What does All Apologies mean?

Nirvana: All Apologies Meaning

Album cover for All Apologies album cover

Song Released: 1993

All Apologies Lyrics

What else should I be
All apologies
What else could I say
Everyone is gay
What else could I write
I don't have the RIGHT
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 18th 2014 !⃝

    Fact- this song was written in-1990 look it up.trust me I was alive then. This is way before his death, marriage, or being raped by music industry.
    although Kurt was just fine with you interpreting his lyrics the way you wanted, he did have personal meaning to songs- even if they weren't always "deep". He didnt feel he "have the right" to tell you how to feel when he didnt even know how to feel anymore
    Sometimes he used words that sounded good in ways that only he understood, but that doesn't mean you cant decipher some of hos lyrics.
    This song is about a couple of things. You have to look at in context tho.
    First, he is saying sorry. Sorry he cant be happy/"easily amused" like he believes most are with trappings of world.
    Second he is sorry/apologizing to people he has hurt (Including himself) from his heroin/use. I'm not proud of it but as an ex heroin addict it is easy to relate.
    "Nest of salt" is reference to herion. "Aqua seafoam shame" is guilt of using.
    "Sunburn freeze burn" is rock in hard place/fucked situation he got himself into.
    He knows"everything is his fault" and he will " take all the blame".
    And "all in all/alone" is all he has become, "we" in reference to himself/alterego/boddah. He is "married" to Heroin and he knows he is going to be "burried" by it, in live and death. For this is sorry" all apologies".
    Also to note Kurt also suffered from bronchitis and a stomach condition similar to irritable bowel system drone. Look at penroyal's tea ending where he talks about cherry laxatives and antacids. Antacids for stomach laxatives for constipation from heroin use. "Choking on ashes of her enemy" more likely just word play but may have something to due with bronchitis/long term cigarette use. Not sure bout that one.
    What I am sure of is you have to use context. Its okay to have YOUR own interpretation. Busy if your going to pass it off as Kurt's be factually accurate at least. True me, depression and heroin/ drug abuse consumed this mans life. His best friend Krist even said reason for his suicide was drug abuse and lack of coping skills, and is has always been accurate in reference to Kurt and doesn't j
    speak much about it for over two decades now.
    Kurt was talented out the ass. But he wasnt a god. Very imperfect, but refreshingly unique. He looked for way out in drugs but like all of us addicts never find it there.
    Its hard to choose life and maybe Kurt no doubt worsened his chemical imbalance by using herion long term. Unfortuanly I have felt that pain and suicide seemed like a viable option . I'm just glad I did t make a permanent situation out of a very intense temporary situation.
    May God have mercy on your soul Kurt!


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 6th 2007 !⃝

    Personally, I think it's the beginning of the end. He's semi-sarcastically apologizing for everything he's done because no matter what he does, he ends up intentionally hurting someone he cares about. He just wanted to make music because he enjoyed it, but even that was ruined by fame and fortune ad he got bored and had to sacrifice his life of comfort and peace.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 17th 2006 !⃝

    This song is written for Frances and Courtney but has nothing to do with them. The song is about Kurt's loss of interest with the rock and roll world, an apology for all the fake passion. Lyrics like aqua sea foam shame refers probaly to his shame of how commercial Nevermind was. Though, that's what he wanted of his inner conflict with the world this was Kurt's way of saying goodbye.

  4. anonymous
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    May 30th 2018 !⃝

    Hi there! I’ve heard that Kurt had a friend (of witch i don’t remember his name) this friend was into new age, spiritualism and reincarnation. One time when Kurt and this friend were talking about reincarnation, his friend explained that all the experience and knowledge from past life was stored in your soul and that you could find ways to access this knowledge. He explained to Kurt that it was like big ice blocks that you needed to melt in order to access the past life experiences. Were Kurt grew up, in the winter trucks would use salt to remove ice from the roads, and they would get the salt from salt-nests. So in the song all apologies Kurt wants to find his nest of salt to melt away the ice where his past life experiences is stored.

    “Aqua seafoam shame” is what Kurt when he was a kid, believed the preacher from his church said when he said “i proceed from shame”.

  5. anonymous
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    Oct 19th 2017 !⃝

    Since this was written well before his marriage and the birth of Frances, I agree with those who believe the song is about being bipolar and maybe about the way he treated his former girlfriend Mary. There are references to drug use (drug terms like nest of salt, etc.). I think it's about the failure of self-medication. Most people with undiagnosed (or untreated)depression, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia almost 100% self-medicate. Some use alcohol, some use weed, some use speed, and many use heroin.

    I've known someone with this condition.

    He always says, "What am I supposed to so? I can't NOT take heroin because then my suffering is so bad I act out and hurt people. At least with heroin, I can sometimes function and even though I sometimes hurt people with my addiction, it's nowhere near as bad as when I lose all control of my moods. I know I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and someday I'll die from this, but until then I just want to keep taking the heroin and relax and just take a moment to feel some peace. What else can I do? I'm sorry, I know it's my fault, but what else can I do?"

    Sounds just like "All Apologies" to me.

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 7th 2017 !⃝

    This song might have been released in 1993 when Kurt had Courtney and Frances but the song was actually written in the 1980's (see early acoustic version on the With the Lights Out box set). In reality this is Kurt finally giving up on society. He was simply a victim of society like so many of us are. We can't find any way out from our lives. I can't pretend to know why Kurt killed himself, but it seems like "all alone is all we are" like he sang at Mtv unplugged. In our loneliness we say our goodbyes and we don't look back.

  7. saxKing
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    Apr 26th 2017 !⃝

    Everyone knows what most of the lyrics mean, that they are telling of Kurt's guilt for his overall life choices and all. However, most people don't try to tackle the last lyric and I think 'all we know is all we are' is telling Frances to stay in school, unlike he did, because otherwise he would have perhaps have became something that has a more lasting impact, like a scientist or a chemist, and he wants Frances to know that how educated you are determines whether you are just another person or a true hero.

    -Remember Kurt Cobain 1967-1994, such a sad song.

  8. anonymous
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    May 26th 2016 !⃝

    About believing and feeling you're one in all with all the people and the gods as one in the SUN, god Apollo of the old that has been slowly dragged down by LOVE again in the cycle of life and death. Willing to take the blame for burning anybody throughout the ages and the present time to become a fallen god, unknown to most, where ''All Apologies'' were given to his loved ones, being as one in the SUN with him for just a short moment in time. Always R.I.P KURT COBAIN

  9. anonymous
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    Jan 17th 2015 !⃝

    If you listen to the song, I think that you will see that it is written in sort of a sarcastic sense. Somebody was giving Kurt Cobain shit about what he was doing, and saying, and he is calling them on it. He is saying that he isn't going to sugarcoat anything and that is what I love about him. He isn't going to lie, he is telling people how it is! Thanks for reading! I <3 NIRVANA!!

  10. anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2014 !⃝

    I think that he was trying to say that he can only be himself and that's all he'll ever be. and he is saying that he can't change himself and he's stating maybe sarcastically that he's sorry that he can't change himself.

  11. anonymous
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    Aug 31st 2014 !⃝

    Maybe "sun" is a metaphor for fame. Being in the light of the societies eyes. Everything about your life being illuminated. idk. In some sense he wanted to be famous and liked fame (note: in some sense, implying mixed feelings) so the rest of the lyric (...I feel as one) refers to a fulfilled destiny. "choking on the ashes of her enemy" - his was talking about his own death. He already had suicide in his mind. (Ashes is linked to cremation and therefore to death. Obviously.)Anyway, I need to find less depressing ***** to analyze. lol

  12. anonymous
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    Aug 31st 2014 !⃝

    I listened to the song a gazillion times and thought probably it is about fame. The ending lyrics "all in all is all we are" maybe meant they/him/the band was summed up and simplified by people. As if he wasn't reaching people and really understanding what he was trying to say. In terms of values or just anything. A lot of his songs give them to open and subjective interpretations more than the work of other artists (you know maybe). He even said some of his lyrics were just "garble, just nonsense" but that's partially true and self-depreciating.

  13. anonymous
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    Jan 15th 2014 !⃝

    Kurt Cobain was clearly a genius. But, as they say, 'wasted genius is almost a cliche' or --- 'genius is a dime a dozen.' Go to your local college; if you stick around a semester or two, you'll get to know a couple genius' for damn certain. But, if you go to MIT, you'll get to know, unfortunately, such hyper-intelligent imbeciles you'll wish your mother had been an active alcoholic while you were in her womb, thereby eliminating any latent possibility of ever one day getting accepted into MIT in the first place! Phew! How's that for satirical bombast?

    I adore the line: "Found my nest of salt/Everything is my fault." As I brilliant creator with Bi-Polar illness he was given to long, infernal bouts with chronic depression--and-the main symptom of chronic depression is excessive guilt. He clearly suffered terribly from time to time and was working it all out with his art. But, the darkness, unfortunately for all of us, overcame him, was just too much for him, and he "Took arms against a sea of troubles/and by opposing end them."--He committed suicide. Such desperate acts are more than a little common among the artistic types. Art is rarely understand by the general populace and this can--or, rather, does quite efficiently--cause extreme alienation and loneliness among most artists--everywhere. But, especially in America where Kanywa West considers himself a musical genius--well, any and all Hip-Hoppers actually consider themselves musically gifted (and are considered so by their terminally adolescent idolaters) and American Idol(ers) are considered true artists!?! WTF!?!

    We've all missed out on what Cobain might have done with his prodigious creativity the rest of his life. It's irresistibly thrilling to entertain the possibility of an AfterLife where Kurt, at this very moment, might be collaborating with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, not for profit or gain, but for sheer joy.....

    "Every Artist is a cannibal/Every poet is a thief/All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief."

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 30th 2013 !⃝

    Personally, I think it's about killing yourself and feeling depressed and everything that goes along with that, but with lyrical distortion from drugs like marijuana or heroin.

  15. anonymous
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    Dec 9th 2013 !⃝

    It's an old song. Pre-courtney.

  16. anonymous
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    Sep 1st 2013 !⃝

    It's about bipolar. After being diagnosed with bipolar as a teen two years ago, I understand with the ups and downs Kurt had. As a huge Nirvana fan, I can relate to pretty much all their songs. In Utero was Nirvana's last song before he killed himself, leaving Frances Bean Cobain and Courtney Love behind. It means...I'm such a spaz...I'm sorry for my mood swings...I'm not good enough...I'm an outcast...I'm leaving you all behind...You'll be better without me...God I love this song. ^^ Oh, and stop saying stuff like "RIP Kurt!" That's like saying "RIP George Washington." -_-

  17. anonymous
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    Aug 31st 2013 !⃝

    I think the great thing about Kurt is that he speaks in different ways to different people. This song (my favorite song of all time) means to me to be myself.

    What else should I be?
    What else should I say?
    What else should I write?

    I can only be me.

    And the feelings people have (especially Kurt) about hating themselves, being depressed, the feelings everybody feels between the ages 7 and 75.

    I wish I was like you.
    Everything's my fault
    I'll take all the blame.

    And I think the chorus is about people being happy with themselves

    In the sun I feel as one.

  18. anonymous
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    Jul 18th 2013 !⃝

    kurt cobain was an idealist ... idealism is connected to narcism ... so I think most of his lyrics are around the same topic ... how people should interact with each other / behave, how the world could or should look like, should should .... he's always trying to find harmony ('ideal state' ~ idealism, narcism) of how things should work or the world should look like ...

    however thats not how the world or nature functions, the world and society is composed of egoistic people concentrating on themselves rather on the whole picture. an animal will eat an other animal if it has too ... however ... kurt thinks: 'It's okay to it fish' (song: something in the way)

    i think i can see that underlying principles in a lot of his songs , maybe only I do ... narcistic loner that I am

    look at his final letter ...

    however also recognize that we are livin in a narcistic society, people using and misusing each other ... either you become someone who struggles cause of that, simply being sad or you become a beer-drinking-sexistic, village idiot!!! (one thing kurt once mentioned)

    or maybe it's just Attention-defency-syndrom , Kurt suffered from, me suffered from!?

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