Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden Song Meaning

The summer of 1994 was sad for rock fans, because shortly before that, in April, Kurt Cobain, the leader of Nirvana, committed suicide. Because of his death, a painful atmosphere reigned in the music world.

But life went on, and new songs took the top lines of the charts. One of the brightest compositions of that time was Black Hole Sun from Soundgarden’s album Superunknown.

The history and meaning of the song Black Hole Sun

Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden, wrote it in literally fifteen minutes. He was sure that his colleagues would not like the song, but it turned out that it pleased not only them, but also millions of listeners around the world and became the main discovery of that summer.

It was difficult even for the author to explain what the Black Hole Sun song is about. Cornell described the meaning of the composition thus:

It’s funny, because hits usually have some kind of coherent and identifiable idea, and in this song there is practically none. The words of the chorus are beautiful and easy to remember. But I did not understand them at all after I wrote them. The music just sucked me in and I painted the picture in words. They do not have a real idea that can be clearly stated.

But even this confession of Chris about the song did not prevent fans from somehow connecting it with the death of Cobain and the general state of affairs in rock music of that period.

This idea was especially prompted by the line “Times are gone for honest men” (“The times of honest people have passed”). On the other hand, many fans found Black Hole Sun to be a positive and even hilarious track, although Cornell denied such claims, calling it sad.

Release and achievements

Critics have recognized the success of the entire Superunknow album, but Black Hole Sun has become the most popular. After it was released as a single, it was heavily played by MTV and most music radio stations.

She topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks for seven weeks and performed well on many other charts. In 1995, Black Hole Sun was awarded a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

In addition, the VH1 channel included the song in the lists of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s (No. 25) and the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs (No. 77).

The Black Hole Sun solo is ranked #63 on the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos (Guitar World) and #56 on the Top 100 Hottest Guitar Solos (Total Guitar).

Videoclip of Black Hole Sun

The music video for “Black Hole Sun” won Best Metal Hard Rock Video at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.

Interesting Facts

  • There is a sculpture in Seattle called Black Hole Sun.
  • The song is found in several music-themed computer games (RockBand, SingStar 90 and others).
  • The Gretsch guitar, which Cornell plays in the Black Hole Sun video, as well as more than a dozen other instruments, almost went to his ex-wife after the divorce, but Chris still managed to sue them.

Black Hole Sun

In my eyes
In disguise
As no one knows
hide the face
Lies the snake
the sun
In my disgrace
boiler heat
summer stench
‘Neath the black
The sky looks dead
call my name
Through the cream
And I’ll hear you
Scream again

black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
black hole sun
Won’t you come x4

Cold and damp
Steal the warm wind
Tired friend
Times are gone
For honest men
And sometimes far too long
For snakes
In my shoes
Walking sleep
And my youth
I pray to keep
heaven send
hell away
No one sings
Like you

hang my head
Drown my fear
Till you all just

Black Hole Sun Lyrics

In my eyes
Hiding behind a mask
After all, no one knows
Hiding face,
Lies a snake
In my disfavor
boiling heat,
summer stench
Beneath the blackness
The sky seems to be dead
call my name
Through this foam
And I will hear
Again your cry

Sun from a black hole
Perhaps you will come
And wash away the rain.
Perhaps you will come? – 4 times

Cold and damp
Steal the warm wind
tired friend,
Times of Honest People
And for a long time
Now it’s time for the snakes
In my boots
I walk in my sleep
And my youth
I pray for her preservation
Heaven, drive away
Away hell
Nobody sings
How are you

I hung my head
drowned out the fear,
As long as you’re all simple
Don’t disappear

Song quote

The lyrics of the song are typical of Chris Cornell: the lines don’t make sense on paper, but it appears directly in the song.

Greg Prato, Allmusic

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