the title of the song is the name of a medication for manic depression, or bipolar disorder, which Kurt suffered from. Mania, depression, and manic depression are all different illnesses and need to be treated...
I'm so happy because today
I've found my friends
They're in my head
I'm so ugly, but that's okay, cause so are you
We've broken our mirrors
Sunday morning is everyday for all I care
And I'm not scared
Light my candles in a daze
Cause I've found god
Hey, hey, hey

I'm so happy but that's okay I shaved my head
And I'm not sad
And just maybe I'm to blame for all I've heard
But I'm not sure
I'm so excited, I can't wait to meet you there
But I don't care
I'm so horny but that's okay
My will is good
Hey, hey, hey

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack

I'm so happy 'cause today
I've found my friends,
They're in my head
I'm so ugly, that's okay, 'cause so are you,
Broke our mirrors
Sunday morning is everyday for all I care,
And I'm not scared
Light my candles in a daze
'Cause I've found god

Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack


Lyrics submitted by spitfirek7, edited by AngelGirl46

"Lithium" as written by Kurt Cobain

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

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Lithium song meanings
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  • +19
    General CommentThis song is about how his mental illness (bipolar) makes him feel. Bipolar dosnt just make you feel depressed but it also makes you have sever mood swings and thats what he's describing. Lithium is the drug perscribed to people with the illness.
    BigGeorgieBon January 05, 2002   Link
  • +16
    General CommentLithium is prescribed to manic depressive / schizophrenic patients that appear to have a violent nature about them. I take lithium every single day, and this song has meaning to me. because while you're on the lithiun ... it's a polar extreme, over the mind-state you're in while not on the drug. After taking this drug for a few months... there's no way you can go without it. if you do ... you'll be extremely irritable and you'll probably end up having psychotic episodes and or hallucinations. "I'm so happy because today I've found my friends, they're in my head..." I think this is related to the bi polar illness that kurt had. While he had this illness and it was going un-treated (which is the latter part of the insanity induced second half of the song) he had severe mood swings and really didn't care about anything. When you're bi polar... every single day seems the same, hence the "Sunday morning is everyday for all I care" it's describing his illness driven lack of care and apathetic mindset. After taking the lithium, of course, it controls the otherwise unstable dopamine membrane in your mind and allows you to have one consistent mood / mindstate and allows you to be able to function in society. Being bi polar is kind of rough at first, but after you're put on the lithium nothing seems to matter at all. you feel happy, you have the only thing, taken out of the material perspective, that you'll ever need; your mind. everything comes from your mind, the way you interpret it on a physical level is completely up to you. This song is about a period of descent between two mind-states and a semi-pre-occupation with the lithium drug.

    Crimson Hatredon June 28, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI think this song is listing a man's reasons for why he's going insane.
    CompleteNirvanaon December 13, 2001   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI like this song. I also believe it’s about a mental breakdown hence the whole ‘Lithium’ discussion earlier. To me, I feel that the song means the shedding of ideology and not caring what anyone else thinks because he is happy(mad) and that is all that matters to him:
    "I'm so ugly, but that's okay, 'cause so are you
    We've broken our mirrors "
    And:
    "Light my candles in a daze
    'Cause I've found god -…" - This could mean that he doesn’t care if his ‘candles’ go out because he’s through with caring about things (people). Time to be a bit reckless - as some people feel when they’ve been dumped. The fire in the candle may also symbolise his life.
    He feels no contempt and is at complete peace and ease with himself.
    Even although his happiness is perceived as madness who are we to judge him?

    The song also hints at the cause of his decent into madness, as being maybe back-stabbed by a lover or someone he trusted:
    I've found my friends
    They're in my head
    This might mean that he can’t trust anyone in the ‘external world’ anymore after his ordeal because he is bamboozled at how deceitful people can be. He makes do with himself, thinking that the friends in his head will never betray him - maybe brought on by the drug - I dunno (hallucinations? Or just insanity?)
    He has now learned of the corruptness in the real harsh world and now wants to enter it again - as a different person - come back into reality out of his own world. He has now shed his beliefs in things: I'm so lonely but that's okay I shaved my head.
    The shaving of his head being the shedding of his beliefs.
    After that he comes to grip with things and is willing to realise his madness and his loneliness and wants to escape it.
    The last part of it is when he starts to trust the world again and is ready to be apart of it again - he is excited because he is experiencing love and compassion again - he feels like noone has hurt him but in the climax he is constantly tryin’ to control himself from going off the other end - from being delerious. All in all, the song shows how brilliant life is and how illness and depression can be overcome - maybe not true since his suicide.

    I think I’ve read a little too deep into it - it’s just when I started typing more things came into my head. I’ve probably gone off on a complete tangent. Open for criticism.
    Paradoxical Martyron May 17, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song. . .I think it's one of their best. It's one of their best because, like most of their songs, you can interpert it in anyway you fukin well want to. It's about someone having sane and insane flashes. It's calm when he is saying how he has found his friends but when it reaches the yeahs and 'I like it-I'm not gonna crack' it is the insane flash.

    Oh well thats just my opinion. :) Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love
    the blunt oneon March 23, 2002   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI think its about a mental breakdown after battling depression for so long. I believe i suffer from depression although i havent gone to a doctor to be diagnosed, so the words may mean something differently to me than to most. "im so happy... friends in my head." this refers to being lonely, entertaining yourself, being your own friend. "Im so ugly" Low self esteem, with a cynical response "so are you". "sunday morning....for all i care.. im not scared." After feeling horrible for so long, you could care less about responsibilities hence sunday morning(when most have their day off). fuck it sunday morning everyday.."i found god" in a drug of choice.

    "im so lonely thats ok ill shave my head, and im not sad." sometimes, to cope with lonliness and sadness some resort to doing thinkgs that seem to not help like shaving your head, or self harm but to the person in the song, its makes him not sad anymore.. "im to blame for all ive heard" often feel like everything is my fault. "but im not sure" low self esteem leads to self doubt and you really begin to believe everything is your fault. im so excited, i cant wait to meet you there, but i dont care" this line to me relates to how i would like to hurry up and meet those close to me who ive lost wherever they may be, but i dont care if its today or later in my years. The last line of this verse i always sing as "im so retarded i cant take a sedative"(a line kurt sang in a live show). sometimes i react badly to "self-medicating" drugs. but im so retarded i still do them.. "i like/miss/love/kill" this describes how you feel when youre at your breaking point. not a place you want to be. Sorry for the paragraph, just had to put my interpretation out there.
    Guitarist3on August 14, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentLithium is used for the treatment of manic/depressive (bipolar) and depressive disorders so this song is probably about his depression..and i dont know what he was depressed about so im not going to speculate but,"I'm so ugly, that's OK
    'Cause so are you" and "I'm so horny, that's OK
    My will is good" are quite possibly the best song quotes ever!!!!!
    rah!!hehe!!on October 26, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningKurt had said that "lithium" was about a man, who after the death of his girlfreind turned to religion to keep himself from suicide.
    Shortskull64on November 24, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWonder how I know?

    I'm bi polar.

    I take lithium.

    hawhawhaw.
    Crimson Hatredon June 28, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti havnt read all the postings, but all the ones i had i believe are wrong. personally, i believe that it is, in a way, mocking religion. what? are you fuckin stupid gerbil? no, im not. i have many reasons to back up my theory. but before i start, i must admit the first two lines and the chorus do back up other peoples opinions quite a bit. but the next two lines in the first verse:
    Sunday mornin' is every day For all I care and I'm not scared
    Light my candles in a daze 'Cause I've found God

    sunday morning mass. thats, in short, my explination for the first one. after a while, every day feels like sunday mass, worshipping god over and over, like some sort of slave for the 'almighty'. the candle bit, well candles are used nation wide in many religious cerimonies.

    'im so lonely thats ok i shaved my head' here he may be making refference to monks living in monestries and secluded and isolated places.
    'and just maybe im to blame for all ive heard but im not sure' this could be reffering to "christ dying for our sins". the uncertainty of the bibles truth, and so on and so forth.
    'im so excited i cant wait to meet you there but i dont care' i believe is talking about the "afterlife".
    'im so horny but thats ok my will is good' is, if my theory is correct, most obviously about the oath of celebacy that i believe all religious leaders/servent (nuns, monks, priests etc.) take. for now, i have no explinaton of the chorus. maybe youre right, or maybe its both. that would make sense. its about a priest, whom has become depressed and is losing their grip on sanity and has began questioning his religion.

    thank you for your eyes......the Broken_Gerbil
    broken_gerbilon April 23, 2003   Link

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