Bridge that Inspired Kurt Cobain’s “Something in the Way” Lyrics Faces Destruction

In 1991, Nirvana closed out their seminal album Nevermind with a song titled “Something in the Way,” in which Kurt Cobain imagined what life would be like if he lived underneath the Young Street Bridge in his hometown, Aberdeen, Washington. Now, that historic bridge is facing destruction.

Connecting North Aberdeen with the city’s downtown area, the bridge was built in 1956 and inspired Cobain’s classic lyrics, starting with the lines “Underneath the bridge/ tarp has sprung a leak…” In the 30 years since his death, the bridge has become a memorial of sorts for Cobain, and currently sports layers of well-wishes and Nirvana-related graffiti on its walls.

But, as explained by a website created by the city of Aberdeen for the project (via Guerrilla Candy), the bridge is suffering from the effects of “aging and deteriorating bridge conditions.” Now, with a $23 million federal funding grant, the city is hoping to revitalize the bridge and “honor the significance of Kurt Cobain,” though the original structure itself may be destroyed.


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Aberdeen has three pitches for what to do with the bridge. The first is to rehabilitate and revitalize the bridge (“no new bridge”). The second option is to keep parts of the bridge, but replace other parts, while the third option is to replace it entirely. Public meetings will be hosted to discuss the different proposals, and the final plan will be announced this upcoming June. No matter what, though, the city assures folks that the ultimate outcome will be something that “accommodates Kurt Cobain significance.”

Speaking about “Something in the Way,” Cobain once said it was about “like if I was living under the bridge and I was dying of AIDS, if I was sick and I couldn’t move and I was a total street person. That was kind of the fantasy of it.” Last year, Nick Oliveri alleged that the late Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan co-wrote the song. Listen to it below.

Meanwhile, news of the bridge’s pending fate arrives the same week as the 30th anniversary of Cobain’s death. To mark the occasion, everyone from Frances Bean Cobain to members of Godsmack, L7, Code Orange, 311, and more have made statements and paid tribute. For more, revisit our piece on Cobain’s tragic final days.


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