"Somewhat Damaged" is the first track on the Left side of the double disc The Fragile. It primarily builds using percussive samples, without many melodic elements. The first part of the song is in a 3/4 time signature before turning into a 4/4 time signature superimposed over a 3/4 time signature.
Like "Mr. Self Destruct" on The Downward Spiral, "Somewhat Damaged" introduces the listener to the album's sonic structure. The song is dictated around its simple four note guitar riff, with the first half of the song written in a 9/4 (or a repeating 3/4) time signature. It opens with an acoustic guitar playing the simple riff and layers of abstract sounds slowly fading in. The drums enter, while more acoustic guitars are layered in, echoing the primary guitar. After the first two stanzas, a small interlude occurs, during which the acoustic guitars are replaced with heavily distorted guitars. Reznor's screaming abilities are put on display as the majority of the lyrics are now shrieked out. The last third of the song is written in 4/4 (or a 4/4 time signature superimposed over a 3/4 time signature), while the lyrics are sung in a clashing time signature. These final, peculiarly-structured lyrics are sung over the cacophony of instruments, which then quickly give way to a crescendoing chorus synth sampled with Trent Reznor's voice. The introductory drone of "The Day The World Went Away" also fades in at this point.
Somewhat Damaged (Instrumental)
Released exclusively through Apple Music. Has a different arrangement to album version.
Somewhat Damaged (Beside You In Time)
This live version is amongst the bonus footage on Beside You In Time. The intro is very different from the album original, featuring a percussion synth that fades in as the crew finish setting up the stage.
On the Fragility Tour, the song was played pretty much the same as the album version, with Reznor on the guitar.
However, beginning with the With Teeth Summer Amphitheater Tour, and for every subsequent performance, Reznor significantly reworked the song's live introduction. The reworked introduction starts off very minimalist, with Reznor singing almost a cappella over just a simple synth rhythm line. The new introduction eschews the album version's heavy kick drum entirely, and the guitar line and tom-tom drums aren't brought in until the second stanza. The full instrumental complement of the album version isn't brought in until the end of the second stanza, which makes for a more impactful contrast with the subdued introduction.
So impressed with all you do Tried so hard to be like you Flew too high and burnt the wing Lost my faith in everything Lick around divine debris Taste the wealth of hate in me Shedding skin succumb defeat This machine is obsolete Made the choice to go away Drink the fountain of decay Tear a hole exquisite red Fuck the rest and stab it dead Broken bruised forgotten sore Too fucked up to care anymore Poisoned to my rotten core Too fucked up to care anymore In the back off the side and far away is a place where I hide where I stay tried to say tried to ask I needed to all alone by myself where were you? How could I ever think it's funny how everything that swore it wouldn't change is different now just like you Would always say we'll make it through then my head fell apart and where were you? How could I ever think it's funny how everything you swore would never change is different now like you said you and me make it through didn't quite fell apart where the fuck were you?