I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of shit
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I will keep myself
I would find a way

Lyrics submitted by implode, edited by Mellow_Harsher, swagshag

Hurt song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +21
    General CommentLooking at the plot of the album, I believe this song could be an anthem to the victims of suicide. In the preceding song "The Downward Spiral", the protagonist shoots himself in the head to escape the torture of the Ruiner/Mr. Self-Destruct/the mechanical voice in his head... which is exactly what the Ruiner wanted. The goal of the Ruiner is to make your life miserable and take it, and he is in every one of us. Our protagonist finally gives in and shoots himself, and suddenly the Ruiner is gone, but so is his life. Almost immediately upon taking his life, he (his ghost/soul/whatever) regrets it. He was selfish and weak in thinking suicide was the only solution to something we all fight subconsciously. "You were someone else, I am still right here" is him talking to himself. He was being someone he wasn't, while the human side of him is still there, just now robbed of life. He let down the people who loved him and hurt them ("I will let you down, I will make you hurt"). And if he had any chance to go back and start over, he wouldn't commit suicide, and he'd find a way to deal with the Ruiner by any means possible ("If I could start again, a million miles away, I could keep myself, I would find a way") finally there's the very loud noise that comes with the last line.... I think that's him transcending to Heaven or Hell, depending on how you look at the album. And finally once the noise goes away, there's nothing left behind.
    HammerFloydon August 24, 2011   Link
  • +13
    My Interpretationthis is a song talking about being at the absolute bottm of depression. its something that unless you have been there or watched someone there you never really understand

    I hurt myself today
    to see if I still feel
    (I feel so dead and empty, I was just wondering if I still had any feeling)
    I focus on the pain
    the only thing that's real
    (everything seems surreal, but at least I know the pain is real)
    the needle tears a hole
    the old familiar sting
    (I’ve done drugs to deaden my senses for so long its familiar, normal)
    try to kill it all away
    but I remember everything
    (I try to make the memories and pain go away, but it won’t go)

    what have I become?
    my sweetest friend
    (you are the closest to me, I adore you, help me)
    everyone I know
    goes away in the end
    ( I drive everyone away from me)

    you could have it all
    my empire of dirt
    (if you want me you can take it, but I’m worthless)
    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt
    (I will do to you what I’ve done to everyone else, drive you away with my self loathing)

    I wear this crown of shit
    (my crowning achievement in life is that I have achieved nothing)
    upon my liar's chair
    ( I don’t know the truth anymore so it all must be lies)
    full of broken thoughts
    I cannot repair
    (I try but I cant keep my head together)
    beneath the stains of time
    the feelings disappear
    ( i don’t remember how to feel its been so long since I have)
    you are someone else
    (you have changed)
    I am still right here
    (I have not)

    if I could start again
    a million miles away
    I would keep myself
    I would find a way
    (if I could do it all over again. Away from all the people I know and love I wouldn’t lose who I was, I’d find a way to show them I really do care. It wouldn’t have to end this way)
    demonicaangelon February 09, 2009   Link
  • +10
    General Commentthe whole song reminds me of how sometimes you feel like you are absolutely nothing. and sometimes its all the time that you feel that way.
    Virrrrgoon January 29, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General Comment.. another beautiful song. There are four musical Gods out there; Trent is one of them. The other three are McLachlan, Alanis, and Maynard.

    I don't really think this song relates to drug use. Yes, it does say 'tear a hole' with a needle--

    [the needle tears a hole the old familiar sting try to kill it all away but I remember everything ]

    --but I believe that, again, as usual, it's a metaphor for unwanted memories. You try to block them out because, at one point, they were so beautiful but now they're simply.. a painful reminder. Or, hell, not even beautiful. Maybe just painful. And you don't want to remember anymore, but you can't help yourself..

    I agree with lorienmariene [this song is about self loathing] and primusboy [this song is about not being good enough.]

    The reference to the empire of dirt, crown of shit; maybe things that were once beautiful, or at least valuable, but now worthless. You can have them all--they don't mean anything to me anymore.

    And then there are the references to another person, someone I'm sure he was once close to, but who is now moving on with their life--but while they move on, he is "still right here."

    A painful, painful song. In short: Maybe there was something beautiful in your life once, but someone tore it away from you, and destroyed it. Nothing matters anymore. All you have is the memory, and the hurt.

    But if you had to do it all again, you would.
    pragmaticpoetryon April 19, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Commentthere is one perticular line in this song that speeks to me
    "you can have it all
    my empire of dirt"
    i think it means everything i have in my life means nothing to me, i dont do it to please myself, and id give it up in a heartbeat
    that describes my whole life
    DaRMan40on January 19, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe song lyrics seem to be from a heroin addict/dealers perspective. The references to the needle and killing pain. Dirt is a street term for heroin so his Empire of Dirt could symbolize his drug business or all the dope hes wasted money on and done. He talks about his crown of thorns and liars chair which could symbolize all the mental and physical pain hes afflicted on other people and himself because of the drug.
    SaintPsilocybinon February 23, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is purely tragic
    Achilles_Libertineon March 22, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's pretty obvious that it's about someone inflicting physical pain on themselves to see if they can feel anything else besides the pain they're feeling inside.... umm, as for Squall02 and rev.manson.... what you said was pretty insensitive... first off squall, it's not that kids fault that his gf would cut herself, and as for you manson, it's very painful to be in a relationship w/ someone that does that because first, it makes you feel like you aren't good enough to make them feel better, and second, it isn't exaclty easy to watch someone emotionaly dying like that.....annnyhow, great song.
    penguinbobuson May 02, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    scullion44on August 07, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Interestingly enough, when I wrote the song [Hurt] I had no idea what was in store for me. I wrote the album about somebody who follows this path who was an extension of me. But it was in my head. I hadn't actually lived it. Then later I lived it. I didn't realise the record was a premonition. I was using the metaphor of drugs at the forefront of what was going on. But I wasn't a junkie. Later I became one, but I didn't know there was an addict in me that just hadn't bloomed out of the dirt yet."
    Nine Inch Nails
    CynfullySweeton April 15, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top