"While I'm Still Here" as written by Hank Williams Sr. and Trent Reznor....
Only thing I've ever done
Ticking time is running out

Closest I've ever come
Ticking time is running out

Oh so tired on my own
Ticking time is running out

Best days I've ever known
Ticking time is running out

Yesterday I found out the world was ending
Yesterday I found out the world was ending

A little more
Every day
Falls apart and
Slips away

I don't mind
I'm okay
Wish it didn't
Have to end this way

These four walls are closing in
Ticking time is running out

Of all the things that might have been
Ticking time is running out yeah

Watch young lovers walking by
Ticking time is running out yeah

God forgive me if I cry
Ticking time is running out

A little more
Every day
Falls apart and
Slips away

I don't mind
I'm okay
Nothing ever
Stays the same

While we can
Remember when
Always running
Even then

Stay with me
Hold me near

And I'm still here


Lyrics submitted by claudpeer, edited by Androgyne, freshym, SesameStreetwise, stryderinc, lawrenceff

"While I'm Still Here" as written by Trent Reznor Hank Williams Sr.

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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While I'm Still Here song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentYeah, I don't think so. Here's my take on it.
    It's about how different he has become since he made the Downward Spiral. He's talked much about the influences of that time in his life had on this album. The first stanza is about how he has aged and matured, and his fears of being too old to continue making music. Music is the "only thing he's ever done" The Downward Spiral is the "closest he has ever come" to being a total rock star considering the popularity gain he had during that time. Those times are also the "best times he's ever known" because that is when he was the most popular, and I think that sometimes we tend to romanticize our sadness/depression, plus we're often nostalgic as well. I think he is very proud of himself in ways. He's proud that he felt that way, but has overcome it. What he means by "Yesterday I found out the world was ending" is about how his reign as THE rock star has ended. He's no longer in the lime light or on magazine covers like he was during the 90's. The next part is about how he has changed. A little more of his past self slips away, his old addicted, depressed, and destructive self, but he doesn't mind because now he is happy and at peace with himself. He has won the battle. He wishes it didn't have to end this way, because he wishes he could have gone out on top. He wishes he could have remained popular. He wishes he could have given more to the world. And perhaps, he has bittersweet feelings about his inability to write as well, lyrically, since he is happy and drug free. He's glad he's no longer drowning in destruction, but wishes he could have retained that muse that guided him through his previous masterwork. I think the next stanza is about regret. I think a part of him misses being young again. Also, it may not be a stretch to say that he's going through a bit of a mid-life-crisis. He is a middle-aged man after all. I think part of him regrets the way he kind of destroyed/wasted his early life, his prime, through drugs, etc....The final part is again more reflective. He's saying, "well, at least I have the memories..." and he's realizing that he's spent his whole life chasing after fame and fortune and happiness, and now I think he has that and kind of feels a little bit hollow, like he has nothing left to chase after, nothing else to gain. All he can hope for now is hope that those who love him, and I mean this in a very broad sense (his wife, kids, family, friends, and fans) will continue to stay with him and love him. I think he may feel a little bit "disappointed" with himself. Like he isn't the man he used to be. Maybe he wishes he would of had the love and support he has now 20 years ago when he was going through the hardest times of his life. Maybe he feels like he doesn't have much to offer the world or those he is close to anymore.
    Androgyneon September 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is clearly about a person who is suffering from a terminal illness (and aren't we all?) and coming to grips with it.
    einzigeon September 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHumans are weak, they just cant accept it.
    FreshOwnageon January 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds more like he's saying "walking back" rather than "fucking back" lol ...
    forsakenenemyon April 16, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn incredibly heartbreaking track off a creative album, While I'm Still Here brings to mind mortality, not only of the listener but also of the artist. Reznor's words sound applicable to his career, his relationships, his very life. The best album of 2013, Hesitation Marks reminds the listener of the passage of time; not only directly as on this track but also indirectly by the similarity of the sound of the album compared to works nearly 20 years old (The Downward Spiral). Invoking the past, whether intentional or not, gives the listener the intense feeling of an end approaching to what was begun long ago.
    richard022on July 26, 2015   Link
  • -4
    General Commentdrugs
    something somethingon September 26, 2013   Link

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