The Package

Album: Thirteenth Step (2003)
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  • The lyrics seem to indicate sex; perhaps a one-night-stand with somebody: "Eye on what I'm after, I don't need another friend." The subject is after something that has planned using clever motives and tricks, he's not looking for a friend: "I'll take just what I came for, then I'm out the door again."
  • Another interpretation for this song is that it may concern the use of drugs: "Peripheral on the package, Don't care to settle in." The subject is set on doing what it is he/she has to do and leave. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Justin - Sierra Vista, AZ

Comments: 28

  • Michael Loeffler from Brooklyn Park, Mn.If you watch Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story on Netflix, on episode 2, within seconds of the hour marker, there is an interview with Jimmy where he talks about the difference between clever and tricky. Keep in mind, this is a documentary about a famous guy from England who got away with endless abuse against minors for over 50 years. He says if you are clever you can get away with something for many years but you might slip up, but if you're tricky, you'll be careful enough to never get caught. It made my skin crawl.
  • Chuck from CanadaMissy nailed it IMO. Its about sex, which can be an addiction, to fit the album theme. Even the name "The Package", you get packages in the mail, usually a box. Box, as we all know, is a synonym for pussy aka sex. And I think the lyrics all the way through fit this theme. " Clever got me this far and tricky got me in" doesn't really apply to a dealer as all you need to do is pay. Everything else can be applied to a deal, but I think this seals the deal.
  • Zbelle from MoWithdrawaling... get the call, broke... so you start acting Like you care just to get your poison,. Maybe sob story for a front, borrowing money, robbing Peter to pay pill popping Paul.. getting there, wanting the dealer to shut up and get your s--t, but still trying to act like you care to get what you want and get the hell back to your vehicle to start feeling better... addictions a bitch
  • Nathan from OhFrom my experience, this song is about a junkie using/manipulating someone until they're comfortable enough to get caught and just dip right out the door when the person(s) are no longer needed in their quest.
  • Justin from Houston TxThis song is definitely about going to do a drug deal while withdrawing on heroin. Being an ex heroin addict I know you feel terrible and want to crawl out of your skin when you are withdrawing. He just wants to go and get the dope he doesn't want to have a friendly conversation he just wants to hi and bye so he can go shoot the drugs. To get them he will lie cheat and steal and tell you what you want to hear if it gets them closer to the heroine. He just wantsto take away the pain of withdrawal. I know because I've been there
  • Karl from Syracuse, NyThis song is basic human nature, 101. As in, this is the singers view of reality, take what you can, ie scarcity. Also, it is the first step, so the person in the song is almost returning, coming back to life, to a vitality. Probably after a drug binge.
  • Austin from Glendale, Azthe "don't need another friend" part seems pretty straightforward. while I don't discount other ideas, it most likely represents an addict shoving away people who try to help him.
    Chances are he has received help from others before, and help in any form as taken him away from his addiction, but he has ultimately returned to it.
    He just needs a fix, he doesn't need "another 'friend'"

    The song as a whole seems to be about lying to get the unwanted help off his back so he can get to his ultimate goal.
  • Kayla from Alamogordo, Nmi think this song is about just being a bad person and going up the ladder and getting what you want at the expense on other .
  • Ben from Budapest, PaWhen I began to consider what this song is about, I first thought of George W. Bush. Anyone???
  • Jack from N'awlins, LaRon Paul '08!!!!!!!!
  • Jack from N'awlins, LaO.K. more praise for Josiah... the song is about the average intellegent person, who's realized simple people are easy to amuse. It is also about a person willing to conceede the fact that we are a primal species in a violent universe. It's the simple things we yearn for the most, and these yearnings can constitute a great deal of deception in order to acquire a proper outlet of release. Maynard has always been a spot on observer of human behavior, and his inward looking lyric's are a darkly tinted mirror to our own tendency's, the more we gaze, the more understand capability. As I read the other comments, it's easy to identify exactly what "habbits", or "Problems" haunt the people posting about the song. Be it pharmaceuticles, street drugs, sex, or crazy ass spirit realms. It's your take on the song that fills in the details for Maynard, as well as cast a light, however faintly recognized, on the simple things in life you're willing to lie to obtain... You also get responses from people who have been used by the tricky clever people of the world, and in them the song brings out their anger, which is always really pain and fear. When i listen to the album, I see a concept album, abbout addiction, and the human evolution through the experience. The package, to me is the onset of the problem. You find something you like too much, and figure out ways to obtain it. As your dependence increases, you have to come up with increasingly dastarly ways of producing your satisfaction. As the album progresses the innosence of the individual is stripped and forgotton. Then slowly regognition of the problem starts to seep in, followed by even more desperation, ultimately ending in the culmination to "choose" to stop whatever it is that's now harmfully intangled it's self in your life. That's why Maynard is great, he knows your dark side, because he embraces his own. In the meantime he's made quite a living fooling us into finding out about our own taboo desires, under the guise of understanding the image that we're normaly bombarded with by other artists who'd rather just be commercial.
  • Liam from Blairstown, NjThis is a good song. Why do we argue about what the song is about, is it not the beauty of a song that allows you to interperet however you want?
  • Balthasar from Budapest, HungaryIt may be about sex, but it seems a bit unlikely for me that someone might go frenzy because of craving for sex. Drug addiction is a much more sensible answer, I think. Of course drug addiction is not the only possibility. For example the Ring of Mordor might have the same mind/altering effect. Remember Gollum? :) I agree with Josiah's depiction too.
  • Dr.maven from Alambama, Al(celticknot, Phoenix, AZ) is bang on.

    I think Maynard's Voice just sells this whole experience of someone still hooked on drugs but is coming off. I think the first 2 lines are about tricking the doctors, being clever about it then lying to get medication (probably heroin substitute) he comes to get his medication ( I don't think this is about Maynard's personal drug problems I think this is more about generally) . The doctor wants to talk about his progress, and settle him in. All he wants is his drugs. He doesn't want to settle in as his 'monster needs to be fed' you can imagine so well Keenan looking at the doctor and almost sarcastically telling him 'Comfort is a mystery Crawling out of my own skin' he needs his drugs more and more, his singing gets more powerful to show his mounting anger on the fact the doctor has these drugs and its almost like the doctor is trying to be his friend, he states he doesn't need a friend! He is Just his vehicle to help him feed his monster. He just wants to walk out the door, no questions. He sees these drugs as right fully his. These are mine! Like he is saying' I have a problem fix me; I need medication not friendship'. He is practically done this so many times the old, 2 a day ect It's a cliché he knows the drill, he doesn't need all this so he gets angrier. (From 4mins into the song) The doctor sees his anger and feels he shouldn't give them to him (as you can imagine him almost arguing for what is 'rightfully' his) Keenan calms down and the doctor now has given him the drugs, he is almost like Gollum with the ring reassuring himself that what they have is all there's 'This is mine, mine, mine'. Listen to this again, Imagine Keenan walking into a doctors sitting down reluctantly every time you can hear him just asking for these drugs and not getting them, has on a mission just to get these drugs, and the doctor is doing everything but giving him them.
    The imagery is so powerful. This has far become my favorite APC after being able to understand every part of it and the poetic imagery
  • Missy from Jackson, MsI got a different point out of "smile and drop the cliche" the cliche is love. He's talking about sex in my opinion. "If you need me to pretend" he's talking about pretending to remotely care about her. "Clever got me this far and tricky got me IN" if everything else wasn't clear this line definately is.
  • Justin from Grand Island, NeWatch aMOTION. Every song on 13th step is about addiction. not just chemical addictions like drugs or alcohol, but addictions in gerenal. perhaps on obession with someone or something such as sex. Maynard rights in a very vague way so that one can get a basic idea, but may not understand the story. the rest is for you to understand. differnet people intupret things different. what a certain song means to you doesn't exactly mean it's right. it could mean something completely different for someone else.
  • Dan from Santa Clarita, Caas for the "Thirteenth Step" yes its about sobriety steps, but its not in the sence of something that other members do as a form of "hazing". these groups are formed to help one another. the thirteenth step is like the 19th hole or the 11th frame from golf or bowling. (ironically i use a nickname for a bar) but its a non-existant step to totally break from your dependency. i believe it was a denis leary bit on how Ny-Quil is the thirteenth step for alcoholics. the thirteenth step doesnt necessarily help, but its what some addicts seek inorder to not feel dependency. which in that sence sounds like this song, lying to get what you want.
  • Jonathan Berryman from Tauranga, New ZealandJosiah is bang on, I hope I don't bump his comment off the bottom of the list. I'd just like to ad that my first impression was a spiritual/existential aspect, Josih has mentioned the motive and deeper motives of human nature that manard touces in this song, but I see a fascination with the unseen that maynard has, its like he's aware of spirits and the dynamics other levels of consciousness, that even in 'that realm' he's just after what he wants, even though he's using the spirits/beings that surround 'the package' they seem vulnerable to him (or anyone that would go there and be aware of them) but he's just coming to get what he wants, no fake or real conversation with the spirits or beings. I'm not talking aliens its another level/reality he going into/working towards.
    Then again I could be wrong....
    Awesome song though!!
    Check out this in depth interview by a philosophy teacher with maynard:
  • Kevin from Indepence, MoJosiah, in my opinion hit it right on the nose.
  • Celticknot from Phoenix, Azmaybe it's just me but how the lyrics go it sound like someone who overdoses on prescription drugs...

    "Smile and drop the cliché
    'Till you think I'm listening"


    "Nod and watch your lips move
    If you need me to pretend"

    The doctor is telling him when to take the drug but the guy doesn't care. He just looks like he's lisenting.

    it's a great song!
  • Tim from Abilene, TxI read in an interview with maynard that the drug addiction is an obvious metaphor but theres alot more to it than just that
  • Anastasia from Tel Aviv, Israelguys, like you've said already- the name of the album refers to Layne Staley- the soloist of Elice in chains who died from an OD- with whom maynard had a close friendship-
    it's the 12 step program- and the thirteenth step is the choise to live.

  • Tim from Abilene, TxI think the 12 step program is close and maybe he even intended it as a metaphor, but i think the thirteenth step is the refferring to the thirteenth step of evolution. Theyre are twelve steps in one octave of conciousness, the thirteenth step would be entering a new level of conciousness and dimensional existence.
  • Dustin from Houston, TxCorrection: "'Thirteenth Stepping' occurs when a person with sobriety makes sexual overtures to a newcomer or someone newly sober, sometimes under the guise of 'sponsoring' or working with the newcomer." taken from an AA site
  • Tony Tocci from Muskogee, OhI agree with Josiah, completely.

  • Eddie from Lexington, ScThe phrase "13th Step" refers to the 12 step drug rehabilitation program, but the 13th step is the treatment you receive from the other rehab members.. They treat you badly because you're new.
  • Josiah from Grand Rapids, Mi I like the comment made about how it's a twelve step program and that it's telling us what he does on the thirteenth step. That was very insightful. But another interpretation of the song may be that it's about the deepest part of human nature, the part that no one admits to. The way I see this song is that it's about the part of us that only cares about quenching our thirst for what we want, no matter what happens to other people.

    "Clever got me this far, then tricky got me in. Eye on what I'm after, I don't need another friend. Smile and drop the cliche, 'till you think I'm listening. Take just what I came for, then I'm out the door again."

    He'll smile, drop the cliche, say whatever he must, be clever, tricky and even lie to get what he wants. His eye is on what he's after, and he doesn't care about hurting other people to get it. He peripherally longs the package, he doesn't go straight in for it, he dances around his final destination until he has the victim of his game caught in his trap.

    At this point his voice changes to a more aggressive one. This may indicate that he knows he has reached his ultimate consummation and can now drop the facade. Here he might be getting impatient and he now knows that he has the person right where he wants them so he just asks for it directly.

    After he gets what he wants he then just leaves. He has what he wants, and he then has no use for the person. He then justifies it because he was only taking what was his. He only asked for what was already his. And he ends the song with him trying to set himself at ease by whispering "This is mine, mine, mine..."
  • William from London, EnglandI think the whole album is about drugs, because when you go to rehabilitation for drugs there is a 12 step program to follow, and this album is telling you the story of a person on a 12 step program and maybe telling us what he does after, 13th step?
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