Been A Son… Should I?

The cover art was painted by Cobain, (credited as Kurdt Kobain) and the rubber duck on the back cover belonged to Cobain. The front cover’s poppy is a nod to Cobain’s heroin addiction

Suggested audio: Been A Son by Nirvana

She should have stayed away from friends
She should have had more time to spend
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns

She should have-been a son
She should have-been a son
She should have-been a son
She should have-been a son

She should have made her mother proud
She should have stood out in the crowd
She should have fallen on her stance
She should have had another chance

She should have-been a son.. X2

She should have stayed away from friends
She should have had more time to spend
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns

She should have-been a son

Written by Kurt Cobain in 1989 © BMG Rights Management

It’s a beautiful day with sun shining and the birds are all on Twitter. I began to reflect on a song I love and how it makes me feel, even now.

When I was in my mid teens back in 1992 I went into a now-defunct newsagent called John Menzies and in the upstairs music department I was attracted to the artwork of the above album (on cassette) by Nirvana. I immediately loved the music and so, my accumulation of all their albums and many t-shirts began! ,

One particular track hit me like a roundhouse kick from Toshiaki Kawada (I Googled him of course!). The fourth and catchy, ‘Been A Son’. I sat on my cabin bed listening to the lyrics. I’ve always taken an interest in lyrical meaning, even if a song is deemed commercially crap if the words are good, I’m sold. “She should have been a son… Died when she was born… Worn the crown of thorns… Made her mother proud” such harsh phrases for a confused awkward kid to digest and of course, take too literally given the song’s hint at girls deemed second class citizens/in the hierarchy system. Not actual death. But that was me. Literal and morbid. Who used to get difficult questions right and easy ones wrong in exams.

I knew deep inside my head that I wasn’t like everyone else (another reason I took a shine to I’m Not Like Everybody Else by The Kinks) but it was deeper than our fashion and music taste. I wasn’t depressed, I didn’t think so because I laughed when apparently I shouldn’t have. Whatever I understood depression to be then. A creature lurked between my ears that wasn’t identified until two years ago after countless sessions of CBT and CAT. Even a bit of mortifying music therapy, urgh I was well awkward at that. Music IS therapy but only from my stereo speakers and personal stereo.

And I habitually played Nirvana’s music for years and continue to enjoy.

Eventually it clicked that my desires to have died when I was born, made mum proud and been a son, etc, were probably early indicators of low self-esteem, confusion about the self, and destructive thinking all symptomatic of a borderline. A girl interrupted, even corrupted as I was once informed. Yes! Like a floppy disk containing errors. Remember the days? BBC Computers built by the Acorn Computer company in the 1980s used at school to programme memorable marvels and those corrupted disc warnings. I know the feeling. But once it dawned on me how much I used to misinterpret and misunderstand music lyrics, I then learned to understand life and myself, try to anyway but it’s difficult and I mess up some days. Like everyone does, “normal” or ” not”.

I’m just a clunky old computer who’s F keys are fucked, that needs reprogramming and I should probably stick to warbling Sandie Shaw songs.

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

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