9 Iconic Rock Song Lyric Changes You Didn’t Know About


2. Stay Away – Nirvana


Nirvana’s single from their album “Nevermind” “Stay Away” was originally titled “Pay to Play”. In the literal sense,  “pay for play” is a phrase used to describe situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage in certain activities. When Kurt Cobain was writing the lyrics to”Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Stay Away” was still called “Pay to Play.” The original title might have had a sort of derogatory implication, as it also refers to a trend in the music industry where venue owners charge an up-front fee to performing artists for the use of their facilities. Performers are required to guarantee a minimum attendance through pre-show ticket sales, thus the term “pay-to-play gigs”.  It was producer Barrett Jones who suggested “stay away” for the lyric change when it was included in the “Nevermind” album.


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