See the animal in his cage that you built,
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye,
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it's all, right where it belongs

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is that all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself, find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the worlds inside of your head,
Just creations of your own?
Your devils and your Gods, all the living and the dead
And you're really all alone?
You could live in this illusion
You can choose to believe
You keep looking but you can't find the woods
While you're hiding in the trees

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is that all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself, find yourself afraid to see?



Lyrics submitted by ab0ve


Right Where It Belongs song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment:The correct lyrics are "You can Live in this Illusion, You can Choose to Believe. You keep Looking but you can't find the Words, Now you're Hiding in Retreat."

    I believe that this song is about self-discovery, and possible recovery. You're coming to the realization that you're a horrible person, and asking yourself "what if" all of that shit that you love and live for was taken away, what then?

    Would you find yourself afraid to know what that'd be like?

    The song (to me) is about looking deep inside of your heart, and realizing that beyond the brick wall you make yourself out to be, you're extremely weak inside, and can't tell anyone about it.

    "You keep looking but you can't find the words, now you're hiding in retreat."

    He's saying that you're afraid to talk about what's really wrong, so now you live inside of your head to escape the realities of life. You make up a world inside of your head, where nothing bad happens.

    It's about living a lie inside of your head, and asking yourself what would happen if you pulled yourself out of your happy-world inside of your head for a moment, and took a look at your true self. Would you be afraid to see what you really are?

    What would happen if the falseness of the life you have built to make your life better, was taken away. Would you be afraid to to even think about that for even a moment?

    I'll break this down for you all to prove my theory:

    "See the animal in his cage that you built, are you sure what side your on?"

    You're begining to see reality, and you for what you really are.

    "Better not look him too closely in the eye, are you sure what side of the glass you are on?"

    Trent's saying that you shouldn't study too much into yourself, or you'll really start to question who and what you really are, and what you do. It's kind of a warning to stay away from reality.

    "See the safety of the life you have built, everything where it belongs."

    You've based your entire life on apathy, living inside of your head, to escape the realities of your life. But you're happy that way.

    "Feel the hollowness inside of your heart, and it's all, right where it belongs."

    It's showing you that the apathy you've chosen to let consume you, has closed you off to love, and made your heart hollow and empty. But you're still happy like this, because it's what you chose to do. Hence "right where it belongs."

    "What if everything around you, isn't quite as it seems? What if all the world you think you know, is an elaborate dream?"

    This is Trent basically SHOVING IT IN YOUR FACE that you've lived a lie to better your life. And kind of trying to pull you out of it.

    "And if you look at your reflection, is that all you want to be? What if you could look right through the cracks, would you find yourself afraid to see?"

    He's saying that if you really pulled yourself out of the falseness of your fake life for a moment, and took a look at your life, would you ask yourself is this what you really wanna do...do you want to be living a lie? Then asking what if you could choose to see the realities of life...would you find yourself frightened by it all?

    "What if all the world's inside of your head, just creations of your own? Your devils and your Gods all the living and the dead, and you're really all alone."

    He's once again, shoving it in your face that you're living a fake life inside of your head. Not taking reality for what it is, and showing you that in the end, by living this way, you're alone with nobody but yourself. And also saying that you yourself create all your faults, and uprisings, not the world around you. So why are you hiding from everyone and living life alone?

    "You can live in this illusion, you can choose to believe. You keep looking but you can't find the words, now you're hiding in retreat."

    Once again, this is basically stateing that you're afraid to talk about what's really wrong due to a lack of trust in just about everyone, so now you live inside of your head to escape the realities of life, and don't even bother to fix your life at all because without help, and encouragement that you believe doesn't exist, you just can't. You make up a world inside of your head, where nothing bad happens.

    The chorus then repeats itself, with the same basic meaning.

    This is (in major detail) what I think this song is about. Living inside of your head to escape the realities of life, but in the end, realizing the realities of life, and trying to hide from them in a continuous cycle that always leaves you faced with the truth in the end.

    Bottom line...you can't hide from reality forever. In the end, it's always going to become aparent in your head, that you can't hide forever from life, even if it's shitty...you know you're living a lie, and sooner or later, that's going to become aparent, and trying to mask your life with lies won't work anymore, then you'll be left questioning yourself with this song.
    BLEEDTHROUGHon April 30, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment:nad now the album has leeked. its beautiful...

    and this song, its so fucking amazing. trent is a god.
    Phookyon April 14, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment:I think it's a feeling that very introverted people get. (I would assume Trent is rather introverted) When you live so much of your life in your head, and spend so much time alone, and there's so much about yourself that no one else knows but yourself, sometimes you can't help but wonder...how much about you is "real" and how much is just in your head? It's a feeling that's very difficult to put into words, but, of course, Trent can.
    CounterfeitSainton April 27, 2005   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation:This has been my absolute favorite song for years... I've seen the meaning slightly differently through different times in my life but some key meanings have stayed the same

    I believe the "animal in the cage" refers to the parts of yourself that you keep locked up and under tight control... the animal inside of you. (anything you perceive as a negative aspect of yourself - for Reznor this was likely addiction, could also be mental illness, strong emotions, dreams/urges that have been dismissed because they aren't socially acceptable or you've convinced yourself they're impossible... anything like that)
    When he asks if you know which side you're on he could be saying that when you lock this part of yourself away - supposedly to keep you safe from it - you might have really have put yourself in a cage, confining yourself. if you look this part of yourself in the eye too closely you might realize the truth
    You're life is safe and you're doing everything you're expected to do, everything is how it's "supposed to be" but you feel empty inside. And how could you not when you've limited yourself like this - when you've put yourself in a cage by caging the animal inside of you?

    The next part could be an existential question, asking exactly what it says - if its possible you have created this world within your consciousness and none of it truly exists in a physical sense, in which case he's saying that you should take a close look at yourself and wonder if this is really all you can imagine yourself being. if this is a dream and this life is your creation are you happy with the life you created and how you portrayed yourself? if you could see what was really underneath this image of yourself and see who you really are deep down would you want to? (or possibly if you could see past the cracks in this "reality" you created would you really want to know the truth?)
    If you really want to live in this illusion (whether meant literally or metaphorically) you can, but you can't see the big picture (the woods) when you're hiding in the details of the present (trees). you won't see the meaning of everything when you're focused on the trivial aspects... (or possibly you won't truly understand reality until you've stepped outside of it)
    dreamer420on June 26, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:Very depressing song, but very existentially deep, definitely worthy of listening to, its actually become one of my favorite songs.

    The animal in the cage you have built is the person you chose to craft for yourself. A cage is safety. That is most likely not the first way you think of the word cage, you probably think imprisonment. Take the next words of the song, addressing the life you have built for yourself and the hollowness you feel inside. This is him explaining the animal in his cage to you.

    You trade in the possibilities of literally EVERYTHING you can do in life, in existence, for a boring, fucking monotone life, because of... Safety. Security.

    The hollowness a caged animal feels, is, fucked up as it is, right where it belongs. How could it feel anything but hollowness, it's been distanced from all but itself. The tragedy with us is we put ourselves in the cage, not only willingly, but happily, desperately. Too willing to trade everything for the safety of a useless, empty existence.

    You can't see the forest for the trees while all you're aware of is the tree you've locked yourself in.

    When you look at yourself in the mirror, is it all you want to be? Are you content to stop growing and learning and developing? Are you okay with being a two dimensional image? Not a competent sentient being, just a useless image of one.

    The spiritual parts of the song dealing with existence strikingly remind me of 'The Mysterious Stranger' by Mark Twain. His assertion in this short story is that really, the ultimate end to all that exists is your consciousness. Its not really just yours, as in, everybody you know is in your head, but rather, everyone that you know is also a piece of what you are a piece of. They are all you and you are all of them. Together you make up the universe, one total consciousness, experiencing itself subjectively through many different lenses. All of reality is just an elaborate dream, nothing exists save you, and empty space. The universe, and all else that might exist beside it, is your beautiful dream, and you can change it at anytime. All you have to do is wake up.
    Tunes24on May 10, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation: This song totally can relate to the questioning of ones moral or religous beliefs. For all your life you have believed in a particular god or something and a particular way and if you could "look through the cracks" at the truth to see if it is real, you may be afraid of what you discover. you could be wrong all along, "living in this illusion". but no matter whether its real or not, "you can choose to believe". because there is no way of knowing. No way to see through the cracks till we die. or it may be the other way. you dont believe in anything and something really is above us, "and youre really all alone?" maybe not, maybe some god is watching.
    hereswhatithinkon March 22, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:he's saying what if? As in your mind creates everything you see and all its illusions. Its all inside of your head. He is saying exactly what hes saying. What if you are the only one that exists?
    homerunhydockon December 15, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:"In fact, everything we encounter in this world with our six senses is an inkblot test. You see what you are thinking and feeling, seldom what you are looking at."
    ~Shiqin
    aubreeinwonderlandon August 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Damn that was quick, this song was just leaked.
    Tyrant_19on April 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think tis song is about living in your own Reality and not seeing things the way they really are And being afraid to he how you really are.

    The lyrics are straight forward but Trent's voice is soft and mellow through the song so the song plays more on your emotions (that's if your really listening)... This is one of the few songs that brings tears to my eyes. for many reasons...
    Tainted_Dreamson May 15, 2005   Link

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