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Old 01-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
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my thoughts on the meaning of the grudge

OK these are my thoughts on the song and once again only my interpretation. I do not pretend to know for sure. This song has a lot of symbolism and i have been thinking and researching this for quite some time. I will try to be concise in my reasonings but it is a lot of abstract ideas over a wide range of material. Most of my interpration is theological or biblical. I know that a strict religious interpretation offends some, still most of tool's lyrics are heavily steeped in religious ideas and tones whether christian or other. I have quoted the songs lyrics below with slight changes in parantheses that i believe are the actual sung lyrics.


Tool - The Grudge Lyrics



Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.(this scarlet lettermen)

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip 'em to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

Saturn ascends, choose one or ten. Hang on or be humbled again.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip 'em to the lonesome end.
Saturn ascends, comes round again.
Saturn ascends, the one, the ten. Ignorant to the damage done.

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.(this scarlet letter)

Wear your grudge like a crown. Desperate to control.
Unable to forgive. And we're sinking deeper.

Defining, confining, controlling, and we're sinking deeper.(defying, confined in, seeking deeper, controlling, defying, and were sinking deeper)

Saturn comes back around to show you everything
Let's you choose what you will not see and then
Drags you down like a stone or lifts you up again
Spits you out like a child, light and innocent.(light and mirrors)

Saturn comes back around. Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone
To consume you till you choose to let this go.

Give away the stone. Let the oceans take and
Transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and
Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.
Let go.


I will start with the song title 'the grudge'. Obviously an enmity or quarrel between two sides. In the bible book genesis 3:15 the first prophecy is spoken in the whole bible. The prophecy was spoken to the serpent or Satan and spoke of an enmity between him and a woman between his seed and her seed. That is the grudge being referred to. The circumstances behind that prophecy are as follows. Adam and Eve had just eaten the fruit after being tricked by the serpent. Satan spoke through the serpent and told them that god had lied they would not die after eating of the fruit and when they did their eyes would be opened bound to be like god knowing good and bad. Genesis 3:1-5. I recomend getting a bible or looking up the verses it will help. This explanation will be long enough without quoting every scripture.

Satan by saying what he had to Adam and Eve, had challenged Gods right to rule implying that he lied and that Adam and Eve were able to choose their own will not needing Gods rulership. He planted a seed of thinking that humans did not need Gods rulership that they were able to choose what they will. Those two seeds of thought, Satan, his followers and those who would choose to worship God as ruler, are the key players in this 'grudge'.

The next key factor is the reference to saturn coming again. The return of saturn or saturn coming again is a reference in astrology to the change somebody experiences around thirty years of age. I do not believe that is what this song is referencing. There is another 'return' of saturn that makes more sense to me. Ancient races spoke of a time when saturn was fixed in the sky. The golden age. They wrote that there were no seasons that life was locked in an eternal spring the gods walked the earth and humans lived much much longer and they did not age they just got 'older' before passing away. There was a massive catastrophe, the heavens fell apart and the golden age was done. Seasons came to exist, gods no longer walked with humans, men aged, and saturn was no longer fixed in the sky. The holiday saturnalia which was to later become the present day celebration known as christmas was a holiday at the equinox to appeal to saturn to return, to bring back the blessings that men once enjoyed.
Some good links for this info are http://www.12x30.net/saturn.html and http://www.kronia.com/saturn.html


The bible has a very very similiar account in it. It spoke of a time when humans lived for hundreds of years and that angels who had rebelled were walking the earth in human form breeding with humans and producing hybrid offspring. God grew upset at this and caused the flood which destroyed the whole earth. After that time the angels were no longer allowed to assume human form and the rebellious angels lost much of their power. Genesis chapters 5-7

The song is about Satan returning to earth in his final days and the power of his grudge. (read my explanantion of the song Sober I touch on some of those events) The scarlet letterman line is an obvious reference to Nathaniel Hawthornes novel the scarlet letter. The scarlet letterman being the one who labeled the 'sinner' identifying their actions for all to see. 'Clutch it like a cornerstone'. The phrase cornerstone refers to the best stone that an ancient builder choose to start with and base the rest of the building upon. This was a near perfect stone and very symbolic. In the bible Jesus is called the cornerstone. 'Terrified of being wrong, ultimatum prison cell". This refers to the prophecy that after armeggedon Satan and his demons would be jailed for a thousand years in an abyss. Revelation 20:1-3. 'Choose one or ten'. In revelation it said there would be ten kings that would battle with Satan against the 'one', the lamb, or Jesus. Revelation 17:12-14. 'light and mirrors' now this is not an official lyric but i believe this is what he says. Lights and mirrors are the equipment that an illusionist uses to get people to 'see' what is not true.

I tried to not be too exhaustive in my explanantions. If anyone has questions feel free to message me. There is so much more information closely related to this that i really could have written a small novel. I only touched on the lyrics that i thought were most cryptic. The rest of the lyrics i felt along with this interpretation were self explanatory.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: my thoughts on the meaning of the grudge

Very interesting
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: my thoughts on the meaning of the grudge

Well worded and thought out, I believe this song has several meanings layered within it and this one also seems to fit nicely. Although, just as an FYI, the lyrics are CLEARLY not "unable to forgive this scarlett letterman". If for whatever reason you're really hearing those words come out your speakers I suggest you invest in some Q-Tips.
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