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Album: Pretty Hate Machine
Length: 5:48
Tempo: 107 BPM
Versions: Sanctified
Sanctified (Live 2013 EP)
Sanctified (Purest Feeling)
Sanctified (Demo)
Live: VIVIsectVI Tour through Nights Of Nothing Tour
NIN 2013 Festival Tour through present

"Sanctified" is the fourth track on the 1989 release Pretty Hate Machine, recognizable by its electronic tom-based drum beat and distinctive slap bassline, the only NIN song containing that playing technique. Its mood was altered from its happier form on Purest Feeling to a darker, uneasier one for Pretty Hate Machine.

Trent Reznor has said the song is about a "relationship with a crack pipe."

Song Credits

  • Production: Trent Reznor, John Fryer
  • Engineer/Mix: John Fryer



  • Pretty Hate Machine


Video Games




The album version of the song begins with a programmed drum beat featuring prominent toms and atmospheric sounds created by guitar. The body of the song is dominated by a slap bassline atop this atmosphere and drumloop, joined by strumming guitars for the chorus. The bridge features Gregorian chant samples and dialog from the film Midnight Express, though the film sample was excised on the 2010 remaster of Pretty Hate Machine. The end of the song is comprised of a synth pad and a guitar drone (created by Richard Patrick), accompanied by another sample, which lower in pitch and winds down, segueing directly into "Something I Can Never Have." On the 2010 remastered vinyl edition, this song ends the first side; as such, the ending sample is removed, and the descending synth pad fades out.

Sanctified (Live 2013 EP)

Recorded live at Lollapalooza Festival 2013.

Sanctified (Purest Feeling)

The second track on Purest Feeling, the song begins with a shouted four count with drumsticks before hitting into the song. Though the beats and bassline are identical, the song is played slightly faster and all the effects are at a higher octave, giving it a much brighter mood. The samples in the song are also much louder than in the version on Pretty Hate Machine.

   Sample in the bridge:
     Old Man: "He wants to give it a try right now. Give it a try right now!"
     *car starts*
     Old Man: "Doesn't that feel good?  Now you're ready to go! Hey there?  
     Ready to get in there and get the job done!  Live is great!  Life is terrific!  
     Thank you God, for another wonderful day."

There is also one minor lyrical change in the last couple of lines.

   "I am purified!  I am terrified
    I am sanctified... inside you!"

His screams fade off into the guitar drones which contain more samples, which segue directly into the next song on the album, "Maybe Just Once".

Sanctified (Demo)

Present on the Demos and Remixes bootleg, it has the same tone as the Pretty Hate Machine version while including some alternate samples, including a shortened version of the "Old Man" sample in the bridge, a few odd noises not present in the final version (such as the "reeeeeeeeeee" at the beginning of the bridge), the alternate lyric at the end, and an odd sample at the very end which concludes with a man saying, "You'll see your life begin to change."


Following the Pretty Hate Machine Tour, "Sanctified" was not played again until the Dissonance tour, where it featured heavily. After the Nights Of Nothing Tour, the song was not played for 17 years until it was resurrected and played (as an altered version) throughout the NIN 2013-2014 tour. During the Tension 2013 Tour, it featured backing vocals by Lisa Fischer and Sharlotte Gibson. Beginning with the 2014 tour, the song was played to a backing track so Ilan Rubin could play bass.

During the Nights Of Nothing shows, the breakdown of the song included the lyric, "please, God, save me." Elements of "Please" and "Sunspots" have been interpolated into the reworked live 2013-present version. Namely, the line "just like now" from the former being whispered at various intervals, and the latter's synthesizer lead (or "blender sound") featured towards the end of the song.


    It's still getting worse after everything I've tried
    What if I found a way to wash it all aside
    What if she touches with those fingertips
    As the words spill out like fire from her lips

    If she says come inside I'll come inside for her
    If she says give it all I'll give everything to her
    I am justified
    I am purified
    I am sanctified
    Inside you

    Heaven's just a rumor she'll dispel
    As she walks me through the nicest parts of Hell
    I still dream of lips I never should have kissed
    Well she knows exactly what I can't resist

    If she says come inside I'll come inside for her
    If she says give it all I'll give everything to her
    I am justified
    I am purified
    I am sanctified
    Inside you

    I'm just caught up in another of her spells
    She's turning me into someone else
    Every day I hope and pray that this will end
    But when I can I do it all again

    If she says come inside I'll come inside for her
    If she says give it all I'll give everything to her
    I am justified
    I am purified
    I am sanctified
    Inside you

    As surely as the blade's course is run
    Maybe my kingdom's finally come

The final two lines are only present in the Pretty Hate Machine lyrics booklet.

The following audio sample from the 1978 film Midnight Express can be heard at 3 minutes 19 seconds on the original studio version (but not the 2010 remaster):

Dear mom and dad, 
This is the hardest letter I've ever had to write. I'd hoped somehow to get out of this quickly
so that you'd never have to know about it, but that just isn't possible now. I don't know what's
going to happen, but what can I say to you? Will "I'm sorry" make a difference? Will it ease the
pain? The shame you must be feeling? Forgive me, please.

Previous track - "Down In It" Track 4 from Pretty Hate Machine Next track - "Something I Can Never Have"
This page was last modified on 3 March 2020, at 17:51. This page has been accessed 128,800 times.