Meaning of Nirvana's 'Something in the Way' explored as song witnesses surge in streaming post featuring in 'The Batman'

Something In The Way, from the band's magnum opus Nevermind (1991) has gained newfound popularity due to its presence in the latest cinematic iteration of The Batman. (Images via IMDB, Twitter @nirvana)
Something In The Way, from the band's magnum opus Nevermind (1991) has gained newfound popularity due to its presence in the latest cinematic iteration of The Batman. (Images via IMDB, Twitter @nirvana)

While Nirvana continues to be relevant to the day for their ageless music and as the forerunners of the 90s grunge movement, a particular song by the band has experienced a recent resurgence.

Something In The Way, from the band's magnum opus Nevermind (1991), has gained newfound popularity due to its presence in the latest cinematic iteration of The Batman. The song has amassed a staggering 1200% increase in streams on Spotify.

While the song playing in the background of the film's trailer caused quite a ripple for how fitting it was tonally, the film's release has made it stratospheric.

How does the song fit the film's tone, and what was it written initially about?

Warning: Spoilers to The Batman ahead.

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Nirvana's Something In The Way: Connection with The Batman and lyrical meaning explored

Matt Reeves' gothic take on the caped crusader hit theaters last Friday. The film chooses to depict a murkier, even darker Gotham and the most introspective version of Bruce Wayne yet. Thus, a grungy Nirvana song is a perfect fit.

Something In The Way is heard twice in the three-hour spectacle. It accompanies an early sighting of Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne in the beginning. The undertone established on the front ties up nicely towards the end when we hear the song once more, as Batman battles a pack of Riddler's loyal followers.

But the song's original meaning is perhaps even darker. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was known for his bare, confessional lyrics, which never shied away from talking about haunting subject matter.

Something In The Way alludes to Cobain's rough upbringing, precisely when he had to live under a bridge after being kicked out of his house.

Right with the opening line, "Underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak," Kurt begins to narrate the dark story of the homelessness he experienced in his youth.

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A look at the harrowing mundanity of his existence follows, with the lines, "The animals I've trapped have all become my pets, and I'm living off of grass."

The repeated refrain of "...something in the way," sung by Cobain in his trademark haunting vocal style, reflects his emotional turmoil. He's seeking a way out of his bleak situation, but he is held back by something blocking his way.

Just as Bruce himself is getting in the way of the symbol, he wants Batman to become. The song plays right when Bruce spots the Mayor's son, the same person who spotted his dead father. The piece highlights Bruce's inability to unpack his trauma and hide behind his alter ego instead.

The song is also eerily prophetic due to its inclusion on the set of Nirvana's iconic MTV Unplugged performance shortly before Cobain tragically took his own life in 1994. Cobain whispered the vocals so softly during this particular tune that Butch Vig, the band's producer, had to turn the recording equipment up to maximum volume.

The song's inclusion in The Batman is another testament to Nirvana's everlasting impact on popular music in their short yet incredible stint.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar