Ha-ha-haunted

The throat is deep and the mouth is wide
Saw some things on the other side
Made me promise to never tell
But you know me, I can't help myself

Now I've got something you have to see
They put something inside of me
The smile is red and its eyes are black
I don't think I'll be coming back

I don't believe it
I had to see it
I came back haunted
I came back haunted

I said goodbye but I --
I had to try
I came back haunted
C-C-C-came back haunted

Everywhere now reminding me
I am not who I used to be
I'm afraid this has just begun
Consequences for what I've done, yeah

I don't believe it
I had to see it
I came back -- I came back haunted
C-C-C-came back haunted

I said goodbye but I --
I had to try
I came back -- I came back haunted
I C-C-C-came back haunted

I don't believe it
I had to see it
I came back -- I came back haunted
C-C-C-came back haunted

I said goodbye but I --
I had to try
I came back -- I came back haunted
C-C-C-came back haunted

They tried to tell me but I --
I couldn't stop myself and I --
I came back -- I came back haunted
C-C-C-came back haunted

Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted
Just can't
Stop


Lyrics submitted by fosterjc, edited by Mellow_Harsher, wetmatches, BugGirl, mike


Came Back Haunted song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI actually think Kaufnuts may be close on this one. I was thinking about the album in general with just the title "hesitation marks" to go on and I know that hesitation marks refer to cuts on a persons wrist which indicate that they "hesitated" while attempting suicide. For some reason or another they changed their mind half way through slitting their wrists. My guess at this point is that this is a metaphor for Trent trying to "kill" Nine Inch Nails, but having second thoughts, which is precisely what this album consists of. There still seems to be more to this song though, which is kind of typical.
    Androgyneon June 11, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMeaning seems very clear to me. Guy was playing at the edge of life- and his curiosity, compounded by depravity, pushed him over the edge. He came so close to death- that his view of life is now distorted.

    TR overdosed several years ago- I almost feel the substance for this song was pulled from that experience.
    udntknwshton June 07, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song is about what happens after someone visits /b/ for their first time.
    modulokon June 14, 2013   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI think this song can apply to Snowden exposing the NSA.
    Cryovolcanoon July 20, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationHe tried something... something he never thought he would ever try. Maybe some kind of new belief or "way of living" He let it effect him so he can observe "its" ways... and then decided he no longer wanted to be a part of this new thing he is trying... so he came back and he came back effected by it... came back haunted.
    krzyspnson September 03, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOn the deluxe version of Hesitation Marks, Trent has a 45 minute rant of how this album came about. In it he explains that after he had the music and was trying to think of how to express what he wanted to say, he would think back to himself back in the Downward Spiral days and how he has changed since. "Everywhere now reminding me, I am not who I used to be".

    I truly think TwoVirgos has it right. I feel it's about Trent trying to "kill" NIN, but he "just can't stop".

    "I'm afraid this has just begun" - More NIN to come. Also on that spoken track by Trent he tells of hours of music that has not yet been mixed and mastered and we just may hear them finished down the road.
    Mbarbour1081on September 10, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the line is 'I said goodbye' instead of 'I shan't comply'
    baroness_strangeon June 06, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is my personal interpretation.

    I love the story this song lays out for me, when I interpret it fairly literally.

    The throat is deep and the mouth is wide
    Saw some things on the other side

    The first bit, "The throat is deep and the mouth is wide" makes me think of someone whose big mouth and curiosity gets him in trouble. Then, "I saw some things on the other side" makes me imagine him looking across a river or some other type of barrier and catching glimpses of something he's never seen before. So, he goes to investigate (against the better judgment of just about everyone).

    Made me promise to never tell
    But you know me, I can't help myself

    Who made him promise to never tell? I imagine there's some kind of higher power in control of the situation, a power that tries to keep the narrator and his fellow civilians ignorant of what's really happening in that secretive area. I'll just call this power "the government". Over the course of the song, I get the impression that the government has denoted the area "off-limits", while probably giving reasons like "for your own safety".
    My guess is, when the narrator went to explore the off-limits area, he ran into something classified, as well as the officials who try to keep it that way.
    The "You know me, I can't help myself" part reinforces the idea that the narrator kind of has a big mouth.

    Now I've got something you have to see
    They put something inside of me
    The smile is red and its eyes are black
    I don't think I'll be coming back

    This is where things take a sharp turn for the worse. I don't have a very strong idea of what he's talking about, but he's been possessed by something terrifying, something put there during his stay at... whatever he found.
    The last line is, to me, one of the saddest; he says many times that he "came back haunted", so he's obviously physically returned from his little excursion, but the way he says "I don't think I'll be coming back" shows that he'll never really "return". He's been so irrevocably changed by what happened that he'll never be the person he was before. He'll never walk home and pick up his life where he left off, the way he probably assumed he would when he left.

    I don't believe, and I
    I had to see, and I
    I came back haunted
    I came back haunted

    I really like the line, "I don't believe". It's not "I didn't believe", which would imply that "they" were right after all, and he should've known better, or something like that. "I don't believe" sounds a little more defiant. It's like, while he might not know the whole truth even now, he knows (and has always suspected) that the government's official story was a cover-up.
    "I had to see" underlines this suspicion.

    I said goodbye, but I --
    I had to try, and
    I came back haunted
    C-C-C-came back haunted

    The line "I said goodbye" makes me imagine that the narrator was discussing with a friend his plans to investigate the place. This friend (aka the person he's talking to throughout the song) tried to tell him not to go, and finally "convinced" him not to, at which point they parted ways. Unbeknownst to the friend, though, the narrator went ahead with his original plan to explore.
    "I had to try" shows more of his determination.

    Everywhere now reminding me
    I am not who I used to be
    I'm afraid this has just begun
    Consequences for what I've done, yeah

    Essentially, he'll never be the same again, and he can't escape that fact. Even worse, he suspects that that'll soon be the least of his problems. Eerie.
    (Considering this is the third song on the album, I really want to know if his story will continue...)

    There's one last new bit in the last chorus:

    Tried to tell me but I --
    I couldn't stop myself and I --
    I came back -- I came back haunted
    C-C-C-came back haunted

    To me, the "tried to tell me" line reinforces the idea that the friend really tried to convince him not to go, and "I couldn't stop myself" reinforces the idea that the narrator is just way too freaking curious and suspicious for his own good.

    SO tl;dr: the story I imagine is one of a city, a government, and a secret area nearby. The narrator, an incredibly curious member of the city, explores this area despite warnings from his friend and the government, and is permanently changed by what he sees/experiences/is possessed by.

    Thoughts?
    BugGirlon June 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationA song for every veteran soldier returning from war.
    einzigeon June 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningDefinitely about substance abuse, either the aftermath or starting back up.....
    Foxthaballeron July 14, 2013   Link

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