Sunday, August 27, 2017

More rock T-shirts: Nirvana

Here are some lyrics from a song by Nirvana called In Bloom. Some of you will know these lyrics. None of you who don't know them will be wearing a Nirvana t-shirt.

He's the one,
Who likes all our pretty songs,
And he likes to sing along,
And he likes to shoot his gun,
But he don't know what it means,
Don't know what it means.

I'm not saying that there haven't been brilliant albums produced in the last 40 years: White Stripes, Radiohead, Lucinda Williams, Bjork, R.E.M. and so on. There have been masterpieces! But still, I might only be willing to put one album from the past 40 years into my list of the 10 greatest albums, or CDs, ever. And that will be Unplugged, by Nirvana.

So when someone walked into my library wearing a Nirvana shirt I immediately prepared some remarks. They weren't meant as a test. They were offered in good faith. And when this man, with a salt and pepper beard and ten-year old kid, came to the front desk, I gestured to his shirt and said "I like all their pretty songs." Then I added to his nod "And I like to sing along with them." Then I briefly paused and finished with a tone of puzzlement "But I don't know what they mean. I don't know what they mean..."

And he nodded and replied "Yeah, their lyrics can be kind of weird to figure out."

Yeah, inscrutable. 

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