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Closer
Nine Inch Nails Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you

(Help me) I broke apart my insides
(Help me) I've got no soul to sell
(Help me) the only thing that works for me
Help me get away from myself

I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God

You can have my isolation
You can have the hate that it brings
You can have my absence of faith
You can have my everything

(Help me) you tear down my reason
(Help me) it's your sex I can smell
(Help me) you make me perfect
Help me become somebody else

I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God

Through every forest
Above the trees
Within my stomach
Scraped off my knees
I drink the honey
Inside your hive
You are the reason
I stay alive

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Nine Inch Nail's song Closer are riddled with controversy and taboo sexual language, resulting in a provocative and polarizing song. Trent Reznor, the lead singer and songwriter, reveals his own personal demons and insecurities with sex and relationships. The opening lines "You let me violate you, You let me desecrate you, You let me penetrate you, You let me complicate you" suggest a dangerous and violent sexual relationship, where the singer is taking advantage of their partner's vulnerability. It also implies a sense of control and dominance over the other person.


The lyrics continue with "I wanna fuck you like an animal, I wanna feel you from the inside." This line reaffirms the earlier suggestion of having sex with their partner, but this time Reznor seems to be lower down, wanting to feel his partner's depths. The following line "My whole existence is flawed, You get me closer to God" is a testament to how this sense of liberation and release brings him closer to a higher power. It is as if his only way of feeling anything spiritual is through this primal and animalistic act.


The song's bridge highlights the idea of giving everything to his partner, from his isolation to his unbelief in God. The lines "You can have my isolation, You can have the hate that it brings, You can have my absence of faith, You can have my everything" are Reznor's way of conveying that his partner is all he needs, even if it's a destructive and violent relationship, because he finds some sort of spiritual connection through it. Overall, the lyrics to "Closer" are a harrowing and disturbing depiction of a person's struggles with sex and relationships, illustrating how these personal demons can still lead to profound experiences.


Line by Line Meaning

You let me violate you
You allow me to disregard your boundaries and take advantage of you.


You let me desecrate you
You permit me to defile and disrespect you.


You let me penetrate you
You allow me to invade your personal space and get too close to you.


You let me complicate you
You consent to letting me create problems and challenges in your life.


(Help me) I broke apart my insides
I'm struggling and falling apart on the inside.


(Help me) I've got no soul to sell
I'm empty and devoid of any meaningful identity or values to offer.


(Help me) the only thing that works for me
I'm desperate for something, anything, to make me feel better or distract me from my pain.


Help me get away from myself
Assist me in escaping from my own thoughts and emotions, which are causing me distress.


I wanna fuck you like an animal
I desire to have sex with you in a primal, animalistic way.


I wanna feel you from the inside
I want to experience an intense and intimate connection with you emotionally and physically.


My whole existence is flawed
My entire being is flawed and imperfect, and I'm struggling to cope with this realization.


You get me closer to God
Through the intense experience of sexual connection with you, I feel a temporary and fleeting sense of transcendence and spiritual elevation.


You can have my isolation
You can take my loneliness and separation from others.


You can have the hate that it brings
You can take the anger and resentment I feel towards the world and others.


You can have my absence of faith
You can take the lack of belief or trust I have in anything or anyone.


You can have my everything
You can take all of me, the good and the bad.


(Help me) you tear down my reason
You destroy my logic, rationale, and sense of self-control.


(Help me) it's your sex I can smell
I'm obsessively attracted to your sexual scent and presence.


(Help me) you make me perfect
You give me a sense of completeness and fulfillment that I can't find elsewhere.


Help me become somebody else
Assist me in transforming myself into someone or something different, where I won't feel so damaged or incomplete.


Through every forest
No matter how dark and uncertain life may be, I will find a way through it.


Above the trees
I will rise above my problems and limitations.


Within my stomach
Deep inside me, there is a hunger and a longing for something.


Scraped off my knees
I have been knocked down and hurt many times, but I keep getting up and trying again.


I drink the honey
I indulge in the sweet pleasures of life and love.


Inside your hive
I find safety and comfort in your presence.


You are the reason
You are the inspiration and motivation for me to keep going and live my life.


I stay alive
I keep going and fighting, despite all the pain and suffering, because of my love for you and the hope for a better tomorrow.




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Mohin Kann

Moien

Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@ugandanknuckles3900

@@osiris4457 I've heard TDS countless times.
I was referring to the imagery in the video.
It's symbolism within the context of the song- within the context of the album.

Closer is effectively the formative and culminative release the protagonist of the album feels, the only time that he really feels alive.
And what it means after; without.
It's a specific form of descent into madness. One that is all about escaping who somebody is- to become somebody or something they're not.
There's a reason The Ruiner is the next track on the list. It's the aftermath of this abstract notion taken to it's decay through the personification of the other- within the self. An inner representative entity that embodies the worst aspects of human nature. The ruiner is a collector he's an infector serving his sh*t to his flies.
You want what the Ruiner is giving you but you know it's wrong, you know it's apart of you, and you know fighting it won't win.

The moral is It's about coming to terms with your human nature, not fighting it.

From thereon the album takes a psychotic dive into depersonalization and a dissociative inhumane drive towards self destruction as the concept itself. The protagonist does not "make it". Whether physically or psychologically is audibly left to the listener.



All comments from YouTube:

@DaFuqBoom

"F" to those children who decide to get deep into discography of "Soul" composer.

@izanyzam5308

Never expected to see ya here bud! Awesome content

@OperatorMax1993

Quite a surprise to see your here

@LifeIsBayWatch

man, i was watching soul and then out of the blue i felt the need to listen to some NIN after years. i had no idea it was him ahah

@enriquesd69

I hope they will watch Broken movie

@esnideman

yo te conozco

92 More Replies...

@JackLiberty0

Just to clarify, the monkey in the video was not at all harmed, they gave him lots of bananas and love during the filming, the ASPCA was present during filming of the music video. The pig carcass was real, but it was purchased from a slaughterhouse and Trent Reznor regretted it because it smelled very bad.

@joshshrum2764

I know he has a heart, but it’s lovely to know the band helped him grow into a better person.

@user82938

One of the monkey trainers was arrested on false charges tho. You can find his comment on a behind the scenes video here on YT.

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