"Hurt (NIN cover)" as written by and Trent Reznor....
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liars chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here


And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

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

Lyrics submitted by i_am_spartacus, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Hurt" as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Hurt (NIN cover) song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentNIN wrote the song, but Cash gave it meaning.
    Drannonon July 02, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWell, Johnny Cash did this song very well. If you look back at his life, this song kind of sums it up. Johnny made a change in life somewhere a long the road. But when he was doing music from state prison, he really did have an "empire of dirt". The man was old when he made his version of the song and he meant every lyrics of this song even though Trent came up with it first. . .
    shogunbrownon April 29, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWhen Trent heard Johnny Cash's cover he said "It's his song now" That sums it up. Cash has a way of doing that. The world lost a beautiful legend when Cash died. I can't see this video without crying.
    pooky59on January 08, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Commentone of the best covers of all time.
    lissywar67on October 06, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYes the Johnny Cash version is fantastic, but you cannot diss the NIN version. It is THEIR FUCKING SONG. They wrote the lyrics, the music, everything, years before this cover. If it weren't for them, you would never have heard this beautiful piece of music, so don't diss the NIN.
    voltron1025on June 17, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment Trent Reznor wrote it so remember that he is and always will be an awesome artist. it was wrote about the impending doom of heroin addiction and what happens around ones life when caught up in such an affliction. Johnny Cash however gave it the sound of wisdom, and trust me i dont think anyone could of gave it more than Mr. Cash. but, never the less hats off to both artisB
    THRILLKILLon November 18, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning"everyone I know,
    goes away in the end..."

    When you are bitter and feel abandoned because you cant help yourself and you had to experience a lot of disappointment in your life... You lose all people you loved once. Your friends, your family or your partner. They all go away, because they dont understand and dont really want to.

    That fits to:
    "I will let you down,
    I will make you hurt,"

    You are bitter and maybe hurt others aswell (with words and/or with your behaviour),because you dont know how to handle your feelings.
    It's a cyrcle. People start to ignore you, they dont care anymore, so you do the same (hurt them), because you think they started, even through its yourself who started. (being bitter etc. because of things that happened to you)
    DavyJones92on June 13, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen you watch the film clip, acting as a montage for Cash's illustrious career, it puts the song and the meaning he wants to put forth into perspective.

    As he reflects on his magnificent career, he has aspects of his life and career that he knows weren't as rosy as they could have been and he knows that whatever bridges he crossed and whoever he upset in any way, he can't get that back.

    As a result, he regrets that experience.

    On the flip side, when he says 'What have I become?', I believe it can also signify a message to his fans and the general population, as means of asking them to reflect on his life and career as a whole and decide for them just who he has become as a person.

    The fact he made this song in such a short amount of time, was just incredible. Right before his death, too.
    RickyRicardo18on July 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll have to agree with everyone else on this one. Johnny Cash took this song and completely made it his own. I love it immensely.
    MamoruCon May 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhether you like Johnny Cash or NIN, this is still an example of what a cover should be. He finds something new and personal to say with it.
    The first time I heard this, I cried. Johnny Cash puts so much raw pain and honesty into this song, it is heartbreaking.
    annabananananaon September 21, 2004   Link

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