"The Hand That Feeds" as written by and Trent Reznor....
You're keeping in step
In the line
Got your chin held high and you feel just fine
Because you do
What you're told
But inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?

What if this whole crusade's
A charade
And behind it all there's a price to be paid
For the blood
On which we dine
Justified in the name of the holy and the divine

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?

So naive
To keep holding on to what I want to believe
I can see
But I keep holding on and on and on and on

Will you bite the hand that feeds you?
Will you stay down on your knees?

Lyrics submitted by Angie Christ

"The Hand That Feeds" as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Hand That Feeds song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentNevermind Fluid's mini-review, he's just one of the cool fans that always hate any new CD any band releases and loves the old days.

    People said they hated NIN's "The Fragile" when it came out.

    You heard the song what? In an absolutely ass bad rip of it from the internet?

    I've listened to "The Line Begins To Blur" and it's a great song. That's all I need to hear until the CD comes out...I'm not going to listen to a shitty quality radio rip and pass judgement on anything.

    But hey, if you really think that way, go check out the song "Hooker With A Penis" from Tool...it kind of sums up you and subsequently what most people think of you.
    ab0veon March 01, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentDoesn't surprise me that you said that. Everybody who visits this website thinks a song is about gay or anal sex.

    I believe the song is about having everything given to you. Almost hand fed. Then realizing it's time to get up and go and do it yourself...

    Brilliant song though
    exthuseon February 24, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentfuck the disbelievers, trent is a god. he got more shit in 1999 for the fagile which to this day is one of the best albums of all fucking time. he was one of the few bright stars in the othewise darkskies that were the nineties. every truly great artist has to evolve otherwise they become stagnet and formulaic. after the success of downward spiral he changed. true fans need not doubt the album will be good. abd to the little fuck that said he listned to it once fuck man it a long time to get the full beauty of each nin song
    guyinhaton March 04, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentfor the record... this site is not about your opinions on trent reznor. if you didn't like the song, then don't buy the album.

    now to get back on track. i think this song has maybe a political undertone? how we are basically zombies to our society and just do what we are told. a crusade? a war on oil? when asked if this was a political album trent replied " as in the definition: of or relating to your views about social relationships involving authority or power? then, yes it is."
    sugarrushon March 14, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti definitely feel that this is a political statement.
    "just how deep do you believe" is talking about how much trust you have in the american government. the next few lines are asking if you are going to stand up and fight against the propaganda being shoved in our throats.

    "what if this whole crusade's
    a charade
    and behind it all there's a price to be paid
    for the blood
    on which we dine
    justified in the name of the holy and the divine" is talking about the war in iraq. all the blood shed in the name of oil, etc... justified in the name of the holy and the divine is about bush's christian bent. i would elaborate, but you know what i'm saying
    mattjohndrowon March 17, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTrent Reznor...what a character. He must be crazy...oh, he must have lost his touch...oh, no, maybe, just maybe, he put this song on the album for a reason. Maybe he made the whole Halo 18 album...oh what is it called?...thats right, The Hand That Feeds, for a reason. Its the first single off of WITH TEETH, thats right, for a reason. If you guys dont like it...dont buy the album. It is that simple.

    I will admit, I have heard this song...I will admit that it kinda took me off guard when I first heard it. Someone stated above that(Im paraphrasing) this song is simple. Everything rhymes with "bee" or something of that nature. Who cares. He got his point across. He is, afterall, finding himself through his music, and finding oneself is getting down to the most simple questions. Why cant inspiration be simple as well?

    Ive listened to pretty much anything that Trent has offered us, if I find a song that strikes me as having some personal relation to my life...I find it fascinating. Some I have came across and had no interest in when I first heard them. On a second listen, perhaps months or even years down the road, I found a place for them in my life, into my frame of mind. That is what music is, isnt it...an expression? Someone handing something to you and saying "here you go, do what you want with it". Trent never alludes to us what his music is about, probably never will. He expects us to find our own meaning. Do you think he really cares that you dont like his music? There are obviously alot of people that do like it considering the response on this forum. Well maybe not this song in particular. But in time I am sure The Hand That Feeds will be better reguarded, you know, when it is actually released.

    Ive babbled on long enough.

    If you dont like it then dont listen to it.

    Oh, by the way...I hate that painting you did in your high school art class. It really sucks. Just thought you should know since we are on a critics forum...oh wait, nevermind, were not.

    P.S. Frank, if you are going to insult, for trents sake at least be orignal. dumbass.
    armin9162on March 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHaha Fluid...danm that was funny! You go bitching about how like every line rhymes with 'bee' not only are you incorrect..but it's a little old thing called poetry and it's extremely hard to master...Trent is amazing, but just like anyone else he has written songs you would dislike...He's not writing for anyone, what I mean is, he's not conforming to anyone's specific wish for his music..it's *his* music, not your music, choose to like or choose to hate...but don't insult Trent.....Trent's songs have an unbelievable depth in them that many other bands seem to lack...I agree..TRENT IS GOD!

    vampirella666on March 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've been a Nine Inch Nails fan for a fairly long time. I've got every album, I've been to the shows and I've gotten the t-shirts, and I read the Reznor interviews. Believe me when I say I wanted to like this song. I was, in fact, downright giddy when I finally obtained the mp3. Really, I wanted to like it.
    Let's face it. Everything we and everyone else does gets rated. Yeah, our art projects got rated in high school. And when all of you graduate from flipping burgers at McDonalds and get a serious job, your performance will be evaluated, harshly if necessary. Now with popular musicians, it's really the job of the consumer to do the rating. We vote with our dollar and also by posting opinions in places that really aren't for posting opinions. Relax, we all do it. We like doing it. It's ok to do it (yeah, and you're probably about to do it too).
    That being said, I'll telI you the reason I said it was because I felt that perhaps I wasn't quite as articulate as I should have been when judging a new song from one of my favorite bands. So allow me to reiterate.
    This song is possibly the worst Nine Inch Nails song I have ever heard, but that statement only holds water if you don't count that remix of that Puff Daddy song Trent did. Again, I make a bold statement such as this not in vein; there are many reasons why I'm calling bullshit on NIN's latest single.
    First of all, because what I expect from a NIN song is absolutely flawless production. Now even though I'm aware that what I heard was a badly captured radio release, I know exactly what I was listening to. The production sounded completely void of that artistic "tampering" you'de expect from NIN. Every instrument sounded like instuments. Sure, there are sound effects, but they aren't very impressive, or unique, considering most dominant instrument, the guitar, sounds almost identical to what was going on in Deep. And if you liked Deep, then fuck you, because you're hopelessly beyond the point of recognizing even the slightest hint of artistic integrity. Sorry, the truth hurts. That song was stupid. And "The Hand That Feeds" certainly didn't have that ethereal beauty of Still, a minimal album on which Trent was able to evoke a quiet and very pleasing sound.
    Secondly, because musicianship matters. I'm not saying that to have a good song you have to play your dick like John Coltrane, but come on. I shit you not, the main riff is about one chord short of the Kink's "You Really Got Me," for fucks sake.
    Thirdly, poetry has been developed for a reason. It's not about just making words rhyme about ice cream because you can't think of anything that would fit with your poem about sandwiches. When you use the ol' Word O' Matic to jive out something so you can just rap about bees, your song sounds banal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with simplicity, but repeated the same line by just using different words and metaphores sounds redundent. Especially when the line always rhymes with "pee."
    Last but not least-ly, substance matters a whole hell of alot. I've never subscribed to the argument that a song's meaning is in the eye of the beholder. I mean, of course this is always somewhat true, but I believe that unless you're a machine stringing together words, you are trying to send a message. If that wasn't the case, then you wouldn't put a title on your work. Ostensibly, Trent's message in this song is political. It might be framed from an entirely subjective perspective, but it's political nonetheless. I think this is very shallow. Nine Inch Nails has always been about introspection. It's always been a great asset of Trent Reznor's that he is able to virtually dissect himself on a musical canvas for all of us pigs to enjoy. It's a very profoud way to work. So that is why it comes as a major disappointment to me that Trent would shift his focus to a topic as corupt as politics. Every politician lies. Nothing new. That's the way it works, and probably for good reasons. It's the fact that Reznor is so seemingly narrow in his newest approach to songwriting. No longer is it about the deep longing for that person he could never have, or that soul splitting realization that his self-hatred is a integral element of himself. It's about George W. If that's the correct interpretation, is anyone going to tell me that's on-par with his typical work? Please.
    Many people I've heard say that they didn't like the song at first, but they kept listening to it and found "something" they liked. I think that it's great if you can open yourself up to something new and appreciate it even if you didn't like it at first. I recommend jazz. I find it ironic, however, that many gag themselves on a song and force feed themselves to like it because it's by a particular artist. The irony here is this particular song is about "biting the hand that feeds." Many great bands have introduced bad albums. An amazing parallel here is Pink Floyd's "Final Cut."
    I would not have written a goddamned post so long if I didn't respect the band I was posting about, nor would I had written it if I didn't respect my projected readers. We are in this together, after all. So I'm sorry if this offends you, but not really.
    Besides, my high school art project came on your high school art project.
    FluidDelusionson March 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think song is about all the ignorant and blind people who follow the words, and trends, set by those in power today. George Bush, the media, the US, all of that shit. The same talk that's turning men into little emo wusses. Trent's mocking modern society's state and asking the blind if they are actually willing and able to get back up to start again. Think of Morpheus unplugging Neo.
    davemaxon May 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the ruff mix of the song is better, either way I like both versions.
    12Monkeyson February 03, 2006   Link

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