I'd listen to the words he'd say
But in his voice I heard decay
The plastic face forced to portray
All the insides left cold and gray

There is a place that still remains
It eats the fear, it eats the pain
The sweetest price he'll have to pay
The day the whole world went away

Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah
Na na na, nah
Na na nah

Lyrics submitted by thewhitepony33, edited by Mellow_Harsher

The Day the World Went Away Lyrics as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Day the World Went Away song meanings
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  • +13
    General Comment"I'd listen to the words he'd say, but in his voice I heard decay"
    ---- the person he's referring to acts like he's okay, but even the tone in his voice contradicts him. He's pretending to be okay, but it's obvious he's living a lie.

    "the plastic face forced to portray, all the insides left cold and gray. . ."
    ----The subject he's referring to is forced to portray something he's not, while he's falling apart on the inside.

    "there is a place that still remains,it eats the fear it eats the pain. . . "
    --- 'The place' refers to a center of self-abuse, whether that he a drug, alcohol or self-mutilation.

    "the sweetest price he'll have to pay, the day the whole world went away. . . "
    --The subject eventually paid the price for fooling everyone, he himself couldn't take it anymore and destroyed the empire of lies he had created.
    LittleUrantiaGirlon July 03, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this song shows us that trent reznor is actually a buddhist and he is talking about experiencing zen. It is a buddhist tenet that the world is an illusion yet its presence is before us. In a state of zen the illusion of the world vanishes and the original nature of the mind is seen. Its about acheiviing that level of spiritial fulfillment befcause it is necessary to fill the spiritual void that a life of illusion creates. it is about the quest for deeper meaning with life and the relaisation that life must disappear for that meaning to become apparent. The day the whole world went away
    the_toolshedon March 03, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI was listening to this song and at the last 12 seconds I heard him saying "I love you" six times, really quietly,
    I think thats what he says, just listen to it closely and look out for it
    tdtwwwa21on February 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWatch the new Terminator: Salvation trailer... One of the best uses I've seen for this song so far.
    MrSelfxDestructon March 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthat's right... supress the pain... don't struggle... that's right
    greymatterareaon June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is all about Space Travel. See, Trent has always wanted to go into space, and because Earth will be so far away, that day that he finally acheives his dream will be the day the world went away.

    All the lyrics are about his hero, Neil Armstrong, because he listened tot he words he'd say "One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind" (if you listen to this song in reverse and diagonally, this phrase is actually hidden in the song) and the part about "all the insides left cold and gray" actually refers to the fact that space is cold, because it's like a vaccum.

    The biggest give away is at the end of the song, where it's all silent, and then suddenly you hear the big instrumental sound, which is the shuttle taking off, and then Trent and the other members of the crew are like "nah nah nah!" at everyone on Earth, because they get to go into space and we don't, bastards.
    Shockaon October 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm living a lie. I'm a happy laughing guy at school, but inside I'm an angsty on the verge of suicide nobody. No social life, no relationship, no future.

    I always listen to this song. It helps me prepare for my suicide
    dsgfsdgson November 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenton the fragile... i heard that Left was about the death of Trent's grandmother, Clara. So, my interpretation of this song must fit the enterpretation of Left. Trent said himself on the NIN site a couple of days ago, You don't build a house a room at a time, you design the whole thing, then get to work. If Left is about the death of his grandmother, TDTWWA is about the day he found out that she was terminally ill. The plastic face is the doctor revealing to Trent and his Clara that she is going to die. When he knew she was terminal, nothing else mattered, the world went away. I can only imagine that a moment like that would burn deeply into Trent. He would write a song about that moment. The albumn moves on to The Frail, a song devoted to his grandmother...
    zambaion April 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the death of Trent's grandmother.

    Not only that, but it's more specifically about her funeral.

    The entire bunch of lyrics is Trent speaking about the funeral priest guy burying his grandmother/cremating her.

    On the outside, he looks calm and collected, knowing it's his job, it's what he has to do. But on the inside, it pains him to have to lay someone to rest forever. After years and years of doing this, it's left him with a plastic face forced to portray no emotion towards death even though he wants to. It leaves him knowing he just has to do his job and get it over with. Thus cold and grey.

    The place that still remains and eats his fear and pain away, is his mind. His mind forces him remain apathetic about having to put someone to rest infront of many loved ones, breaking down.

    The sweetest price the priest will have to pay? When he has to lay the entire world to rest and the whole world goes away.

    This is actually the CONFIRMED AND REAL meaning to the song The Day The World Went Away.

    It's Trent speaking to a priest about how he's so calm and collected while he burys someone/cremates them, while loved ones, and friends all around him, break down over the death of the dead person. In this case, his grandmother. He broke down...the priest remained calm, and just did his job as if he didn't care at all about her death.

    The song is dedicated to him. And this is actually the TRUE meaning to the song.
    BLEEDTHROUGHon April 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song in my understanding is about depersonalization disorder. He has to put on a face for other people; a personality because he's numb inside. The sweetest price is his life, and the place that still remains is an afterlife if there is one - where he won't feel fear or pain anymore. The world and all of your problems don't matter when you're dead.
    Thorpon June 18, 2011   Link

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