Skin Of A Drum
"Skin Of A Drum" was produced and composed by Trent Reznor for Saul Williams' third studio album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!.
Its backing track was created from a leftover NIN track called "The March".
Saul Williams on "Skin Of A Drum"
"This track was one of the original 14 [a CD of outtakes provided by Reznor] and by the time I got home from Australia it had really grown on me. I think its the second song I recorded with Trents music. I didn't realize until later that Trent and Alan both seemed emotionally attached to the music as something they had labored over for a long time and never found a home for. I should have known because the track had a title (march) although it had no lyrics. When I emailed Trent my home recording he quickly responded that he got chills from listening to it. I wrote most of the song sitting on the wooden bench in my kitchen waiting for my girlfriend to call me back (we break up in the next song). What's funny is I had NiggyTardust in mind the whole time even though the song is very personal, like Raw. When we mixed it I invited Persia White (XEO3 and 'Girlfriends') to do a little Cocteau Twinning on the outro. In the chronology of Niggy, this is the point of his story where he realizes that although the world seems to have divided him against himself, he can't lose. Its a triumph even though it's laden with heart break. He realizes that he has been broken to fit."
- Music by Trent Reznor (Leaving Hope)
- Words by Saul Williams (Punk Rock of Gibraltar/EMI)
- Vox: Saul Williams
- Background vox: Persia White
Skin Of A Drum
This version is heard on The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!.
And I can’t become my father when it’s all been said and done. His completions won’t complete me. I’ve divided me by one. I’m the answer to his riddle. I’m the caution of his wind. I’m the spoon wedged between tongue and teeth beneath his trembling grin. And I dare add my revision for I dare not suffer twice. And I dare not reinvent the past. And I dare not be the Christ. And I welcome every sufferer. And I welcome every Saul. Sitting in this room, on wooden bench, waiting for Joi to call. And I suffer here alone, Lord. Perturbed by my every thought. How I’ve tried to strip them to the bone. I’ve struggled and I’ve fought. Every jealous warped intention, smuggled, sewn into my genes. Every hidden mongrel tendency exploiting me in me. Each time I put them under but still they wanna test me. I cry out through the thunder. You storm right past me. I search and I ponder. I question and wonder. I roar and I thunder, Please, let me in. I’ve been waiting here for what now seems the better of an hour. I’ve raised every crippled question from the dead and given power to the absence of my sanity. The presence of a fear that lies in between forgotten dreams that pile up every year. Up above the highest testaments, down below the wooden floor, there’s a gutted room, pitch black at noon, beneath a hidden door. deep within, you’ll find the attributes of every sunken man who must bang his head against the dead each day he tries to stand. And he’s standing pressed against the very woman that he loves. Kissing eyes and lips, embracing hips, surrendering to her touch. And just at the very moment that he touches heart to heart, she pulls from his touch, ‘cause it’s too much to mend what’s apart. Each time I put them under but still they wanna test me. I cry out through the thunder. You storm right past me. I search and I ponder. I question and wonder. I roar and I thunder, Please, let me in. It’s so hard to be the man I would be if hatred and fear no longer appeared. I swear I’ve become the skin of a drum, the heart of a man…Divided I stand.