My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It's better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you're gone, you can never come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black.

"The King" is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of a Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
"The King" is gone but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

Lyrics submitted by H-bomb, edited by cycneavox

My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about two rock & roll artists
    Rag-Land is halfway there with the 'King' referring to Elvis but 'this is the story of a Johnny Rotten' refers to Johnny Rotten frontman of the Sex Pistols.

    The song is a comparison of Elvis and Johnny Rotten.

    In the beginning Elvis was looked upon as fresh, rebellious, dangerous and he soon rose to the top. Around this time of 1978 the Sex Pistols were seen as the new fresh rebels of rock
    Just before Young wrote 'My My Hey Hey' the Sex Pistols split up on Januray 17, 1978 - only two months after there debut album 'Never Mind The Bollocks' was released quickly reaching #1 in the UK.

    "It's better to burn out Than to fade away"
    In Young's opinion it was better to go out on top like the Sex Pistols did, than to go out while you are fading like Elvis did.

    "The king is gone but he's not forgotten"
    Young realizes that while Elvis is dead, he won't be forgotten. I also believe Young is hoping Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols won't be forgotten just because their group's career was short.

    "Out of the blue and into the black"
    Both the Sex Pistols breakup and Elvis death (well somewhat) came 'out of the blue' (unexpectably). Both will be missed 'into the black' (black is symbolic of mourning).

    As for Kurt Cobain's suicide*cough* note the keyline was (I personally don't belief was a suicide note, instead a letter to his fans that he was quitting the music industry while still on top) 'its better to burn out then to fade away'. Why did he quote Neil Young? Because both Kurt Cobain & Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam revered Neil Young as the godfather of grunge. It was Kurt Cobain's way of saying thank you to Neil Young for the inspiration and that he was taking Young's advice.
    trukdellikyentruocon September 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJust to comment to that Sockhaed guy, Kurt Cobain didn't write this song. Neil wrote it when Kurt was about elevan years old.
    "The King Is Gone", refers to the death of the King Of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, who died a year before this song was written. It's the relation between Elvis and Johnny Rotten. The phrase "it's better to burn out than to fade away," to me, means that it's better to stop at the top of your glory than to be has-been. Sometimes it's better for someone to go while you still have their respect than to feel sorry for them later. Some examples of people who were taken down at the high points in life; Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper, Eddie Cochrane, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and Kurt Cobain. These people don't have a point in their lives where I don't respect them, If Hendrix lost respect I think the world would be heartbroken. I don't understand why he used Elvis as an example though because he started to loose his cool once he became an actor.
    Some artists will just fade away like Rust. Rust conastantly eats away st something, and won't stop until there's nothing left........Rust Never Sleeps........get it?
    Rag-Landon March 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKurt Cobain quoted this song in his suicide note. It might actually itself be about suicide.
    TheAlmightyMagzon June 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song has one the best quotes ever... "Its better to burn out, than to fade away." Meaning you better make your life mean something, and go out knowing that you did everything you could during life, than to just float through life and die inconspicuously. At least thats what it has always meant to me......
    vipergt196on April 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is amazing, he means that you do need to do something great and meaningfull with your life rather then waste it. Kurt used 'its better to burn out then to fade away' in his note, Which did apply to his situation.
    NeilYoungMAnon February 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentQuote from "Shakey" the authorized biography of Neil Young. Interview page 534-535.

    I wrote "Hey, Hey, My My" in my house. Cowrote it with Jeff Blackburn - the line "It's better to burn out than it is to rust" - Blackburn had that line in a song, and I said, "What did you say?" I called him up after I'd written the song and said, "Hey, I used one of the lines from your song. Want credit?"
    Rfeynmanon April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPlush, read a few back. Several people have explained it quite well. :) If u don't want to look, the King is Elvis Presley, and Johnny Rotten is well Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. LOL Maybe he used Johnny Rotten instead of the singer....Sid Vicious, he's dead! ODed!
    raine2niteon August 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really love this song. i also agree that it might be about suicide, or death in general. it really does apply to kurt cobain. the death of a king in his own class. a johnny rotten.. better to burn out than to rust... wow.. this song is amazing
    comatoaston April 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, "it's better to burn out than to fade away" is perfectly accurate in explaining Kurt Cobain's death (and why it quoted it). Better to end it quickly, because it IS over... rather than waste away, depressed and alone, for another 50 yrs. my personal opinion, anyway
    weronika19on May 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSockhead whoever the f*** you are, this song was recorded on Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Live Rust album in 1979, TEN YEARS before Nirvana's debut album, and 12 years before Nevermind.
    Iwannabeawormon June 12, 2005   Link

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