Stay Away
Nirvana Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Monkey see, monkey do
(I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away

Give an inch, take a smile
(I don't know why)
Fashion shits, fashion style
(I don't know why)
Throw it out and keep it in
(I don't know why)
Have to have poison skin
(I don't know why)

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away

I don't know why
I don't know why

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away

Monkey See, monkey do
I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away

I don't know why
I don't know why

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away

Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away




Stay away
God is Gay

Overall Meaning

The song “Stay Away” by Nirvana is known for its rebellious lyrics that reject societal norms and reject the idea of conforming to trends for the sake of appearing “cool”. The song begins with the lines “Monkey see, monkey do, rather be dead than cool”, which suggest that the lead singer Kurt Cobain is rejecting the idea of following patterns blindly, even if it means being an outcast from society. The following lines “Every line ends in rhyme, less is more, love is blind” seem to suggest that Kurt Cobain is advocating for authenticity and real emotions, rather than adhering to superficial standards set by society.


The chorus seems to address the idea of staying away from the pressure of conforming to societal norms, which is expressed through the repeated lines “Stay away”. The lines “Give an inch, take a smile, fashion shits, fashion style” seem to reject the idea of blindly following fashion trends, implying that in doing so, a person surely will be “poisoned” by societal pressure.


These lyrics are not only emblematic of the grunge music era in which Nirvana was formed but also continue to resonate with people today who feel the need to reject societal pressures to conform. Overall, “Stay Away” is a powerful anthem in which Cobain encourages listeners to be true to themselves and stay away from societal normative pressure.


Line by Line Meaning

Monkey see, monkey do
People imitate what they see with no real understanding why they're doing it


(I don't know why)
The singer is unsure of the reasoning behind their previous statement


Rather be dead than cool
The singer values being true to oneself above conforming to popular trends


(I don't know why)
The artist is unsure of the reasoning behind this belief


Every line ends in rhyme
The artist notices the common trend of using rhymes in lyrics, but isn't sure why it's so prevalent


(I don't know why)
The singer is confused by this phenomenon


Less is more, love is blind
Simplicity is preferable to excessiveness, and love can be irrational and blind


(I don't know why)
The artist doesn't understand why these statements are true


Stay
The artist is warning someone to remain at a distance


Stay away
The artist is repeating their warning


Give an inch, take a smile
People will take advantage of kindness and use it to manipulate others


(I don't know why)
The artist doesn't know why this happens


Fashion shits, fashion style
The singer believes that trendy fashion is worthless and unimportant


(I don't know why)
The singer doesn't understand why people care about fashion


Throw it out and keep it in
Sometimes it's better to discard old ideas and beliefs, while other times they should be kept hidden


(I don't know why)
The artist is unsure why this is the case


Have to have poison skin
The artist believes that one must be resilient and tough to survive in a harsh world


(I don't know why)
The singer doesn't know why this is necessary


God is Gay
This line is likely included for shock value and doesn't have a literal meaning or message


I don't know why
The artist is continually unsure of the reasoning behind various beliefs, ideas, and trends


Stay
The artist repeats their warning one last time


Stay away
The artist's final warning


Stay away
The singer emphasizes their desire for distance


Stay away
The artist's final repetition of their warning


Stay away
The singer concludes with a final authoritative command




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Kurt Cobain

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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robin

love this

Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@jkupkowski

Monkey see, monkey do
(I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Give an inch, take a smile
(I don't know why)
Fashion shits, fashion style
(I don't know why)
Throw it out and keep it in
(I don't know why)
Have to have poison skin
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Monkey See, monkey do
I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
God is Gay



@melia7698

Lyrics: Monkey see, monkey do
(I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Give an inch, take a smile
(I don't know why)
Fashion shits, fashion style
(I don't know why)
Throw it out and keep it in
(I don't know why)
Have to have poison skin
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Monkey See, monkey do
I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
God is Gay



All comments from YouTube:

@jkupkowski

Monkey see, monkey do
(I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Give an inch, take a smile
(I don't know why)
Fashion shits, fashion style
(I don't know why)
Throw it out and keep it in
(I don't know why)
Have to have poison skin
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Monkey See, monkey do
I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool
(I don't know why)
Every line ends in rhyme
(I don't know why)
Less is more, love is blind
(I don't know why)
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
I don't know why
I don't know why
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
Stay away
God is Gay

@ndrummer95

I love the very last part

@harriedsloth4399

"Rather be dead than cool" sounds like "radical dude, totally cool", which is apro pos to the year in which "Nevermind" was released. Whatever, nevermind.

@bonzodimduly3633

i thought it was monkey see, monkey do. walk around, follow you. (see pay to play)

@sergiocepeda4911

thanks

@101Volts

@@ndrummer95 It's not accurate to the God of Abraham and Jesus Christ, if the "no homosexuality" rule in Leviticus explains some of said God's character and name. Not that I was asked, and I'm sure people know that already, but does everyone on the planet go around reading the Bible every day?

There are other gods mentioned in the Bible, too. Always in a negative light, though.

8 More Replies...

@sianspherica

Such a fucking incredible song. That drum part is just so disgustingly catchy and always has been.

@smarkmalark

That’s chad Channing for ya!

@brandonkim2410

@@smarkmalark sucks that everybody forgets about him. The demo version of this song has chad and it's great.

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