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Nirvana Song

Song Author
Kurt Cobain

Writing Period

Recording Session(s)
1987/1988 - 4 track demos

This song was played on acoustic guitar and recorded onto 4-track. Cobain apparently used a pitch shifter for some of the effects, though he was capable of doing the high, squeaky voice by himself (listen to the 1987.04.17 KAOS demo).

While some people think the circulating versions -- there are different edits -- are not Cobain, both Channing and Novoselic have said it is in fact Kurt.

The song was not part of the Fecal Matter demo, though it does appear on the bootleg called Fecal Matter.

There has been a lot of discussion about who kurt actually sings about. Is it "Jackie ate some beans"?, "Daddy ate some beans"?, "Daffy ate some beans"? or did someone else eat them? "Jackie" seems probable as the song is based on narrative book The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. However, DN member Fu pointed out that it could also be "Japhy", based on the fact that one of the main characters in the book is named Japhy Ryder.

Michael Azerrad wrote in Come As You Are:

"Kurt had written a Vaselines-influenced song called 'Beans,' based on the Jack Kerouac book The Dharma Bums. 'Beans, beans, beans/ Jackie ate some beans/ And he was happy and naked in the woods' went the chorus. He wanted to put it on the upcoming album but Poneman didn't. 'He thought it was stupid,' says Kurt, who adds that the band wanted to be more diverse and experimental with their debut album, yet met with heavy resistance from Sub Pop, both stated and unstated. Since the band had no contract, they just didn't know how much they could ignore Poneman's wishes and still get to put their record out. 'Beans' was part of a four-song demo of 'weird, quirky songs' that the band wanted to include on the record. Says Kurt: '[Poneman] thought we were retarded.' "


Alternate/Working Titles
None Documented

Common Mislabels
None Documented

Mislabels in the Bootography
Beans & Wine

Voice One: I don't like you, and I'm going to beat you up.
Voice Two: No! No! I'm...I'm telling my mom.

Beans, beans, beans
Jackie ate some beans
He was happy, happy, happy
Then he ate some beans

Naked, naked, naked
Sitting cross-legged
Naked, naked, naked
And he was happy, happy, happy
Then he ate some beans

Wine, wine, wine
Jackie had (ate?) some wine
He was happy, happy, happy
And he ate some wine

Beans, beans, beans
Daddy ate some beans
And he drank some wine
And he was happy, happy, happy
As he drank some beans

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