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The Nurse Who Loved Me


A Perfect Circle

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Some possibilities as to the meaning of this song:
The lyrics are viewed through the perspective of a soldier who has been wounded and hospitalized. He sways in and out of consciousness, dreams of this nurse who he is attracted to, sees how nice she is is to him and "acts just like a nurse with all the other guys." He believes that she is attracted to him as well. This helps him get through the injury and recover. The atmosphere of this song is really white and dreamy. The scene is like a perfect morning, light sun-rays flowing slowly in the room from the windows. (thanks, Kristjan - Tallinn, Finland)

It could be referring to a drug such as ecstasy: "I'm taking her home with me all dressed in white." The white could be a reference to a white pill, and the lyrics describe someone reacting to it. They may not react to it like other people, but the drug is taking effect and the person can feel this happening: "Say hello to the shrinking in your head. You can't see it but you know its there so don't neglect it." (thanks, Ben - Lincoln, England)
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Comments (12):

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" I'm taking her home with me all dressed in white " is pretty self explanatory . He wants to keep her kinda like marry her..
"Dressed in white" means a Nurse uniform..

I think this is why he's in a hospital . It's a hospital for mentally not well people. Maybe his problem is that he fantasize/dream about things. ( The soothing fancy music confirms that).
- Japjit, New Delhi , India
The song is about, the person's fantasy & imaginations. You can tell it by the soothing nostalgic music that plays in the background.
He loves a nurse, whose looking after him. He thinks that the Nurse loves him too (acts just like a nurse with all the other guys)
But at the same time, He also wants to get together with the nurse, since she has the "pharmacy keys". That means he could get loads of drugs from her. (someone above said it, quoting the exact he wrote)

I cant really say if he truly loves her, or just in infatuation since she has the "pharmacy keys".

At 2:59, along with Maynard's voice..There's a second weird voice whispering
"She's got everything I need
Pharmacy keys
She acts just like a nurse
With all the other guys"
It's his inside voice speaking the main purpose (Pharmacy keys)

And the song as a whole based on imagination. It's not really happening outside but inside his mind. Maybe he's in a hospital of mentally ill people..Maybe that's his problem that he thinks on hoping something good...This is a great and deep song..It's cheerful outside but full of loneliness inside ... <3
- Japjit, New Delhi , India
It seems to me that everyone is missing the dark side of this song. The singer has attacked the nurse. She's face down on the floor, the "apples" being blood. Whatever has landed him in the loony bin prevents him from seeing any wrongdoing in his actions, kind of like a "Of Mice and Men" kind of thing. And now he's taking her home with him. Very creepy...
- Hooha, new orleans, LA
I suppose the whole infatuation with a nurse that an ivalid, painkiller addicted patient can develop is pretty much the subject of this song, so the most obvious answer in this case is the right one. But the instrumentals, geez, so eerie and soothing at the same time. I saw this band play in Montreal in 2003, and they finished with this song. I was still standing there speechless when the lights had gone on and the band was long gone off the stage. Beautiful stuff, one of my favourite concert moments ever!!
- Nicolas, Montreal, QC
i saw this as a creepy yet soothing song like a drug twisted dream. I think that the song is being sung from the perspective of a mental patient who thinks that he is being treated special by the nurse when in fact he is just dilusional. I like the song but it also creeps me out by the conviction of the mental patient as he "sings" the song.
- Alfredo, Cranston, RI
I definitely see the connections to drugs and stuff. Personally this song reminds me immensely of Hemmingway's "A Farewell to Arms" The theme of the song is very dream like and just seems to give off a wildly romantic vibe to me, which is why it reminds me of it so much.
- Ryan, Weed, CA
its obvious its about ectasy
- nick, knoxville, TN
Rofl, I must have been on something myself, so think of my theory but in terms of Failure being the original composer/writer.
- Michael, Heers, Belgium
I've always thought that it was a something madman could sing. 'She acts just like a nurse to all the other guys.' Meaning the patient feels special and thinking the nurse loves him. In a way he might Tool might be critising the way they always drug people with mental problems. 'It's even more a part of your life now that you can't touch it.' In which I undestand the main character is being drugged and he can't help it anyway, it's become a part of him, but the character still feels unique. Then again, who am I to try to get through Maynard's thoughts :-p
- Michael, Heers, Belgium
Raf is right, yes. He also wants to get together with that nurse, since she has the "pharmacy keys". That means he could get loads of drugs from her.
- Kris, Tallinn, --
This is a cover of Failure's 1996 song from the album Fantastic Planet.
- Chris, Chitown,
Since most of "The Thriteenth Step" is about drug use and dependence on such, this song is about how it was convenient for the narrator to love a nurse who could help him get the drugs he wanted.
- Raf, Pasadena, TX
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