Nirvana: Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Meaning
Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Lyrics
Tell me, where did you sleep last night?
In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun dont ever shine
I would shiver the whole night through
My girl, my girl, where will you go?
Im going where the cold wind...
The original lyrics were:
Black girl, black girl, don't lie to me
Where did you stay last night?
I stayed in the pines where the sun never shines
And shivered when the cold wind blows"
Supposedly about someone waiting for someone else - the reasons/emotions/storylines are as many as you can think about.
secretretar Jul 11th, 2014 7:08am report
When Kurt made his first good amount of money he bought a mansion on tolt highlands road in carnation washington! I have been in the woods around his old house (all pines)This house ends up being the place he hide from is wife kourtney love for years and did drugs hints (shivering) ! While driving away from this house i have seen dark figures up and down the road ! I live a few miles away and i have heard stories about the property I live on! In the property records there has been one death! I was told that a man killed himself in his truck down at the bottom of my property By Putting a tube from the exhaust into the cab and sophicating from carbon monoxide! As the legend gone His wife did not find him tell his body was takin by something headlined in the (steering wheel)! (Maybe bigfoot)
secretretar Jul 11th, 2014 7:46am report
When Kurt made his first good amount of money he bought a mansion on tolt highlands road in carnation washington! I have been in the woods around his old house (all pines)! While driving on that road I have seen Dark figures in the late hours while driving! I actually live few miles away and the story about the property I live on is that an old man kills himself in his truck down at the bottom of my property! This house ends up being the place he hide from his wife kourtney love for years and did drugs hints (shivering)
secretretar Jul 11th, 2014 7:41am report
When Kurt made his first good amount of money he bought a mansion on tolt highlands road in carnation washington! I have been in the woods around his old house (all pines)! While driving on that road I have seen Dark figures in the late hours while driving! I actually live few miles away and the story about the property I live on is that an old man kills himself in his truck down at the bottom of my property!
anonymous May 11th, 2014 5:37am report
The Lead Belly/nirvana version of this song is a lot darker than some other versions. Basically with over a hundred years and over 160 versions its a song that has been reinterpreted and rewritten to suit whomever sings it.
My take on the Lead Belly/nirvana version is that someone is worried about the girl because she didn't come home or whatever. She slept in the pines. Why? Because her husband was killed (maybe in an accident or maybe by the girl). And she is grieving or contemplating suicide or hiding . When asked. "where will you go"? She says she's going back to the pines to hide or to actually commit suicide....or maybe she is already dead and she is a ghost.
That's what make s this song so haunting for me considering what Kurt ended up doing.
I came up with this theory based on the LB version before I really took time to watch or listen to the unplugged nirvana one.
But that's my idea . You don't have to agree. Interpret it however you want
anonymous Dec 18th, 2012 12:28pm report
It's not the husband asking, for he's already been killed. An older variation called her as "black girl" rather than "my girl". These questions might be asked by anyone, from a caring friend our relative or God. Her husband died and she mourns deeply. That's it, and nothing deeper.
anonymous Jul 18th, 2012 7:29pm report
in the pines ,,,the cemetary, after she loses her husband,
anonymous Jun 9th, 2012 6:28am report
well i can say for sure the part about the head in the "driver's wheel" has nothing to do with a car accident, that part's been in this song since the 1800's and refers to a drive (powered) wheel of a locomotive, the body was never found because it was left laying where the head was twisted off by the wheel. The rest of the song I'm not sure about, it's been interpreted many different ways over the decades.
anonymous Mar 5th, 2012 3:39pm report
Her husband was a railroad man.
He was killed a mile and a half from here.
His head was found in the driver wheel (of the railroad locomotive)
And his body has never been found (anywhere along the tracks of the railroad)
The Black Girl (My Girl) was so consumed with grief that she fled to the forest and spent the night there contemplating suicide. (Where the cold winds blow)
anonymous Jan 18th, 2012 1:09pm report
the original song is very old i believe. It's an folk song from America. it's about a guy and his wife who were missing, and later found in the pines decapitated (his head was found in a driving wheel). atleast, this is what i heard. there are many different story's about this folklore.
anonymous Oct 17th, 2011 10:56pm report
I think it was just a cover of the original folk song, with the lyrics changed mostly to be more modern.
For instance, "My girl" instead of "Black girl"; "where did you sleep last night" instead of "where did you stay last night"; "hard working man" instead of "railroad man".
The part that Nirvana dropped at the end was:
"Black girl, black girl, where will you go
Im going where the cold wind blows
You called me weak, and you called me the most
You called rita, bring me back home."
This doesn't make much sense but probably did 100 years ago.
I think it is about a woman grieving for her lost husband. And in terms of Nirvana, it can be about grief. The pines is probably a pine forest. The parts "my girl" and "don't lie to me" make the song sound like it is about an affair. But I don't think that Nirvana intended to change it that much from its original meaning. It's a powerful song by itself.
anonymous Sep 3rd, 2011 9:38pm report
Its all about the insecure feelings you have when you submit to the love of another. Your mind races when there is a prolonged absence and you don't hear from your significant other...
anonymous Jun 8th, 2011 6:25pm report
With these words it's only interpretations within the eyes of the beholder.
anonymous Jun 8th, 2011 6:47pm report
This song is sung by the woman's dead husband, whose ghost returns home to discover that she is no longer sleeping in their bed. Did she play a part in his death? Did an unknown lover? The husband's spirit is confined to the walls of their house and therefore can not learn the answer unless she reveals herself there.
anonymous May 25th, 2011 5:44pm report
Leadbelly did not write the song. It's an old folk song, most likely with Appalachian roots, and was around for probably over 50 years before Leadbelly recorded it.
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