he died.
  • Mark from Chapel Hill, NcWow, I had no idea or knowledge about the whole rape case or cases that may have influenced this song. It's odd to me as this song actually changed meanings to me after Cobain died... While I now am pretty sure that the song was about something completely different, I just thought I'd add my take.

    When I first heard this song, I originally thought it was about someone who was keeping someone captive for some reason or another...sadly that was more true than I knew at the time.

    Later on, I started thinking that this song actually was speaking about his and Courtney's addiction to drugs, oddly I guess. While seeing the real meaning now kinda changes that whole thought, i always thought Polly was Courtney. Anyway, here's what I thought just in case anyone cared at all...

    "Polly wants a cracker"...she wanted to get high, "Maybe she would like some/more food"...heroin, "She asked me to untie her"...The tourniquet on her arm to get a vein to inject, "A chase would be nice for a few"...the term "chasing the dragon" is usually used by people who use opium as they are always chasing that first great high.

    "It isn't me"...he's not making her want to get high, "We have some seed"...again referring back to the food line, "Let me clip, your dirty wings"...let me help your craving or help you get high/find a vein that's not dirty/unusable to inject,"Let me take a ride"...again get high with her,"Hurt yourself"...She is having trouble finding an open vein to inject which is something heroin addicts says is the most painful part of using, "Want some help?"...Do you want me to help inject you? "Help myself"...I'll inject myself though, no worries.

    Again, not to take anything away from the probable true meaning of the song...just wanted to share my own interpretation for all these years without knowing about the truth to the song's meaning.
  • Lishy from N/a, MaI can totally see how this song is about rape. Just read the lyrics, and all the important parts of this song that imply rape just pop out.
  • Adrian from Toledo, OhMy personal interpretation of the song is about power over others. The lyrics seem to imply that he protects or takes care of Polly against her will. He thinks he knows better than she does, and is keeping her safe, but Polly wants freedom.

    "Isn't me"-The captor wonders what Polly is upset about, and he thinks it isn't him. He thinks it is something else, and seeks to fix that problem.

    "Let me clip dirty wings"-Wings represent freedom, dirty represents the perceived danger of freedom.

    "Let me take a ride, hurt yourself"-Polly is asking for freedom in the line "Let me take a ride", while the captor retorts "(you'd) hurt yourself"

    "Want some help? Help myself"- The captor asks if she needs help, and Polly replies "(I'll) help myself"

    "Got some rope, have been told, I promise you, have been true"-He uses the rope to tie her up, while the second part signifies his sincerity in wanting to help her.

  • Andi from Orastie, RomaniaKurt didn't knew the truth about the girl abducted by Gerald Friend.
    She was a run-away, she was picked up by Gerald while she was walking a boulevard known to be full with Hookers. yes indeed she was tortured and then when Gerald was taking her for ' her last ride'he tied her hands with a belt and duck-tape on her mouth and he stopped for gass. she managed to escape and tell the story. BUT Kurt didn't knew about this as he stated a different story in the newspaper
  • Garry from Novosibirsk, Russia Federationthat's amusing that even some english-speaking people didn't know the song was about rape, I mean how shall we, the not english-speaking folk, get to understant it!
  • Maria Castaneda from Montclair, Cawow.

    i had no idea this song was about rape.

  • Maria Castaneda from Montclair, Cawow.

    i had no idea this song was about rape.

  • Kristian from Morrilton, ArSome of you people think that kurt cobain was a rapist when actually he thought that men who beat and rape people were discusting pigs and he was all for women's rights and he was a truly beautiful person xoxo rip KURT COBAIN my hero!!!
  • Katrina from Sydney, Australiauhh it can't have been about Polly Hannah Klaas because the song was released in 1991, and Polly Klaas was murdered in 1993.
  • Nate from Syrause, Nyim pretty sure that the girl who was raped didnt have the name polly...cobain sort of used "polly wants a cracker," a stereotypical parrot phrase, to describe the inhumanity of the rape.
  • Sarah from Tacoma, WaJust to set the reccord straight, My sister was the 14 year-old girl that Gerald Friend abducted and raped... Her name is not Polly... It's just the name he used for the song.
  • Jacob from Rocky Mount, NcPolly Hannah Klaas!!
    This isn't about her!!
    The 'Polly' from this song is different then Polly Klaas!
    The Polly From This Song Didn't Die!
  • Nick from Toronto, Onhey, heres a question for you Dave from Canada..
    i totally agree with everything you say, and I'm just curious about one thing. you say you know Kurt's hand writing and it matches the suicide note, correct. but, how come the week of the possible suicide, they found some paper in Courtney's possession. on one paper, it looked like she had been practicing her writing to look like Kurt's. and another paper she had was some notes on smells like teen spirit with Kurt's at the time, present hand writing. true? please correct me if I'm wrong. send me an email at
    thanks ,
  • Ashley from Edmonton, Abwell i googled it
    and i came up with this:

    Polly Hannah Klaas (January 3, 1981 - October/November 1993) was an American murder victim whose case gained national attention. At the age of 12, she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her mother's home during a slumber party in Petaluma, California on October 1, 1993. She was later raped and strangled. Richard Allen Davis was convicted of her murder in 1996 and sentenced to death.

    and the girl here died, but this is all i can come up with if anyone can find any better...
  • Elliott from Derby, England, United KingdomRight so let me get this straight...

    Some of you are saying the song was written for this incident, but some of you are saying that the rapist sang the lyrics to the song to the rape victim, but the rapist couldn't know the lyrics if the song wasn't even invented!!!
    So which one is it?
  • Kinscin from L, Antartica1. Polly wasn't about Polly Klaas, for the song was written prior to the incident, and the similarities is pure coincidence.
    2. The fan-rapers were listening to Polly, for I believe that this was before 'Rape Me'.
    3. No one knows how Kurt died. It could be either suicide or murder. He could have even been forced to shoot himself. NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE!
  • V-starr from ??????, MiIt's called (New Wave) Polly on Incesticide
  • Mijal from Df, Mexicokurts bird was named polly
  • P.a. from Paris, FranceMoonoleander!
    The first sentence in Gilliann's comment is "This song is not about Polly Klass", read more carefully! I was going to write exactly the same thing about the poor girl playing along to get him to lower his guards, that's what motivated Kurt to write the song: "She caught me off my guard.
    It amazes me, the will of instinct."
    Gilliann has everything right.

  • Defri from Samarinda, Indonesiasoft and beautiful music hide the cruel fact. genius kurt!!
  • Jack from Stoke, EnglandI don't know what Polly is about, other than that it is clearly referring to a rape. Like it matters whch particular rape it refers to. The lines about "Polly wants a cracker," is a sick pun on the name Polly; yes, it does refer to parrots, but it is still clearly about rape, and I think that is where Kuzma went wrong. Rape Me was about the media affecting him and is a metaphor, but was also written for Women's Rights. And Kurt Cobain probably committed suicide, and I personally would rather think that than believe he was murdered, and it's pretty damn sick to look up all the "Facts," and conspiracies. He was a truly 4ked up, beautiful individual.
  • Keriah from Naples, Flwow what an amazing and beautiful song. Kurt Cobain was a really deep guy and a great songwriter. he has so much love and compassion for everyone i miss him RIP KURT i love you
  • Moonoleander from South East, GaAhh, Gilliann, you punk! Polly Klaas was a completely different murder case. She died from strangulation (hint: she didn't survive) and that was in Cali! Her murderer was Richard Allen Davis. Whilst the Polly in this song escaped from her kidnapper, Gerald Friend near Tacoma, WA.(Strangely where Gary Leon Ridgway started his murders)haha, anyways.

    Good guess I suppose. But now you've got tons of people mixing up the story.
  • Dave from Peterborough, CanadaTo Jon from Gillingham: Yes, Kurt died on the 5th. I think what you read was that his body was discovered on the eighth by an electrician who was working on the lighting. As for him filing divorse - it is irrelevent. There is no proof whatsoever and Kurt's attorney who Kurt had supposedly asked to draw up a will excluding Love (because he was filing for divorce) has never spoken publicly on the issue. the gun having no finger prints on it is total BS since there is no real proof. And it is possible to pull the trigger with that much heroin, although unlikely. However, Kurt could have built up enough of a resistance to the drug - that has been noted by medical experts before. Alright, I hope that helps you Jon. Don't buy into that whole suicide dispute thing. All that people are trying to do is make money with their cheap unproven explanations.
  • Merrick from Outside, Brazil"GUILTY VERDICT IN RAPE CASE
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    August 19, 1987
    Author: The Associated Press
    Estimated printed pages: 1

    Gerald Arthur Friend was convicted yesterday in Pierce County Superior Court of the kidnapping and torture-rape of a 14-year-old girl.

    Prosecutor Tom Stratton said he would recommend an exceptionally long sentence for Friend, 49 (age), who was convicted in a similar attack 27 years ago. In the latest case, Friend was charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree rape in the attack that occurred over several hours late June 5 and early June 6.

    Officials said the victim was a runaway who accepted a ride from Friend near the Tacoma Dome after she attended a rock concert in the area. When the girl tried to get out of the car, authorities said, she was handcuffed and abducted at knife-point to Friend's mobile home.

    The victim testified last week that Friend tortured and repeatedly raped her with several objects in his mobile home. She said he blindfolded her and ran a propane torch close to her skin. She eventually escaped.
    Memo: Update
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: News
    Page: D1

    Dateline: TACOMA
    Copyright (c) 1987, 2000 Seattle Post-Intelligencer (http://seattlep-i.com). All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
    Record Number: 8701220169"

    there you go
  • Skot from Sydney , AustraliaKuzma from Moscow mate ur totally wrong do ur research into the band and youll realise that it is true he wrote this about a rape victim so yeah nerr sad song:( theyre all scik for doin that stuff neways
  • Megan from Knoxville, TnAnyone read "Heavier Than Heaven"? Amazing biography of the life of Kurt Cobain. It was released on the 10 year anniversary of the release of Nevermind, by the by.

    Anyway, sorry Kuzma, but you're wrong. Just wrong.

    Dave from Petersburg, rock on. I agree with every word you said - of course, because you're right. In fact, regarding his suicide, I honestly didn't know what to believe until I read this book, which included a thorough section about the before during and after of his suicide.
  • Kuzma from Moscow, EuropeC`mon dont be ridiculous. That cant be about none of the rapes you`ve mentioned before. Nirvana wouldnt be as silly as to write something stupid as the story of a raped girl. Polly is the nickname for a parrot. Polly wants a cracker, think she wants some water, maybe she would like more food ... It isnt me have some seed...lemme clip your dirty wings. These are things that usually parrots would need. Let me take a ride hurt yourself want some help please myself is actually about sex but that hardly deals with rape, it`s obviously connected to sado-masochistic love. Actually it`s no use arguing about as it`s not the best song of Nirvana anyway. There are far better songs than Polly.
  • Tara from Wittenberg, WiI read somewhere he had to sing the lyrics different after Nevermind because some guys raped a girl while listening to the original lyrics.. If you listen to the live version it is a lot different from the original.
  • Jon from Gillingham, Englandthis is for Dave, Peterborough, Canada
    i have been reading up on some sites and had a few problems, in his auto bigraphy the say hi died on the 5/4/1994 and on a web site it says it was the 8th i trust the book more but just 4 clarifaction. i also found out that kurt was filing for devorese and changing his will to leve countney out of it. also the shot gun had no finger prints on it. the postmortum said that he had 1.52 ml of smak per leter of blood and terfore couldnt pick up a shot gun. als countney love had a second sucide not.

    i hope u can answer as i am intreged to find out what happern as there are lots of theries.
  • Dave from Peterborough, CanadaLol, yea I think I over did it but... yea i gots my facts right
  • Lauren from Cumbria, EnglandOk, think it's safe to say the song is about the 14yr old victim from Tacoma, Washington in 1987 NOT Polly Klaas..."Rape me", although released after Nevermind, had been WRITTEN before Nirvana's plunge into superstardom and so couldn't be criticism of the media 'Raping' him and his family (except for the bridge which was written soon before release, lines such as "I'm not the only one" can be seen to say it was not just him the media affected)
  • Jake from Tipton, MiDave from Canado gots his facts right-most of them at least
  • Dave from Peterborough, CanadaOkay so... I can see almost no one knows exactly what they're talking about so please... let me clarify.

    "Polly" was written in 1989 and finally recorded some time later in 1991, It was put on Nirvana's #1 album "Nevermind" with their breakout hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

    "Polly" was written about real incedent that occured in June of 1987 when a 14 year old girl was abducted while returning home from a punk rock concert in Tacoma, Washington at the Community World Theatre. She was picked up by a man named Gerald Friend who tied her upside down from a pulley attached to the ceiling of his mobile home and then raped and tortured her with a leather whip, a razor, hot wax, and a blowtorch.

    What inspired Kurt Cobain to write this song about her was her will and character as she fooled the rapist into thinking she liked what he was doing to her. By flirting with him possibly, although it is impossible to comprehend how hard that must have been, She managed to build his trust until she escaped when he let his guard down and stopped for gas.

    "She caught me off guard, Amazes me the will of instinct" - Quote from the song "Polly"

    I would also like to state to following facts so that ignorant people will not confuse you:

    After one of nirvana's concerts two fans did rape a young girl while they sang "Polly", not "Rape Me" and Kurt Cobain was disgusted by this saying "I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience"

    "Rape Me" is not from the rapists point of view and it wasn't about what the title conveys that it was about. It was about, in simple words, how the media 'raped' the life out of him. But Kurt Cobain denied this saying: "the song is a sort of poetic justice. A guy rapes a girl. He ends up in jail and is raped there"

    Kurt Cobain was not killed by his wife, Courtney Love, to say that is horrific, unsensistive, and just plain stupid. He killed himself with a single shotgun wound to the face. The fact is it's impossible to fake a suicide and Courtney Love had no reason to kill him. She loved and cared for him hence the reason she sent him to re-habilitation, they had just had their first daughter Frances and she was happy. The most convincing evidence of the suicide in my opinion however, was the suicide note he had left behind. I have read it and I know Kurt Cobain's writing, it has a uniqueness of writing style and an intelligent vocabulary, Courtney Love could never have written the note and that's the only proof anyone needs. The reason the case was closed quickly was because it is just such a damn obvious suicide. Kurt Cobain was in extreme physical and mental pain and suicide was his only solution.

    The "Polly" referred to in the song was not Polly Klaas. That is an entirely different story, If you want to hear that story i suggest you visit KlaasKids.org, they have her story on that website.

    I hope that my knowledge of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, and this song has helped you all. And I'd like to say that everyone should completely disregard all other posts as although some is true much of it is fiction.

    If anyone has any other questions about "Polly", Kurt Cobain, and Nirvana or needs anything clarified leave a post and I guarantee you I can answer it factually

    R.i.p. Kurt Cobain
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrThis song was redone with a faster tempo on Nirvana's "Incestiscide" album.
  • Kim from Seattle, WaO.k the newspaper said polly was raped and tortured.she started flirting with yhe guy and when he took his gaured down she DID get away.AFTER kurt read this he wrote "polly". after nevermind was realeased in 1991 there was a whole different incident. two guys raped a girl while singing "polly" this happend before "rape me " was realeased. i'm SURE thats what happend
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, Caok, polly klass, she had a sleep over, with two friends, they were playing some sort of a game, they heard a noise, suddently a man appeared in her room, he tied all three girls up and told them all he wanted was money, but the sicko was a effing liar. he took polly and as said before she was tourtered and raped, :( it was awful, my opinon is that nirvana wrote polly, after polly, if you dont think that then explain why the song was called polly!
  • Cassidy from Janesville, Wi'According to Michael Azerrad's 1993 Nirvana biography Come As You Are, "Polly" is based on the true story of a female rape victim from Tacoma, Washington. The girl, 14, was abducted in 1987 while returning from a punk rock show, and was raped and tortured by her abductor. COBAIN'S ONLY NARRATIVE FLOURISH IS THAT THE VICTIM MANAGES TO ESCAPE BY FLIRTING WITH HER CAPTOR, convincing him to let her go. Cobain narrates the song from the rapist's point of view (he would do the opposite on In Utero's "Rape Me").' So, the real Polly didn't escape like the song says. Also, the concert was not identified as a Nirvana concert. In other words, it wasn't, nor was it two men who committed the crime. Nirvana's music was in no way incorporated with the crime. George Friend was not the rapist and his victim was not "Polly." This crime happened AFTER the song was written!
  • Blake from Denver, CoI read that this song may be related to The Birds' murder ballad "Pretty Polly"
  • Bleach from Qld, AustraliaAll the information on the song POLLY can be found in "Kurdt Kobains Journals", "Classic Albums, Nevermind DVD" or the liner notes of "Incesticide".

    Kurdt was reading a article in the Tacoma Newspaper which featured the story of a girl who was kidnapped and tortured. What made this story so profound is that the girl started to make out the she was enjoying it, and he let his guard down - and she got away. I dont believe her name was 'Polly', as i havent heard any evidence of this. However in "Classic Albums, Nevermind DVD", it has a picture of the newspaper article and some of it can be clearly made out.
    Hope that helps. Luv ya Kurdt xxx
  • Donna from New Bern, NcKurt Cobain was murdered.It was not a suicide.Love killed him. that's all i have to say.
  • Cassidy from Janesville, WiThis song is not about Polly Klaas. I don't know why anyone would think it was. Polly Klaas was murdered in 1993. This song was written/released in 1991. Anyone else see a problem here? The song is about a girl who was raped after a concert.
  • Nathalie from Laguna, Cayeah Kurt comitted Suicide, get over it.
    his suicide shows what stardom does to people.
    believe what you want, it was suicide.
  • Nathalie from Laguna, CaPolly Klass was killed by a guy. She did not come home from a concert!
    From crime library"Her name was Polly Klaas, a quiet, unassuming 12-year old who lived a comfortable life in Petaluma, California."

    ..."On a peaceful night, on October 1, 1993, she was in her own bedroom.  She invited two friends over for their very first slumber party"....
  • Lilly from Nowhere, MaPolly Hannah Klaas was a real person but she was kidnapped from her home and murdered by Richard Allen Davis.

  • Georgie from Hastings, Englandamazing song just as pretty much every nirvana song tho :P kurt cobainbe had an amazing intricate mind and as most greats at points in his life boder line insane but hey weve all been tho amazing man worshipped 2 the ground :p x
  • Max from Austin, TxAnd Rape me was not at all about being raped. It was about the media and how they just about 'raped' the life out of him.
  • Max from Austin, TxPolly is about the most literal Nirvana song they put out. It's a very sad song about something that actually happened. And for the last time, Courtney Love did NOT kill Kurt Cobain. It's impossible to replicate the way a body and gun fall after suicide.
  • Grunge=dead from Nowhereville, CaWhat a great song, to get the message out of explaining to people that rapes happen all the time, and people need to do something about it. My only question is if Nirvana did concerts like "rock against rape", and stuff, then what was the meaning of the song rape me. Was Kurt trying to put the controversial message out there by saying, "rape me"? I love listening to this song, when I am sad, l.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScAshley from san bernardino. The girl you're refering to is Polly Class.
  • Ant from Cardiff, Walesthis is one of the greatest songs ever written..its so clever and heartfelt..singing from the perspective or the rapist and the victim..amazing
  • Brittany from Rocky Grove, PaTourette from Abeerdeen....that is a rather oblivious and ignorant comment you left there.. kurt Cobain didnt deserve to die..the life he led, was a tradgic one, this man deserves to be honored for how he turned his life around..I would expect higher from someone decending form the same home town as Kurt resided in
  • Brittany from Rocky Grove, PaI am responding to Ashley from California whom states..that Polly Klass was what the song was about, anf that she never escaped..well she is correct as far as Polly KLASS never escaping and being murdered..but Polly KLLAUS was raped on the way home from a concert..and it is KLLAUS whoms the song is about
  • Nick from Plainfiel, IlI think that the MTV Unplugged is better than the original. It's also the best song that they played.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaThe New Wave version of this is very starnge because even though its the same lyrics its a lot faster-paced and upbeat.
  • Edwin from Costa Mesa, CaOkay, I don't think anyone gets this. Polly the song is based on the torture and rape on a girl. The lyrics "blow torch" and "maybe i should get off her first" isn't alluding to anythign but an actual incident in which one man tied a girl and tortured her with a blowtorch and raped her. It's in a LOT of biographies written about him, and in a lot of song analysis. He isn't alluding to the two "Fans" that raped a girl.
  • James from Tewkesbury, EnglandCourtney killed Kurt, it's extremely obvious. The police closed the investigation too early. www.justiceforkurt.com read some of that, you'll understand.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaBob Dylan saw Nirvana in concert and picked out Polly as his favorite song. Says Dylan about Mr. Cobain: "The kid has heart".
  • Jo Beth from Centreville, MiYes, "Polly" is about a girl being raped and tortured coming home from a concert. If you don't believe me check out the "Classic Albums: Nevermind" DVD, it talks about all of the songs on the CD. And for all of you idiotic people out there, Kurt Cobain did NOT rape anyone. He was amazed at the girl's strength and the way she got away and wanted to write a song about it. (Some people were claiming Kurt raped someone on the "Rape Me" message board of this site.) Kurt Cobain hated rape and supported women's rights groups. He hated violence against women and wanted it to end. Kurt Cobain was a beautiful person.
  • Gabriel Maclean from Toronto, CanadaOk, the song is about Polly Kllaus in a slightly altered situation, read the book heavier then heaven, all about Kurt and it explains exactly what Polly was about.
  • Ashley from San Bernardino, CaPolly Klaas was not from Washington but from California. She was never kidnapped on the way back from a concert but from a slumber party in her own home. She was raped but she never got free. She was killed by her kidnapper Richard Davis. The song cannot be about her for the simple fact that the girl that Cobain refers to was raped and escaped. Polly Klaas was not. It's just another girl named Polly.
  • Lauryn from Kitchener, CanadaOkay Jo, thats a completely different story than the one Kurt is talking about.
  • Jo from -, NetherlandsFor the people who still don't understand:
    The song was written before the abduction, rape and death of Polly Klass! (http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/child_abduction/9.html?sect=19)
  • Tourette from Aberdeen, Wahero, i have asked ghrol my self, was re done for some mass. firefighters after the woster werehouse fire of 1999, 6 man dide and the fire was started by 2 homeless ppl lighting candels
  • Tourette from Aberdeen, Wai myself have suffered a rape that was done aginst me for my love of nirvana and it was a reanactment. kurt loved music and this is how people repay him. this is a disgusting world and to be honest, in some ways i am glad courtney killed him so he did not have to suffer through this. it is wrong that someone would take the beauty of music and twist it into some sick, demented thing for their atrosis plesuer. its to the point that people accualy want to ban nirvana from the airways for their own protection.
  • Brittny from Butler, InActually yes, it does have to do with her abduction.Kurt Cobain was very agianst rape and all for women's rights.The song is for that girl.
  • Evan from Freehold, NjLisa, just because the rape happened 4 years before doesnt mean that the song wasnt about her

    It would still have an effect, 4 years later, because it was a widely publisized case.

    I mean, the Foo Fighters released "Hero" years after Kurt's death
  • Lisa from Qld, AustraliaDoes anyone know anything about the girl the the Polly song is acctually about? Is there any info on her anywhere? The real polly rape happened in 87' and the song was actually written and recorded in 89'but produced in 91' so it dosnt have any thing to do with polly klass but know one ever seems to get that.
  • Edwin from Costa Mesa, CaIt is actually about what the thing said... Polly is about the torture of a girl...
  • Stephanie from Aurich, GermanyOh, and at least: I think no one of us have the right to interpret the lyrics of Kurt Cobain-no one knows what's really gone on inside his head, right?I read, that Kurt Cobain used parts of poems when he write songs, and he did change them,when they didn't fit. It wasn't really poems- the lines were just part of them.And please, excuse my bad english! I could write: Ich denke, das niemand das Recht hat, die Texte von Kurt Cobain zu interpretieren, denn niemand weiß was wirklich in seinem Kopf vorgegangen ist.Ich habe mal gelesen, das Kurt die Hälfte seiner Texte nicht selbst schrieb- er benutzte Zeilen von Gedichten. Ausschnitte. Und wenn die nicht gepasst haben, veränderte er sie noch ein wenig.Es waren also oft nicht Kurt's eigene Worte.
    But I think, no one here understands german as a language.
  • Mike from Somewhere, NjCommenting to Gary, "Rape me" isn't about actual rape. Its about how Kurt felt about the media. Like the media is raping him...
  • Matt from Durham, NhInteresting that everyone considers it a rape song. I always thought it was just about bondage.
  • Gilliann from Dublin, IrelandEvan, thats what I meant, no-one knows the girls name, Kurt just covered it up, my point is it wasnt Polly Klass.
  • Virna from Santo Domingo, Otherof coarse Polly Klass isn't that the same girl that Winona Ryder pitched in to fin her where abouts but at the end they found her dead. HAS TO BE..
  • Gary from Hamilton, Australiadont you find it odd that he has two songs "polly" and "rape me" one from the rapests point of view?
  • Evan from Orlando, Flok, I want to clarify some stuff. First of all, the girl that this song was based was not named polly at all. Kurt just used that name to protect the girl's identity. He wouldn't be as thoughtless as making the girl remember her rape by using her real name in the song.
  • Gilliann from Dublin, IrelandThis song is not about Polly Klass, Its about a girl called Polly but not polly klass
    1 reason for this
    1. Nevermind, which had the song "polly" on it,was released in 1991, Polly Klass was kidnapped in 1993.
    Polly was 14 returning from a concert in washington, she was kiddnaped by Gerald Friend, who took her to his caravan and raped & tortured her with a blow torch and a rope, Polly pretended she was enjoying it and gaained Geralds trust, she finally escaped when they were at a gas station and Gerald who trusted her, left his car open while he paid for the gas, Polly escaped and he was arrested.

    Kurt Cobain was amazed by Pollys strength of character and decided to write a song from the rapists point of view.
  • Phil from Los Angeles, CaThis song is the story of a real girl who was kidnapped, Polly Klass. It didnt inspire any rapings either
  • Jessica from Saint Louis, MoPoo:
    No, it's "Polly." The incident is referred to by Kurt himself in the liner notes for Incesticide.
  • Ashley from Hanover, Paomg i cant blieve that happened to that poor girl. i hope no one ever has to go through that again
  • Rachel from Waurika, OkCommenting on Edwins remark, it could have been left unsaid, but its a good thing it wasn't. It's people like those two fools who make rock stars disgusted at what they do. It's people like those two fools who make rock music look bad to others around. Kurt had a good reason to be disgusted for I am sure thats not what he wanted his music to be known for. He did not write those lyrics to bring out the worst in people. If anything he wanted to warn us about rape and about those sick twisted people out there that would do such a gross and twisted deed.
  • Frank from Fv, CaEdwin...that's sick. Good thing Kurt was disgusted.

  • Poo from Poo, United Statesjust commenting to edwins comment, i'm pretty sure they were chanting lyrics from nirvana's song "rape me" when they raped that girl.
  • Edwin from Toronto, CanadaDuring/afterwards one of Nirvana's concerts, two "fans" raped a girl while they screamed the lyrics to Polly. Kurt was disgusted that "plankton" like them were at their concerts.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Girl in That Song

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Daryl Hall

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Tim McIlrath of Rise Against

Tim McIlrath of Rise AgainstSongwriter Interviews

Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath explains the meanings behind some of their biggest songs and names the sci-fi books that have influenced him.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.