Nine Inch Nails: Head Like a Hole Meaning
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Song Released: 1990
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Head Like a Hole Lyrics
God money just tell me what you want me to.
God money nail me up against the wall.
God money don't want everything he wants it all.
No you can't take it
No you can't take it
No you can't take that away...
anonymous Nov 25th 2019 report
This song seems to be a reference to Matthew 6:24- "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money". The first part of the song is sung to the master you love (God/Money) while the chorus and second half of the song are sung to the master you despise (God/Money).
"Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve."
He expresses what most people go for... money and the addiction to it how much that a person can be a slave to money. He then finds out the cost of making money your god & he fights against god money saying no you can't take that away! By now he's seen god money in full light and is expressing the horrors of what god money is really like and his feelings of the horror of being under the control of god money. I'd rather die!!! If you serve an evil master or let something take mastery over you you will get what you deserve. God money doesn't give a shit about anyone it will leave you broken, bruised and alone just like everyone else when it comes down to it it doesn't matter how rich, how much prestige, how long you have been serving, god money will toss you out in a second without thinking twice!
anonymous Jul 12th 2017 report
God Money's not looking for the cure, god money's not concerned about the sick among the pure, god money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised, god money's not one to choose... - it's about TV evangelists
anonymous Oct 17th 2014 report
The several is about someone being beholden to the interests of money. This is to say, either the speaker is willing to do anything to attain more money or he is willing to do anything to be paid by those who have power over him via money. To say he is a slave would be a misstatement, as a slave is not paid. However, given that the speaker is willing to do "anything," I would say the better comparison is to a whore.
The next stanza is basically just him reiterating, "No, you can't take it/No you can't take that away from me," showing fear of loss. Specifically, it would seem that the potential loss is that of money. However, if we are willing to make a bit of a jump, we might conclude he is also referring to status. Money is the prime means by which we gain status in society. In the first stanza, the speaker does whatever necessary to make his money, perhaps even resorting to sacrificing his own pride and moral code. Now that he has some degree of power, he refuses to give it up, as he ultimately wants to both keep this and use it to gain more. Also, let's recognize that money is synonymous with power.
"Head like a hole" can mean a few different things. First, it could be synonymous with the word "brainless," meaning that the person in question is unintelligent or ignorant. Second, it could be synonymous with "figurehead" or "mouthpiece," meaning that the person in question is essentially a talking head serving the will of their puppet master, who is the one truly in control. This would seem very likely, given the context. Lastly, it could be referring to oral sex. Without being too graphic, generally for a man to derive sexual pleasure, he needs a "hole" for which to insert his penis. If someone has a "head like a hole," it means that the emphasis of their being is not on their brain, but rather on their mouth, the largest hole on someone's head. Therefore, it could be said that the speaker or the person the speaker is referring to is performing metaphorical fellatio on the person the one with the money, which reemphasizes the theme of being a whore. "Black as your soul" is less meaningful and can basically be taken at face value. Regardless of which meaning you choose to accept in the previous line (or you could accept all of them simultaneously), this line is meant to point out how wrong any of those behaviors are. "I'd rather die than give you control" could either be the speaker rebelling from those who wish to control him, or the speaker speaking from the standpoint of the whore towards those would seek to challenge him for his position in the hierarchy. If the second case is true, he is basically saying that he is willing to fight to keep others below him, rather than fighting to become his own master.
"Bow down before the one you serve" is emphasizing the themes of control and subservience. "You're going to get what you deserve" refers either to punishment for a lack of cooperation or reward for subordination, or both.
When the song repeats its lyrical pattern, the only new lyrics are found in the first section. This time these lines are focused on the apathy of the rich for the well-being of others (such as "the sick among the pure"). Alternatively, it could be said that it is an argument against capitalism, saying that money is an entity that naturally persecutes those who are unable to attain enough of it. Meanwhile those who are able to attain it get to enjoy privileges "on the backs of the bruised".
I believe it is important to note that the singer's tone changes a great deal throughout the song, and this is perhaps the most telling way to understand what exactly is being communicated throughout the song. In the first stanza, he sings at a normal speaking volume but his words flow in a manner I think would be best described as "slimey" or "slippery." This would suggest the speaker here is a greasy car-salesman type, someone who is willing to stoop to new lows to acquire more money. In the next stanza, the speaker becomes somewhat angry as he becomes louder and starts to actually yell as he repeats his lines over and over again. This could either be a different speaker who is angry at the notion that he should lay down his honor at the chance of money like everyone else is doing, or it is someone who has money/power who feels threatened at the presence of others competing with him for more money/power. Next he begins shouting a slough of insults and refusals to give control. These lines are most likely coming from the same speaker of the previous lines. At this point, the speaker has reached his climax of anger, either at his would-be masters or at his challengers. The final stanza is sung in a loud voice, but it is not what I would call yelling. Rather, it is a booming voice that pronounces syllables more clearly. This is meant to reflect authority. This part of the song is the master (God Money perhaps?) stepping in to (depending on your interpretation) punish the upstart rebel or encourage continued subservience to him.
The fact that the final lines in the song come from this last stanza (Bow down before the one you serve/You're going to get what you deserve), and is augmented with cries of what could be described as anguish, suggests to me that the song has a pessimistic view of the situation and is essentially saying that the system of control will most often win out over any threat to it.
anonymous Jan 9th 2013 report
I love how "god money" nearly suggests "got milk" as a marketing campaign that is clearly devised by PR agents to milk the cash cow and how this nearly reaches "god-like" status among the masses...I mean, how many celebrities have been photographed with a milk mustache? Wasn't there some autrocious pregnant woman in the nude with a big fat milk mustache? Got milk? HA! Just like what her unborn child would say....disgusting...but hey, his little face will soon be on the cover and not the back advertisement.
This song is basically saying how mindless not only the pushers of the media in absolutely every sector; hollywood, politics, technology, internet ect are to generate multimillion dollar empires while concurrently milking the cow aka us, their souls are just as void as their minds...however, we, the consumers funnel that shit up and PAY for it!
Nevermind the rant, Reznor is also saying that the industry may want to transform him into the the same cash cow while they churn out a millions of dollars worth of sweltering shit, he says no! He won't sell his soul for money or fame! Rock on Reznor and may we all benefit from what your songmeaning suggests!
Holy cow! Beautiful up yours to them hillz...both of the onez who capitalize for gain....washington? hollywood? It's all the same....
anonymous Aug 19th 2011 report
I believe that this song may serve to point out the greed and materialism of tv evangelists
anonymous Apr 20th 2011 report
Your head is a hole? WTF??!>?@!
anonymous Dec 4th 2009 report
This song is about greed and materialism.
My interpretation of this song:
Trent might be speaking of the government and, of course, money. I think he is trying to bring to light money is just an object to buy objects, and it fuels the things humans should be steering clear of.. Such as greed, the need to control and be in power, materialism, jealousy, anger, stress, and many more. Money causes problems, in other words. Maybe that's what he's saying. We should be less concerned with materialistic things, and more concerned with finding the meaning and purpose we all thrive to discover, without thinking of money-oriented motives.
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