I got my head but my head is unraveling
cant keep control can’t keep track of where it’s traveling
I got my heart but my heart’s no good
you’re the only one that’s understood

I come along but I don’t know where you’re taking me
I shouldn’t go but you’re wrenching dragging shaking me
turn off the sun pull the stars from the sky
the more I give to you the more I die

and I want you

you are the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug

you make me hard when i’m all soft inside
I see the truth when i’m all stupid-eyed
the arrow goes straight through my heart
without you everything just falls apart

my blood just wants to say hello to you
my fear is warm to get inside of you
my soul is so afraid to realize
how very little bit is left of me

take me with you
without you everything just falls apart
it’s not as much fun to pick up the pieces

A music video for the single was directed by Mark Romanek and released on January 18, 1997. The theme was inspired by the illustrations of 20th-century artist Edward Gorey, with familiar Gorey elements including oversized urns, topiary plants, and glum, pale characters in full Edwardian costume. The most obvious reference to Gorey is the boy sitting on the cushion in front of the painting. Other references include an unidentified painting resembling Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1907–1908) and a “Scanning Machine” designed by Frenchman François Willème in 1860.

The video is widely interpreted as Trent Reznor portraying a man mourning the death of a child and detaching himself from reality through absinthe. Charlie Clouser, Danny Lohner, and Chris Vrenna also appear in the video, most notably playing string instruments at the beginning of the video. The entire video was filmed with a blue tint with the exception of the drum breakdown, which uses flashing green light instead. Joanne Gair’s work with Nine Inch Nails on “The Perfect Drug” won her the makeup portion of the best hair/makeup in a music video at the Music Video Production Awards.

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