Blind Melon’s “Soup” Lyrics Meaning
Blind Melon’s “Soup” is a song about Kurt Cobain. It is heavily metaphorical, as tracks belonging to these types of alt-rock bands tend to be. But one of the first clear signs that this may be about Cobain is a reference to “a bowl of bitter beans”. And that’s because for whatever reason, it seems that Kurt had an affinity for the word bean. For instance, one of the earliest songs Nirvana ever put together is entitled Beans. And of course Cobain’s own daughter, Frances, middle name is “Bean”.
Then of course there is the metaphorical, albeit still pretty clear reference to suicide by gunshot found in the outro. And as readers who are familiar with Cobain’s history know, that is in fact how he passed away at the age of 27 in 1994.
Depression and Intoxicants
Taking your life in such a drastic manner would indicate that said individual was dealing with some less-than-ideal realities surrounding his life. And first and most notably, as relayed in the first verse, would be depression. And it seems somewhere along the line the vocalist makes a conscientious decision to do something definitive about this malady.
Perhaps needless to say, Kurt Cobain was heavily into drugs. And as fate would have it, so was Shannon Hoon, i.e. the person who is singing this song. And that’s why we’re able to postulate that symbolically, the wording at the beginning of the first verse may well point to drug usage.
Sadly, the vocalist is using the drugs as an escape from his depression. And it is also indicated that the said depression, as implied in the first verse, has a lot to do with his interpersonal relationships.
Or another way of interpreting the assertions in question , specifically in the third verse, is as pointing to the idea of the vocalist being a troubled soul. That’s why he is compelled to permanently rid himself of the voices in his head, so to speak.
The Long and Short of “Soup”
So at the end of the day the titular “soup”, which is never mentioned in the lyrics, would logically point to the aforenoted “bowl of bitter beans”. And the “bowl of bitter beans”, as we resolved, points to Kurt Cobain. So this is a symbolic telling what Blind Melon had perceived were the circumstances surrounding Cobain’s suicide.
Facts about “Soup”
“Soup” was authored by Shannon Hoon, the late lead singer of the band, who died from an overdose of drugs. He was only just 28 years old when he met his demise.
This song was included as track #3 on the group’s 1996 compilation album entitled “Nico”. The said album gets its title from the first name of Hoon’s daughter, Nico Blue.
The only singles released from the above-noted album are “Soul One” and “The Pusher”. The latter being a cover of Steppenwolf’s 1968 song.
This was initially composed for Blind Melon’s second studio album, also titled “Soup”.
When was “Soup” released?
Although this was recorded in November 1994, it officially came out on the same date its album was released, which is on the 12th of November 1996.
Christopher Thorn has revealed that the moment Shannon sang the lyric which talked about pulling the trigger and making people go away, he knew it was about Cobain. The said lyric reads as follows:
“I will pull the trigger and make you all go away”
According to him, hearing it instantly gave him goose bumps.