Courtney Love shares Smells Like Teen Spirit lyrics which didn’t make the cut

There is one line in particular she wishes would have made the final cut.

Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love on stage

Image: Lindsay Brice / Getty

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Hole frontwoman and former wife of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, has shared some unpublished lyrics from what went on to become the famous Nirvana track, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

The hit track was released in September 1991, as the lead single from the band’s Nevermind album. Today, it is the most widely known Nirvana song, and it is often remarked as the starting point for when grunge began entering the mainstream.

Appearing on the 60 Songs That Explain The ‘90s podcast hosted by Rob Harvilla, Love shared her memories from her relationship and marriage to the rockstar, as well as providing some insight into his writing process.

Sharing some lyrics, which eventually evolved into the iconic lines we know today, Love began, “Some of these were in these journals, and some of them are unpublished,” before she began to share the lines.

“Come out and play / make up the rules / I know I hope / to buy the truth / who will be the king and queen / of all the outcasted teens,” she recited.

The chorus would then kick in, leading to, “We’re so lazy / and so stupid / blame our parents / and the cupids / a deposit, for a bottle / stick it inside / no role model.”

She then shared another draft, stating, We merge ahead this special day / this day giving amnesty to sacrilege” / “A denial / and from strangers / a revival / and from favours / here we are now / we’re so famous / here we are now / entertain us.”

Although the song took a different shape lyrically, with most of these not being used, Love said she wished Cobain would have kept the line, “Who will be the king and queen / of all the outcasted teens”, as she shared that it might have “helped” her life a little bit, “taking on the shit that me and my daughter have.”

Listen to the full podcast episode below:


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