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Come As You Are
Song

Come As You Are

Nirvana
Album:
Nevermind

Song Meaning of Come As You Are by Nirvana, and what it is about


Come as You Are" is a song by American rock band Nirvana, written by frontman and guitarist Kurt Cobain. It is the third track and the second single from the band's second studio album Nevermind, released in March 1992. It was the band's second and final American top 40 hit, reaching number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, and second UK top 10 hit, reaching number nine on the UK Singles Chart. The single reached the top 10 in eight countries and the top 40 in eleven further countries.


The unexpected success of the album's lead single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" drew Nirvana to mainstream success, with Nevermind being released two weeks after the single's release.

Following the album's release, the band and its management company debated whether to release "Come as You Are" or "In Bloom" as the next single from the album due to Cobain's concerns over similarity of the former with Killing Joke song "Eighties" in 1984. After some persuasion by the management company, Cobain agreed to release "Come as You Are" as the second single because of its commercial potential.


Killing Joke were upset over the song, and there were rumors that a lawsuit had been filed over the song, though the suit never materialized. Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker was said to be upset about the whole situation, and he felt that Nirvana (which according to Walker denied the connection between the songs) handled the matter poorly.


Although members of Killing Joke claimed the main guitar riff of "Come as You Are" plagiarized the riff of "Eighties", the band reportedly did not file a copyright infringement lawsuit, which Rolling Stone magazine attributes to "personal and financial reasons".


Similarities between "Come as You Are" and "Life Goes On" by the Damned have also been noted.

"Come as You Are" was one of the few new songs Nirvana recorded onto the rehearsal tape the group sent to producer Butch Vig prior to the recording of Nevermind in 1991.


The group recorded the song with Vig during album sessions at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in early 1991.


Cobain recorded his guitar solo in two takes, as well as three takes of vocals, of which the first was used.

Vig then asked Cobain to double track his vocals throughout the entire song. During the harmony overdub session, Cobain accidentally sang the phrase "And I don't have a gun" too early, appearing the fourth time he sings the word "memoria" after the guitar solo.


When this mistake was discovered, Cobain decided to keep it in the final recording. Vig sampled Cobain singing "memoria" from the middle of the song and placed it in the background of the song near the end twice


The song features one of Cobain's longest guitar solos. "Kurt really did not play a lot of solos," Vig said

Many have speculated the song to be about heroin, which Cobain was struggling with at the time of writing and recording. The lyrics "Come doused in mud, soaked in bleach" speak directly to a Seattle-area HIV prevention campaign from the time period encouraging addicts to sterilize their needles with bleach before using them with the tagline "If doused in mud, soak in bleach", and "As a friend, as a trend, as a known enemy", for some, was further allegory of addiction to the drug.


Cobain described the lyrics of "Come as You Are" as contradictory, and said the song was about "people and what they're expected to act like"


Lyrics of the song Come As You Are by Nirvana


Come as you are, as you were

As I want you to be

As a friend, as a friend

As an old enemy

Take your time, hurry up

Choice is yours, don't be late

Take a rest as a friend

As an old memoria

 

Memoria

Memoria

Memoria

 

Come doused in mud, soaked in bleach

As I want you to be

As a trend, as a friend

As an old memoria

 

Memoria

Memoria

Memoria

 

And I swear that I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

 

Memoria

Memoria

Memoria

Memoria (No, I don't have a gun)

 

And I swear that I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun

 

Memoria

Memoria

Release Date

1991

Songwriter/s

Kurt Cobain

Producer/s

Butch Vig

Label/s

DGC

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