Amanda Palmer‘s tie to the world of theater is undeniable. She used to be a living statue in Harvard Square and put together a musical called The Onion Cellar in 2006. When I saw her play with drummer Brian Viglione as The Dresden Dolls once, she had the drama kids from her old school in Lexington, Mass. come out between sets to do little performance bits.
So it’s only fitting that Palmer gets really into the sinister story behind Nirvana‘s “Polly,” a track that won Kurt Cobain songwriting praise from Bob Dylan when it was first released on 1991’s Nevermind. Recorded at Yale University by Palmer, Chad Raines and Michael McQuilken for SPIN‘s tribute/compilation to the seminal Nirvana album last year, this version works to channel the original’s dark empathy. If you have been exposed to the history of this song before, you’ll understand why Palmer said the girl in the video “had quite an emotional ride during shooting.” You can buy the song for 50 cents (or more) here, and enjoy the video below.