The Lovers

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"The Lovers"
Album: Add Violence
Length: 4:09
Tempo: 115 BPM
Versions: The Lovers
The Lovers (Live At Rehearsals)
Live: I Can't Seem To Wake Up 2017 through present

"The Lovers" is the second track on the 2017 EP Add Violence. Its lyrics seem to tie in closely with "Dear World,".


In an episode of the Song Exploder podcast[1], Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross explained that the song is about an alternate reality that explores what might have happened if Reznor had never left his old home of New Orleans and had never gotten clean and sober. It began as a sort of poem he had written in order to explore what he calls the "seduction of addiction" and stated that "it was me allowing myself permission to examine a period of my life that I had consciously chose not to think about very much, then immerse myself in it in a kinda 'What if the path I'm currently on wasn't really the right one, and I just went hard-left the other way?"


  • Add Violence


The Lovers

This is the original version. The song features an instrument called the Luminist Garden, which was also used on the Gone Girl Soundtrack. In the aforementioned podcast, it's explained that the instrument was partially meant to evoke the sound of tapping fingers on a tabletop, as a reflection of the nervousness and anxiety inherent in addiction.

The Lovers (Live At Rehearsals)

This version of the song was filmed and recorded during the July 2017 rehearsals for the I Can't Seem To Wake Up 2017 tour. The spoken word portions of the song are far clearer here than on the original.


"The Lovers" made its live debut at the first show of the I Can't Seem To Wake Up 2017 tour. It appeared at most shows on that tour, and every one throughout Europe + Asia 2018, before continuing to appear frequently on the Cold And Black And Infinite Tour.

Rehearsal Video

Frame from the video

A rehearsal video[2] was posted to the official Nine Inch Nails YouTube account on December 13, 2017. It was directed by Brook Linder.


  [Part one]

  (I can hear you breathing)
  I’ve slipped out of time again
  Leaving all of you behind
  And I’m free
  To return to the place where I already am
  And have always been 
  If I just really looked and allowed myself 
  To see
  The confusion is seducing me warm, flowing
  Wide his eyes
  Hypnotize they see inside of me
  Hot swollen skin want me take me perfect embrace 
  Black and bloody
  Rotten and perfect
  The center has moved on and all that’s left is free 
  Everyone seems to be asleep but me 

  Take me
  Into the arms of the lovers
  Take me into the arms of the lovers
  [Part two]
  Oh I see you floating there
  How could I ever hope to forget
  Always rearranging
  These words are a lie a mirror reflecting in a mirror of a lie
  A light shines still always 
  Shadows in every word 
  Beneath black eaves
  Please don’t leave me here
  I could stop it 
  Maybe I could stop it (if I wanted to)
  But I’m not the one driving anymore
  I know who I am
  But I know who I am
  (Please don't leave me here with you)

  Take me 
  Into the arms of the lovers
  Free into the arms of the lovers
  Into the arms of the lovers
  Into the arms of the lovers
  I am free
  Into the arms of the lovers

Further lyrics are printed on the physical component. The word "godlike" seems to reference "The Life You Didn't Lead":

  The Lovers arrive [Beginning of First Chorus]
  The Lovers return [Beginning of Second Chorus]
  I am godlike
  I am
  I am singularity

There are also additional, unprinted lyrics which seem to reference "Everything":

 Coliseum calling with its night that could last forever 
 Breathing moments
 Take me
 Take all that's left
 I am free
 Combined and perfect 

External Links

Previous track - "Less Than" Track 2 from Add Violence Next track - "This Isn't The Place"
This page was last modified on 16 September 2019, at 02:59. This page has been accessed 33,775 times.