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10,000 Days (Wings, Pt. 2) by Tool

Album: 10,000 DaysReleased: 2006
  • As lead singer Maynard James Keenan explains on commentary on aMOTION, his mother Judith Marie suffered a stroke in 1976 that left her partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. The length of time between her paralysis and her death was 27 years, or approximately 10,000 days. (thanks, ethan - St.Louis, MO)
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Comments: 29

Along with Wings for Marie, it is a very moving Requiem.Jim - North Billerica, Ma
Ok, check this out: Up until the 2nd time I heard this song, I only interpreted it as a tribute to his mom. Then while hearing him sing "give me my, give me my" I imagined his mother in her wheelchair, saying "give me my ___, give me my ___" all of the time. Then I thought, as a child with a paralyzed mother, how frustrating that could get, regardless of how much he loved her. I think there is further evidence of this, not only in "Judith", but in the song 'Momma Sed" by Puscifer: "So listen up son of mine. Momma’s got somethin’ to tell you…All about Growin pains.Life will pound away Where the light don’t shine, son. Take it like a man."
It seems to me that those lyrics could based on her advice to him a child, regarding his sexual abuse. Therefore I believe he had a love/hate relationship with her, which I think is perfectly understandable given his situation
. Conflicting emotions make for great & powerful lyrics. Combine that with Maynard's voice & you've got yourself a multi-million dollar baby, baby!
Beck - Kc, Mo
This song was about his mother yes dead,and who suffered for approximately for 10000 days from paralysis! And yes suffering from a stroke!The 2 parts are 2 different things! 1 Her dying as he is understanding it and coping with it as far as going to her funeral and accepting her deatbead was willing to keep her faith .Hence the song Judith, and understands that she had faith in her "God". 2 his (Maynard of course) dealing with the fact that she is gone and he's burying her. Furthermore accepting the fact that he has to deal with the fact that his mother, whose trials and tribulations that she went thru and still kept her faith, he has to wonder why and question everything about her decisions to keep it. This song is saying that if there is a "GOD" or a "Heaven" that it should accept her for everything that she went thru and still kept faith!Dom - Denver, Co
It's Almost An Apology For The Song Judith, For Basically Mocking Her Beliving In God Still After HE Made Her Paralyzed. "You're such an inspiration
for the ways that I will never ever choose to be.
Oh, so many ways for me to show you how your
savior has abandoned you.
f--k your God, your Lord, your Christ.
He did this, took all you had, and
left you this way still you pray never stray never
taste of the fruit you never thought to question why." I Don't Think It Was So Much Anger As It Was Frustration. You See What I'm Saying?
Danny - Texas, Tx
The Song Is About One Main Thing, His Mom being Paralyzed For Rougly 10,000 Days And Then Her Dying And Getting Her Wings, But I Think Alot Of It Is Left Open For Self-Interpretation, Like Many Tool Songs Are. Like The Verse "This little light of mine, The gift you passed onto me. I'll let it shine, To guide you safely on your way. Your way home." 'This Little Light Of Mine' The Beggining Of A Sunday School Song, I'm Sure, With His Mom Being As Religious As She Was, He Went To Church For A Good Part Of His Life, And We All Know That Maynard Is A very Spiritual Person. Thus Being The Gift She Passed On To Him, A Gift That He's Gonna Let Shine To Guide Her On Her Way Home, As He Does In This Song. "Fetch me the spirit. The son, and the father. Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended. It's time now, my time now. Give me my, give me my, wings." He Calls Her The Pilar Of Faith Because She Stayed So Devout In Her Beliefs Even Through The 27 Years Of Paralysis, And It Is Time For Her Wings Which She Would Be Almmost Demanding Them By Then. I Don't Really Want To Touch On Every Point Right Now, But It's An All Around Very Beautiful, Very Moving And Very Sad Song.Danny - Texas, Tx
the story is sad. but, i feel it is a tribute to magnanimity. being paralyzed really humbles a person, y'know? how much can you really posit your will, and, therefore, how do you believe in yourself, which is the faith of our capitalistic hell spawning s--tstorm country?
Steven from Phoenix, "anger for god" seems religious. But I guess being angry feels a lot better when you have a "god" to be angry with, rather than blind and stupid "chance". If there was an egoistic conscience responsible for all bad things in my life, I would feed a lot better for my blaspheming!
At the risk of sounding like an idiot: the song is a beautiful, sentimental ode to his mother who died yet endured through tragic circumstances: it merits a revaluation of Maynards stance on religion, as it evidently strikes personal, where most of his other songs have a general vibe of being semi-personal or general views of things...the entire song is littered in christian terms, be them analogies or whatever....
On songwriting: THE BEST SONGS ARE THOSE THAT COME FROM THE HEART: his faith, his lyrical intelligence...all stand aside for a declarative love and support of where his mother would want to be. Such songwriters merit more attention than any other. TOOL IS THE BEST f--kING BAND ALIVE BAR NONE. they incessantly identify with the psyche, the soul, the human spirit. that is why they are the best. the music is organic, the lyrics chime in with the emotional flow of blood that we can only understand in intense moments of clarity of consciousness. like me right now, a bottle of wine and 6 beers LoL
Steve - Vancouver, Wa
both parts to this song brought tears to my eyes as well.Nathan - Old Bridge, Nj
Wow, I never realized this song was about his mother

I figured it was about lucifer comming back to the gates demanding retribution.

but the time his mother was debilitated (adding to 10,000 days about) is pretty overwhelming

Deep song though, you can really feel Maynard through his voice, it's a little scary sometimes.
James - San Clemente, Ca
this song brought tears to my eyes the first time i ever listened to it maynard is a lyrical genius and this almost tops them allBen - Andover, Ks
This song reminds me of my grandfather. He's a preacher.
"10,000 days in the fire is long enough. You're going home... You're the only one who can hold your head up high, shake your fist at the gates saying, I have come home now! Fetch me the spirit, the son and the father, Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended. It's time now! My time now! Give me my, Give me my wings!"

That part especially.
Emily - Memphis, Tn
and Steven, you put it in the exact way I interpreted this song, I can tell when someone is starting to believe in God in some form, even when they may deny it.James - Victoria, Bc
TheCyndicate, having a kid is obviously not a sin, otherwise Christians would have been extinct by now (Original sin was when Eve was tempted by Satan to take the apple). I myself are a Christian and contrary to what many people think (that Christians hate Tool) I actually find listening to Maynard's lyrics intriguing.James - Victoria, Bc
I agree with the majority of your comments but I have some things to say of my own:
Maynard obviously is not a Christian. There is surely more than one reason no one really knows the whole story to but this is certainly a big one. Judith, Wings for Marie and 10,000 Days are all connected. Judith would be Maynard questioning his mother on why she stayed faithful to Him. He put her in that wheelchair. Maynard believes He did this to her and that should be the ultimate betrayal and she should turn against him, like Maynard has (not that we know if he ever did believe in God) and move on with life. But Judith didn't she stayed loyal to His word til the end.
So it seems Wings and 10,000 Days is him kind of answering the questions from Judith himself. His mother was Christian always, God obviously isn't for him, Maynard believes God exists though an dhe hopes his mother will get to Heaven because she deserves it.
Michelle - Dallas, Tx
This is a song about when Maynards mother died, and is now "going home" and is now "getting her wings". Hes more or less saying that she shoukd be a saint and God should accept her openly beacause she remained faithful even after her stroke and even after been paralyzed. I think a part of it is what Maynard thinks Judith Marie should say when she gets to heaven saying "give me my .... give me my .... give me my wings" and "Fetch me the spirt the son and the father tell them there pilar of faith has accended"Jack - Strabane, Ireland
Benji, I've always though the "but surely saved one [a life]" part was about her effect on Maynard. This is just the idea I've gotten from listening to the song.Jon - West Bend, Ia
It's obvious hes talking about his mother so I'll spare everyone the proof of that, one must understand what Maynard really went through with that whole ordeal (not that I know apart from things hes said in interviews, quotes, etc..). Maynard said how she stuck with her faith untill she died and how people that she knew who had the same faith would tell her face-to-face "it's good that your sticking by your faith,blah blah" and then the next minute when they were alone they said things like "man shes doomed". Maynard was disgusted with this because its true, a lot of Christians nowadays are hypocrites and fake but I think what Maynard finally realized is that there are real people out there who follow what Christianity is really all about and thats love. I think its more a general statement for those who actually are like his mother in a sense that they are true Christians (im not under minding the fact that this song is directly addressed to Judith but I just feel that Maynard has realized that true examples exist... his mother being one). I'd hate to think that Maynard believes his mom was the ONLY one who wasnt so I understand a lot of this song is somewhat generalized for those who were like his mom (kinda redundant but its a point I want to stress). As far as Maynard addmitting a conversion directly I think were a few albums away from it (catch the pun) but I do feel like hes starting to remove some of his anger for God. Maybe for this song its more about learning how to make of the faith he has (in whateveR) the way his mom did and thats full heartedly and truthfully but I, personally think, Maynard has been set back since his mom died in a sense that he was starting to believe more towards her beliefs but now its hard because theres not many who actually show "Christ". "The most single important cause of atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny him by their lifestyles.... that is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable" - Not a direct quote but its not mine (dont feel like putting the name) but u could look it up. Bottom line, Maynard has somewhat of understanding that christianity is the only way things dont contradict and crumple on itself but its harder to see it because his biggest example of a true christian is gone.Steven - Pheonix, Az
I find the lines "never lived a lie, never took a life, but surely saved one" very fascinating. I dont know but i think maybe a hidden meaning behind it is that, she did not save a life as in like pulling someone out of the way of a moving bus, but instead she saved a life as in she never got to have her own, (because she was wheelchair bound for most of her life) so instead of living and using her life, she was forced to save it, perhaps even for her next life after death, but i donno, hard to explain but think about it..Benji - Vernon, Canada
I have to agree with some of the previous comments. In "Judith," by A Perfect Circle, the lyrics suggest that Maynard simply can't understand why his mother is still so loyal to God after she had her stroke, which is believed to be caused by God.

However, in "10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)," Maynard seems to have come to accept his mother's utter belief in Christianity. I think now that she has died, he wants her faith to be true for her. Even if he doesn't believe in the same thing, he doesn't want her devotion to go unrewarded. In other words, he doesn't want her life to have been in vain.

I love this song. My favorite part is, "You're the only one who could hold your head up high. Shake your fist at the gates saying, 'I have come home now!'" Beautiful imagery.

I just recently saw Tool in concert and they performed this song live. I wasn't sure how they were going to do it because it is so, for lack of a better word, intense. It was amazing live though. Everyone in the audience joined in on, "Give me my wings!" So awesome.
Elaine - Spokane, Wa
From my observation, this song refers to his mother, Judith Marie, she suffered a stroke which damned her to a wheelchair for 27 years (about 10,000 Days) until she passed a way in 2003. And you can play Wings For Marie and viginti tres back to back while playing 10,000 days, it seems to syncronize. Viginti Tres is Latin for the number 23 which symbolizes syncronization.Benevolant Son - Cullman, Al
This song to me has nothing to do with his faith but he is questioning the faith of his mother and excepting her death but also by saying you are the light and the way they'll only read about he is questioning faith altogether but who am i to say what his art meansJoshua - Ocean City, Nj
I think that Judith shows the exact same feelings.
He is simply angry at God for doing this to his mother, because she was so good to God.

A few things that he might be forgetting.

A:) She obviously had to sin, because she had a kid. Thats the Original Sin.

B:) What if God DID do this to her, and took her off of this crappy planet? Shouldn't he be thankful?
Thecyndicate - Las Vegas, Nv
I think you guys are forgetting Maynard's beliefs when you interpret it. He is accepting her death, but he is also talking about how she will face God after years of worshiping him, even though Maynard sees it as what God did to her. He is telling her to "look him in the eye and tell him, I never lived a lie, never took a life, but surely saved one"...like she is finally done. It goes back to Judith and how he is upset that she still had faith after so much pain. In 10,000 Days, he is just a little more accepting than his whole "(deleted) your God" stance on it. I am glad to see him getting better with it. I can't even imagine.Zach - Okc, Ok
Here are some "decryptions" of the lyrics

"This little light of mine,
The gift you passed onto me.
I'll let it shine,
To guide you safely on your way.
Your way home."

He is saying that a part of her will always be within him and he will treasure it and never take it for granted

"You're the only one who can hold your head up high.

Shake your fist at the gates saying:
'I have come home now.
Fetch me the spirit.
The son, and the father.
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.
It's time now, my time now.
Give me my, give me my, wings. '"

I love this part, Maynard states that his mother was such a good person, that only she can stand strong in front of the gates of heaven beating on them and calling God (father) and Jesus (son) to come out. The pillar of faith refers to her who was a devote believe, "ascended" meaning she has finally come to them. She then asks them its my time, give me my wings into heaven.
Aleksey - Los Gatos, Ca
He loves his mother! We all know that. So this songs pretty much says that she is perfect, and god is unfair!! He doesn't understand how much people can change another, all he follows is the ten commandments. LIke he said the lied, that was her only sin. So god held that against her. Now she suffers for 10,000 days just for somthing simple. He is also saying is she has the right to walk up to god and say "Give me my wings!" bcause he made a mistake.Holt - Heber Springs, Ar
from what i understand 3 of the songs are about his mother

this song
jambo(it's about him wishing away his fame from tool to have her back)

and wings for marie
Bbb - Brook Park, United States
You love your mother no matter what, and in Judith, I do not see him as angry. Just questioning her, asking "Why?". And the anger in the song I think is more directed at those who's God feels it is alright to ridicule and talk about someone behind their back. (roughly stated on aMotion DVD)Chris - Monticello, Ky
Did you know that this song synchs with viginti tres and wings for marie played back to back?Yasas - Colombo, Other
it's also very interesting to see the difference in Maynard's views of his mother's faith in this song and A Perfect Circle's "Judith"Amitai - Staten Island, Ny
Excellent song. Sends chills up your spine at the "I have come home now..." section.Brian - Mayfield Heights, Oh