Kurt Cobain's birthday: "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"

Happy birthday, Kurt Cobain. Here is Nirvana beautifully performing Lead Belly's version of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," a traditional American folk song also known as "In the Pines" and "Black Girl" that dates back to the 19th century. The track is featured on the live album "Nirvana: MTV Unplugged" in New York recorded on November 18, 1993.


  1. When Kurt Cobain ODed, the media were all, “The voice of a generation is dead. The Gen Xers are weeping tears like our parents shed when John Lennon was murdered,” and I was all “Kurt who?” But now as a Gen Xer I have dabbled in Nirvana and I have to say, DAMN YOU KURT COBAIN FOR FUCKING KILLING YOURSELF WITH THAT CRAP! You were our only hope!! I love you man! I love you!! Happy birthday. (sheds tear like when John Lennon was murdered)

    1. Just for accuracy, he OD’d on a shotgun.

      I will say, its one of those “I remember where I was moments…” (On a bus somewhere between TX and MS, heard it on a radio station I was listening to on my Walkman)

          1.  For quite a while the safe assumption was that Kurt was extremely high when he decided to kill himself. Rumors abound though so who freakin’ knows.

  2. I love the Nirvana Unplugged session so very much. So did our music/chorus teacher in my school, she’d play it very often. Many times that would be all we would do for the day in class, watch that from start to finish, move on to the next period. 

  3. I want to thank him for ushering 80’s music out of the building. 

    I do wonder what the 90’s would have been like without Nirvana.. I’m sure “alternative” music would have still thrived in some form, but it’s hard to argue that Nirvana really kicked the whole thing off. My favorite thing to point out is the style of songs that won MTV awards.. the change in character from 1991 to 1993 is pretty staggering.

    1. I was so SICK of the same old standards by then. I found a station that played Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana and such and even though I couldn’t understand a single word anyone was singing, I listened until I liked it because I wanted something new so badly.

  4. Watch the entire show and rejoice in the appearance of the mighty Meat Puppets, without whom, Kurt said, Nirvana would not have existed.  The listen to some more Meat Puppets and hear why he said that.

    1. Love the Meat Puppets. We got so much shit for liking them in the early ’80’s — the weren’t hard enough. We saw an epic show in Charlottesville in the mid ’80’s. Meat Puppets II is great, Meat Puppets I is very good indeed, and Confusion Fog from Mirage is just a great great great song.

    2.  Thanks for reminding me of that – it’s been a long while since I watched that show and now I’m dying to do so again.  LOVED the Meat Puppets and their appearance.

  5. I was into much more political/hardcore punk back in the day and generally scoffed at Nirvana (and remain somewhat annoyed at the disproportionate attention they got when there were/are lots of great bands getting largely ignored), but I remember the first time I heard this it gave me chills and allowed me to like Nirvana a little more, although they still haven’t ever cracked my top ten, or even 20.  

  6. This particular performance was what made a 15 year old me want to learn to play guitar. The entire Unplugged set was amazing but this specific song hit me deep in the feels.

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