Reptile

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"Reptile"
Album: The Downward Spiral
Length: 6:51
Tempo: {{{BPM}}} BPM
Versions: Reptile
Reptilian
Underneath The Skin
Reptile (And All That Could Have Been) DVD
Liar (Reptile Demo)
Live: Self Destruct Warm-up through Performance 2007

"Reptile" is the twelfth track on 1994's The Downward Spiral. This song is characteristic of the band's early 90s "industrial" sound, as it opens with an eerie, quiet machine-like sound collage that transitions into a nearly identical-sounding musical composition. Allegedly, it is a sample of a machine that slaughters pigs, though no sources have been found that indicate this.

Song Credits

Appearances

Halos

Seeds

Versions

Reptile

This is the original album version.

Reptilian

This version has more layering, no intro, and instrumental choruses after the regular choruses.

Underneath The Skin

This version is an almost-instrumental mix that has modified instrumentals.

Liar (Reptile Demo)

Relatively the same as the version that found its way onto The Downward Spiral throughout the intro and verses, however the chorus is somewhat altered featuring a dancier beat and different vocals layered over. The song's "transition" happens at 1:00 instead of 0:57.

Reptile (And All That Could Have Been)

This live version is an Easter Egg on the DVD version of And All That Could Have Been.

Live

The song has always been performed with the beeps as an introduction. During the breakdown, Reznor sings "please don't hurt me" followed by a desperate cry. Recently on the Year Zero Warm-Up Tour, the intro is further extended with a more articulate sound and Reznor whispering over it.

This song was also featured in the Boston, MA radio performance, (Peter Murphy, Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jeordie White) on June 23, 2006.

Lyrics

    She spreads herself wide open to let the insects in
    She leaves a trail of honey to show me where she’s been
    She has the blood of reptile just underneath her skin
    Seeds from a thousand lovers drip down from within
    
    Oh my beautiful liar
    Oh my precious whore
    My disease my infection
    I am so impure
    
    Devils speak of the ways in which she'll manifest
    Angels bleed from the tainted touch of my caress
    Need to contaminate to alleviate this loneliness
    I now know the depths I reach are limitless
    
    Oh my beautiful liar
    Oh my precious whore
    My disease my infection
    I am so impure


Previous track - "Eraser" Track 12 from The Downward Spiral Next track - "The Downward Spiral"