Posts tagged Bob Dylan.
The Traveling Wilburys
George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash - You Are My Sunshine
Nirvana’s song Polly
This song is about the actual kidnapping of a 14 year old girl. In 1987, she was returning from a concert in Tacoma, Washington when she was abducted by a man named Gerald Friend. He took her back to his mobile home and raped her. The girl, whose name was not released, was tortured with a whip, a razor, and a blowtorch. She managed to escape when Friend took her for a ride and stopped for gas. He was arrested and sent to jail.
Nirvana played some benefits to help rape victims, including the “Rock Against Rape” concert in 1993, which raised money for a women’s self-defense organization.
Nirvana had been playing this for a while before it was released on Nevermind. They recorded it in 1989 in sessions for an Extended Play album called Blew. After hearing this song Bob Dylan was prompted to remark of Cobain, “That kid has heart.”
There’s a point in the song where Cobain sings only “Polly says…” before pausing and starting over. This was a mistake in the studio that the band as well as the recording team liked, and left on the album. As evidenced in live performances, the mistake was “written in” to the song.
Cobain wrote about an incident, which occurred after the song’s original release on Nevermind, in the liner notes to Incesticide: “Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song ‘Polly.’ I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience.”
This song is an example of Kurt Cobain writing from the perspective of another person - in this case a very unsavory one. While many of his songs seem very personal, he explained that he liked to write about other people and events, as he thought his life was “boring.”