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Old 09-08-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
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Why cant we sleep for over

This song is about religion

"why cant we sleep forever?"

instead of having an afterlife or whatever...why just cant we sleep forever as in...why cant we just die...why do we have to have something happen after our death

this song is really about religion and not about getting fucked up...written around the same time opiate was...religion gets people high..why can we not be sober?
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Old 09-15-2005, 02:43 PM   #2
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Just a correction, it's "why CAN'T we not be sober", not "can". And, to me, the question "why can't we sleep forever?" doesn't mean after-life. Forever just being the rest of our lives. You know, like if you have a job you hate you say "I don't want to do this FOREVER." The questions "why can't we drink forever" is interchangeable with "why can't we sleep forever." Drinking forever for an addict would be sleeping forever (for the rest of their life). Sleep, meaning being oblivious to the truth, alseep to the truth. Not being aware and falling victim to the enemy and losing your will......
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:58 PM   #3
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by pathological2
Just a correction, it's "why CAN'T we not be sober", not "can". And, to me, the question "why can't we sleep forever?" doesn't mean after-life. Forever just being the rest of our lives. You know, like if you have a job you hate you say "I don't want to do this FOREVER." The questions "why can't we drink forever" is interchangeable with "why can't we sleep forever." Drinking forever for an addict would be sleeping forever (for the rest of their life). Sleep, meaning being oblivious to the truth, alseep to the truth. Not being aware and falling victim to the enemy and losing your will......
well said
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Old 09-15-2005, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

thanks bro.
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

*cries*
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Old 10-24-2005, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

disagree.....havent u seen tool perform this song and during the calm part

"i am just a worthless liar...etc"

JESUS walks out onstage? this song is OBVIOUSLY ABOUT RELIGION

"theres a shadow just behind me shrowding every step i take" - christians fear that they are being judged at all times by Jesus/God

"making every promise empty, pointing every finger at me" - Jesus promised us salvation, but because YOU are doing something wrong hes pointing the finger

etc...there is a strong lyrical coorelation and religion

"i am just a worthless liar, i am just an embicile"

"religion is just a worthless liar, religion is just an imbicile"

"religion will only complicate you, trust in me or fall as well"

"religion will find a center in you, religion will chew it up and leave, trust me, trust me trust me"

get it???

"I want what i want" -====== "religion wants what religion wants" - religion wants control, its wants everything...think about history...before there was a government the church ran shit.....c'mon if u still dont see it then i dont know, the whole song is LITTERED WITH REFERENCES.

and "why can't we not be sober" is techincally "why CANNOT WE NOT BE SOBER" does that make sense to anybody? its like saying "why cannot we not sleep for ever?"

Last edited by moneyisevil; 10-24-2005 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:04 PM   #7
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

We will agree to disagree.
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:18 PM   #8
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

This song to me has always felt like what jesus would think during his so called 'second coming', Realising that his teaching have fucked everyone over and so forth
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Old 11-03-2005, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I heard an audio clip of adam jones saying this song is asking why we can't do drugs if they lead to something positive. The clip if the jjj interview on toolshed.down.net.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:38 AM   #10
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Didn't the FAQ mention that one of Maynard's friends/acquantinces (sp) created their best work while drunk or something?
I might be making shit up but I remember reading that somewhere.
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:03 PM   #11
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I suggest to not be so exact. Maybe using word "can", "cannot", "can't" makes obvious grammatical diffrence, but I think by catching words we're missing the point. The point is rather simple - being sober is being complicated, troubled. For God's sake, is there anyone who wasn't drunken? I don't think so. Then you know that then everything is simple. No matter religion, Jesus, or Mather Mary - these are only symbols. The point is that our lives, involved with all these "un-sobers" are taught and we must drink a lot from time to time (cuz we "can't not be sober" all the time:)) to survive all of this.
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:34 AM   #12
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by death_2_usa
This song to me has always felt like what jesus would think during his so called 'second coming', Realising that his teaching have fucked everyone over and so forth
And just how did Jesus' teaching "fuck-over" everyone? You are an imbecile, dude. I'm sorry for insulting you but why does everyone fall into the pack just to feel cool? The message that Tool gives out the most is "think for yourself." In other words, get your facts straight, do some reading, then make accusations.

I am not religious but I don't think that Jesus' teachings were meant to harm people. In fact, people's misinterpretations (of everything for that matter) is what causes the pain. Sheep don't help, either.

To the guy that replaced "I" with "religion" I would suggest that you listen to the interview posted on this site with Adam Jones. He speaks about "Sober" and states that it's a song about being high and experiencing something positive. He just said why is it bad if something positive comes of it.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:05 PM   #13
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenSpeed
Didn't the FAQ mention that one of Maynard's friends/acquantinces (sp) created their best work while drunk or something?
I might be making shit up but I remember reading that somewhere.
"You see I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor.. Go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your c.d.'s and burn em. Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your mind throughout the years.... real fuckin high on drugs." Maynard James Keenan

Yea, he has said it himself that being fucked up has done things for music, however i dont think that is what this song is about.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:43 AM   #14
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I can see where "moneyisevel" is coming from about it being religion. But I wanna think that might be a little to obvious, and we know Maynard doesn't work that way usually.
I also think it pertains to my original post...about a dream that deals with family issues (see my post "The meaning of Sober...a Dream?)

Also, to support the religion theory and my theory there are some important lyrics that people normally miss. Before he says "I want what I want..," he takes a breath and says "I feel" very very softly. I think that's very important because we now know he is expressing "his" opinion towards the meaning of the song. Whether its his opinion about how religion is practiced, or whether its a nightmare of his child history involving his parents' "ways."


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Old 04-23-2006, 05:46 PM   #15
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by apctoolfan
"You see I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor.. Go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your c.d.'s and burn em. Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your mind throughout the years.... real fuckin high on drugs." Maynard James Keenan

Yea, he has said it himself that being fucked up has done things for music, however i dont think that is what this song is about.
Sorry to start my posting here with a correction of an old (10+ days) thread, but that was not Keenan saying the above quote. It was one of Bill Hicks' routines. It's sampled in "Third Eye", but I bet that is covered elsewhere on this site. :)

But nevertheless, you still have a point.

cheers mate

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Old 04-27-2006, 10:29 PM   #16
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Sober uses religion as a metaphor for being drunk. It is obviously against God's will to not be sober, so, Maynard probably does feel like he's being judged while he's drunk. Why can't we be drunk?
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:16 PM   #17
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

well here is my input:

Marx said first: "Religion is the opiate of the masses"

It seems that Maynard tried to capture this view of religeon in "sober". I would not doubt that he allowed a double entendre to become evident (sobriety, abstinance from mind altering substances as well as atheism). Religion creates a comfort, a feeling of well being in its followers, allowing for a certain disconnection from reality (somewhat like a drug). Has religion not caused the deaths of humans for thousands of years? I would think maynard despises needless killing of our species ("right in two"?). Besides, he is a wine connesour with an impressive collection (or so I have heard).

Whatever you want to think, Maynard doesnt care and neither do I, but "sober's" pertinence to religion seems most likely to me.

Whatever
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:05 AM   #18
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

And I may be way off here (feel free to flame), but Maynard has an intergral understanding of the pillars of the Christian faith. It's not about God not allowing humans to be drunk, there's just no basis for that in the song. He's saying something along the lines of religion (especially the Christian religion) being so concerned and consumed with guilt that it prevents its followers from being able to think.

"Jesus won't you fucking whistle, something but the past and done"
"Mother Mary won't you whisper, something but the past and done"

Both these lines are about two figureheads for Christianity (more specifically, Catholicism) being obsessed with what has passed (i.e. sins) so much so that the narrator of the song is so completely overwhelmed, he just wants a break from it.

"Why can't we not be sober?"

This line is constantly misinterpreted as "Why can't we be drunk/high/intoxicated?" It's not saying this at all. If you remove the double-negative, it's saying "Can we be sober?" The idea here is that the focus on what's past and done (emphasized through the religious references to Catholicism) is intoxicating - it controls minds and warps the perceptions of reality as we're trying to live it.

The song is attempting to ask why it is that those of us caught in a cycle of obsessive guilt can't stop being obsessed with it. Why can't just be SOBER for a minute and take a look; seeing what the guilty focus on sin does to us all.

"There's a shadow just behind me,
shrouding every breath I take,
making every promise empty,
pointing every finger at me.
Waiting like a stalking butler
who upon the finger rests."

These lyrics are often forgotten in discussions of "Sober", and its important to get the perspective from the narrator here who is being choked to death by this overbearing and utterly creepy entity that stalks his mind - he is not SOBER, he is not in his right mind and its due to the obsessive-compulsive nature of Catholicism (i.e. being made to feel guilty for every moment of life)
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:02 PM   #19
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

"Jesus won't you fucking whistle,something but the past and done"
"Mother Mary won't you whisper, something but the past and done"

Give me proof that you exist... other than stories from the past...
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:56 PM   #20
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian0112
Give me proof that you exist... other than stories from the past...
mehhhh... I don't think so... doesn't fit with the rest of the lyrics, nor does it make much sense...
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:38 PM   #21
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I always interpretted Jesus wont u fucking whistle and mother mary wont u whisper. As calling out for a miracle of sorts, because those two actions from those two would be metaphorical to a miracle maybe.
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:58 AM   #22
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

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Originally Posted by Drawn Under
Jesus wont u fucking whistle and mother mary wont u whisper... those two actions from those two would be metaphorical to a miracle maybe.
Except you're forgetting the rest of the line "something but the past and done". Asking for a miracle wouldn't be akin to asking for something that hasn't already been done (well, there's room for argument there). But, on another point, what miracle would he theoretically be asking for? How does this request fit in with the rest of the lyrics (like the overt oppression of the first stanza)?
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:19 PM   #23
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by wearethestories
mehhhh... I don't think so... doesn't fit with the rest of the lyrics, nor does it make much sense...

Really?
I just wonder what you get from the lyrics... enlighten me?
What meaning do you take from it?
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:27 PM   #24
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I read your post, i just feel like Maynard may be persuing another lyric that allows for confusion. He seems to love being mysterious and undefined in translation.
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:12 PM   #25
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

This is not an intrepretation, this is what the song means to me. Alright so a while ago I got sick of doing drugs and quit, I know I know my friends thought I was crazy too. For some reason or another I just stopped getting enjoyment out of getting high, trippin, and various other states of mind. I started to feel more like an asshole because i started to see other people acting the way that I knew I did when i used and I didn't like what I saw. I also have other personal reason for doing so, but they are personal. So this song to me is that period of time when I was quitting and I was under attack, so to speak, for my decisions. So I see this song as kind of a live and let live attitude. You want to do drugs? Fine, I won't judge you for doing so, just don't judge me for choosing not to. I always took "Why can't we not be sober?" as a battle cry of sorts, why can't i be clear minded and still enjoy life? Anyway that's my little bullshit story.


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Old 06-19-2006, 09:24 PM   #26
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

all very good angles to look at this song. i like the idea that religion gets people high and asking the question "why can't we not be sober?"
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Old 06-25-2006, 12:42 AM   #27
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by martyr_02
This is not an intrepretation, this is what the song means to me. Alright so a while ago I got sick of doing drugs and quit, I know I know my friends thought I was crazy too. For some reason or another I just stopped getting enjoyment out of getting high, trippin, and various other states of mind. I started to feel more like an asshole because i started to see other people acting the way that I knew I did when i used and I didn't like what I saw. I also have other personal reason for doing so, but they are personal. So this song to me is that period of time when I was quitting and I was under attack, so to speak, for my decisions. So I see this song as kind of a live and let live attitude. You want to do drugs? Fine, I won't judge you for doing so, just don't judge me for choosing not to. I always took "Why can't we not be sober?" as a battle cry of sorts, why can't i be clear minded and still enjoy life? Anyway that's my little bullshit story.


The End.

I like that. The point is ...it should be up to each of us to CHOOSE to get high, or not to get high and subsequently, not be judged for deciding either way. Getting "high" can be a metaphor for anything you choose to do in your life. Do it because you choose to, not because religious, social dogma said so. Think for yourself!
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Old 06-25-2006, 12:53 AM   #28
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Re: Why cant we sleep forever

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Originally Posted by JOK3R
all very good angles to look at this song. i like the idea that religion gets people high and asking the question "why can't we not be sober?"
One personal observation on this comment. imho, getting "high" is fun and should really only be related to drug use. I firmly believe that organized religion, esp. Christianity teaches people to be stupid and therefore, they are not only not "high" but they are so beat-down socially, emotionally and spiritually, they are dead, in a way. Ugg...church sucks anyway. I never felt "high" when I went. I just wanted to take a nap.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:32 AM   #29
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Drugs can do good things for us but once you're addicted you're pretty well fucked. Unless you're Keith Richards as Bill Hicks points out ;)

For me this track is about the darker side of drugs. I guess the video is the best example of that. That little dude keeps trying to hide his box of stash but inevitably he always goes back to it because he can't resist.

"Why can't we not be sober?
I just want to start this over.
Why can't we drink forever."

That's like saying "I wish I hadn't become addicted to drugs. I wish I could go back and start over so I could use drugs again without becoming addicted". Any addict knows the answer to this question. They can't. If they do they'll become addicted again, that's just the way it is for them.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:32 AM   #30
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I think its about drugs and the bad image drugs have and its like there saying whats so wrong with getting high and expanding you're mind
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:20 PM   #31
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by apctoolfan
"You see I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor.. Go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your c.d.'s and burn em. Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your mind throughout the years.... real fuckin high on drugs." Maynard James Keenan

Yea, he has said it himself that being fucked up has done things for music, however i dont think that is what this song is about.
No, they have said that it was inspired by a friend who did his best work when he was really high. I don't think the song is about religion, I think that the word "sober" is meant to be taken literally. TJP and Bluefire's interpretations sound alot closer to home, in my opinion.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:26 PM   #32
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

What about Christ's blood being wine in Christian communion? Perhaps this could have something to do with being 'sober'? Why do we have to deify people and get 'drunk' on their divinity? Etc, etc
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:38 PM   #33
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by wearethestories View Post
And I may be way off here (feel free to flame), but Maynard has an intergral understanding of the pillars of the Christian faith. It's not about God not allowing humans to be drunk, there's just no basis for that in the song. He's saying something along the lines of religion (especially the Christian religion) being so concerned and consumed with guilt that it prevents its followers from being able to think.
I agree with this, I've always felt this song had to do with religion as well. Personally I don't think any of their songs have anything to do with drugs at all. Good to see that some people think that way too.
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:47 AM   #34
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I think Sober has multiple meaninings within the song. This song may be about religion....but I think it's a little deeper than just that. I think the song is describing religion as corrupt, and that he wants God to prove himself to him.When he says "Why can't we sleep forever" I think he means like what you guys said above, that why does there have to be anything after death? There are a lot of possible interpretations...I just try not to overanalyze it...
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Old 12-25-2006, 06:02 PM   #35
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

I see this song being easy to interrupt in many different ways, like alot of Maynard's writings. Music is like therapy for me...letting me express my emotions, getting an opinion on a feeling that I have/share with and also as a learning tool... (useing your resources as tools to better yourself, stimulate your mental growth seeing a different side/view). I believe this is one way Tool themselfs see there art as being. I have used this song in that manner with multiple emotions/ thoughts. And I can see how each point discussed already can be tied into what is written for Sober.I belive Maynard had a specific meaning behind this one, but music can have different interpertations, if you can use them as a tool then hey, good for you.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:42 PM   #36
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Re: Why cant we sleep for over

Quote:
Originally Posted by apctoolfan View Post
"You see I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor.. Go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your c.d.'s and burn em. Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your mind throughout the years.... real fuckin high on drugs." Maynard James Keenan

Yea, he has said it himself that being fucked up has done things for music, however i dont think that is what this song is about.
That's Bill Hicks dip wad.

You can see something about religion in just about every tool song. There is always the obvious meaning and then something deeper. Just because it says things about Jesus and Mother Mary doesn't mean it's about religion. I mean that could be said like an exlamation, "Jesus Christ!" you don't no. Interpret many lines not just one. It's like saying 46 & 2 is about looking for an adress because it says "46 & 2 just ahead of me".
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