The Good Soldier

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"The Good Soldier"
Album: Year Zero
Length: 3:23
Tempo: 87 BPM
Versions: The Good Soldier
The Good Soldier (Instrumental)
The Good Soldier: Sam Fog
Live: Performance 2007 through NIN 2013 Festival Tour
Europe + Asia 2018 through present

"The Good Soldier" is the fourth track on the 2007 release Year Zero. The chorus of this song includes the line "I Am Trying To Believe."

Alan Cross from 102.1 CFNYFM The Edge in Toronto had this song "mysteriously show up" in his office. His description of this song is "Moody, slower. Great grind-y bass synth groove. A natural pick for a single!"[1]

A similar drum sound set and beat were used in a live reworked performance of "Reptile" with Peter Murphy in Boston, Massachusetts on June 23, 2006. While this song appears on The Definitive NIN - The Singles, it was never released as a single or promo.


The "Good Soldier" could be the captain from the comic book portrayed at the website One Country At A Time.




  • The Definitive NIN - The Singles - online playlist(s); not on original Seed release


The Good Soldier

This is the original album version. Both the drum loop and bass riff that begin the song remain steady throughout the song, though the drums drop out to leave the filtered bass riff as a bridge to the song's coda. Its melodically-sung verses are backed by a distorted guitar riff that contrasts musically with the chorus, which features airy synthesizer pads. The ending adds a second bass riff on top of the first and a new guitar riff, also characterized by Trent Reznor's wordless background wailing. Most of the layers eventually stop together, leaving the drum loop to repeat for four measures and lead directly into "Vessel."

The Good Soldier (Instrumental)

Running Time: 3:34

This unmastered vocal-less mix was released by Reznor through his account.

The Good Soldier—Sam Fog Mix (Friend Or Faux 001)

Running Time: 8:05

This remix is on the vinyl edition of Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D. A false intro begins this remix before the lyrics "And the bass goes/Bomb" formally start the track. At one point, it seems as though the song is brought a half-step higher in tone than on the Year Zero original. A three-minute outro ends the song, which finishes with percussion fading into the main riff, much like how the song started.


"The Good Soldier" was played live for the first time on May 9, 2007 at Luna Park in Sydney, Australia, on the Performance 2007 tour, and continued as a regular for the rest of that tour.

On the Lights in the Sky Tour, "The Good Soldier" appeared as an encore in about half of the shows, appearing more regularly as the tour went on.

"The Good Soldier" appeared infrequently on the Wave Goodbye Tour, and was only played twice on the Hesitation Marks touring cycle. It also made a few appearances throughout 2018.


    Gun fire in the street
    Where we used to meet
    Echoes out a beat and the bass goes
    Bomb right over my head 
    Step over the dead 
    Remember what you said you know, the part about
    Life is just a waking dream 
    Well I know what you mean
    But that ain't how it seems right here and how
    How can all this be real
    I can barely feel 
    I am trying to see
    I am trying to believe 
    This is not where I should be 
    I am trying to believe 
    Blood hardens in the sand 
    Cold metal in my hand 
    Maybe help you understand
    The way that things will be
    There's nowhere left to hide 
    'Cause God is on our side 
    I keep telling myself
    I am trying to see 
    I am trying to believe 
    This is not where I should be 
    I am trying to believe
    No one's even sure
    What we're fighting for
    Or who we even are
    I feel
    So far away

Some changes were made in the final recorded lyrics:

  • The final stanza does not appear in the song at all.
  • The ninth line of the first verse saw a slight change:
    But that ain't how it seems right here right now
  • The third and fourth lines of the second verse were slightly reworded:
    Help you understand
    The way that things are gonna be

Previous track - "Survivalism" Track 4 from Year Zero Next track - "Vessel"
This page was last modified on 21 December 2019, at 22:54. This page has been accessed 100,092 times.