Who Wrote “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not”?

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Who Wrote “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not”?
A lot of people say Kurt Cobain or André Gide or even Marilyn Monroe, and some even say it was me.

 

 

Before dealing with the other claims I’ll tell you why I got to wondering if it was me for a while. In 1990 I wrote a song called This is Me, and in it you can hear the lines “You may say that it’s a problem I’ve got, but I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not”. Those lines didn’t make it on to the final track which you can hear using the link near the bottom of this page, however they did exist on my website from 2005 and in earlier versions of the song which got shared around.  You can hear one of these versions in a recording which you can listen to using the media player button just below. The lines are sung in the last quarter of the song. This was recorded on to cassette (a copyright evidenced version does exist) Be warned, it’s a pretty ropey early version.

 

 

This was written before the Internet was available to the masses however references to these lines did exist online later on, especially when in 2005 I wrote a page on my website with the lines on that can be checked here:

http://www.simonsdiary.co.uk/written%20work/autobiography/autobiographychapter8.htm

Given these lines did not become well known before the last decade was it possible that these were my lines? Even I wasn’t sure, so who wrote it originally, me or someone else, or was it just an example of Zeitgeist in action? Of course, it is possible that even though similar versions had been written by others, my exact phrase got used and attributed to Kurt Cobain by someone who stumbled on my lines, but then again, probably not. (Although so far I have not been able to find any real evidence of  Kurt Cobain writing or saying this phrase so if you know where it can be found please say so in the comments and I will modify this article accordingly.)

It’s most likely that the lines “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” were published by André Gide in Autumn Leaves in the 1950’s and were later either actually written by or paraphrased by Kurt Cobain if he really did say / write them. Given evidence of André Gide writing this proves he wrote this decades beforehand, it’s probably true then neither Kurt, Marilyn or I can take any credit for being the first to write them, but then again maybe André “borrowed” the lines too. The point I’m making is that what we often presume is a fact is only deemed so because as the cliche goes, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”, and as Abraham Lincoln said “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet”

 

 

The thing is, many of us are doing it, and not only are we doing it, but we are choosing to do it. Yesterday I saw two posts from friends which I knew were inaccurate and aimed at causing either anti muslim or anti-white feelings. I didn’t want to point out the issue because the day beforehand I had posted a Snopes false story page under someone’s post and they had reacted very aggressively. It’s as if we have entered an era when truth is the first casualty of peace.

 

 “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” were published by André Gide in Autumn Leaves in the 1950's, so if that's true then neither Kurt, Marilyn or I can take the credit.

Even Shakespeare probably didn’t write Shakespeare, if you want to see what I mean click anywhere on this paragraph. The writers of “Shakespeare Unravelled” believe a lot of different people wrote most of the plays. So if that’s true, and even if it isn’t, false attribution has probably been going on from the beginning of time… I mean who created time in the first place? There seems to be a lot of different attributions when it comes to that subject.

So if we can generally never really be sure who should be credited for what, then does that idea of us “leaving our mark” get undermined somewhat? I mean even if people do attribute something we did to our name, is the name that echoes out in to the future after we have died, is it really us, or just as much a stranger to who we really are than if it had been another name? If there is any truth in that then I kind of get the feeling that the marks we really make are with those we brush up against in our lives as well as all the visible and invisible ripples that come from us, whose consequences we will probably never fully know. That all of us have significance no matter how insignificant we may feel in the grand scheme of things is actually the real truth of the matter.

Thanks for reading, there are a few related links and some further information below.

You can hear more of my music by using the player on the right (at the top of this page) or by clicking here

Thanks for visiting… Please link up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Simonmarksmith

 

Simon Mark Smith May 2017

 

 

My original lyrics are below along with a link to the final song.

 

 

 

http://www.simonsdiary.co.uk/written%20work/Lyrics/completelyrics.html#ThisIsMe

This Is Me

Copyright Simon Mark Smith 15 March ’90

Now I don’t know if how I feel
Was born of dreams or to die for real
I’ve got this feeling deep inside
I’m longing for you to hold me tight

0h hold me tight

Like a poet in the garden
Sleeping by a pool
Of tears he stole
With a joke so cruel

0h tell me lies

Now I don’t know if I’m strong or weak
To let my heart so openly speak

But this is me

Oh tell me lies

But this is me

But this is ME!

I’d like to tell you the truth
That my heart beats hard for you
I’d like to tell you the truth
That my heart beats fast for you

Now can’t you see that all I have to do
Is open my mouth
And say the wrong thing to you
Now can’t you see that all I have to do

Is open my heart
And say the wrong thing to you
And I will never see you again
I will never see you again.

Oh call it a day

This is me this is me
I am more than you see
Don’t Tell Me Lies
0h tell me lies

You may say that it’s a problem I’ve got
But I’d rather be hated for who I am
Than loved
For who I am not

 

Lead vocals: S. Smith.
Backing vocals: L E Wilson.
Keyboards drums and percussion: S. Smith.
Bass guitar: Floyd Jackson.
Acoustic guitar on intro: Ian Owles.
All other guitars: Dave Lawson.
Piano programming: Phlippe Wittwer; S. Smith.
Mixed by N Fuller; S Smith; V. Parrett.

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