What does Something In the Way mean?

Search Login

Nirvana: Something In the Way Meaning

Song Released: 1991


Get "Something In the Way" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon
Get MP3 from iTunes

Something In the Way Lyrics

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
It’s okay to eat fish
’cause they don’t have any...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    nirvanafan
    click a star to vote
    May 9th 2012 report

    I dont know if my interpretation has any validity as im only a 17 year old kid, but ill go line by line:
    "underneath the bridge" is a reference to the comfort he feels when he is hidden from society and feels exempt from the pressures of the world. He feels distant and cant connect or fit into the machine of the world, so instead of trying he will attempt to escape it under a bridge where no one else is and where he is completely free from any pressures.

    "the tarp has sprung a leak" may be kurts way of saying that the front he puts up to people and the world to try to fitin and trying to hide that something is wrong with him (depression, personality disorder, whatever it may be) is finally breaking and has "sprung a leak" which can only get larger until the entire tarp has ripped and he cant continue to put up his front and ultimately kill himself...

    "and the animals ive trappes have all become my pets" can be viewed as irrelevant, but may also continue on the previous point that he doesn't feel he can make freinds and connect to people, so instead of trying he will simply trap "animals" and force them to be his "pets" because he feels lonely and sees no other method to find companionship or friendship.

    "and im living off of grass and the drippings from the ceiling" seems clealry to be about marijuana being the only release and happiness he feels due to himself being driven to hating the world as it is. the high he gets off the weed releases him from his own self as this sensation occurs from getting high. the drippings may simply refer to him attempting to live off anything and looking for anything to help him because he knows that he finds pleasure in so little things which also can refer to another line from his song 'all apologies': "i wish i was like you, easily amused" where he feels he has to try so much harder to find the joy that seems to come to others so easily.

    "but its ok to eat fish, because they dont have any feelings" i think this might be kurts way of wishing he was a fish that was absent of feelings or emotion because he is so confused and so annoyed with his own feelings and emotions that he wishes he could completely escape them.

    the "something in the way" is just his way of saying that there is some unknown reason why he feels this way as there is literally something in his way from finding happines and peace of mind. This is why his entire nevermind album is about how he hates society. However, the unfortunate thing is is that the 'something' was probably his own self :(.

    Once again, this may be comepltely wrong and innacurate but its my own interpretation of a complicated and deep song-writer

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 1st 2006 report

    Despite the repetitive verse and chorus, this song is actually quite deep and metaphorical. "Underneath the bridge" is not only a reference to is time spent on the street, (I doubt he actually lived under the bridge.)But a reference to his escape in music to a haven "underneath the bridge." I think the "Something in the way" here is Drugs, paticularily Heroin, which kept him trapped, metaphorically "underneath the bridge," unable to rise to new heights.

  3. 3TOP RATED

    #3 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 15th 2006 report

    The impression I got from the lyrics and the way they were used in this song is, that the song is about motivation.(or the lack of)

    He's living under a bridge(whether he really did or not the song is written with him in such a position)

    Each line is one of many thoughts running through his head some don't make sense others are just focused on the negativity of the situation. but they give us the impression that he is not quite right in the head.

    "Something in the way" is a thought, somethings stopping him from changing his current situation, himself?, police? his family? outside pressures?, maybe all of them.

    Short and simple, beautiful.

    True art is not what you were given but the way it gets interpreted, this is a perfect example. Mr. Cobain's meaning we may never know but we are all attracted to it for our own reasons.

    -CaYM

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 22nd 2022 report

    I think that, in addition to all of the lines explained here by others "the tarp has sprung a leak" is a breaking point in the story of the bridge, a gut wrencher. "The animals I've trapped have all become my pets..." seems to dive into the state of humanity, specifically targeting a mostly vegan diet that allows eating fish (pescetarian), mocking it in a sense similar to that of Nirvana's "Smells like teen spirit" while also questioning the human treatment of animals. Just an interpretation though, could be wrong...

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 20th 2022 report

    A lack of natural dopamine, easily temporarily heightened by life events, but afterwards then what? Sounds like ADHD.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 24th 2021 report

    Underneath the bridge means that he lives inside his brain. But there is a leak coming out not being able to control it. The animals are all the deep seeds emotions that he lives with. The grass is the feeling feeding off of each other to keep the dark emotions alive. Dripping at the ceiling is a way of being in a trance of emotional disturbance. It ok to eat fish means that even though his feeling our a disturbance, it’s a way of denying or dismissing his feelings. “Something in the way” is just a way to say he is trapped.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 9th 2021 report

    Kurt was re-assuring people not to feel guilty,or bashfull for taking from him all that he would give them.
    Kurt's zodiac sign was a Pieces,(thefish.)
    -Lyrics-
    "It's ok to eat fish,because they dont have any feelings"...similar to the lyrics "Rape,me!"
    In addition i propose that kurt often felt ashamed of himself for the lack of empathy that he no longer had for other people.
    The song selection that Kurt chose in MTV Unplugged
    Is a testament to this.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 9th 2021 report

    Kurt was re-assuring people not to feel guilty,or bashfull for taking from him all that he would give them.
    Kurt's zodiac sign was a Pieces,(thefish.)
    -Lyrics-
    "It's ok to eat fish,because they dont have any feelings"...similar to the lyrics "Rape,me!"
    In addition i propose that kurt often felt ashamed of himself for the lack of empathy that he no longer had for other people.
    The song selection that Kurt chose in MTV Unplugged
    Is a testament to this.

  9. HeartLies
    click a star to vote
    Mar 6th 2020 report

    Just FYI, everyone. Kurt DID live under a bridge on and off in his hometown of Aberdeen, WA.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 9th 2016 report

    I don't think he enjoyed being a part of the human race and realizing there wasn't anything he could do to change the common ideology of society or escape it..

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 27th 2015 report

    Everyone is right on their own interpretation of this song and others Curt wrote. It's not always about the words it's song and emotion... (tesla) a picture is worth a thousand words. Couple dozen of his are worth a thousand movies.

    christopher

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 22nd 2011 report

    For me,when I listen to the song,I think that maybe it could symbolise adolesence.I can deffinately relate to the title 'Something in the way' and I think that it is a feeling that we all have at oe point or another.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 20th 2011 report

    I think all of you are wrong he wasnt meaning the things in the song to be taken literally... "underneath the bridge" meant the under goers of life... " the top has sprung a leak and the animals ive trapped they all become my pets".. there ran by people who are in control im living off of grass meant weed and the drippings from the ceiling meant heroin that how you make it is from plaster... its okay to eat fish cause they dont have any feelings comes from an old sang the worlds a big fish bowl and he's saying that they think its okay to treat us like shit cause were nobodies

  14. Jon Pearce
    click a star to vote
    May 14th 2011 report

    I read the suicide note by Cobain and how he didn't relish the applause and fame like Freddie Mercury did. He was through "pretending" and wished that he desired praise. Cobain appeared to sing from the heart with true authenticity.
    The "eating grass" thing and eating fish because they "don't have feelings," after he sings about his domesticated or "trapped" animals, appears to mock the "Noble Savage" philosophy that many Vegetarians have today. There is no real way to completely be immersed in nature without being insensitive or even brutal to some forms of animal life.

  15. Jon Pearce
    click a star to vote
    May 14th 2011 report

    I read the suicide note by Cobain and how he didn't relish the applause and fame like Freddie Mercury did. He was through "pretending" and wished that he desired praise. Cobain appeared to sing from the heart with true authenticity.
    The "eating 'thing and eating fish because they "don't have feelings," after he sings about his domesticated or "trapped" animals,

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 24th 2011 report

    I think the song isn't literal.It is sort of a metaphor for feeling alone in the world, and feeling depressed without any hope.
    "Underneath the bridge,the animals i have trapped have all become my pets. I'm living off of grass and the drippings from the ceiling" I think being under the bridge is like being an outsider to everyone else.The animals that have been trapped and have become pets are like the relationships with people that just feel empty and strung along. And living off of grass and the drippings from the ceiling is like telling yourself to carry on because of the little bits of hope you get, but no matter how much you carry on there is something in the way, something making you feel outside from everyone else.

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 9th 2011 report

    I don't know if he lived under the bridge or not, I don't think he did, Krist said he didn't, but that's not the point.
    The song is about how he feels there's always something in the way of him being happy. When he says, 'It's ok to eat fish, 'cos they don't have any feelings' he's being sarcastic, because he sympathized with them.
    And grass, literally means grass, not marajuana. Whether he lived under the bridge or not, the fact that he could get so many people to believe he did just shows his talent as a writer, and the power of his lyrics.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 16th 2010 report

    DOOGLE. Lithium isn't an anti depressant, it's a "mood" stabelizer. Anti depressants are like SSRIs, or Selective seritonin reuptake inhibitors.

    Any who, something in the way means nothing. Perhaps those who think they know what it's about have "something in the way".

    Free your minds and let it be.

‹ prev 1234



More Nirvana song meanings »


 


Latest Articles

 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]





Just Posted

Hotel California anonymous
You're Mine anonymous
Matilda anonymous
Carolina anonymous
Sleeping Child anonymous
The Mission anonymous
Baby Came Home 2/ Valentines anonymous
Single anonymous
Ship Of Fools anonymous
Peace Frog anonymous
The Crystal Ship anonymous
Liberian Girl Classicdiva
Turning Tables anonymous
House of Gold anonymous
Ode to Sleep anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

10:35
Tiesto
Baby Queen
Gorillaz
Fear Not
Lecrae
Broke Boys
Drake
Girl On Fire
Kameron Marlowe
Up To No Good
Warren Zeiders
Prayin' In A Deer Stand
Luke Bryan
You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive
Patty Loveless