Nirvana: Heart Shaped Box Meaning
Song Released: 1998
Heart Shaped Box Lyrics
I've been locked inside your Heart Shaped box for a weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black
I've got a new...
anonymous Nov 13th 2009 report
Kurt actually said himself that this song was about abortion and cancer.
I think the best thing is when you interpret nirvana songs they are your own interpretations and are personal to you.
I think thats the way they were designed.
anonymous Oct 24th 2009 report
Ive been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap...i have always thought this was about heroin..magnet(hes pulled to heroin) tar(black tar heroin) pit trap(heroin leads to nothing but a bottomless pit of pain and agony in the end)..or it could be something totally different i dont know..thats just my guess
anonymous Aug 20th 2009 report
"I've Been Drawn Into Your Magnet Tar Pit Trap" speaks about kurt cobains addiction to heroin. "I've Been locked inside your heart shaped box for weeks" Courtney Love collects heart shaped boxes.
Nirvanarama Jul 23rd 2009 report
The song was stated by Kurt to have been written after seeing a report about children suffering from cancer, but many believe it to be about Courtney love.
This is my take on the song.
Pisces are known for their compassion, "She eyes me like a pisces when I'm weak." NEver being able to let someone in need slip by its almost a lust for helping, they crave the depression of others, to eliminate it is their greatest orgasm. The first lyric refers to this, when he's weak she wants him most.
Now for me Ive always looked at the heart shaped box like a box of choclates, like a peace offering, or like a jewelry box, where someone puts their most prized possessions, where they collect and hide from the world and greedily contain that which they value most. I think depending on the meaning of heartshaped box this songchanges drastically, for kicks lets say its the druther of the two, the heartshaped box is where Kurt has been stored, some priceless valuable of safekeeping that this girl has locked away and kept safe but never worn. "Ive been locked inside your heartshaped box for weeks." If this is the case the box is a prison.
The magnet tar pit trap only sucks you in burns you tires you keeps you locked in and no matter how hard you struggle against it you only sink deeper, this is "I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap" whoever this girl is, he is drawn to her like a fly to fly paper, once he's stuck he can't get unstuck.
Turning black that's an old expression for one sense, from going the good way to turning to a path of evil, to being dark to being eveil, to turning black. To compare this to a woman whos only love thus far is to help others to make herself feel good, then neglect them by adding them to her trophies and keeping them down just enough to always want them coming back, refering to someone whos chief goal is self gratification, if would make sense for her to be well taken care of, polished. Maybe getting a tan, turning her skin black in more than one way maybe this senstence refers to someone who as they grow prettier they keep gettting uglier, and the saddest part of this song, is that even though she has gone evil, gone wrong, Kurt still longs to help her by eating away the cancer of evil. "I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black." Is in turn, refering to kurts love for this person, for his wish to help her despite everything.
Ive got a new complaint!
Forever in debt to your priceless advice.
This is reference to the act of the cycle of her pisces nature, she keeps him under, when he asks for advice she gives it, but she always reminds him, of how she helped, never letting him live it down,. always in debted to her, always stuck like a prisoner.
Orchids are beatufiul so refereing to a canabalistic beauty someone who has lured him in and devoured him, a tempest. A syren.
Angles hair is delicate, babys breath soft, her most flattering features cut him, keep him hurt, he can't fight it.
Broken hymen, the hymen is the part of the female sex organ that when someone sexualy forces themselves on you becomes broken, this refers to a rape victim, a rape victim maybe symbolic of someone whos also been through the same thing, highness refering to someone in power, maybe someone whos been through the same thing and overcome it. To leave him in the shadows unable to have them same outcome.
umbilical noose in reference to the hopes of being reborn turned against him into a suicidal tendency. Something hopeful turned dispassionately evil. Using it to go to the same place he was before.
In summery: The song refers to a woman who's lusting after people in pain, keeping them hanging on to the hope, keeping them tangles in her good looks, her high promises, her hope, her beauty her promise of salvation, and then wiping them out, keeping them prisoners making them hurt, making them suffering, but wanting more all the time.
When looked at through the eyes of the children suffereing from cancer, This woman could be symbolic of the hope someone who fills them with this hope this promise of salvation and by doing this makes them prisoners to this hope, cutting them down, destroying them like a sick deranged nurse who keeps a patient sick so she can continue to take care of them, they keep wanting more, and more, and all that can be done is stay in this cycle.
I think all in all it's about someone who is in a self destructive cycle and can't get out if he wanted to.
anonymous Jun 27th 2009 report
uhm. you take it far too serious, lads.
Kurt once said that all the lyrics he does,
he does for teenage kids.
Do not bother looking for The Idea in there.
anonymous Mar 26th 2009 report
i am a new grunge lover i was born just a little to late 1993 if i could do anything it would be to go to one of his concerts the song is about how he hates being controled by cortney the media drugs he just wants to be free. i even hurd a rumor he made this song from one of his heroin dreams
This song could be interpreted a lot of different ways, but I honestly don't think its just another girl obsession rock song. It seems to powerful and dark for that, and if you watch the video the symbols used are hardly romantic.
I believe this song is about the conception, life, and death of a fetus. It would go along with the theme of the In Utero which is anatomy, reproduction, life, disease, suffering, death. Kurt wrote about real life and generation related things in a very dramatic and sinister way, so that would seem to go along with the abortion theme. Rape Me is also on in Utero, so it could be about a women who gets raped and then gets an abortion. Pennyroyal Tea, the chemical used to cause miscarriges, is another song in Utero and on the same topic.
Before you look at the meaning of this song it's important to understand that Nirvanas music didn't have any messages, they weren't trying to convince you of anything. Their music was 100% feeling, simply a reaction to the things going on in the world around them. So Kurts not supporting the pro-life, or for that matter, pro-choice cause with this song. He's just expressing fellings on the event.
The song is written from the perspective of a fetus, hence the name In A Heart Shaped Box.
She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak
-Pisces is a constilation representing a fish in astrology, obvious symbolism to sperm. When the fetus is giving weak signals the mothe thinks it was just pisces or sex, and she couldn't be pregnant.
I've been locked inside your Heart Shaped box, for weeks
-The women has been pregnant for weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
-Referance to fetus being drawn from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes and uterus
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black
-fetus eats at or takes nutrition from the mother
-fetus forces the women to stop her life and realize that she is pregnant
I've got a new complaint
-fetus is complaining or causing the women pain
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
-people advice the women to get an abortion so the fetus is forever gone because of it.
Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
-orchid is a flower, referance to the vagina and that all of us came through it.
Cut myself on Angel Hair and baby's breath
-fetus comes through, cutting the womens vagina and pubic hair, gets a breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black
-fetus broke the womens hyman and is dying
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back
-Alot of my interpretations have been a stretch, and that's mostly a result of Cobains nonsensical writing style. But this was the line that really made me think the song is about abortion. The fetus is chocked to death using the umbilical chord, and after being in the outside world wants to go back into the warmth and security of its mother.
As far as the video, the old man on the cross represents religon becoming outdated and obsolete in effecting peoples view on life. The child represents a new life and jumps at the fetus's on the tree but is unable to reach them and attain life. The child wears a Klu Klux Klan uniform showing that children and offspring are viewed as unwanted or seen as undesirable in society.
That about sums it up. Kurt took the true meaning of his songs to the grave, leaving us to ponder and argue endlessly over them for decades to come. But this is one of his few songs where I feel the theme is pretty clear.
anonymous Dec 3rd 2008 report
I know im wrong but i think its about an abortion, and the view of the mother and the unborn child, the mothers view is the riff "hey! wait i got a new complaint, forever in debt to your priceless advice." was her blaming who told her to get the abortion that she has incredible guilt for. and the fetus is shown through the main lyrics it shows this by the "throw down you umbelical noose so i can climb right back." thats just me.
anonymous Oct 27th 2008 report
Probably isn't right but this is how I interpreted it. Just a try
She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak(When he's weak Courtney love she probably has a stare at him like a Pisces which is associated with being gentle, selfless, and good.)
I've been locked inside your Heart Shaped box, for weeks(Her heart is a box she that why he emphasizes its shaped like a heart but not what a heart is thought to be.)
I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap(Its a trap when he is weak he's drawn into her heart shaped box which is really a magnet tar pit trap.)
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black(He wishes he can be there when her heart shaped box goes bad sort of like payback.)
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice(complaining he is forever in debt to the advice the heart gives him when he needs it.)
Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet(meat eating orchid is the vagina and dosent forgive for the abuse it endures for the heart shaped box to get what it wants.)
Cut myself on Angel Hair and baby's breath(having a baby was a new distraction and tool of Courtney to keep him trapped he was cut there for unable to escape.)
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black(give birth hymen breaks he's once again left in the relationship)
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back(Hes a slave to the feeling he gets and hell go back to it again.)
yeaitsfingme Sep 16th 2008 report
I think it's about a Pisces talking bout a Scorpio.
I know a lot bout horoscopes..haha. When he's talking about harsh stares and turning black (Scorpios often like dark mysterious things and they have intense eyes) and they give great overall advice so for ever in debt for the advice! and the second verses is talking about how good this Scorpio is good with sex, another famous trait of Scorpios.
Just a thought though.
anonymous Aug 29th 2008 report
This song has a lot to do with religion (just look at the music video).
example: "hey! wait! I've got a new complaint! forever in debt to your priceless advice!" they are talking about someone praying to God.
Of course nirvana was very clever with there lyrics and is able to send more than one message through them.
anonymous Jul 23rd 2008 report
Cancer, Courtney's Advice."
Cancer, as for people who have it.
He tells the world he is going to die soon." Maggot trap."
In other words he's trapped him he's in love with her but he's un-aware of how he's really feeling at the moment, she gave him a heart shaped box filled with other things at the moment, Kurt carried his drugs and supplies in it.)
In other words, It's about people with cancer but at the moment he feels trapped.) Because he did trap him.)
ImpiousImp Jul 22nd 2008 report
How is a Coffin Heart shaped? Are you a lobster?
She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak.
Well, a Pisces is a fish and this how much disdain he feels she has for him when he aint helping out with her B grade band! Meat eating Orchid? Duhhh! " Iwish I could eat your Cancer when it turns black" is the same as saying " I'd like to dance on your Grave", or as MJ would say U can send me dead flowers al l U like, & I won't forget to put Roses on your Grave". Trouble was, Kurt knew that Courtney would eat him alive if he tried to leave her.
This song is laced with Irony/sarcasm and seems to mark to time Kurt was toying with handing back the keys to the Hotel Room.
This song marks the begining of the End of his Joy d' Vie.
Love's comments are Kurt were a showing of her true nature and relationship with Kurt. "This puts Me right up there with John and Yoko, Sid and Nancy, Romeo and Juliet" her words! No words of sorrow, (or none I heard anywaze).
Then stuffing his she's in a teddy bear and showing it off at Parties is just sick. Life with a Mill-stone Harlot like her gat to much him, ALAS!
Did any-one watch "The Osbournes" when "Court with her knees open" turned up at the O res & slept with Osssies Son Jack??? What WOULDN'T that ..."thing" would do to get her face on TV?????
No-wonder Kurt checked out!
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