"Love Is Not Enough" as written by and Trent Reznor....
The more that we take
The paler we get
I can't remember what it is
We tried to forget

The towel on the floor
So cold it can sting
In your eyes is a place
Worth remembering

Do you wake up and taste this
And smash it apart
I've gone all this fucking way
To wind up back at the start

Hey the closer we think we are
Well it only got us so far
Have you got anything left to show
No no I didn't think so

Hey the sooner we realize
We cover ourselves with lies
Well Underneath we're not so tough
Oh love is not enough

Well it hides in the dark
Like the weaker and vain
We didn't give it a mouth
So it cannot complain

We never really had a chance
We never really make it through
And to think I believed
I believed I could get better with you

Hey the closer we think we are
Well it only got us so far
Have you got anything left to show
No no I didn't think so

Hey the sooner we realize
We cover ourselves with lies
Well Underneath we're not so tough
Oh love is not enough


Lyrics submitted by brettjrob, edited by Kaufnuts, aldude999

"Love Is Not Enough" as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © PENNY FARTHING MUSIC OBO ARLOVOL MUSIC

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Love Is Not Enough song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI'm getting an interpretation that is quite different here. "The more that we take, the paler we get" strikes me as being about how people take so much from what is around them that it causes them to have less, to the point of not having enough to live. Even more, it is about people siding with a country or group and being so ignorant of others' pain due to the taking ("covering ourselves with lies"). We may look tough in this group bullying others, but in the end, we will acknowledge that we are not so tough.

    Maybe it is about people needing to make a change, not just give out this fake "love" in the world; that isn't enough. If this change isn't done, we will end up back at the start, with all that was built going back into nothing but pieces to try and put together again instead of fixing and building upon what was already built...
    komplexnouson April 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWow, old song haha. Well here goes.

    "The more that we take
    The paler we get
    I can't remember what it is
    We tried to forget"

    In any good relationship, it's always give and take. In a bad relationship, generally one or both people involved only ever try to take. I think what is being said here is that constant fighting distances people and takes away what makes a good relationship beautiful. When your constantly fighting with someone, you often forget what argument the fight started with.

    "The towel on the floor
    So cold it can sting
    In your eyes is a place
    Worth remembering"

    Sometimes in relationships, things get said that you can never be taken back or let go of. But other times its for little things, like for example: Leaving a wet towel on the floor. No matter how many times you try to just leave it behind, they will keep bringing up that wet towel because it hurt them so much (so cold it can sting) that they couldn't ever let it go, even though you didn't think much of it. The wet towel is, of course, a metaphor... maybe you forgot an anniversary, or had to cancel a date, etc.

    "Do you wake up and taste this
    And smash it apart
    I've gone all this fucking way
    To wind up back at the start"

    I think what this is talking about is the general frustration of waking up next to someone who you love but feel distant from. Maybe you've been together for years, but no matter how hard you try to keep it together, the two of you always end up becoming distant again.

    "Hey the closer we think we are
    Well it only got us so far
    Have you got anything left to show
    No no I didn't think so

    Hey the sooner we realize
    We cover ourselves with lies
    Well Underneath we're not so tough
    Oh love is not enough"

    The meat of what this song is getting at. You spend years being with someone you "love" constantly telling them you love them, doing things for them, being with them, only to wind up cold and distant with each other. "Love is not enough" is not a metaphor. It is saying that your "love" didn't outweigh your differences with each other. The sooner you realize you don't really love each other, the sooner you will realize that you've got nothing to show for this relationship and that simply saying I love you couldn't make you love each other.

    "Well it hides in the dark
    Like the weaker and vain
    We didn't give it a mouth
    So it cannot complain"

    Lots of relationships are like this. The two of you agree that you would rather be upset with the truth rather than hide it from each other. Often the "weak and vain" cannot commit to this, because it takes a lot of courage to tell someone you love that they do something you really don't like. But sometimes you do, and the other person gets upset anyway, even though you agreed not to. It's stupid because you gave the relationship a mouth, and then got upset when it said something you didn't like. Often people use the term "walking on eggshells" as a metaphor for this behavior.

    "We never really had a chance
    We never really make it through
    And to think I believed
    I believed I could get better with you"

    I look at this line as what goes through someones head when they finally realize holding on to the relationship is useless. Even though they picked up hints from the start of the relationship that it wasn't going to work, they kept going because they were "in love" with that person. When things got really bad, they kept telling themselves it was okay because they were in love. Unfortunately it was toxic from the start and it broke finally broke you down because love was not enough.
    brohaw211on September 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow.

    The towel on the floor?

    He clearly says the TILE ON THE FLOOR

    AS IN COLD TILE

    SO COLD IT WOULD STING

    Towel on the floor... hahaha
    Kaufnutson October 29, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLyrical correction : It's not "Now you've got independance to show" in the first section of the chorus, it's "Now you've got anything left to show"

    Great song...
    ab0veon April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhile some people may see this as an obvious song about a relationship between 2 people, i think it's more specifically about trent and the founding members of NIN. even though they had adoring fans their friendships were so strained that they couldn’t take it any more and parted ways. (But underneath we're not so tough, And love is not enough) also, trent shows how hard it was for him to get back into writing after his battle with addiction. (I've gone all this fucking way, To wind up back at, back at the start...) thankfully this album shows that he's finally made a complete turn around … and creating amazing music once more :)
    Nearly an Artiston April 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics in this are so very wrong...

    "We TRIED to forget"

    "The TOWEL on the floor so cold it can sting."

    "Well it hides in the dark, LIKE THE WITHERING VAIN."

    "IT never really had a chance."

    "I NEVER THINK I BELIEVED...I believed I could get better with you."

    "For you TO go and take this and smash it apart."

    "To wind up back at...I'M back at the start."

    (this is a guess)

    "HAVE you got anything left to show?"

    The meaning behind this song...is so out there and the song jumps around so much that I just don't know. The begining line though, sounds like doing heroin. "The more that we take, the paler we get. I can't remember what it is, we tried to forget." People take heroin and or drugs, to get rid of their shitty life. The song might be about Trent going away from drugs, confiding in a female to make things better, that not working out, and him returning to drugs.
    BLEEDTHROUGHon April 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI found this song interesting when I hear people speak of happy endings that always include a love of some kind. Love isn't enough to make a person happy only the person themselves can truly determine where happiness comes from. but that really has nothing to do with the song.
    Kaicille Erison September 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like a sequel of sorts to "We're In This Together Now" to me.
    thatredhotsongon October 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is like a message to himself about his past addictions. Almost like he is telling himself the lyrics.
    FaaipDeOaidon November 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about like.
    How life can be so shit, and everything's harder than it has to be. the world is so corrupted, and love really doesn't even start to cover the hole all of the above leaves in your heart.
    It's probably written about heartbreak aswell, hor love isn't really a cure for anything, and is only a small emotion in the whole spectrum of human feeling.
    __224on March 17, 2006   Link

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