"The Wretched" as written by and Trent Reznor....
Just a reflection
Just a glimpse
Just a little reminder
Of all the what abouts
And all the might have
Could have beens
Another day
Some other way
But not another reason to continue
And now you're one of us
The wretched

The hopes and prays
The better days
The far aways
Forget it

It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?

Now you know
This is what it feels like
Now you know
This is what it feels like
The clouds will part and the sky cracks open
And god himself will reach his fucking arm through
Just to push you down
Just to hold you down
Stuck in this hole with the shit and the piss
And it's hard to believe it could come down to this
Back at the beginning
Sinking
Spinning

And in the end
We still pretend
The time we spend
Not knowing when
You're finally free
And you could be
But it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
It didn't turn out quite the way that you wanted it

Now you know
This is what it feels like
Now you know
This is what it feels like

You can try to stop it but it keeps on coming
You can try to stop it but


Lyrics submitted by thewhitepony33

"The Wretched" as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Wretched song meanings
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48 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentEveryone is insane but most people deny it. I think that's what this is about.
    kostalkeron April 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is my first Nine Inch Nails song and is definitely one of the BEST songs ever made both musically and lyrically as a whole song!!! It had such big impact on me that first time I listened it I never before felt such strange(great) kind of impression ever before!!!

    Its just a TRUE artistic masterpiece!!!
    I so understand Trent's feelings in this song, its like really 100% by my taste...

    Now, I think that this song is simply one artistic and symbolic way of describing the life...At least I think so cause I think this song is living description of my mental life...
    He is depressed so badly that's indescribable and all the hopes and prays for better days, for far aways, are lost and then he sings to someone else whom he hate(who's btw responsible for one piece of his depression) "NOW YOU KNOW! THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE!"(god such a phenomenal chorus!!!) and kinda symbolically revenging to him..

    And then that:
    "and in the end
    we still pretend
    the time we spend
    not knowing when
    you're finally free
    and you could be"

    It describes sudden and strong sign of hope where he finally is kinda freed but that person which he hates is just started to go through what he went and he again revenges to him when the chorus starts again...and as the song goes to the end everything backs to normal and he's life 'started again'...

    You all should definitely watch the anime music video with The Wretched its called "The Cursed" thats where I first heard this song...and it impressed me sooooo much its indescribable(ok I said that already once :D)

    here is the AMV - youtube.com/…
    VEGETA_DTXon September 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit sounds like Trent says something at 3:56. i have some ideas, but does anyone know?
    metalontheinsideon January 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"the clouds will part and the sky cracks open
    and god himself will reach his fucking arm
    through
    just to push you down
    just to hold you down"

    Wow, sounds exactly like "The Presence"
    iamtryingtobelieve.com/images/…
    Trent and the band are awesome. haha.
    Whoblahon February 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've wondered what he whispers at 3:56 too... Maybe we will never know (geh I hope not, maybe he says it on a different version of the song where it would be more audible?)

    And about the God's arm/presence thing, it's reeaally unlikely that he would have been working on Year Zero's concept during The Fragile. So just a nice coincidence probably, heheh.
    tedium13on January 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst off I must say this album is Trent finest work. And is just me or there subliminal messages in these songs. I'm sittin here 10 miles high and I swear I lose track of time getting lost in these songs. LOL. And at 3:56 it sounds like "We'll take you now Mr. Reznor" or "We'll see you now Mr. Reznor." kinda sounds like a doctor. Goes with the prospect of his grandmother in the hospital.
    metallicaman_5000on February 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think of my ex with this song
    merc3deson May 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe "The Wretched" is a song about somebody Trent knows or would like to know and see have great aspirations. These hopes amount up to nothing in the end and they become "one of us". This person is full of hope but Trent knows things are over and a 'i told you so' attitude is adopted. He explains that God doesnt want them anymore and that no matter what it keeps on coming.
    Closeron June 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's one of the best songs ever!!! the wreched is the person who feels depressed. he/she can't stand life anymore cause it's the same old shit every day

    "just a reflection
    just a glimpse
    just a little reminder
    of all the way abouts
    and all the might have
    could have beens
    another day
    some other way
    but not another reason to continue"

    and it will always come different than you wan't it to come
    (in germany we say "es kommt immer anders als man denkt")

    "it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
    it didn't turn out the way you wanted it, did it?
    it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
    it didn't turn out the way you wanted it, did it? "

    praying for better days... a better life

    "the hopes and prays
    the better days
    the far aways
    forget it "

    you got the feeling that even god is against you. he will drown you in this hole of piss and shit.

    "the clouds will part and the sky cracks open
    and god himself will reach his fucking arm
    through
    just to push you down
    just to hold you down
    stuck in this hole with the shit and the piss
    and it's hard to believe it could come down to this
    back at the beginning
    sinking
    spinning "

    but in the end we will prentend, not to have lived our live and just be so depressed. not seeing all the good days we had. but now it's to late.
    "and in the end
    we still pretend
    the time we spend
    not knowing when
    you're finally free
    and you could be "

    the end has not to be "death". it could also be the point, where it's to late for you to turn your live out of the depression. and that you realized that you never was "happy" makes you even more depressed.

    "but it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
    it didn't turn out quite the way that you wanted it "

    when you in it you can't stop it. it will come and get you...

    "you can try to stop it but it keeps on coming
    you can try to stop it but"

    now you know how it is to be a wreched.

    "now you know
    this is what it feels like
    now you know
    this is what if feels like "


    i love this song. it reminds me on myself.
    know i'm one of you... a wreched!

    BamBam


    go and have a look at "the fragile". it's so a good lovesong. i love it to, because it reminds me again on me.

    sorry for my bad english. i'm tired and my english sucks.
    BamBamon June 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a great song for when youre depressed and feel like everything is going wrong. this song, along with the rest of The Fragile, helped me through some pretty hard times. The cd is great, the most beautiful thing i've ever listened to, i never get tired of it.
    somewhat_damagedon July 05, 2002   Link

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