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This song is based on the feelings of a character in the Greek drama Orestes, written by Aeschylus. Orestes is forced by the Gods to kill his mother, and this deed tortures him. Therefore, the line "Gotta cut away, clear away, snip away and sever this umbilical residue keeping me from killing you..." He's attempting to forget she is his mother so it easier for him to kill her. (thanks, angel - ebensburg, PA)
This song can be referring to Maynard's childhood. Maynard was abused as a child, emotionally and physically. In this song, he is talking about how he often wanted to kill his parental figure who was abusing him but couldn't because of the emotional attachment that he has to them just by being their son: "Umbilical residue, keeping me from killing you." This is a topic Maynard has mentioned in other Tool songs, including "H." (thanks, Alex - Salina, KS)
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