Primus - Coattails Of A Dead Man Lyrics

He wasn't lookin' for fanfare or fame
but it all came around just the same.
He then met a girl with desire in her eye,
he gave her love, she took his name.

The times they were good, the times they were bad,
most times it was just in between.
The hard pill he swallowed was the times that they had,
she put on display for all to be seen.

Some find their solace in work or the lord,
she was quite content in her dream.
When his eyes they burned from the bright lime light,
he found comfort in the bottle of Ol' Jimmy Beam.

One day from the depths of his deep darkened hole,
he reached out for something to feel.
She offered back nothin' but lack of respect
so he left himself out with two barrels of steel.

She cried in the day, she cried in the night.
She cried loudest when someone was near.
Whether crying for him or she cried for herself,
the bigger the camera, the bigger the tear.

Most folks agree that she was living a hell
and publicly she showed her pain.
And never once was there a thought for herself,
and the ever-growing slices of fortune and fame.

Now on the coattails of a dead man she'll ride
on the coattails of a dead man she'll ride.
On the coattails of a dead man she'll ride she'll ride,
on the coattails of a dead man she'll ride she'll ride high.

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Primus Coattails Of A Dead Man Comments
  1. Levi Nunya

    I enjoy this song but it’s mean. I genuinely believe Courtney loved Kurt. Imagine if your loved one killed themselves and people wrote songs like this! I don’t know these people, but this song still seems mean.

  2. jose falquez

    3:04 El Duce screaming, i understood that reference lol

  3. Sofia T

    perfect lyrics

  4. Branko Miric

    2019. she still rides

  5. Kris Frederick

    Must be 29 Courtney fans still out there huh?

  6. Kris Frederick

    Give Tom a couple cocktails and instant pirate

  7. ryanjofre

    Rip Kurt. We know Courtney murdered you!!!!!

  8. Logan Bme

    I’ll be the first to admit that I saw this on the video about 13 songs that were most likely about C.Love

  9. Ty Love

    This has to be the most brutal takedown of Courtney Love ever.

  10. Paegr

    This could be rewritten about Xxxtentacion

  11. Harold E Williams

    Funny as hell so dam true full of facts

  12. Steven Rogers


  13. the_demiurge

    What setting is that on the Mellotron? Sounds like strings. Love the warble.

  14. Alejandro Peralez

    I’ve been addicted to this song lately. An unfortunate story filled with ugly truths.

  15. Richard Reed

    Christ can't any of you idiots just say damn these guys are good or wow great bass work fuckin let it go he wacked himself or got wacked let it go Primus sucks

  16. Skyclaw

    Cuntney Love, you evil MURDERER.

  17. voteZDLR

    It's so obviously about Kurt but it still took me the longest time to put that together lol. But because it's so obvious think it's pretty safe to assume that Courtney Love and Primus are not on speaking terms.


    He gave her love she took his name.

    Kris Frederick

    My friend who showed me the song so, I cheated.


    Kris Frederick yea me too

  18. Phil Leotardo

    Interesting song about Love, but these song is so gross to listen to. Like it sounds horrible

    Tartuffe the Spry Wonder Dog

    Just blow in from Stupid Town?


    I agree I love primus but this is just plain awful.

  19. IronheadOfScroteus

    This would make a great pirate song.

    matthew ellis

    Well duh its a sea shanty


    @matthew ellis Actually, it's more of a carnival song. Puts me in mind of some twisted fucker in a top hat telling me to roll right up to see the freaks.

  20. Mark Drinkard

    Tom Waites ,I loved your stuff forever,but now your in with the Hollywood slimeballs, should have stuck with art instead of politics

  21. King Loser

    3:03 is that meant to be El Duce/Eldon Hoke or a hint toward him? hmm

    Space Alien Jesus

    It is
    The end of his interview about kurt

  22. MrsPaul

    How many songs is that about Courtney now? This one, Professional Widow, I'll Stick Around, Hollaback Girl, Starfuckers Inc, Too Cool Queenie -- did I miss any?

    King Loser

    You Know What You Are by NIN (with Dave Grohl, yo)

    El Jefe

    Stacked Actors


    Starfuckers, Inc

  23. Aidan Gettel

    This song is amazing! It was quite jarring to hear this in the midst of the thrash metal tone of the rest of the album.

    Ryan Marks

    Between you and me my name is secretly Aidan too

  24. Reverend Benzo

    Didn't she recently do a "It's the anniversary of Kurt's death. love Me" kind of thing?

  25. Macaview

    This could fundamentally be about most Rock & Roll relationships. Jim Morrison and his broad Pamela, to some extend Elvis and Priscilla. I don’t think it’s about Court & Kurt.


    Yes because Elvis and Jim Morrison are famous for letting themselves out with two barrels of steel. /s

    Ebin Ecks Dee

    Yeah nah mate this is definitely about Kurt and Courtney

  26. The Wedge

    I wonder if Kurt liked Primus? He was always into weird shit.

    King Loser

    like Abba

    Marvin Harrison Smith II

    Dave Grohl said that he and the band wore out their cassette of _Sailing the Seas of Cheese_ when it came out, so I would think that he was a fan.

    really dude

    Marvin Harrison Smith II love the thought of them listening to Primus

    Kris Frederick

    Curious to know too

  27. Lucifer 666

    Primus Sucks!!

  28. Katarina Stojkovic

    Female voice is the great Martina Topley-Bird! Love!

  29. PublicWifi

    Cobain, Kurt. Love, Courtney. Just mashing up the usual comments.

  30. nat jonestower

    Not so subtle. Check out "too cool queenie, STP". Also not so subtle.


    ...that Tom?

    Juan Mendoza

    S Jones
    Tom Waits Played The Mellotron And The 2nd Voice Here

    mani cole

    so it is him! always tripped out on that

  32. Zarko Kilibarda

    Primus: SUCKS!!!

    Soylent Ramen


  33. White Bug

    WC Experience brought me here!

  34. Bint Firm 1882

    Funny he think's Kurt topped himself with a double barrel shot gun....When really Courtney had him killed one million percent without a shadow of a doubt. Primus Sucks.

    AUroRA BoReAliS

    @voteZDLR I read and watched a lot of stuff and I didn't learn a lot in this podcast but at least someone finally gathered a lot of source, and that's cool. I also watched a lot about courtney love and other people who were around at that time, and there is useful information to find there. I don't want to spent my money on it but I wish I could read Courtney's mother book and also Eric Erlandson poetry book.


    @AUroRA BoReAliS Well I can probably help you find the books for free if you'd like, whether in Kindle format or in normal PDF, either way. Anyway, one thing I do make clear always is that I don't like or trust Courtney Love either but it's for both of those reasons that I don't realistically think she could ever get away with something like that this long. Then the main thing is not even his bandmates or friends or family members believe he was murdered. That says the most of all to me.

    Cyanide Jellyfish

    Primus suck

    Tartuffe the Spry Wonder Dog

    @Aurora Fiona Actually, it means they love Primus. Google it.

    AUroRA BoReAliS

    oh, the joke wasn't so [email protected] the Spry Wonder Dog

  35. Doomhat2113

    Clearly about Courtney Love

    Aaron Legg

    I wish I could post the "You don't Say..." meme right now. Bummer huh?

  36. phatmemes

    rip kurt, she still rides.

    King Loser

    that's the joke

    Jimmy Rustler

    Seriously, this is like the 3rd or fourth song I know that takes a jab at the Kurt/Courtney affair! Really puts the impact of the controversy of his death into perspective.


    Jimmy Rustler there’s so many it’s ridiculous

    Kris Frederick

    On and on

  37. lot24

    Okay, if "Tommy the Cat" is Tom Waits appearing on a Primus song, this is an example of Primus appearing on a Tom Waits song.
    WHY have they never made an album together?

    Daniel Landry

    I've asked the same question...Tom singing the whole song would be best thing ever!!!

    mindre begavet

    @theFrizzleFry he played on 1 song there, but he has played on later albums, do your fucking research you lazy bastard


    Tom waits for no man...

    Kris Frederick

    They flirt, like Tool and the Melvins. Or Tool and Deftones.

  38. Belle Of Kilronan

    The yell at the end of the outro sounds the same as El Duce's "arrgh" sound he made at the end an interview with Nick Bloomfield for the Kurt & Courtney film. Did anyone else pick that up?

  39. John Monigold

    I had thought you were referring to the whole song being sung by him.

  40. Marsh The Mime

    She was quite content in her greed :3

  41. John Monigold

    that is led on can anybody mistake that.


    +John Monigold Tom Waits plays the Mellotron and joins vocals later into the song. He also produced this. Source: CD Booklet

  42. Ryan Siefert

    Courtney Love


    Kate and Gerry McCann also.

    Cosmic Portals

    exactly right, them two dirtbags cashed in on their own daughters death

    Damianous Roadkill

    For Sure...Describes the cunt perfectally

  43. JaffaCakes

    other than a few Mr. Bungle songs, this is the most different song i will sing along to. always look forward to the hidden track 3 minutes after this on the cd.

    Everyday Deckienson

    @zyphoid666 The heckler

  44. TheMonsterGroovy

    Favorite song on the album........

    Chuckk Hubbard

    Yeah. this album was kind of a letdown, and this was the "secret" track that wasn't listed.

  45. daedalus0702

    Kurt Cobain.

    Meesta Bond

    i was beginning to think i was the only one who made that connection

    Julie Gordon

    I've said this ever since the album was released. Glad others see the obvious reference, too.


    meesta bond God especially the he let himself out with two barrels of steel line

  46. 420Slaterson

    Les Claypool and Tom Waits, the two ultimate love em or hate em voices, singing together.


  47. Frizzle Fry

    @dispatchx311 look up the Heckler Im guessing he didnt put it in cuz its not really coattails. just a hidden track at the end

  48. dispatchx311

    where is the full song the ending to the real song is fucking sick

  49. Elisa Gui Pazos

    @ig88ftw Not once alcoholism is mentioned in the music. Kurt was a drinker. A bottle of booz is mentioned.

    Booz is used quite often to anaesthesiate one's mind to all his problems.

    Second: To be direct is to ask for a law sue.

  50. ig88ftw

    Not about Kurt. Kurt was a heroin addict, the person in this song is an alcoholic...

    Bint Firm 1882

    the song is about kurt and courtney, the clue is in the lyric ''He gave her love, and she took his name''


    They couldnt make it that obvious

    King Loser

    Mr Specific gonna get funked

  51. Brad Smith

    @pr0phat69 I was a little slow on that one lol

  52. Cody Scott

    @uofksteel No Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain...thus the shotgun part

  53. James McCabe

    Not only did Tom play and do vocals, he also produced this track.

  54. Brad Smith

    is this song talking about Yoko?

    Bint Firm 1882

    kurt kobain an courtney love

  55. Ricardo Gonzalez

    Claypool està loquisimo GRACIAS A DIOS ...
    de que modo sino se podrìa explicar las melodias y cosas que perpetra ???

  56. John EP

    Tom Waits and Les Claypool make such awesome music when they are together

  57. Mike Bogle

    @amsyco She may not have literally taken his name, but she certainly did take possession of it. Nothing with Curt Cobain's face on it is released without Love throwing a fit.

    Nick Jones

    She did literally take his name. Courtney Love-Cobain

  58. Joel

    @Vinilguy its called the heckler

  59. dissident93

    @gerardLOVEeyeliner Antipop. 1999

  60. Porterhaus


  61. Doomhat2113

    I think it's cool Tom Waits plays and does some vocals on this track. One of my favorites!

  62. Katie Moore

    can someone tell me when this song was released?

  63. kobrakai187

    @bugsteak agreed but the song explicit states he shot himself with a shotgun (two barrels of steel) which is Cobain. Also, Cobain wasn't looking for fortune or fame and the old dude she married was just filthy rich but not famous. Obviously, there are plenty of women riding the coattails of a dead man...

  64. Robert

    I think everyone should tweet this @CourtneyLoveUK

  65. Mark Morrison

    Most of Primus without Tim "Herb" Alexandar was crap...they had to turn to Tom Waits to finally come up with something outstanding. Fortunately, he didn't disappoint.

  66. Vintage Looks

    Play this song to freak out your grandparents!


    Vintage Looks or Polly

  67. brendinoglackino

    @bugsteak let himself out with two barrels of steel should say other wise

  68. JCMoney

    @merbywerby Not too sure what you are talking about, as it was featured on The Antipop, and The Frog Brigade didn't form until 2000...a year after The Antipop was released.

  69. merbywerby

    @TheOmnipotentPirate its not technically a primus song, it is a 'frog brigade' song , a les claypool band

  70. Katie Moore

    She cried in the day, she cried in the night.
    She cried loudest when someone was near.
    reminds me of the witch from left for dead , just sayin.

  71. MrArmface

    Heard this song and the second part is just epic! Primus are the one.

  72. eaznutts

    I think this song is about my ex girl friend

  73. Romeowasbleeding1

    This song could have only one improvement... more TW.

  74. Romeowasbleeding1

    @greyunicorn98 Lol!!!!

    It's Tom Waits :D

  75. specc

    He wasn't lookin' for fanfare or fame
    but it all came around just the same.
    He then met a girl with desire in her eye,
    her name is Courtney Love,he was Kurt Cobain

  76. zachary reyes

    dos tom waits sing on any other song in this album?

  77. skinnydoggyz

    @Vinilguy it's called the heckler, it's also on Suck On This

  78. Head Splatter

    There is a Bonus ,
    (She´s the) Matter of Opinion
    Anti-Pop Cd last track - 6:17min.

  79. TheBeastWithin6

    @ahturas I wanna hear the 10 minute one where can I find it?

  80. Alos21

    I Have a lovely Pair of Coconuts !!!

  81. Felipe Nova Venturelli

    la wa lokaa hermanoo

  82. jayfatha

    The bigger the camera the bigger the tear... fuck courtney love.

  83. Unikrom

    @greyunicorn98 Tom Waits

  84. Joshua Bailey

    who is that pirate that keeps yelling?


    It's the singer who did Moon Over Dog Street. Do you know that one?

  85. Dillbob1

    TOM WAITS!!!

  86. gregthecoolnerd

    Holy crap, this made highest rated comments. That's pretty neat.

  87. The Nile Ue Ue Fly

    @Dillbob1 Indeed it is.

  88. Dillbob1

    @jek21 whice if im not mistaken is the heckler

  89. sabaton liam

    so pirate this song ^^

  90. Julian h

    idt its personally about one certain marriage, im prty sure its just about the whole situation, which occurs fairly often.

  91. The Nile Ue Ue Fly

    @ahturas That's because on the album there's a secret track at the end.

  92. thedistillers27

    Just heard this song and I'm 24. I love it.

  93. gregthecoolnerd

    No, the most likely interpretation is that it's about Kurt Cobain and that after his death, Courtney Love pretty much capitalized on her having been married to him.

  94. Wesley Patrick

    the 10 min one (sorry for 2 posts)

  95. Wesley Patrick

    where can I get that version?

  96. th1nd

    I already made another reply saying that I found out that it was from '98.

  97. th1nd

    hold on, nevermind. this album came out in '99, my mistake.

  98. th1nd

    this album came out in 1991, I think.....Kobain killed himself in '94.

  99. LordSpleach

    I'm sure thats true.