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Nirvana lovers, there’s something in ‘The Batman’ trailer you need to hear

If you’ve already seen the teaser trailer of the latest Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson, and if you happen to be a 1990s kid or teen who happens to have loved grunge rock for a time in your old forgotten life, there’s something in that trailer which ought to have gotten your heart resuscitated.

The trailer of “The Batman” released on Saturday, Aug. 22, not only gives fans of the Dark Knight a peek into Gotham City’s villain-laden streets anew, it can also cast upon ardent rock fans an eerie delight as soon as the background music used in it is heard – that of the song “Something In The Way” by Nirvana, from their seminal 1991 album “Nevermind”.

The strains of the song’s iconic guitar opening starts playing as the character of Jeffrey Wright as commissioner Gordon enters a crime scene. Soon enough, we hear the almost-whispering vocals of the late Kurt Cobain singing the first few haunting lyrics:

“Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets…”

While Batman fans may already have an idea of the probable narrative that the reboot film is about to traverse, it may be worth it to look back on the speculated stories behind the song. Composed by Cobain in 1990 and recorded in 1991 by the famed producer-musician Butch Vig, some attribute the lyrics as a reference to Young Street Bridge in Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen in Washington.

There were earlier speculations that Cobain used to have slept under this bridge during a rough phase in his life when he was homeless, but these were eventually refuted by biographers, friends and family of Cobain. They do affirm, though, that the bridge was a recreational place frequented by Cobain just like other teenagers of the time.

Cobain himself told Michael Azzerad in the 1993 book “Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana” that he used to fish from the said bridge. At the same time, he clarified to Azzerad that the lyrics are not necessarily autobiographical.

The song is the last in the lineup of “Nevermind”, regarded as Nirvana’s most critically and commercially successful album, the same album which produced the anthemic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and other notable singles as “In Bloom”, “Come As You Are” and “Lithium”. While it was never a huge hit compared with the other “Nevermind” tracks, “Something In The Way” has consistently been recognized as one of the band’s most iconic songs due to its raw poetry and moody orchestration, wrapping up the album in a somber air, in contrast with the earlier songs’ hard, rapid and bruising ways.

It’s somehow a predecessor to how another semi-acoustic classic “All Apologies” closed 1993’s “In Utero” which is Nirvana’s last album – no longer followed by another masterpiece after Cobain took his own life in April 1994.

Thankfully, the music lives on, this time setting the mood for the resurgence of the equally immortal DC superhero. “The Batman” is set to open in cinemas next year. NVG

The Philippine Department of Health has said that every case of suicide is a tragedy that can be avoided. Thus, people who feel that they may be suffering from mental health problems and need help may call Hopeline hotlines:

  • 804-HOPE (4673)
  • 0917-558-HOPE (4673), or
  • 2919 (toll-free number for Globe and TM subscribers)


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