I Hate Myself and Want to Die

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"I Hate Myself and Want to Die"
Song by Nirvana
Released November 23, 1993 (1993-11-23) (The Beavis and Butt-head Experience)
April 1994 (single)
Format CD
A-side "Pennyroyal Tea"
Recorded February 1993, at Pachyderm Studios, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Genre Grunge
Length 2:42
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Kurt Cobain
Producer(s) Steve Albini

"I Hate Myself and Want to Die" is a song by the American rock band Nirvana, written by Kurt Cobain and recorded in February 1993.

History and recording[edit]

Cobain originally intended to call the band's third studio album I Hate Myself and I Want to Die,[1][2] but changed his mind, according to Tom Mallon of Rolling Stone, due to fear that the dark humor of the title would be lost on some critics and fans,[3] and after being convinced by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic that the band might end up with lawsuits if Cobain stuck with the original title;[4] Cobain changed the title to Verse Chorus Verse, then, two weeks later, to its final name, In Utero.

In January 1993, Nirvana recorded a demo of the song, produced by Craig Montgomery at BMG Ariola Ltda in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the band recorded a final version of the song with producer Steve Albini during the In Utero recording sessions at Pachyderm Studios in February 1993. On tape boxes, a fish symbol represented the song.[5]

Cobain did not include the song on In Utero, as, according to Cobain, there were too many "noise" songs on the album.[6] Geffen Records, the record label to which Nirvana signed, gave the band US$60,000 for the song,[7] and included the song on its The Beavis and Butt-head Experience compilation album,[8] released on November 23, 1993.[9] It is possible that the commercial single of "Pennyroyal Tea" was withdrawn after Kurt Cobain's death because "I Hate Myself and Want To Die" was the B-side, and it would seem like the record label was profiting from his death.[10] The "Pennyroyal Tea" single was however re-released in April 2014 as part of Record Store Day.[11]


In Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses, R. Gary Patterson compared the song to John Lennon's "Yer Blues" as "an attempt to explain [Cobain's] introspection."[12] In The Rough Guide to Nirvana, music journalist Gillian G. Gaar called the song an "upbeat, friendly thrash-along" with "nonsense lyrics" whose title lacked a connection with its music.[5] Rolling Stone writers ranked the song at number 44 on a ranked list of 102 Nirvana songs.[3]

Cobain, in an October 1993[13] interview with Rolling Stone writer David Fricke, stated he meant the song "[as literally] as a joke can be" and called the song's title "funny", as he stated he was "thought of as this pissy, complaining, freaked–out schizophrenic who wants to kill himself all the time."[14]


The Blackout released a parody of the song, titled "I Love Myself and I Want to Live," in 2009.[15] Baton Rouge sludge band Thou released a cover of this song on their EP "The Sacrifice".[16]

Recording and release history[edit]

Date recorded Studio Producer/recorder Releases
January, 1993 BMG Ariola Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Craig Montgomery With the Lights Out (2004)
February, 1993 Pachyderm Studio Steve Albini The Beavis and Butt-head Experience (1993)
Pennyroyal Tea (1994)
In Utero (deluxe) (2013)



Production personnel


  1. ^ Cross 2002, p. 262
  2. ^ Crosbie, Lynn (27 September 2011). "Twenty years after Nevermind, Cobain's candle still burns". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Mallon, Tom (April 8, 2015). "No Apologies: All 102 Nirvana Songs Ranked". Rolling Stone. 44. "I Hate Myself and Want to Die". 
  4. ^ Cross 2002, 268
  5. ^ a b Gaar, Gillian G. (2009). The Rough Guide to Nirvana. Penguin. p. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-4053-8119-2. 
  6. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (2003). Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Da Capo. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-306-81271-2. 
  7. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2014). Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-61713-588-0. 
  8. ^ Pareles, Jon (April 11, 1994). "Critic's Notebook; Reflections on Cobain's Short Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Torreano, Bradley. The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience at AllMusic. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  10. ^ Pennyroyal 3 - Pennyroyal Tea single. crimson-ceremony.net. Retrieved on March 10, 2013.
  11. ^ http://www.recordstoreday.co.uk/exclusive-products/2014/?p=10
  12. ^ Patterson, R. Gary (2008). Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses. Simon and Schuster. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-4391-0364-7. 
  13. ^ Bentley, Tiffany (28 March 2012). "David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine tells intimate rock stories during talk at Allentown Art Museum". lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Fricke, David (27 January 1994). "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview | Music News". Rolling Stone. p. 3. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Vikkeh (4 November 2009). "Daily Music Dose: The Blackout on Vikkeh~'s Blog - Buzznet". Vikkivendetta.buzznet.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Robotic Empire. "Thou - The Sacrifice EP". 


Cross, Charles R. (2002). Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain. Sceptre. ISBN 978-1-444-71389-3.