"Jambi" is an Indonesian Province in Sumatra, which was once part of a powerful kingdom with a rich sultan who lived an opulent lifestyle. The setting reinforces the message that family and friends are more important than wealth... which is a great interpretation, but it turns out that this song was inspired by the kid's TV show Pee Wee's Playhouse
, which had a genie character named Jambi (see him in Song Images
). At a drum clinic in Kansas, Tool Drummer Danny Carey explained that when Justin Chancellor came up with the bass part, Carey thought it sounded like Jambi's chant on the show: "Mekka-lekka hi mekka hiney ho." Lead singer Maynard James Keenan wrote lyrics about a genie and making wishes, and the song was born. While it could appear to have deeper meaning, Carey claims it was simply a joke.