Nine Inch Nails: Only Meaning
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Song Released: 2005
And well you might say
I'm losing focus
Kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself
Sometimes I think I can see right through myself [x2]
Sometimes I can see right...
anonymous Aug 11th, 8:02pm report
It's about realizing that a lot of the pain and despair that consumes him is self-made. It doesn't come from an outside source, it's not a tragic tale of the world pushing him down, there is no antagonist to his story besides himself.
"There is no you," (all the "You's" he has vented his frustrations upon in past album,) "There is only me." (Taking responsibility that he is the creator of his misfortune.)
"I just made you up to hurt myself," is admission to this. He projected all his pain onto entities, so he could seethe in it, instead of moving on.
With Teeth is the rehabilitation album for NIN, and the end result of all the previous albums. It's the destination of their journey, where Trent comes to term with his truths, and finds a somber acceptance to them.
anonymous May 1st, 2018 5:56pm report
I had the realization today, this song's lyrics fit perfectly into the voice of the Narrator on Fight Club. Every bit of it. It's as if this is jack's raging nihlism.
Fun fact, video was directed by David Fincher...who directed Fight Club.
anonymous Jun 20th, 2016 6:20pm report
This song says "there is no yo there is only me" I believe he is saying that there is no you or me. all humanity is one, were like a cancer growing on earth destroying earth piece by piece. all humans do is reproduce and keep reproducing and continue to destroy.
anonymous Nov 8th, 2015 11:52pm report
Now, I hate it when people alway interpret songs lyrics to be abou drugs but I think this might be able drugs. "A dot caught my eye and it turned out to be a scab and I had this funny like I knew it was something bad. I just kept picking at the scab..."
When people are on drugs, the constantly think something is one their skin and constantly pick at it (even when it gets to the point they are bleeding) until some one stops them.
"Now I am somewhere I am not supposed to be, and I can see things I know I really shouldn't see..." That line has a few things to do with drugs.
However, I don't think the whole song is based off drugs. I think it may be about some one who goes in denail about the world and resorts to a bad decision.
After the fragile, trent got clean. I think all his songs now are about the kind of introspection that goes along with recovery. only is a universal idea we all have at one time or another where we wonder if everything is just a figment of our imagination.
sometimes we have lofty expectations of others, our lovers and we set ourselves up for failure. I think that flavor is here as well. I just made you up (you as I expect you to become, as you should or ought to be) to hurt myself.
In this song, Trent is trying to show that most of us at one point or another have or create an alter ego of ourselves. Changing completely and usually for the worst. He fights this in the chorus by saying "There is no you, there is only me." It's all psychological and meaningful, by far my favorite NIN song.
anonymous Apr 8th, 2008 4:13pm report
In the last two stanza he sings "Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye and it turned out to be a scab"...meth head pick at the face and scabs.....the rest of the lyrics describes exactly what it feels like when you have been up for days on meth...you can stand for hours just staring in the mirror wondering who the hell you are...Thanks
anonymous Mar 9th, 2008 3:37am report
Trent Reznor was quoted as saying he didn't like the person he was live in concert. He believes he has created a different personality for his fans' entertainment, in this song he is expressing his distaste for personas and what the world wants you to be. It should be noted that after the without teeth album and North American winter tour he has been more creative in a shorter time span than before. He also seems to have been able to focus on world events more than his personal issues.
anonymous Jan 20th, 2008 1:34am report
I think this song is about getting so hurt by the world that you want to believe that it doesn't exist:
"There is no you there is only me"
The song clearly states that he was hurt by either a person or the world:
"Because you were never really real, to begin with, I just made you up to hurt myself. And it worked, yes it did!"
It also shows that he's given up on the world because he thinks it's so corrupt and only hurts people:
"Less concerned! About fitting into the world! Your world that is. Cuz it doesn't really matter anymore, none of this. Really matters anymore"
It also shows that he's losing himself and all his emotions:
"I'm becoming less defined! As days go by. Drifting away! And well, you might say, I'm losing focus. Kinda drifting in the abstract, in terms of how I see myself...sometimes, I think I can see right through myself"
I think that weird part where he talks about a scab is a metaphor referring to emotional wound that is so bad that he's gotten used to it and he never wants it to end because it's the only real thing that he's got left to feel. Because now there is nothing else but him in his lonely world.
That's just my opinion. I think it's a deeper song than most people think. You just have to put yourself in his position. The video 4 this song is sweet too. I also think that it's AMAZING that Trent Reznor does all of the NIN stuff alone. NIN ROKKS!
I don't follow NIN to closely, but I do enjoy Trent's talent in writing music and lyrics. Great song.
"Only" seems to me like a song condemning the world layed out created for us by followers of "God". It seems like he feels like an outsider, for instance, he says "Less concerned with fitting in the world, your world that is...cause it doesn't really matter". And who can forget --- THERE IS NO YOU THERE IS ONLY ME. You might as well substitute God for every time "you" is said in this song.
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