Nirvana: Dumb Meaning
But I can pretend
The sun is gone
But I have a light
The day is done
But I'm having fun
I think I'm dumb
Or maybe just happy
Think I'm just happy [x3]
My heart is broke
But I have some glue
Help me inhale
anonymous Sep 17th, 2008 9:53am report
To me this song is just talking about how he needs to not over think things and feel "dumb" in order to be happy. Have you noticed whenever you over think you feel kinda sad cause all of a sudden you see so much shit is wrong and your over criticizing things. well when your dumb, ull just feel more happy cause everything is simple and not thinking means not finding anything to be sad about. oh and hence the simple lyrics. I think he was trying to portray being just airy and aloof. just saying I'm doing downers and benzo drugs so I can have less thoughts and emotions. So I can know what happy feels like.
jeff_mitchell91 Aug 22nd, 2008 8:41pm report
(im not like them but I can pretend) means Kurt is acting and being like other people even though he doesn't want to all (the sun is gone but I have a light) means he is in a drug addiction and bad marriage but is still finding a "light" a way through it, (the day is done and I'm having fun) may mean life is basically over but he has had fun
(I think I'm dumb maybe just happy) obviously means he thinks he's dumb for doing heroin and lsd and huffing and alcohol and pills etc but the euphoria and happyniss it gave him was "happy"
(my heart is broke) Courtney "duh" breaking his heart
(but I have some glue, help me inhale mend it with you we'll float around hang out on clouds then we'll come down I have a hang over)
so he takes his depression out on drugs "huffing glue" with courtny and he is tripping out which is on the clouds and hangover from the glue inhaling "or other drugs"
(skin the sun) I'm stuck on this 1 but I'm guessing that the sun is the first thing in the solar system and if you shave it then your making a new beginning
(fall asleep) possibly die and or skin the sun is kind of like die and then you make a new begging in the afterlife or just fall asleep and die
(wish away) wish everything away that he wanted to
(soul is cheap) his human soul was worthless and cheap
(lesson learned) he's learned his drug and problem and life lessons
(wish me luck sooth my burn wake me up)
wish him luck in his new begining, sooth his painful horrible life, wake him up for his new beggining
anonymous Oct 22nd, 2018 10:09pm report
The sun is gone and i had a life, the day is done and im havin fun: the day has ended and i pretended to be human, a day has past and i look "normal"
I think im dumb
i think im just happy
I think no one can say that they completely understand any of Kurts songs, because this man is more complex than we can ever understand, and there is so much we dont know. This has always been what I think the song is about:
He says: I think Im dumb. Or maybe just happy.
This might be to literal, but I think it means the more you know, the more terrible you will be, because the world is a horrible place.
He also says: I'm not like them
But I can pretend.
I think this means that he can pretend that he is pretending to ignorant, because being ignorant is being happy.
To sum up, I think the song simply means that ignorance= happiness.
But I dont know, I think there are better interpretations than mine.
anonymous Jan 30th, 2014 1:56am report
did anyone read his journal? he explains it in there, i think.
anonymous Aug 24th, 2013 8:13am report
I think maybe It's about being drunk
anonymous Sep 27th, 2012 9:26pm report
This song is a celebration of being different whereas most people are dissapointed.
I think Dumb, in all of its simplicity, is one of the greatest rock lyrics ever.
It's simply about why we want to do drugs.
Yeah, we just want to get dumb, or happy, however you want to describe it. Dumb is a negative tag, so use the more positive "happy" if you like.
"Skin the sun" is the most opaque lyric, but I think Cobain is just comparing doing drugs to "falling asleep" out in the sun (which has its dangerous consequences), but the burn is just another lesson learned and it can always (we hope) be "soothed."
That's why he says "the sun is gone," meaning his drug trip has worn off. But, don't worry, "I have a light" and thus can light (and burn) a new dose of drugs.
We do drugs because we're dumb and we want to be happy. End of story... and for Cobain, it was the end in more ways than one.
anonymous Sep 11th, 2011 9:13pm report
I think its kinda an ignorance is bliss kinda thing
anonymous Jun 19th, 2011 6:10pm report
when he says "i think im dumb or maybe just happy" i think hes trying to tell us that hes dumb for doing drugs,but thats the only way he could be happy-by doing heroine,pot etc... anyways,i think the true meaning of this song knows only kurt himself.
anonymous Dec 9th, 2010 12:55pm report
If you tie all the lyrics together (Im not like them but i can pretend the sun is gone and i have a light my day is done and im having fun i think im dumb maybe just happy)
Its lik saying i an pretend the sun is gone and i have a light my day is done and im having fun...
he is pretending tht he has a light and hes having fun and stuff lik tht... its hard to explain over the computer
redeemed75 Mar 19th, 2010 3:00pm report
Jeff_michelle91, I agree with your look an the song. However "skin the sun fall asleep,wish away soul is cheap,lesson learned wish me luck soothe the burn wake me up" I feel "skin the sun" is referring to wasting away daylight asleep, due to partying all night. Lesson learned also goes along the same meaning..."soothe the burn wake me up" to me is obviously waking up for your next hit. I can relate only because of my prior life style.It is a horrible feeling to waste days on drug use!
dkpaine216 Dec 6th, 2009 12:52pm report
In another nirvana song, Kurt says the line "I MISS THE COMFORT IN BEING SAD", and I feel like dumb is just the weird confusion he probably felt when he actually felt HAPPY. He also said once that to be happy means to ignore that is all true or good in the world. Kurt felt like what being sad was, was just seeing everything for what it really is. Happiness is dissolution. Happiness is being dumb. The lines about hanging out on clouds are comparing the great but dreamy feeling about actually letting go and having some fun. Then, "have a hangover" means the eventual point of becoming sad again, which is hard because of the switch from being happy- to really depressed is rough- like when you're warm then suddenly step outside in the cold, but natural- like an alcohol/drug related hangover.
I think in order to understand Kurt Cobains lyrics you have to understand his psychology, which is particularily attainable if you feel a similar way. Nirvanas lyrics make a great deal of sense to me a lot of the time- not all of them because of the broad variety of topics, but the ones more about emotion and feeling.
I think I'm dumb.. Kurt sings dreadedly.
Maybe just happy...
Happiness is synomous with dissolution, other people just don't realize that because of how caught up in it they are.
anonymous May 15th, 2009 5:52pm report
This song is about the formulation of infinity, like probably 80% of his music. Not a lot of people realise it but Kurt Cobains mind was stuck in the meaning of life.
This is what drugs does to the mind (trust me)
If you have smoked heaps of dope before then you might understand a lil more what these songs mean.
Cobain was unbelievably smart, in most eyes... But let me tell u, sometimes u can be too smart for ur own good. I think Cobain dug too deep into the creative side of the universe and the secrets of life.
This song is about a Paradox lop. Listen VERY VERY carefully.
anonymous Feb 27th, 2009 2:09am report
I'm not really sure when this song was written, but does anyone else see that this song could be about suicide? The suicide is referred to as something good, perhaps Kurt Cobain wrote it towards the end of his life when he began to think that suicide is alrite (as far as I know, he wrote this song). Here is my evidence
'I'm not like them But I can pretend'- he doesn't agree with the view that suicide is bad
'The sun is gone But I have a light' - the ahppiness if gone but he has an answer
'The day is done But I'm having fun'- basically everythings over but he's happy coz he knows that when everyones still sad, he won't be (I can't say he'll be happy coz he'll be dead)
'I think I'm dumb Or maybe just happy'- Maybe he's dumb for considering suicide or maybe he's just pretty happy about it.
'My heart is broke But I have some glue'- he's sad but he has the answer
'Help me inhale And mend it with you' - maybe people should join him in suicide because maybe it's not so bad after all
'We'll float around And hang out on clouds' - his reason for joining his suicide
'Then we'll come down And have a hangover' - you get a hangover from being drunk and being drunk may just be his idea of fun
Skin the sun - the sun gives life so finish life
Fall asleep - sleep is peaceful and nice
Wish away - you can whatever you want in heaven
The soul is cheap - everyone dies eventually, why should his life ending prematurely be a big deal
Lesson learned - he's learnt about life
Wish me luck - now he's going to the after-life
Soothe the burn - killing himself will ease the pain
Wake me up - maybe he saying that after he's suicided, he'll want to come back
I don't know if this interpretation is good or not as I don't know enough about the details of Kurt Cobain's life to accuratley comment on his state of mind, this song also seems to be about drugs but hell who really knows
anonymous Jan 17th, 2009 1:43am report
This songs lyrics are really beautiful and resonate really deeply emotionally I think in everyone who really listens. "im not like them but I can pretend" means that he's very unique person but his personality and thoughts arent socially acceptable, so he has to put on the contemporary person mask to fit in. I also think a lot of the song has to do with just being a broken soul in a bad environment but trying to be optimistic and make it through. "my heart is broke but I have some glue." the "we hang out in clouds then well come down and have a hangover" doesn't have to refer to alcohol/drug use. It can just mean that he spends time with someone and for a few seconds floats around in a precious euphoric state before he comes down and has to face reality again
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