Somewhat Damaged

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"Somewhat Damaged"
Album: The Fragile (Left)
Length: 4:31
Tempo: 110 BPM
Versions: Somewhat Damaged
Somewhat Damaged (Beside You In Time)
Live: Fragility through Performance 2007
Wave Goodbye Tour through present

"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.

Journal entry from The Fragile sessions in 1999 published on detailing the revision of the end of "Somewhat Damaged."
Journal entry from The Fragile sessions in 1999 published on detailing further work on "Somewhat Damaged" and also the unused music video for "The Day the World Went Away."

Song Credits




Somewhat Damaged

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 (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. Likewise, it's in a lower key than the album version.


Reznor sings in a different key when performing "Somewhat Damaged" live due to the intense vocal stress it would bring normally. During the With_Teeth: Summer Amphitheater Tour, "Somewhat Damaged" had a substantially different introduction. On the Fragility tour the song was played pretty much the same as the album version, with Reznor on the guitar. However in later tours a new introduction was added to the song, making it no longer necessary for Reznor to play. An example of this can be seen here in a performance from the 2009 Roksilde Festival.


    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?

External Links

Previous track - "N/A" Track 1 from The Fragile Left (CD), Side A (Vinyl) Next track - "The Day The World Went Away"