"Gave Up" as written by and Trent Reznor....
Perfect little dream the kind that hurts the most
Forgot how it feels well almost
No one to blame always the same
Open my eyes wake up in flames
It took you to make me realize
It took you to make me realize
It took you to make me realize?
It took you to make me see the light
Smashed up my sanity
Smashed up my integrity
Smashed up what I believed in
Smashed up what's left of me
Smashed up my everything
Smashed up all that was true
Gonna smash myself to pieces
I don't know what else to do
Covered in hope and Vaseline
Still cannot fix this broken machine
Watching the hole it used to be mine
Just watching it burn in my steady systematic decline
Of the trust I will betray
Give it to me I throw it away
After everything I've done I hate myself for what I've become
I tried
I gave up
Throw it away


Lyrics submitted by FireKraken

"Gave Up" as written by Trent Reznor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Gave Up song meanings
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59 Comments

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  • +9
    General CommentGave Up is about Trent's experience at a cooking class, because he was trying to learn how to cook stuff but in the end he had to give up.

    The whole Broken album is actually about a blender that Trent owned but it got broken
    Shockaon December 09, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis is a song about being in a relationship,and that person turning on you,and hurting you in some way. and then he wakes up and realizes what happened.and in the line--prefect little dream,the kind that hurts the most--thats thinking you found that "one",and then it comes back and "hurts" you!!! amazing song!!!
    Nothingman3001on May 20, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is my favorite NIN song of all time.

    He has always been treated like dirt by his girlfriend, he has now given up on the relationship and is telling us why.
    BrokenSwordon May 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou wake up one day and realize that you've been sacrificing everything that makes you a person. You see all of yourself that's you've given away and you no longer recognize the person in the mirror. I played this song for 4 hours straight after I quit a job that literally sucked my soul out of my body.
    trinity22on June 23, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song so fucking much...it molds to different life events so well for me.

    i saw the broken movie...i liked it. i only said one little "oh my god" in a part where i thought i saw a severed doll head, then it turned out to be a human head and i said "oh ok" lol. freaky dolls scare me.
    dragonkat72on June 30, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe meaning of this song is obvious...its about being treated like pure crap in a relationship, but until recently he did not see this because he was blinded by the "good" in the girl. He is now giving up on the relationship and saying to the girl "I am not going to let you screw up my life anymore" and he then explains how she screwed it up.

    This one goes out to you Chameleonica...
    DAWN of DOWNon July 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHROW IT AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!


    This song rules.
    Dushon December 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVasoline is used as a metaphor in this song. Vasoline is used in the song to explain something that is used for its healing purposes but still doesn't fix the job - think about it "covered in hope and vasoline but still cannot fix this broken machine". Yes its that simple, it really isn't about gay sex or masturbation.

    And seriously, what is with straight guys who wanna suck trent off?
    diklikon December 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you don't like Trent or his work then don't waste your time browsing through his lyrics.

    This song is so amazing, and I especially love the "smashed up my sanity" etc part, and the way it's sung.
    JamieFairbrotheron December 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEveryone seems to say that the second verse claims that he will never trust anyone again, I actually read it that he has betrayed someone's trust.

    "of the trust i will betray
    give it to me i throw it away
    after everything i've done i hate myself for what i've become"

    Isn't he saying that he's betrayed someone's trust and he hates himself for that? "give it to me I throw it away" He's been a bit dismissive of the trust people/women have placed in him, and when he looks back he sees how careless he was with that trust. Perhaps?

    Of course it is generally accepted that this EP is directed at TVT, so maybe he means he has betrayed them by making the EP is secret. Considering they screwed him over first, he has no choice, but it really goes against his nature to betray people. Maybe....

    I do think this song is about a woman though. "watching the hole it used to be mine" seems a very possessive sentence, describing how he felt about that person, but he no longer feels that way, he "still cannot fix this broken machine" - him.
    doctorsdolittleon February 27, 2008   Link

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