“Violet” is my Favorite Hole Song. It is also one of my all-time Favorite Songs. It was written by Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson, in 1991, and performed live during Hole’s 1991-1992 early tours. It then became Track 1 on Hole’s second Studio Album, Live Through This, which came out in 1994.
Later, it was Released as Hole’s seventh Single, third from Live Through This. “Violet”, as a Single, was Released in January 1995. This was after the June 1994 death of bandmate Kristen Pfaff. (from Wikipedia)
Courtney Love may be polarizing, she may be controversial, and sometimes she may do things that are unlikable, but many of us are all that, as well, just without the notice of the world. No matter what, I have a forever and always place in my heart for Courtney, and a shared sort of kinship with her. Her daughter and my oldest are the same age, and we also both lost our husbands to addiction and suicide, something that is not so easy to live through.
Her music with Hole, though, helped me live through it, and a lot more. Hole songs still help me live. In many ways, “Violet” especially.
“Violet” by Hole
from the Album, Live Through This (1994)
“You should learn when to go.
You should learn how to say no.”
Courtney Love has often said that “Violet” is about her 1990 relationship with Billy Corgan, the frontman of Smashing Pumpkins.
“Violet” peaked at #29 on the Billboard‘s Modern Rock Tracks after the Album’s Release in 1994, and is considered one of Hole’s most well-known and critically recognized Songs. (from Wikipedia)
The Cover Artwork (see above) for “Violet” features a Victorian “mourning portrait” of a deceased young girl taken from the historical archives of Stanley B. Burns.
“Violet” has inspired so much writing of mine. A character from my novel-in-process idolizes Courtney and Hole. I’ve written at least a dozen poems listening to this Song, as well. Here’s one:
Down in the bottom of last week’s laundry
still tangled and mismatched
I found half a ticket stub from 1995
Faded, but I could still make out the date,
though not the band.
I know it was yours, though.
I know it was some kind of sign.
I want to give you a festival of music,
Shake out the sky like an old beach blanket,
letting the stars just flake and fly away.
We could grab our grade school watercolors,
dug out of the bottom of purple backpacks,
and start again,
with this world.
Let’s start again with the sky.
I slip on a black lace top,
We all have secrets.
We all have scars.
I bet you still smoke that same old brand.
Still smell of rosemary and cheap aftershave,
tobacco and sweat.
I’ll have a beer please,
hold the ashtray,
but not the coins for the jukebox.
Remember being wired out of our minds,
you and I?
Climbing up train tunnels,
This one could be a wedding band.
As you smeared eyeliner across your face.
“So pretty, Miss Kitty.
Yeah, I’m sure those scratches will heal.”
I keep finding remnants.
Paper thin memories while the clock ticks away.
I know I write too much of love,
of intimated desperation.
As if this heart is the only thing worth bleeding into words.
Is that his old jacket?
Your red dress?
My left shoe?
I want to throw it all into some winding river,
in the South,
someplace I’ve never been.
Dunk my head in.
Baptize me clean.
Sew on a pair of hand-me-down wings.
Lose myself at the crossroads of Jazz Musicians,
Or maybe just do nothing.
Nothing at all.
“When they get what they want,
they never want it again.”