Wednesday, November 7, 2012


     The song entitled "Piggy", written by Trent Reznor, performed by Trent Reznor, recorded by Trent Reznor, and edited by Trent Reznor, the sole member and founder of Nine Inch Nails. The song is on the album "The Downward Spiral", which was at least partly inspired by David Bowie's album "Low" and Pink Floyd's album "The Wall". When listening to both "The Wall" and "Low" it is quite evident the influence on "The Downward Spiral", and by extension, "Piggy".
     The song uses repetition with a variety of following phrases said in a plethora of tones and volumes to instill different emotions in the listener. For example: "Nothing can stop me now." The phrase appears multiple times throughout the song, often accompanied by some variation of: "'Cause I don't care anymore." This phrase pair can be heard being whispered, spoken, and something bordering on shouting throughout the work. The phrase: "Nothing can stop me now." also makes an appearance in many of Reznor's other songs, becoming something of a motif between works.
     The song "Piggy" could be seen as describing an abusive relationship, but considering that the album that it is on, "The Downward Spiral" is supposed to be a descent into madness and possible self-hurt, it seems far more likely that it is an internal argument. If one thinks of 'pig' in the song as himself (Reznor), then the song explains that the person in question (who is modeled after Reznor) is blaming himself for all of his failures. If this is taken into account, the chorus could be an attempt to convince himself to possibly take the final step. It is quite possible, however, that 'pig' is actually the character blaming someone else. Reznor said that  part of the inspiration for "Piggy" also came from the Tate murder. Reznor could be drawing a link from the accusation, 'pig', to someone he actually knew.
     The musical progression also has an impact on the meaning of the song. At the beginning, the  background music is slightly subdued, and isn't very significant, aside from setting the tone, and leaving a standard for comparison. By the end of the song, Reznor has gone into an erratic drum segment, further emphasizing the descent mentioned earlier. The theme of the whole album is reiterated both vocally, and non-vocally through each song.

Below is a link to the song:


  1. That was a solid post. I'm not sure what influence has anything to do with, but okay. Good explanation of tone. I like how you alluded to allusions without saying it. The last bit is a good analysis about musical progression. Good job

  2. The explanations behind your song we effectively conveyed. Eric, you did a very thorough job of explaining the literary elements in your song, especially through analysis on the instrumental variation throughout the song. The analysis on motivations behind the song are assembled well and contribute to the superb understanding of the subject that you hold. Well done.