"Come As You Are" as written by and Kurt Cobain....
Come as you are, as you were
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend
As an old enemy

Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours, don't be late
Take a rest as a friend
As an old

Memoria, memoria
Memoria, memoria

Come doused in mud, soaked in bleach
As I want you to be
As a trend, as a friend
As an old

Memoria, memoria
Memoria, memoria

And I swear that I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun

Memoria, memoria
Memoria, memoria
(No I don't have a gun)

And I swear that I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun
No I don't have a gun

Memoria, memoria


Lyrics submitted by bonj

"Come as You Are" as written by Kurt Cobain

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, EMI Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Come As You Are song meanings
Add your thoughts

527 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +17
    General CommentAbout not being judgmental about how someone changes after not seeing them for a pretty long time.
    CompleteNirvanaon December 15, 2001   Link
  • +14
    General CommentIn response to those who responded to me. I will not back off. I will admit that I was in a bad mood the night I wrote that review, but I'm still going to tell you all that Kurt was the one who ended his life, not Courtney. I can tell you sensitive types were offended by my remark and even went as far as telling me that Kurt had tears in his eyes after unplugged. Sorry, but if he had tears in his eyes, it wasn't for fan appreiciation, it was for the fact that the audience only got excited for the nevermind songs and totally ignored his heart-wrenching songs from In Utero. I do believe it was people like you Courtney Love witch hunters who made him kill himself. By the way butterfly girl, I'm not yelling at you for your opinions, only your ignorance. I'm sick you people thinking you can change the world by lying about something like Kurt's death. He killed himself, end of story. Don't believe me? Ask Dave Grohl, Chris Novoselic, Courtney Love, Bev Cobain and about everybody who knew or knows about Kurt. practically the whole world Believes the suicide theory, so give up, we win. Stop Blaming people like Eddie Vedder, Courtney Love, and Pat Smear for his death. I'm sad he's gone too, but he ain't gonna come back if you say he was murdered, especially when you're stooping so low as to blaming the people he was close to. Don't bother responding to me with more of your "MURDER EVIDENCE" I'm moving on with my life and won't be back to this section of the site again.
    Peace,
    A true Nirvana fan, not a Courtney Love hater.
    Grunger83on February 01, 2002   Link
  • +10
    My InterpretationThe point of this song is to mock most friendships. Overall, it expresses his distrust in people. I think reality is harsh and this harsh reality is singing to Kurt's feelings. In Kurt's mind, I think he's feeling the need for a true friend, but then he feels discouraged when his imaginary friend places unfriendly demands on him, so then Kurt longs for the memory of when he believed true friends were easy to find and keep.

    The song describes a true friend but then implies most people fake it because they're users. In the song, the person welcoming you as a friend appears to be open minded and generous but then contradicts it all. For example, your schedule should really fit his schedule, and you're just a trend to make him look trendy too, and you'll be kicked to the curb when you no longer serve this purpose. You can be dirty or clean (physically, emotionally or morally), but whatever it is, it needs to be useful to your so called friend. In other words, your value isn't determined by your true character and health, it's determined by what you can accomplish for your so called friend. He also talks about you once being an enemy but now has use for you for some reason; and just in case you suspect he might still harbor resentment and be shady, he swears he doesn't have a gun. Kurt himself had guns and said he wasn't afraid to use it, so he's implying somebody who claims to not have intentions of hurting you can't be trusted because a real friend will just simply be your friend instead of just saying they will be. In other words, earn your trust with your actions, don't buy it with promises. Yet, most people are just empty promises.

    I know this is the complete opposite of what most people want to believe about the song. But Kurt was a very sarcastic and cynical person. Courtney Love says he had no real social friends and that he resented most people who considered themselves to be his true friend. He was a very grounded person who thought people didn't value the important things in life (like true friendship) and instead were shallow and often backstabbing. Most of his lyrics are contradicting and ambivalent, which is his way of being sarcastic and expressing his frustration and cynical views on humanity.

    This song, like almost all his songs, is so ambivalent you could actually interpret it many ways. I think he does this not only for artistic purposes, but also to give the listener the freedom to feel the way they want to about it. But I think he believes in the cynical interpretation even though he wishes for the non-cynical interpretation.
    msp123on August 22, 2012   Link
  • +6
    Song Meaninghere's a simple version:

    (if you want) Come as you are, (or) as you were, (but please come) as I want you to be;
    As a friend, as a friend, (or at least) as and old enemy.
    (i dont want to pressure you so)Take your time,
    (or) hurry up, (im kindly leaving you the opportunity to choose)
    the choice is yours, (but god i really need a friend so) don't be late.
    Take a rest (in peace,with me) as a friend (or as an old memory;meaning the old good days when things weren't this confusing)
    as an old memori-a,
    Memori-a, memori-a, memori-a, memori-a

    Come doused in mud,
    (he means:come dirty,i don't care about those things,im doused in mud too.)
    soaked in bleach, (or soaked in bleach cause i don't blame people that are influenced by the nowadays society. it's not your fault.*cause saying soaked in bleach he means that their not themselves.)
    as I want you to be;
    (cause yeah i want you to be like that, you dont have to be anything else,and i can't change you anyway.)
    As a trend, as a friend as an old memori-a, memori -a,

    And I swear that I don't have a gun.
    (he means,i won't see you like a competitor like some other people said; or
    i'll take you friendly and you can feel safe with me.we're not enemies.)
    No, I don't have a gun.
    No, I don't have a gun.
    Memori-a, memori-a, memori-a, memori-a,

    And I swear that I don't have a gun.
    No, I don't have a gun.
    No, I don't have a gun.
    No, I don't have a gun.
    No, I don't have a gun.
    NicoleKCon February 03, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Commentim pretty glad that you kids dont understand Heroin addiction in lyrics - the lyrics to this song are stuffed with heroin symbolizm like the lyrics in heart shaped box {unless you know what junkys keep in a heart shaped box}
    friend/enemy in the first ...ask a junky.
    In the second verse - dirt,tar, asphalt,and mud in Original grunge is black-tar heroin /washed in bleach is what you do to your dirty needle - and heroin CHANGES who you are forever.Even make a perfect human want to die.But go blame his wife - Its a creepy idea and us children like to get chills about evil murdering....anythings...KEEP YOUR EYESAND EARS OPEN
    ---AND STOP BITCHING AT EACHOTHER!!-LIKE ASSHOLES-KURT WOULD NOT LIKE IT-thats why..........
    japeon May 24, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe song is about welcoming back old enemies peacefully but remaining true to who they were. "dowsed in mud soaked in bleach"- exactly as they were but -"and i don't have gun"- on peaceful grounds
    FROST17on February 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song I thought it was about a guy waiting for someone he hadn't seen in a long while, like someone who picked on him or did him wrong. And he was waiting not necessarily to kill him when he arrived, but just to...I don't know, pay him back or something? It's hard to explain. There are so many ways to look at a song, so many underlying messages and hidden meanings in every word that it's hard to pin one down. I agree with the idea that it's about acceptance, as well; I just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts about the other one.
    Seattleon May 23, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSo many fucking self-absorbed fucks. God! I had to read through 14 pages filled with completely irrelevant banter to find out if anyone had had similar ideas to me about this song. Honestly -- this site is about Song Meanings, and it is completely off-topic to post your opinions about what Kurt Cobain thought or how Kurt Cobain died.

    Whatever.

    After reading through the posts (and resorting to blindly skipping the ones with the words "Kurt" or "death" or "suicide" in the first 3 lines), I've seen some insight into the song that rings more truly for me than the idea I had when I started. Still, I figured I'd share the impression I got from the song when I initially started thinking about what it might mean.

    The feeling I got was that someone very close to Kurt Cobain earlier in his life had hurt him very badly, perhaps by choosing another person, and he was struggling with conflicting emotions, love, respect, hate, anger, towards this person. He wished things to be as they used to be, for the person to come back and be a friend to him. When he insists that he doesn't have a gun, he's not telling the truth; his anger is leading to murderous thoughts, and he's trying to get the person to meet with him so he can express to them how badly he was hurt.

    I no longer think this is really what the song is about, but I still think of it as an interesting interpretation. It came to me because that is the situation I am in in my life. I know the pain and the anger and the sorrow every day, and the twisted turns it takes in my mind make me feel ashamed that I am not able to accept and be stronger.

    In any case, many of the comments have suggested far more likely interpretations of the song, about acceptance and specifically how many groups, some of them well-known and mainstream, want very much to think that they are benevolent and all-accepting when really, sometimes even as a policy, they accept only those who conform to their narrow beliefs and views.

    On the topic of mud vs. bleach -- I don't think anybody suggested the idea that a person covered in mud would look black while a person exposed to bleach would look pale and white. If the song is perhaps truly about some groups of people who claim to be accepting and kind and friendly but are actually, whether overtly or in secret, very intolerant of other, different groups, then this could be a reference to racial clashes that have caused great conflict and anguish, as much in recent years as in the past.
    logiclrdon July 16, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen entering Cobain's hometown, Aberdeen, the sign read "Come As You Are". This is definitely one of the more positive Nirvana songs. If Kurt left behind one good thing, it would be his avocation of being who you are.
    IronandMarkon November 09, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit's about deception, and people who say they like who you are but want you to change into everything they want you to be
    stupidkickeron June 19, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain