Sunday, February 20, 2022

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld…

Kurt Cobain would've turned 55 today. He died at age 27 in 1994.

One of the small joys of being a Nirvana fan is getting to hear him singing my last name in one of their many great songs, "Pennyroyal Tea." (Hearing the sound of your own name has been shown to have a positive effect on the brain.) I like to think Kurt Cobain wrote this poignant line after thinking about the idea of heaven and hell, and deciding he hopes his next life is different from either of those:

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld, so I can sigh eternally…

The year after Kurt Cobain died, Leonard Cohen was asked about that line in an MTV interview:

"I'm sorry I couldn't have spoken to the young man," Cohen said of Cobain, recognizing some of his own past excesses in Cobain's downfall. "I see a lot of people at the Zen Center, who have gone through drugs and found a way out that is not just Sunday school. There are always alternatives, and I might have been able to lay something on him. Or maybe not."