Behind the Meaning of “Hurt,” by Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash


Regardless that some songs originate with positive artists, they’re in reality owned by means of other ones. As an example, “I Will All the time Love You” was once written by means of Dolly Parton but it surely’s grow to be a Whitney Houston music. Even Parton, herself, recognizes this.

Every other nice instance of this phenomenon is “Harm.” In the beginning written by means of Trent Reznor and 9 Inch Nails, the music is a lot more regarded as, in this day and age, a Johnny Money quantity. Let’s dive into why.

Origins, Self-Hurt

In the beginning written for 9 Inch Nails’ 2nd LP, The Downward Spiral (1994), “Harm” was once written by means of Reznor and was once launched formally as a unmarried on April 17, 1995. The music later went directly to obtain a Grammy nomination for Perfect Rock Tune the next yr.

“Harm” comprises references to self-harm and drug dependancy. Some imagine the observe is in the end a sonic suicide word whilst others argue that it describes the glints of hope one may really feel amidst serious bouts of despair and unhappiness.


To start out the music, Reznor whisper-sings:

I harm myself nowadays
To look if I nonetheless really feel
I focal point at the ache
The one factor that’s actual

Reputedly with every word and with every phrase, the music continues to ramp up. Later within the observe, Reznor continues:

What have I grow to be?
My sweetest buddy
Everybody I do know is going away

And because the music crescendos, shifting into the denouement, Reznor concludes:

If I may get started once more
One million miles away
I might stay myself
I might have the option

NIN Track Video

The tune video for the unique 9 Inch Nails model of the music includes a reside efficiency by means of the band that was once recorded sooner than a display in Omaha, Nebraska on February 13, 1995. The audio from this model will also be present in more than a few next NIN releases.

The imagery for that video comprises provocative topics like battle atrocities, a nuclear bomb check, survivors from the Fight of Stalingrad, a snake having a look right into a digital camera, a time-lapse video of a fox decomposing performed backward, and extra. The video was once emblematic of the tone of 9 Inch Nails, which was once polarizing a band within the ’90s because it was once proficient.

NIN Model in In style Tradition

Right through the band’s Dissonance excursion in 1995, 9 Inch Nails opened for David Bowie. On a few of the ones dates, Bowie sang “Harm” with Reznor. This was once the belief to the NIN portion of the set, which then led into every of Bowie’s units.

Years later, “Harm” by means of 9 Inch Nails was once used within the finale of season two of the preferred for-adults caricature sequence Rick and Morty. The music was once extensively utilized within the trailer for the Wonder film Logan.

Johnny Money’s Undying Duvet

Money, who died in 2003 on the age of 71, lined “Harm” in 2002 as a part of his Rick Rubin-inspired American Recordings sequence, through which Money lined quite a few standard and same old songs. Upon listening to the rendition, Reznor praised Money’s interpretation, in particular for its “sincerity and which means.” Reznor additionally stated that the “music isn’t mine anymore.”

The Money model resonated so deeply with listeners in large part as a result of the vulnerability within the efficiency of the music. Money’s tune video for the observe, directed by means of Mark Romanek, is nowadays regarded as by means of many to be some of the largest tune movies of all time.

When Reznor was once requested if Money may document a rendition of the NIN music, the rock frontman famous he was once flattered however questioned if the music may come throughout as too “gimmicky.” However the tune video and Money’s recording assuaged his worries.

Mentioned Reznor, “I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. [I felt like] I simply misplaced my female friend, as a result of that music isn’t mine anymore… It in reality made me take into consideration how robust tune is as a medium and artwork shape. I wrote some phrases and tune in my bed room as some way of staying sane, a few bleak and determined position I used to be in, utterly remoted and on my own. [Somehow] that finishes up reinterpreted by means of a tune legend from a radically other technology/style and nonetheless keeps sincerity and which means – other, however each and every bit as natural.”

Money’s Track Video

The Money model boasts a tune video that includes a montage of the legend’s early years, together with visuals of his later phases in existence. Spliced between imagery of fruit and vegetation in decay, the evocative photographs display, in essence, a existence in bloom and a existence withering.

Money was once 71 when the video was once filmed in 2003, and affected by critical well being issues. His time was once operating quick and his frailty is obviously obvious in his rendition’s tune video. Money died only a few months later. And Money’s spouse, June Carter Money, who’s proven within the video observing her husband in two sequences, died that very same yr in Would possibly.

The video, shot in Money’s longtime house, which has since been destroyed in a hearth, has since gained primary awards and distinctions, together with being named within the Most sensible 30 all-time perfect tune movies by means of Time and incomes a rating of No. 1 all-time by means of NME.

Different Variations

Whilst it will appear foolish to hide the music given the fantastic authentic model and its indelible rendition by means of Money, others have given it a shot.

In all probability maximum significantly, the British-born people band Mumford & Sons presented their model. Mumford & Sons had carried out the duvet as a ballad at Quicken Loans Area in Cleveland, Ohio, the place Reznor first made his musical title. The band has since finished it in next presentations, too.