"The Space In Between" as written by Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor and Mariqueen Arrabaca Maandig....
All our blood lying on the floor
Sense the crowd expecting something more
Opened up, proudly on display
What we tried so hard to hide away

Blinding light illuminates the scene
Try to fill "The Spaces In Between"

Arms entwined in a final pose
Narrative drawing to a close
Still remain the things we couldn't kill
In your eyes I can see it still

How we choose the framing of the scene
Hate begins to spill across the screen

Blinding light illuminates the scene
Try to fill The Spaces in Between


Lyrics submitted by Sean19a7x

"The Space in Between" as written by Mariqueen Arrabaca Maandig Atticus Ross

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Space In Between song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about being a musician/artist and being onstage. Performing art is a very vulnerable thing. You open up your personal inner world "proudly on display." It's about how you can create something so meaningful and personal that perfectly expresses your emotions/thoughts/etc.. yet, the crowd/audience/fans still want more. It's like your dying on stage every night, but this is precisely what you live for. Hence, the spaces in between. The spaces in between are all the moments not onstage. Those moments can begin to be less fulfilling and empty. "The things we couldn't kill" refers to the content of the actual song/art, because often times it is about something hurtful from your past, sometimes things which you have overcame or moved on from, and you are re-opening the wounds of you past. Your past may be dead to you in that it may no longer bother you, but you can never escape it when you are re-creating it again and again every night. Either that or some variation of Joe K's comment is right.
    Androgyneon April 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the wars. (Afghanistan + Iraq)

    The video is about America (and others) being totally distracted by bullshit. We are completely oblivious to the atrocity and immediacy to the extent we can't see the room burning down around us.

    Peace.
    blueox01on October 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI haven't heard any NiN, so I don't have the same comparison base as most of you. I did the see the music video though. I think this song is about The space in between Life and Death, whether Life and Death are literal or metaphors / concepts. Your feedback and opinions are welcome.

    Going through the lyrics.

    All our blood lying on the floor
    Sense the crowd expecting something more.

    The first two lines match very well with the video, where the protagonists are lying bleeding on the floor. The protagonists appear to be dead, and yet the woman is singing and you can't sing when you are dead. The second line refers to the crowd and their expectations, whether the crowd references to the two other people in the video (the gent smoking the cigarette and the woman with the blonde, who seem oblivious to the bleeding people beside them), or the audience of the song, or some other implicit crowd, I am not sure.

    The conflicting tense in these two lines ,from past to current, also reaffirms the being almost alive and not quite dead or having physically died but still existing.

    When crowds encounter people dying, they either expect the people to die or expect the people to live. Also if the space between life and death is spirit like, then crowds expect certain behavior from spirits rather than actions and sense data they can't perceive.

    Opened up, proudly on display,
    What we tried so hard to hide away

    These two lines could refer to many things, but I they refer to the nature of their lives (secrets of dying / dead) and their vulnerability as human beings in this limbo state (weakness of mortality, weakness of their existence / souls etc).

    Blinding light illuminates the scene
    Try to fill the spaces in between

    The next two lines refer to the blinding light that we believe we see at the end of the tunnel or in near death experiences. But instead of being in enveloped in it and ceasing to exist, the protagonists remain, as this light tries to fill the space in between life and death, like it would only fully permeate people that are dead and ready (or not in limbo) or something similar.

    In the music video, I believe the light is symbolized or supplemented with fire. Notice how the singer continues singer, and the flames that would burn her don't seem to anything. If she was alive or dead they would burn her.

    Arms entwined in a final pose
    Narrative drawing to a close

    The next two lines, once again indicate the being on the edge of life / death, particularly with the usage of the words final and close. The also indicate the passage of time, which is a contradiction that reinforces the limbo state.

    Still remain the things we couldn't kill
    In your eyes I can see it still

    These lines are interesting. The first line is in past tense again and the second is in present again, further reaffirming their circumstance It also refers to the fact that remains of themselves in this state is that which isn't capable of being killed by them (whether these remaining things are capable of dying isn't specified), the second line affirms that the singer can still see and she can she something in her compatriot's eyes. Whether this is life, or something that won't die with the rest of him, or hope or love, isn't known.

    How we choose the framing of the scene
    Hate begins to spill across the screen

    The penultimate two lines also are interesting. I think they refer to the perception of their circumstance, whether that of themselves or by others (possibly the gent and blonder, possibly the audience of the song (meta, I know) in their state).

    The first line seems to imply that in their neither fully dead nor fully alive (both in terms of mortality, existence and tangibility to reality) state, they still have the ability to influence others perception of them, which must come across as a contrast from the earlier vulnerability of their state.

    The next line mentions Hate and its spilling across a screen. We don't know whose hate it is and who it is directed at and we don't know why the hate is there. The screen could be between the protagonists and the living, the protagonists and the dead, the protagonists and the audience or between the protagonists and their environment around them.

    Earlier in the music video we see a tap overflowing and spilling, possibly this symbolizes the hatred, and hence we can gather that whilst the hatred might extinguish the blinding list attempting to vanquish them either to the realm of living or dead, this would be unlikely to happen quickly, just like the amount of spilled water is tiny in comparison to the amount of flames in the music video.

    Blinding light illuminates the scene
    Try to fill the spaces in between

    The interpretation of these two lines is covered above, when they are previously sung.

    Appleman1234on October 28, 2010   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIf you followed Trent & Mariqueen, this seems like a very poetic recounting of them announcing their engagement.
    andtraceeon June 03, 2010   Link
  • -1
    My InterpretationYeah, I believe this is about them exposing their relationship to the public. They have stated that they do enjoy their privacy. Although, I was thinking it was about them coming out together in this new project, but the announcement of their engagement makes sense, too.
    DeLaMeron August 13, 2010   Link
  • -1
    General CommentVery interesting, the theme of three in this song, using the different forms of her voice and another, possibly two others. The dark, single voice "what we try so hard to hide away" "still remain the things we couldn't kill..." very powerful shit. Then goes to the higher, dual person voice with the "framing of the scene" and if you listen carefully, in the last minute or so of the song, you can hear her higher voice, and a breathy male voice that starts with just a "howw" then the bass carries the voice seemlessly. However the next lyrics you can clearly hear the breathy low voice, singing in an octave lower "hate begins to spill across the screen"

    Then suddenly "blinding light illuminates the scene" comes from an epic trio of voices, what seems to be to be the breathy low male voice, a now reverbing (multiperson effect) female lead again, and i swear, you can almost hear what sounds like a quieted male voice singing in the highest register with the female lead, the register before falsetto for i would guess a male tenor.

    With the skull, the human head-tree, and the moon in the background for the album cover.
    Why?
    Xactoon February 15, 2011   Link
  • -1
    My InterpretationAll our blood lying on the floor
    (more than one person)
    Sense the crowd expecting something more
    (a future of the resulting murder having not enough conclusion to whom the killer is)
    Opened up, proudly on display
    (They are part of a creation which somebody killed them for)
    What we tried so hard to hide away
    (They tried to hide away from this person wanting to hurt them)
    Blinding light illuminates the scene
    (Fire starts in the room while they lie there on the floor)
    Try to fill "The Spaces In Between"
    (Try to interpret what kind of murder happened now?)
    Arms entwined in a final pose
    (The killer put these people in a pose)
    Narrative drawing to a close
    (everything is completing, closing up the seams.)
    Still remain the things we couldn't kill
    (that killer won't have the satisfaction for long from the murder. He wants more to be stabilized)
    In your eyes I can see it still
    (Longs for another killing. this takes place before the killer kills them)
    How we choose the framing of the scene
    (I'm guessing they planned it all out. They wanted to be killed because they had no choice)
    Hate begins to spill across the screen
    (Hate formed in blood)
    Blinding light illuminates the scene
    (Goes back to the fire burning the evidence)
    Try to fill The Spaces in Between
    (Too late now, nobody will know who the killer is)
    roxanne100on October 14, 2014   Link
  • -2
    General CommentThis song is about the perils of fame and how the public and fans want to see you fail and maybe even killed, even if just in a metaphorical sense. The famous person wants fame to fill the inner void or "space in between" but it all backfires. The song references how celebrities try to control their image, and it also make some alluisons to Jesus and how the same thing happend to him--the mob wanted him crucified. These themes re-occur throughtout Reznor's work.
    Joe K. on May 17, 2010   Link
  • -6
    General CommentI've questioned Reznor's musical ability through out his career and now I am certain that Reznor is a corporate created faux musician. His time would be better spent toning down his melodrama. He's one of the most over-rated artists of his age. Reznor's phony angst, continuing to this day, has grown tiresome. He needs to grow up already.
    DirtyHarry00on April 14, 2012   Link

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