"The Downward Spiral" as written by and Trent Reznor Michael Reznor....
Everything's blue in this world

He couldn't believe how easy it was
(he put the gun into his face)
Bang!
(so much blood for such a tiny little hole)
Problems do have solutions you know
A lifetime of fucking things up fixed
In one determined flash

Everything's blue
Everything's blue in this world
All fuzzy
Spilling out of my head

The deepest shade
All spilling
He couldn't believe how easy it was
The deepest shade of mushroom blue
Everything's blue in this world
A lifetime of fucking things up fixed
A lifetime of
The deepest shade
All fuzzy
Spilling

Bang!
He couldn't believe how
Bang!
He couldn't believe how easy it was
Bang!
He couldn't believe
Bang!
The deepest shade of mushroom blue

The deepest shade
The deepest shade

Bang!

All fuzzy
Spilling out of
The deepest shade of mushroom blue

The deepest shade of mushroom


Lyrics submitted by implode

"The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)" as written by Michael Reznor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Downward Spiral song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis is my first post here, so feel free to ignore me because I'm a newbie and, therefor, a complete idiot.

    The way I think of this is, the "character" in the album never actually kills himself. He's not that lucky. In both of these last two songs, the suicide is just an idle fantasy that he never goes through with. In "The Downward Spiral," the screams and such are a metaphor for his mad desperation to make the pain go away. In the song "Hurt," he gets his wish; it doesn't hurt anymore. The pain is gone, but he has become so dehumanized that there's nothing else left. He is the living dead.
    sykodudeon September 25, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentHmm. There seems to be a lot of debate about whether the protagonist of this concept album actually commits suicide. This track is the album's namesake, and it seems the obvious climax. I feel that:

    -Mr. Self Destruct establishes the character, and his demons, and establishes the concept of the album.
    -The meat-and-potatoes of the album represents a building of pressure as the character comes closer and closer to the act of suicide (while confronting religion, sex, drugs, etc).

    - The Downward Spiral IS the climax- wherein the protagonist, having sunk further and further into his own personal hell, is finally confronting his own destruction. Lots of people think ABOUT suicide, even CONSIDER suicide. But it's a much smaller group that actually experiences a moment when they are really going to do it- noose around the neck, gun in the mouth, ready. I think The Downward Spiral is the agony of staring the devil directly in the face.

    -Hurt has a sense, for me, of understanding and (of all things!) humility. It says to me that the character practiced a little "cutting", using physical pain as a way to bring themselves back to reality, but couldn't go through the act of suicide. The realization that he had no control over the cessation of his suffering, not even control through escape via suicide, effectively broke him of any anger or rage- by the final track, he is utterly and completely without hope.'

    This has just always been my interpretation. Surely the protagonist of the album doesn't HAVE to be Trent (the speaker is not always the author, as it is in literature). But obviously he's treading on familiar ground, or he wouldn't get these feelings so perfectly right. It makes more sense to me, aside from the context of the album, that Trent could relate more to almost-suicide than actual suicide. After all, he obviously didn't commit the latter.

    All of this imHo, of course.

    beregondon August 20, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHurt is the epilogue. Look at the lyrics at the end

    If I could start again a million miles away
    I would keep myself, I would find a way

    He killed himself at the end of The Downward Spiral and now he regrets his decision.
    brentos37on July 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song beautifully explores suicide. the lyrics and the music go together perfectly. the emotion is overwhelming. it almost hurts to listen to the song.
    ltjpezgirlon April 14, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWith the overwhelming monotony of his daily life, the realization that he is responsible for the decline of his own life, and the loss of his ability to lose himself through sex and control all collapsing in on our protagonist, he reaches the bottom of the spiral, hence the name. Here, his only mentality is that suicide is the only way to stop Mr. Self-Destruct/the Ruiner/himself from causing himself any more harm. The beautiful downward spiral motif heard periodically throughout the album culminates in the first moments of this song. Its no longer an ominous, impending cloud of doom; this time, that cloud has reached him. So he picks up a gun, puts it to his head, and pulls the trigger.

    I've always imagined the part with the motif and the screaming and the lyrics to be that moment that he pulls the trigger and the bullet is going through his skull and then brain, his thoughts captured in super-slow motion. With one pull of the trigger (he couldn't believe how easy it was) he is done with what he believed to be his last option (problems do have solutions you know, a lifetime of fucking things up fixed) and there is no turning back (in one determined flash.) Finally, his mental pain numbs, the antagonistic Mr. Self-Destruct disappears, and everything spills out of his head. Only the other side of the spectrum, his humanity, his soul and essence that was long forgotten for the majority of the album, is left to ponder what he has just done to himself.
    HammerFloydon December 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsince the downward spiral has a story to it, would this song represent the suicide, with Hurt as some kind of epilogue, or is this only thoughts about it, with hurt being the actual event? i sure as hell dont know

    have to notice the sarcasm in "problems do have solutions you know / a lifetime of fucking things up fixed in one determined flash"
    somewhat_damagedon July 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe the character doesn't kill himself, maybe he does. But this represents the metaphor of "suicide" either way.
    TSAon April 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti don't know, but i never really could see some kind of coherent story line, in spite of what i have heard. but... i actually did write a paper on this song (yeah, i know).
    anyhow, "so much blood..." is the realization of what he has done. "everything's blue" is about how painful living can be and how life can seem when you are so depressed. also is about how suicide is the only solution. now, the only part i've actually come up with an interestig analysis is "the deepest shade of mushroom blue." you know that when you touch a mushroom, it bruises, and the part where you touched it turns blue? well, it's kind of a metaphor for how the slightest thing you say or do can have a greater effect on someone else than you would even think. like some silly comment could push someone over the edge.
    ataraxia37on June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do think that hurt is like an epilogue. I used to think that hurt was qwhen he actually killed himself because of the loud climax at the end, but now, I'm not so sure. It definately makes sense that this is when he actually kills himself, the screaming in the background is like his screraming voice inside his head, he knows what he has to do, and he does it, and the screaming stops.
    DAFTBONCHKOOPAon September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the further down the spiral version of this song. Its kinda trippy.
    NicoleInWonderlandon March 05, 2003   Link

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