Something I Can Never Have

Album: Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
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Songfacts®:

  • This sad and gut-wrenching song can be interpreted as Trent Reznor dealing with problems with drugs or alcohol, or a lost relationship with God, but many of the lines seem to point to a particular person ("I still recall the taste of your tears," "Think I know what you meant that night on my bed"). Reznor himself has never explained it. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Phil - Columbus, OH
  • This is the fifth track on Pretty Hate Machine, Nine Inch Nails' debut album. In their music videos and on stage, they appeared as a group, but in the studio it was essentially a Trent Reznor solo project. One of the guys who worked with Reznor but got frozen out of the album was Richard Patrick, who went on to form Filter. Reznor threw him a bone by having him create a guitar drone that segued from the previous track, "Sanctified," into "Something I Can Never Have."
  • A version of this song was used on the soundtrack to the 1994 movie Natural Born Killers, which Trent Reznor produced. The songs on the soundtrack incorporate dialog from the film; "Something I Can Never Have" uses a scene where the murderous couple Mickey and Mallory are having a quarrel.

Comments: 10

  • Eric from Slc, UtTrent Reznor is a lyrical genius
  • Amanda from Richmond, Vaapparently a lot of the songs from 'pretty hate machine' were from trents personal journal that he kept while in college.
  • Cody from Grafton, OhBrilliant song, best NiN song by far. Widly overlooked
  • Gerardo from Irving, TxThis song is one of his coolest songs his lyrics always seem to have a deeper meaning thats why nin is so freakin awsome
  • David from Lakeview, NcNo, Sara from Crack Springs, NY. The last verse is on the lyric sheet, but it isn't on the recording.
  • Courtney from Pahrump, NvThis song is amazingly depressing but it means so much trent has Deep Seep lyrics Hes Awesome!!!
  • Sara from Crack Springs, Wythis is a NIN classic i love this song so much! i love them....absolutely the best band EVER! but he does indeed say " I KNOW WHAT YOU MEANT THAT NIGHT ON MY BED" sorry but true story
  • Chris from Buffalo, NyThis song is depressing. But he never says i think i know what you meant on my bed. . .
  • Emily from Charleston, ScThis song made me cry when my best friend and I were in a fight.
  • Sean from Mokena, IlThis is my life in a nutshell... I love this song
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