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Nirvana — Polly
Album: Nevermind
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1228









Released: 1991
Length: 2:49
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Polly wants a cracker
Think I should get off her first
Think she wants some water
To put out the blow torch

Isn't me, have a seed
Let me clip, your dirty wings
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself
Got some rope, have been told
Promise you, have been true
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself

Polly wants a cracker
Maybe she would like some food
She asked me to untie her
A chase would be nice for a few

Isn't me, have a seed
Let me clip, your dirty wings
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself
Got some rope, have been told
Promise you, have been true
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself

Polly said

Polly says her back hurts
She's just as bored as me
She caught me off my guard
Amazes me the will of instinct

Isn't me, have a seed
Let me clip, your dirty wings
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself
Got some rope, have been told
Promise you, have been true
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself
Comments (141)add comment
"Amazes me, the will of instinct."
 nomnol wrote:
You never have to stop work to look up who's playing when it's Nirvana.

 
Never a truer comment and even if for that reason alone Nirvana deserves to remain in the RP Hall of Fame.
You never have to stop work to look up who's playing when it's Nirvana.
Released 25 years ago to the day.
{#Hand}
unmistakably Nirvana. Didn't get it as a youth. Don't get it now. Move on. 
Bleak and disturbing, which may be the point, of course.
As far as I can understand it's about a tied up, sexually abused, mentally abused (Polly), physically abused (knife), thirsty, hungry and desperate girl.
And we like it. {#Drunk}
Never mind Poly Moly ! Childe Poly goes swimmingly. I be dotting on my Poly.
superb.  Thank you RP.
 jablan wrote:

Cheap and pretentious. Shocking images of torture and pain do usually cause strong emotions in viewer, and are often confused for art (look up under Aronofsky).

 
That may be true but this is a song - there are no images and there are no viewers since there is nothing to be viewed.
 MilesW wrote:
Somehow I never really got it with Nirvana, until after Kurt blew his head off.  I thought "oh well, another whiner", but then when I saw how many youngsters really identified with him, I realized that I was just on another plane, and had been unable to see it.  It changed my perspective - interesting....

 
I had the same reaction.  It's probably not surprising one generation is concerned for the next, but this idolization of depression is not a good sign. As a Seattlite, I can say the 90's were good for the local music scene...but in a dark, sorta weird way. Still, the number and variety of acts here has continued to blossom since.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
Released 20 years ago. Man, that qualifies it for "classic rock" radio formats.

I need a drink . . .  
 
chuckle ...

edit five minutes later:  A weekly radio show in my old hometown (Stonehenge, WREK-FM) only plays "rock and roll" that's 40 years old.  Once you recover from the realization that a lot of your faves are indeed 40 years old, you can enjoy the show.
BORING!!   I never post negative but today was a two timer. 
 danvan wrote:
I went through college in the 90's, but I just have never liked Nirvana.  Their songs are lame and don't have much going for them musically.  Makes it hard to believe Foo Fighters turned out so much better. Maybe Kurt should have not been allowed to write songs.

 
I loved Nirvana. It totally defined that moment in time. But when Foofighters came out it did exactly the same thing, but at least two steps up in intensity (he turned it up to 11).  Dave Grohl has been in two of the most influential bands of our time, this is not a coincidence.
Somehow I never really got it with Nirvana, until after Kurt blew his head off.  I thought "oh well, another whiner", but then when I saw how many youngsters really identified with him, I realized that I was just on another plane, and had been unable to see it.  It changed my perspective - interesting....
 ch83575 wrote:

I read a comment one time where a dude said he really liked the Grateful Dead, but only their studio albums, not the live stuff.  This is sorta like that.

 
How true..
drab
 Kanuffen wrote:
 
{#Stop} {#Stop} {#Stop} {#Foot-in-mouth} {#Foot-in-mouth} {#Stop} {#Stop} {#Stop}

 danvan wrote:
I went through college in the 90's, but I just have never liked Nirvana.  Their songs are lame and don't have much going for them musically.  Makes it hard to believe Foo Fighters turned out so much better. Maybe Kurt should have not been allowed to write songs.
 
I read a comment one time where a dude said he really liked the Grateful Dead, but only their studio albums, not the live stuff.  This is sorta like that.
 danvan wrote:
I went through college in the 90's, but I just have never liked Nirvana.  Their songs are lame and don't have much going for them musically.  Makes it hard to believe Foo Fighters turned out so much better. Maybe Kurt should have not been allowed to write songs.
 
???????????????????????????????????????????????
I went through college in the 90's, but I just have never liked Nirvana.  Their songs are lame and don't have much going for them musically.  Makes it hard to believe Foo Fighters turned out so much better. Maybe Kurt should have not been allowed to write songs.
 justin4kick wrote:
Overrated band. The lyrics may be great but the lack of creativity in the composition is painful.

 
You must not have lived through the same 1990's as I did.  This was TOTALLY new (at least to me) when it landed, and really in many ways set the bar for the entire decade.
 jablan wrote:

Cheap and pretentious. Shocking images of torture and pain do usually cause strong emotions in viewer, and are often confused for art (look up under Aronofsky).
 
Ah but Kurt's lyrics don't portray those shocking images. Only when we know the story behind the lyrics are we shocked by what was there all along.
Is the kid circumsized? It's an important point.
 bronorb wrote:
If that isn't creative, I don't know what is. 
 
Cheap and pretentious. Shocking images of torture and pain do usually cause strong emotions in viewer, and are often confused for art (look up under Aronofsky).
 sirdroseph wrote:
One of my favs from them! Great song!{#Clap}
 
Agree heavily. Not a huge fan of Nirvana...but really like this one!
 justin4kick wrote:
Overrated band. The lyrics may be great but the lack of creativity in the composition is painful.

 
Maybe you mean "lack of technical prowess" or "lack of a conventional sound", because the melody and arrangement are certainly "creative", if not unorthodox.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
Released 20 years ago. Man, that qualifies it for "classic rock" radio formats.

I need a drink . . .  
 
Scotch - two fingers - neat. Cheers.
 justin4kick wrote:
Overrated band. The lyrics may be great but the lack of creativity in the composition is painful.

 

Lack of Creativity?
Disagree completely. This is a piece of music that is beautiful to listen to and evokes emotion, in this case, revulsion and horror. The lyrics are spot on and the performance is simple yet brilliantly conveys the feeling of the attacker to the point that you almost cringe when hearing the words.
If that isn't creative, I don't know what is. 
Overrated band. The lyrics may be great but the lack of creativity in the composition is painful.

 Tim42 wrote:

Polly was first released on Nevermind in 1991. You have most of the facts right. The one on Incesticide is Polly (New Wave) which is actually the original version if I remember correctly.

And no, Kurt was not condoning holding women as prisoners, but he wasn't always clear with what he meant.
 
Another RPer posted that this song was based on a true story of a woman who escaped her rapist/kidnapper by pretending to become his friend. You wouldn't exactly figure that out from reading the lyrics. This one really sounds like album filler these days. 
Released 20 years ago. Man, that qualifies it for "classic rock" radio formats.

I need a drink . . .  
 sirdroseph wrote:
I've always said, this is the most beautiful song about rape that I have ever heard.
 

And Glass Arm Shattering by Porcupine Tree is the most beautiful song I have ever heard about an arm going through a windshield in a car crash.

Go figure...

soothing ...


Well this song is so...nevermind.

Don't think I've ever heard this before. It's rubbish.
mmm johnjconn wrote:


Good song, Good album , completly over blown band. 
 
Nirvana is about 5th on my list of best Alternative Bands.
Again, good,,,,, far from great.

 
Hmmmm... Chicago, dissing Nirvana... are you Billy Corgan?!?

In my opinion, not one of their best, but still, a fine piece.
Brilliant song, brilliant album, brilliant band! R.I.P Kurt
Kurt Cobain by kaleidosc0pe
Kurt Cobain by ~kaleidosc0pe
©2008-2010 ~kaleidosc0pe


I've always said, this is the most beautiful song about rape that I have ever heard.
 Stardust83 wrote:

Probably because Polly was first released on In Utero in 1991, and then again in 1992 on Incesticide.

 
Polly was first released on Nevermind in 1991. You have most of the facts right. The one on Incesticide is Polly (New Wave) which is actually the original version if I remember correctly.

And no, Kurt was not condoning holding women as prisoners, but he wasn't always clear with what he meant.

 Danimal174 wrote:
Over time, this has become possibly my favorite song by Nirvana. Straightforward, sparse guitar coupled with Kurt's and Dave's voices, covering a very dark subject from the viewpoint of the attacker instead of the victim.

For those who were questioning the meaning of the lyrics, the song was written after Kurt heard about a girl being kidnapped after leaving a concert, then raped, burnt, and tortured. She finally escaped her attacker by pretending to befriend him, causing him to let his guard down -

Polly says her back hurts,
She's just as bored as me.
She caught me off my guard.
It amazes me, the will of instinct.


Powerful lyrics, IMO.
 
Geez. Not sure I am better off for knowing that. 


Putting this song after Emmylou Harris' I Don't Want to Talk About It is just pure genius! 2 songs about some serious dependency issues.
Over time, this has become possibly my favorite song by Nirvana. Straightforward, sparse guitar coupled with Kurt's and Dave's voices, covering a very dark subject from the viewpoint of the attacker instead of the victim.

For those who were questioning the meaning of the lyrics, the song was written after Kurt heard about a girl being kidnapped after leaving a concert, then raped, burnt, and tortured. She finally escaped her attacker by pretending to befriend him, causing him to let his guard down -

Polly says her back hurts,
She's just as bored as me.
She caught me off my guard.
It amazes me, the will of instinct.


Powerful lyrics, IMO.


 Gryn wrote:
I'm probably the only one who never liked this band.. Well, ok, I'm a huge fan of the Foo Fighters.. but it's not the same.
 
I guess there's two of us  {#Yes}

 lattalo wrote:

Cover art is not censored here, that pesky constitution you know.......
 
History begs to differ ...
 prickelpit96 wrote:
Shouldn't the cover arts be censored in USA?
 
Cover art is not censored here, that pesky constitution you know.......

Nirvana Nevermind Baby Spencer Elden Grown Up The baby pictured is 17 years old now!

Kinda sounds like the chord progression from What I Like About You, just slowed down.  Never noticed that before.

I think I just made Kurt roll over in his grave...


One of my favs from them! Great song!{#Clap}
terrible....
Make me fries...  Oh, wait...  

Crazy song!!

 hippiechick wrote:

It sounds to me like he is holding polly hostage.

 
Mee too.

So do ya' thing Bill will play "The Boy with the Arab Strap" next since we're into ropes and tying things up??

{#Shifty}

Polly wants a cracker
I think I should get off her first
I think she wants some water
To put out the blow torch Isn't me
Have a seed
Let me clip
Dirty wings
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
want some help
Please myself
I've got some rope
Have been told
I promise you
I have been true
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
Want some help
Please myself
Polly wants a cracker
Maybe she would like some food
Ask me to untie her
A chase would be nice for a few Isn't me
Have a seed
Let me clip
Dirty wings
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
want some help
Please myself
I've got some rope
Have been told
I promise you
I have been true
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
Want some help
Please myself Polly said Polly says her back hurts
she's just as bored as me
She caught me off my guard
It amazes me, the will of instinct Isn't me
Have a seed
Let me clip
Dirty wings
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
Want some help
Please myself
I've got some rope
Have been told
I promise you
I have been true
Let me take a ride
Cut yourself
Want some help
Please myself

Yep, Polly's a prisoner. 
More Nirvana please!!!!

Nirvana - Polly     ==>    Bruce Lash - Lithium

** 8 **

 Panama_Floyd wrote:


Well, I think it's supposed to. If I'm reading the lyrics correctly, it's about a tryst between two very emotionally damaged people.

 

If we accept that music should be art, rather than "entertainment", we have to study the darker side of our humanity as well..

IMO, of course. And we all know that old joke about opinions.{#Shifty}



 
It sounds to me like he is holding polly hostage.

 Gryn wrote:
I'm probably the only one who never liked this band.. Well, ok, I'm a huge fan of the Foo Fighters.. but it's not the same.
 

correct, nirvana - sublime, foofighters - pedestrian and mundane with the exception of a very few songs{#Mrgreen}
 reason06 wrote:

This is a very confusing story...how can the origin be about a crime that was committed while singing the song???
 
Probably because Polly was first released on In Utero in 1991, and then again in 1992 on Incesticide.

I'm probably the only one who never liked this band.. Well, ok, I'm a huge fan of the Foo Fighters.. but it's not the same.
 hippiechick wrote:
This is one song I really hate. Gives me the creeps.

 

Well, I think it's supposed to. If I'm reading the lyrics correctly, it's about a tryst between two very emotionally damaged people.

If we accept that music should be art, rather than "entertainment", we have to study the darker side of our humanity as well..

IMO, of course. And we all know that old joke about opinions.{#Shifty}



 hippiechick wrote:
This is one song I really hate. Gives me the creeps.
 
I think it's supposed to.

This is one song I really hate. Gives me the creeps.
Always liked this tune. {#Guitarist}

alevin wrote:
seems like that was a series of songs coming from a very macabre place (including the song "where'd you hide the body?") I was looking for the "true" account of the song - the most popular urban legend that most people know is this is about a young woman who was kidnapped leaving a punk concert, raped and tortured, but by gaining the trust of her captor was able to finally escape. Snopes.com doesn't have an official stance either way, though Wikipedia backs this up, citing the book Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana.. More disturbing is a note by Cobain in the liner notes of Incesticide which read "Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song 'Polly," Sorry to disturb any of you who may be offended by the song origin. Though it may spark an interesting debate on whether one can like an piece of artistic expression (like a song) based on its merits and not the beliefs it expresses/behaviours it may induce.
This is a very confusing story...how can the origin be about a crime that was committed while singing the song???
prickelpit96 wrote:
Shouldn't the cover arts be censored in USA? :think:
LOL. I wondered if anyone would make that comment, after reading some of the comments about the Blind Faith album cover. I don't see anything sexual about either cover, so I would say no. But IANAL, and this is not legal advise.
not my fave from nirvana, but mellow enough to fit on RP maybe?
Vandy005 wrote:

"... anybody can be famous for dying."


friggin loser!

prickelpit96 wrote:
Shouldn't the cover arts be censored in USA? :think:
I think it was in some places. Many Evangelical Americans don't like to admit that genitals exist. Too scary.
Shouldn't the cover arts be censored in USA? :think:
seems like that was a series of songs coming from a very macabre place (including the song "where'd you hide the body?") I was looking for the "true" account of the song - the most popular urban legend that most people know is this is about a young woman who was kidnapped leaving a punk concert, raped and tortured, but by gaining the trust of her captor was able to finally escape. Snopes.com doesn't have an official stance either way, though Wikipedia backs this up, citing the book Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana.. More disturbing is a note by Cobain in the liner notes of Incesticide which read "Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song 'Polly," Sorry to disturb any of you who may be offended by the song origin. Though it may spark an interesting debate on whether one can like an piece of artistic expression (like a song) based on its merits and not the beliefs it expresses/behaviours it may induce.
1wolfy wrote:
Weak track..Man who sold the world is much stronger
Wittgenstein wrote:
Bollocks. This is an integral song in an album that changed the world. Kurt scratching his ass was better than any of the retarded pop that grunge thankfully replaced.
:yes:
ThePoose wrote:
Sounds derivative of Smells like teen spirit
I guess it's POSSIBLE to make something derivative of your own song, but ummmm, I think it's okay if you freakin' INVENTED the sound. Especially if it's on the same album. They have these things called "themes".
And what a damn album cover. Even in the weaker songs, still something to say.
1wolfy wrote:
Weak track..Man who sold the world is much stronger
true - but Man Who Sold the World is a Bowie cover and only on the MTV Unplugged album (my favorite of theirs actually :crown: ) Polly is okay, but is definitely in the lower half of their songs... which is still better than (and way more important) than 98% of the rubbish out there.
Bollocks. This is an integral song in an album that changed the world. Kurt scratching his ass was better than any of the retarded pop that grunge thankfully replaced.
1wolfy wrote:
Weak track..Man who sold the world is much stronger
Agreed!
Disturbing. Reminds me of Stephen Kings 'Misery'.
Yeah, I agree! We want true artists like Winger and Twisted Sister. Come on Bill, don't you know good music?!?
God, I just hate this song!
Sounds derivative of Smells like teen spirit
Weak track..Man who sold the world is much stronger
biggeorge wrote:
From James M to this crap, Mute
Ha! From James M's crap to this! Glad I got it off mute in time. by the way:
For sure not the best from this album and Nirvana at all, but Nirvana's always worth to listen to...
lmic wrote:
I love Nirvana, but this song is seriously creepy.
You can say _that_ twice. "Thanks" for pointing that out. Otherwise I would have enjoyed the song. Ignorance can be bliss. Had to knock it down to a 2.
MissAmy wrote:
I miss the 90's.
So do I.
I love Nirvana, but this song is seriously creepy.
This blows. 2
pgarner wrote:
unlike the White Stripes, Kurt sounds like he actually means what he's singing and it's not just an arty posture
Whoa, such hostility against Jack and Meg, I mean what did they do.... But if you want sincerity listen to the Stripes rendition of Jolene live. Jack plays like a madman and screams hellfire into the microphone like he's really afraid some one is gonna take his man away from him... More Stripes Bill... anybody can be famous for dying.
pgarner wrote:
unlike the White Stripes, Kurt sounds like he actually means what he's singing and it's not just an arty posture
If this is what it sounds like to "mean" what you are singing, I'll take meaninglessness anyday
black321 wrote:
Wouldn't be too bad if he worked on the melody a bit; not to mention the dreadful guitar. But then again, Nirvana does write music from the groin/gut so I give them credit for that.
we'll have that all polished up for you by 9 am monday ... jackass
From James M to this crap, Mute
No way! Great song that we haven't heard in years. Thanks again, RP.
Wouldn't be too bad if he worked on the melody a bit; not to mention the dreadful guitar. But then again, Nirvana does write music from the groin/gut so I give them credit for that.
The guitarist for Wolfmother said he would be forever grateful to Nirvana for knocking Michael Jackson off the number one spot.
Don't know what it is but could just never really get the hype about these guys,oh well at least they made some people happy with there music.
I miss the 90's.
pgarner wrote:
unlike the White Stripes, Kurt sounds like he actually means what he's singing and it's not just an arty posture
I agree with you about Kurt Cobain, but I'm not sure about the contrast with White Stripes. They don't have much in common, other than they occasionally perform(ed) acoustic.
Lonestar wrote:
Isn't this the version from the unplugged album? I thought the Nevermind version was harder?
Nope, you're thinking of the Incesticide version, "(New Wave) Polly", most likely.
Isn't this the version from the unplugged album? I thought the Nevermind version was harder?
i just love the sound of acoustic guitar on this particular song.
unlike the White Stripes, Kurt sounds like he actually means what he's singing and it's not just an arty posture
RabbitEars wrote:
This guy wrote the most boring melodies. One of the most overrated bands ever.
Brought to you by RabbitEars. The guy who rates Dave Matthews Band, Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel a 10. :iamwithstupid:
If you mentally strip away all the "grunge" hype and the hoopla surrounding Cobain's death, you are left with one damn fine album. Many great songs, what about playing Lithium or Come As You Are?
Never......Fade......Away...... :cowboy: :sunny:
One of the biggest reasons that I could never get into mainstream music; such lousy guitar playing.
Never got into the Seattle thing. Always thought Nirvana, although influential, were over-rated.
Timeless tune. Its that voice.
That sounded good.
Another excellent segue to a great Nirvana song (this time from the White Stripes, earlier from Beethoven). Thank you Bill, for not forgetting... Note: Bob Dylan went to a Nirvana concert once upon a time and was especially struck by this song. "The kid has heart," he said (as reported in a biography called "Heavier than Heaven").
:puke:
W :eyes: W! First time I heard Nirvana on RP. OH, the ever expanding playlist!
love the disc but this is one of my least favorite tracks
This guy wrote the most boring melodies. One of the most overrated bands ever.
Anyone else hear "Rockin' in The Free World" in the guitar?