Library Rock's Backpages

A Simple Song That Lives Beyond Time: Leadbelly via Kurt Cobain

Eric Weisbard, The New York Times, 13 November 1994

IMMEDIATELY after the suicide of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the rock band Nirvana, last April, MTV broadcasted almost continuously an hourlong Unplugged special that the band had recorded the previous fall. The final song on the program was unexpected: it was the only one not previously recorded by Nirvana or even written by an alternative rocker. Called 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night', it had the cadences of an old ballad or blues tune and lyrics that Mr. Cobain's deathly rasp made absolutely haunting.

Total word count of piece: 1772


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.