You Know You're Right is Kurt Cobain's suicide note, screamed over and over again to unsuspecting
radio listeners worldwide.
In it, he tells a story of a man; here the lyrics are more coherent and structured than in any other
of his songs; a man who lives in a world of pain and is surrounded by it in everything he sees. He sees the pain
in all human beings and the pain they cause each other. The burden of his insight causes him to realise the
futility of his existence and how, it would be a bane to those who love him and care for him, as he could
never, at this point, see or feel or understand anything beyond the all-encompassing pain that has enveloped his
life. He still recgonizes the dynamics and subtleties of everyday human interaction; but his judgement is clouded
by all the hurt that swirls through his life.
He does his best; he knows the people around him might help him if he gave them a chance, if he helped them
realise what he realises, without of course alluding to the pain that he knows so well, make them realise without
realising the pain. But, he cannot lie and cannot delude himself. He either does not have the neccesary tools of
the mind to articulate his thoughts or he doesn't really understand his own thoughts. Or, maybe he just isn't
capable of the self delusion; that is so inherent in all of us; which enables us to pretend that everything is
fine and nothing really bad has ever happened in this world. Maybe because of this latter, the pain wins over him
and he succumbs to it, he relishes it and accepts it. In the course of the song, he comes to terms with it, and
comes to terms with how it would forever distance him from all those that he loved, all those he knew and in fact
all of the rest of humanity, for those who realise Pain in its totality never seek out company or solace in
others like them, they only shun themselves and everyone else, refusing to break the bubble of suffering for fear
of propagating that thing which is so dear and near to their hearts, or for fear of their very small worlds being
invaded and conquered, or just for fear, pure, cold fear.
This man realises; that whatever he decides is the right thing to do; he cannot escape the harsh reality
that has become his world and cannot escape the responsibility that comes with that reality, the responsibilty of
making sure that the pain is contained, within him and him only. In the end, when the credits roll, whether he
lives his life, or chooses to end it, or escape it; he knows that he is already a martyr and that the weight of
all that pain and the responsibility that comes with it, rests solely on his hunched and broken shoulders. The
final word screamed in this song is the word pain, its totality and utter finality inescapable to the man whose story
is being sung.
In the case of Kurt Cobain, that man decided to end his life and cease the suffering. And in doing so, embraces and contains the pain inside himself, never to be vented outward, forever.