Artistic inspiration can come from any number of places, and that includes one’s romantic life, struggles and all. Kurt Cobain, for example, wrote plenty of songs that were either about his relationship with Courtney Love or about his feelings surrounding the connection, and the same can be said for the Love frontwoman herself.
Although Hole is considered to be an excellent example of the grunge formula: a loud and intense band filled with yelling and making a scene (which, to be clear, they also are, and it’s a great thing), they also have their moments of following their frontwoman’s sensitivity and nuance, which includes writing a few songs about her now-late husband.
Actually, one could make the case that there’s a song for Kurt Cobain on nearly every Hole album, spreading his influence across the span of Courtney Love’s career. The first of which is often considered to be ‘Doll Parts’, a track that arrived as the first single to be released from their second album, Live Through This. The song was actually written in 1991, specifically about Kurt Cobain. But the track is about unrequited love, right? Well, in actual fact, Love has said she wrote the song because she thought he didn’t like her.
Detailing further, she said: “I had to write most of the lyrics on my arm in Sharpie as I ran out of paper. People were pounding on the door as I wrote it. It was played for the first time about an hour later, at the Virgin megastore in Boston. It was about a boy [Cobain], whose band had just left town, who I’d been sleeping with, who I heard was sleeping with two other girls, it was my way of saying ‘you’re a fucking idiot if you don’t choose ME, and here is all the desire and fury and love that I feel for you’. Good songs don’t always come in 20 minutes but the force was strong and that one did. Anyway, I married that guy.”
Another song taken from Live Through This that involves Cobain is ‘Asking for It’. Although he didn’t write the song, nor was the song written about him, Cobain did lend his background vocals for the track.
When it comes to a more recent number that Courtney wrote about her late husband, the song ‘Honey’, taken from the 2010 album Nobody’s Daughter, is an effort that everybody knows about. Courtney Love has discussed the song’s meaning and emotional significance openly, like when she said, “As I said in 1991, I’m not psychic, but my lyrics certainly seem to be. It’s really weird that way. All of it’s hard. I never knew what it was all about, this record. And then last night I was doing a photoshoot and I was suddenly weeping. But I never knew what it was about. I just went with my soul.”
Really, that’s the power of music and writing. Sometimes, it can get down deep into the emotions that we didn’t even know we needed to reach.
If you want to hear ‘Honey’, the song Courtney Love wrote about Kurt Cobain, you can listen to it down below.