Damn it, this really is turning into a livejournal post. Very serendipitous, it's been a year since I listened to this song (same time as my last comment), and I just realized the emotional connection between these two moments: when I listened to it at the end of last November I was finishing a half-year studying in Beijing and literally a week and several Chinese exams away from coming home to the US. Now I'm back at college in the US and two days away from returning home for the first time in three months, and I have to finish the second half of a eight-to-ten-page paper and make some finishing touches to my Chinese thesis. Oh, and the song's still as touching as ever.
IndustryRocker basically said what I wanted to about half a year before I did. Maybe I should be writing this in a livejournal post, but this song is beautifully damaged, the ever-so-slightly out-of-tune piano adding indescribable emotion.
Last.fm should have all the Ghosts tracks available as free mp3 downloads. Permission from NIN is not needed since the music has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. I was able to download the entire album (36 tracks) in both .mp3 and .flac formats at a bitorrent site. This was not illegal as the CC license allows it.
woah... listening to this track with headphones, there is a repeating 'cricket-type sound' on the right channel that sounded like it was coming from outside my window. I was totally convinced it was real until I removed the headphones...