The Great Below
"The Great Below" is the twelfth and final track on the Left disc of The Fragile.
The Great Below
This is the original album version. A single synthesizer layer fades in from the end of "La Mer," ascending in pitch until it is joined by a deep bass melody, doubled by synthesizers and providing accompaniment for an acoustic guitar melody. These synthesizers and the bassline stop for Reznor's softly-sung vocals, still accompanied by the guitar melody and joined with new, sea-like atmospheric loops. The lyric, "all of this for you," occasions the re-entry of the synthesized bassline and atmosphere layers, which build as the second verse is sung with harmony. These eventually open up to the climax, featuring a driving bassline and layers of wordless vocal melodies shared with "And All That Could have Been," and Reznor's yelled lyrics, which connect the climax into the coda section. Beginning with a new guitar melody, atmosphere layers cycle in as a drum pattern enters and Reznor sings the final lyrics. The drums eventually give way to the fading repetition of atmosphere loops. The song's vinyl mix has a slightly different crossfade with "La Mer."
The Great Below (Instrumental)
Released exclusively through Apple Music as part of The Fragile Instrumental and later on The Fragile: Deviations 1. It retains the mix and arrangement used on the album, but with the full intro, as it does not crossfade from the end of "La Mer."
The Great Below (And All That Could Have Been)
This live version is performed a 1/2-step lower than the album version.
The live performance of "The Great Below" in And All That Could Have Been features Reznor performing the song in front of three large visuals from Bill Viola that initially display an ocean shore and then a figure walking through a field of poppies, culminating in images of water and the sea. The images change as the song progresses.
"The Great Below" was featured on the setlist for the final show of the Wave Goodbye Tour but was not played.
Staring at the sea Will she come? Is there hope for me After all is said and done Anything at any price All of this for you All the spoils of a wasted life All of this for you All the world has closed her eyes Tired faith all worn and thin For all we could have done And all that could have been Ocean pulls me close And whispers in my ear The destiny I've chose All becoming clear The currents have their say The time is drawing near Washes me away Makes me disappear I descend from grace In arms of undertow I will take my place In the great below I can still feel you Even so far away