by Tool

Album: Undertow (1993)
Play Video


  • The strange story told at the very end of this song was left on lead singer Maynard James Keenan's answering machine by his landlord. The credits on the album read: "phone message: bill the landlord."
  • The last song on Undertow, this comes up as track 69 on American copies of the CD - tracks 10-68 are just a second or two of nothing. Here's the breakdown of the song:

    Percussion/Animal sounds - 0:00 - 1:10
    Preacher - 1:11 - 2:32
    Disgustipated - 2:33 - 6:45
    Crickets - 6:46 - 13:50
    Phone message - 13:51 - 15:47
  • The term "Disgustipated" was first coined in a Popeye comic book in the 1930s and was used to express a combined feeling of disgust and exasperation with a situation involving Olive Oyl. Since the situation was obviously resolved by Popeye eating spinach, we can conclude that this song was intended to promote vegetarianism. Or, it could just be a cool song with a funny title. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Robert - Houston, TX
  • Paul D'Amour, Tool's first bass player, described this song to M.E.A.T. Magazine as "getting together three pianos and shotguns smashed with sledgehammers and recorded to a six beat." Presumably this is why Rollins Band guitarist Chris Haskett is noted in the album's liner notes for "sledge hammer." Another story in Revolver Presents: Tool expands on this, saying that the band shot up two pianos with shotguns in the indoor parking lot of the recording studio and put these sounds in the song.
  • An article in the November 1994 issue of BAM Magazine claimed that this song was inspired by Tool's May 1993 performance at Scientology's Celebrity's Centre. Tool didn't know the venue was the home for Scientologists, and they got confrontational when they found out, with Keenan baying like a sheep at the audience.

Comments: 61

  • Felonious FunkGod I hate Tool. What a stupid song,
  • Julian from TexasEd, this is literally a website about discussing the meanings of a song. The ignorance, my god.
  • Albert from Cairns This song is a stab at sanctimonious veganism. It implies vegetables suffer as animals do so no one is morally superior.
  • Ed from UtahI don’t know what it means, and I don’t care. I found the preaching to be funny as hell, and love listening to it. Is there a meaning? Probably so. I don’t worry about it, though. It’s about entertainment, and if I am entertained by it, then there is the true meaning. That’s how I feel about all the music I listen to. I just find something that appeals to me, and I enjoy it.
  • Calebsb from WashingtonIts about alien life and it is necessary to feed on life to perpetuate life. The man talking was the man portrayed in the movie about the logger who was abducted and returned days later after an investigation was done. The fellow loggers were accused of murder. The case was dropped when they found him but he's endured ridicule for years since.
  • Simon from New ZealandAnyone else think Maynard took the phrase 'this is necessary' from original star trek episode 'metamorphasis'? The timing and intonation is near exact except female
  • A K from PhillyKaren from Vegas is completely wrong in saying this is a rip off of The Carrot Song. That song came out a year after the Undertow album by Tool came out.

    If you're going to accuse a band of plagiarism, then bring some facts, not a half assed, false argument.
  • Eric from CaYou poor unfortunate people. Do research. THEY played this song at a Scientology gathering...it was to piss them off. It means nothing. Looking at every word and what it means is not what tool is about..."over thinking over analyzing separates the body from the mind" it means whatever you want it to mean...just like all Tool songs
  • Dianeticsemeters from ArizonaThey were poking fun at L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Hubbard is the founder of Scientology. He did tests on tomatoes with E-meters. He claims the E-meters concluded that Tomatoes scream when sliced. This is one of the ideas started Scientology.
    "And the angel said unto me, "These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots!
    You see, Reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust." Hilarious. Maynard also refers to Hubbard in Aenima with the line, "f--k L. Ron Hubbard and f--k all his clones". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter
  • Iamjacksrabbit from Hell, Ca"Bill the Landlord" is comedian Bill Hicks.
  • Caleb from Ingleside, Txwow, you people are seriously over analyzing this song. I mean, i know just about all TOOL songs can be hard to analyze and get a meaning from it, but it really doesn't matter who's right or wrong about the meaning of Disgustipated. the guys from TOOL wrote it, recorded it, and know what it means. it doesn't matter if we know what it means, it still a great song. whenever you over analyze a song, it makes it hard to actually listen to it for enjoyment instead to find out the meaning to the Holocaust of the carrots and the stupid message at the end of the song.
  • Sane from Newcastle, United KingdomMaybe the leather camera case on the seat could suggest his vision against anothers perspective, the two tiny people could own that car and have the camera with them. He thinks it's his car until he see's them. As for the red being his colour could mean the red car through his vision as he does not think of how he looks which is what the two people are describing blood red as his colour, only they have a camera to store that image for the world to see where as he is left with his own vision which fills him with regret, a vision of a flash car and to living beings as he is just realizing the beauty of his existence but his wrong doings have been done and it's to late to fix. Those people are his, so he thinks but really they are here to take over his delusion in thinking he has the right to do bad over good. Exposure, guilt,this is necessary
  • Jason from New Orleans, LaAll of you are wrong, wrong, wrong, you are all trying to over-analze the song. Its simply about Jesus's reprentation on the cross being in the form of a penus....or a crucifix commonly seen on the head of the penus....and Jesus telling us that the issues that we have in the world can be related to the destruction of our own personal privates part....and Maynard is basically saying, not in a sarcastic manner, but he is basically thanking Jesus for pointing this out to us. But in Maynards tone of voice he is also relaying a message that says "Thank You Jesus..... end of story.... have a nice afterlife, goodbye and lets move on with the rest of human history, no need to think to deeply on this issue....
  • Logan from Sumner, WaThe beginning of this song resembles Pink Floyd's song Sheep, on the album Animals. I also thought it was interesting how the lyrics go "life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on." no life at the end..just "life feeds on". It seems to hint how the world always has and will keep on feeding to survive..because it is necessary..no matter how cruel some idiots may think it is..it is nature and the way of life and you can't stop what is necessary.
  • Boehm from Rosedale, ArDisgustipated is about main subjects in the whole "Life" Cycle. When he's preaching he's talking about how religion is taking over brainwashing. Telling everyone as if it was a vision he had. What he was pointing out was his story on why he plays music. Saying about tortured souls, or other words he saying people are giving propaganda, lies, media. The "carrots" is a metephor for "What you sow, you shall reap," when you sow a carrot seed, and if done well, it will grow prosperous. They say we're going to heaven if we believe. So you feed the plant, feed,feed,feed (irrelevant to the this is necessary part). And it gets confidence and strength. When he talks about,"This is necessary, Life feeds on life." Means we do this to help you in your Earthly life, and when life feeds on life the common man today kills others to spread that belief. So he uses that song to say," HEY, STOP GIVING ME YOU BULLs--t AND GIVE ME HUMAIN." Being a preacher is like a job of a landlord. If there is a person not paying bills (not believing like his beliefs) he kicks them out...

    And the ending poem of the woman is about what happened to a woman who believed and look where it got her... In a ditch. So she starts thinking about how God is supposed to be our father, then Satan is our cousin. We're all related to good and evil to make it all make sense, Man will make good, but also man will pollute, destroy, lie, and pervert.

    - Sean-Patrick Boehm
  • Karen from Las Vegas, NvThe whole carrot thing is a rip-off of an old parody song by The Arrogant Worms, called "Carrot Juice is Murder." The lyrics follow. You decide if they have plagiarized:

    Listen up brothers and sisters,
    come hear my desperate tale.
    I speak of our friends of nature,
    trapped in the dirt like a jail.

    Vegetables live in oppression,
    served on our tables each night.
    This killing of veggies is madness,
    I say we take up the fight.

    Salads are only for murderers,
    coleslaw's a fascist regime.
    Don't think that they don't have feelings,
    just cause a radish can't scream.

    I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
    Watching their skins being peeled (having their insides revealed)
    Grated and steamed with no mercy (burning off calories)
    How do you think that feels (bet it hurts really bad)
    Carrot juice constitutes murder (and that's a real crime)
    Greenhouses prisons for slaves (let my vegetables go)
    It's time to stop all this gardening (it's dirty as hell)
    Let's call a spade a spade (is a spade is a spade is a spade)

    I saw a man eating celery,
    so I beat him black and blue.
    If he ever touches a sprout again,
    I'll bite him clean in two.

    I'm a political prisoner,
    trapped in a windowless cage.
    Cause I stopped the slaughter of turnips
    by killing five men in a rage

    I told the judge when he sentenced me,
    This is my finest hour,
    I'd kill those farmers again
    just to save one more cauliflower


    How low as people do we dare to stoop,
    Making young broccolis bleed in the soup?
    Untie your beans, uncage your tomatoes
    Let potted plants free, don't mash that potato!

    I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
    Watching their skins being peeled (fates in the stirfry are sealed)
    Grated and steamed with no mercy (you fat gormet slob)
    How do you think that feels? (leave them out in the field)
    Carrot juice constitutes murder (V8's genocide)
    Greenhouses prisons for slaves (yes, your composts are graves)
    It's time to stop all this gardening (take up macrame)
    Let's call a spade a spade (is a spade, is a spade, is a spade, is a spade.....
  • Tim from Br, Laim not going to claim that i KNOW what the song is about but i feel pretty confident that the whole carrot thing is just basically irreverence to the group think and blind belief bla bla bla motif that tool and APC are well known for. there are more specific jabs in there that touch on more specific ideas like justifying atrocity with religious faith. something i think is really common in lyrics in general is just saying a lot of things that come to mind that evoke a general feeling or express a general mentality but are not meant to be "understood" exactly or dissected word for word like some bad poem. you know like everything isnt a riddle. anyway the guy at the end i think is most likely supposed to be a crazy person that killed someone the previous night. what is in my opinion much more interesting is how the character repeatedly claims everything in his environment to be his own. it reminds me of a territorial animal which i imagine is not too far off from how some criminally insane people think.
  • Stan from Las Vegas, Nvthe sheep are a symbol of christianity, a mindless heard if you will. the reverend shows the fact that no matter what you can come up with there is someone ( or multiple people) who will believe it to be true. the carrots having souls and conscious and the people(a mindless heard) rallying around him to save them from the harvest, are a display of this. the nesescity for life to go on is a contrast to this because for life to continue life in some form must be taken. the message at the end i have heard it described as the mind of a serial killer he owns everything he sees and takes the characteristics of what he touches to be his own to blend in.this is just my analysis of it
  • Kevin O'toole from Lowell, MaBTW 1 MORE THING!: In the album artwork there is MJK's pig above a bunch of forks, refering to feeding on life.
  • Kevin O'toole from Lowell, MaOkay, this is what I think this is about; The begining is a world begining to practice evil and sin (killing carrotts) and a preacher/preist trying to tell God he will bring it back to normal (hear me now...)

    The 'this is necessary' part- Is later,far after the begining, and sin has flourished. Now people feed of each other to live and not worry about what happens to the parons thats being fed off and it must be done (being called 'necesarry') Then there is a pause, everything must stop (i believe some what of a recession or depression) When the lyrics return, the singing becomes angrier and sounds as if there are 2 people singing.(Mabey a fight for leadership, but they both want to do the same thing 'to feed on life' such as a president not changing a country when voted)The fight continues (the gunshots are heard). Now you can hear just MJK yelling (seeming that the fight is over and one of them has won the fight)it continues until another pause is heard (at the last not you can hear a gun cock, then after the pause, the gun shoots) and then the crickets, there is nothing left.

    The message is something that fits into this.Mabey as though the landlord is depicting the priest, he's probably refering to what happened to the world.
  • Angie from Covina, CaALSO: According to Evangelists, SATAN and his priests brainwash their followers to believe that is NECESSARY to sacrifice humans to SATAN and to eat human flesh and to kill. THAT's WHY the chorus of the song says "THIS IS NECESSARY. LIFE FEEDS ON LIFE. FEEDS ON LIFE." They are brainwashed to believe that their LIVES depend on killing and sacrificing and eating the weak (according to Evangilists). IF u ask me, it makes a lot of sense. But why would TOOL be singing about this? Maybe they know some satanists??? Or they just don't like EVANGELISTS. IDK.
  • Angie from Covina, Cathe TRUE meaning of DISGUSTIPATED:

    A lot of people are largely confused by the meaning of this song, but luckily I am here to clear it all up for all of you...

    Satanists refer to christians as "SHEEP". The bible it's self also refers to christians as SHEEP and to SATANISTS as GOATS. That is why you hear maynard preaching and then when he asks for an amen out of the crowd you hear SHEEP replying and making sheep noises. TOOL is basicly making fun of christianity and the religious structure that evangelists believe in. When he says LET THE RABBITS WEAR GLASSES... I am not sure what it means, but WHAT i do know is that HARVEST DAY is HALLOWS EVE, which is better known as HALLOWEEN in the USA.

    Halloween is (according to evangelists [which are the very people this song is offending and being disrespectful towards]) a day in which SATANISTS WORSHIP SATAN. A day in which BLACK MASS takes place and a human is nailed to a cross and sacrificed as if he were jesus christ and SATAN celebrates his victory over christ. Evangelists believe that satan thinks he beat christ at the cross because christ physically DIED while SATAN was still left standing. It is said (by evangelists)that satanists eat human flesh.

    SO, my theory is that the RABBITS are the SATANISTS and that MAYNARD is telling the congregation of EVANGELISTS that HALLOWEEN (harvest day) is coming and that someone (the carrots) will be going through a HOLOCUST (BLACK MASS) and that the RABBITS should just WEAR GLASSES (be prevented from killing and converted to EVANGELISM so that they can SEE the truth and belong to GOD.).

    MAYNARD is trying to let the people know of the dangers (according to evangelists) of HALLOWEEN and SATAN.

    WHEN that man wakes up in the field, that's what heppenned to him after attending a SUCCESSFUL BLACK MASS (A BLACK MASS which despite maynard's warnings to the evangelists was not stopped).
    The man wakes up disoriented after a drugged and drunkened night of attending a brutal and disgusting (THAT'S WHY THE SONG IS CALLED 'DisgusTIPATED') event.

    He's in a place that is not very inhabited by many people, and he get's up from the floor not knowing how he got there, but he has this blade and he's covered in stuff. And he's pretty much just trying to get away from that horrible place but something over takes him to want to go after the people that he sees far off.



  • Spencer from Edmond, Oki here a shot gun blast as a backround percusion i wonder if it has anything to do with the ending message?
  • Korey from Austin, Txthe end is maynards landlord on acid
    it has been said alot im pretty sure it isnt about murder but hey who knows we dont know unless one of us is maynard
  • Cassidy Brown from Reno, NvThe end is definatly about killing some one. When he woke up and his clothes where sticky it was the blood of the person he killed. He had his knife with him that was what he killed the person with. When he says "if god is our father satan must be our cousin" he was trying to make himself feel better over the fact he just took a life. The truck i was kind of unclear about but I think he was just looking to get away or just decided to search it. And finaly when the two people walk trough the woods his color turns to red which is the color of blood and usealy represents anger. This is my theory about the song anyway.
  • Tim from Hopewell Junction, NyI don't see this song as a criticism of vegetarianism, but a criticism of the most common "justification" for vegetarianism. People say that eating meat is wrong because it ends another creature's life. A plant is every bit as alive as an animal, so this justification is instantly void. I doubt Maynard cares what people eat, but I bet he thinks a stupid double standard like this is pretty well worth pointing out.
  • Alycia from Winnipeg, MbYeah verily a shout was heard throughout the Land. "Brothers of the Carotene, Unite! Let us join roots, and throw off our oppressors, the Evil Hare Empire!!" Suddenly an orange multitude appeared before me crying "here ye, here ye, the Great Carrot shall Come and Save Us All"
  • Balthasar from Budapest, HungaryNight blindness—the inability to see well in dim light—is associated with a deficiency of vitamin A. This vitamin is needed for the formation of rhodopsin, a pigment located in the eye's retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue lining in the back of the eye.

    Without adequate amounts of retinal, regeneration of rhodopsin is incomplete and night blindness occurs. Since carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, there is truth in the old belief that carrots help you see better in the dark.
  • Brent from Austin, TxI just have to say the 12-gauge shotgun has become my new favorite percussion instrument.
  • Harrison from Anderson, Sc"Let the rabbits wear glasses" isn't as profound as people are making it out to be. Carrots have a myth surrounding them that claims they help your eyesight. Rabbits are portrayed as loving carrots, like cats are for loving fish/milk. He's basically saying "Don't let the rabbits eat the carrots. The carrots are alive. Let them suffer from worse eyesight, let the rabbits wear glasses."
  • Corbin from Deathbridge, CanadaTwo words, False Doctrine. Stop biting down on this stuff, and take a walk before the walls begin to talk. I almost turned it off (hypocrite), but I was both strangely amused and near spooked at how this kind of stuff scares people, regardless of what they come to appreciate. Go outside, get a nice cold Pepsi, and 'Ignore the smoke and smile.'
  • Rob from Roswell, GaI believe is talking about Christians and other religious people being sheep. Meaning that they believe in whatever they are told. EX the reverend tells them that carrots have souls etc and they people believe it.
  • Jeffrey from Asheville, NcI agree with the "critique of vegetarianism" theories. It's interesting now to look at the song "Vicarious" from 10,000 Days. "Vicarious" is about people's morbid fascination with death. At the end Maynard urges us to pull our heads out of our asses and listen up-- "The Universe is hostile / so impersonal / devour to survive / so it is / so it's always been!" Maynard seems to be saying that obsessing over death and being thrilled at the site of it is simple and dumb. Death and devouring life is part of the nature of the Universe. The glorification and exploitation of senseless death and killing is destructive and unhealthy. Instead of being fascinated with the deaths of other people, maybe we could learn from contemplating our own mortality and the way the Universe devours all of us in the end.
  • Dylan Zimmerman from Phoenix, AzI tink Maynards talking as a guy that is justifing killing off people so that he can advance in life like Hitler killing jews so that the human race can evolve into better more super human if you will. But as far as the second part of the song goes I have no Idea.
  • Trent from Binghamton, Nyyes ben, truly powerful indeed. i agree.peace 2 u in england, let life treat u well.peace :) ^_^
  • Ben from Lincoln, EnglandSimilair to "Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rythm Of The War Drums" Propaganda...
  • Ben from Lincoln, EnglandI think that this track is supposed to show how religion turns people into 'sheep'. All the same person as they are all blinded from the truth while they follow so supposed God. That's what goes into my mind anyway whenever I hear it. Powerful though...
  • Jacob from Mabelvale, Aron the cd undertow when the last track of the cd is over the song numbers keep going up until it says your on track 69 and it plays this song
  • Sean from Columbus, OhI think that the vegetarian idea holds a lot of water, and I don't think that anybody is truly making fun of anyone else by stating that, but another possible interperetation could be that it could be a commentary on Social Darwinism. The idea that "life feeds on life" is directly related to the idea that "the strong feed on the weak". This is the central idea of Social Darwinism. Although I don't think that this was Maynard's intended interpretation, I think that if you take the "life feeds on life" thing as a sarcastic justification, you can interpret the whole song as a slap in the face to all ignorant close minded racist thought.
  • Fistface from Sthlm, Swedeni got really angry when i read some of the comments.. i think maynard are smarter than messing around with vegeterians. i hope he's just messing with all you stupid humans who think it's necessary for us to eat other animals to stay alive! that's stone-age-thinking! burn in hell murderers!!
  • Chris from Pine Blizzy, ArWell i found this on a website, halexandria.com, in an article called "the theory of eating." It starts off saying, "It has been said vegetarianism is an illusion. Carrots, for example, have been suspected of screaming bloody murder when they?re consumed, but their cries of anguish are always too soft to be heard by any but the most sensitive of consumers." It goes right along with what Maynard is saying. This is a funny song to me!
  • Chris from Pine Blizzy, ArMaynard is just doing what he always does, trying to make us think. No ones interpretations are wrong, they just might be off from Maynards reason for writing the song. Heres my interpretation. The beginning of the song talks about how the carrots are alive and fearful because they are about to be "slaughtered." But then the song goes on to tell us that it is necessary for them to be slaughtered, life would not live without feeding on some other form of life, which is true. I think this is out to vegetarians. Then it goes on to some crazy story about how some guy wakes up in a ditch and everything he comes in contact with becomes him. This brings out the main point of the song. You see certain things in life, you are taught certain things in life, and from everything, all influences in your life, you become yourself and generally never question yourself. You are a product of your environment. Everyone believes differently because everyone is brought up differently. Maynard I think just wants everyone to stop and look at things as a whole and quit thinking they are right about everything just because it's all they know. Once again this is just my INTERPRETATION, it's not wrong but it may not be what the song is really about.
  • Neil from Boulder, Cothe second the last comment on here was by someone who is just plain retarded Maynard is the SINGER and this song is Maynard telling people that we shouldnt be taking the world to our selves "life feeds on life feeds on life" and the second part is Maynards landlord tripping acid leaving a message about area 51
  • Ali from Brentwood, CaHoly Crap! I heard the shotgun going off towards the end of the song before the story part, "this is (gun caulks) necessary (gun shoots)" I think that since we need life for us to stay alive(carrots for example) that we shouldn't limit ourselfs to simply plants or even animals....since to have life...we need to lose life...
  • Anthony from New York City, NyThe phone messages on Message to Harry Manback 1 & 2 are answering machine messages left to Maynard, the bassist to Tool ( gotta double check that ) and the lead singer of Green Jellÿ, Hotsey Manjuice ( that's his stage name )... They had an Italian roommate when they were living in Italy who was constantly stealing stuff from them so they kicked him out and the messages on Message to Harry Manback are messages he left them. Wether or not these are the original messages I have no idea, but I do know that if it wasn't for Hotsey Manjuice we may not have Tool today =D
  • Alex from Brooklyn, NyThis song is only to f!ck with the Vegetarians, saying that basicly life feeds on life, and it's either the fish or w/e ends up getting digested by a bear or w/e or ends up on your dinner plate
  • Charnette from Brooklyn, NyHas anyone ever stopped to think that the meaning of the song is that there is none? C'mon now, I think the first part could've been a refference to a dream, and the part about the answering machine something just to entertain you.
  • James from Philadelphia, Papopeye also uses the word "disgustipated" when bluto pisses him off
  • Renee from South Lyon, Mido you guys notice the "life feeds on life" .... carrots are something we eat ... feeding on life... but "this is necessary" we have to feed on life to live. maybe its just saying how we try to restrict ourselves and deny what we need. and we as humans go to far sometimes... even with something as ridiculous as eating carrots.. and his landlord later in the song ..? he says how everything is his... the color red.. the people he sees walking, were greedy, we want everything essentialy, and maybe thats why we have to restrict. i don't really know it could all just be sillyness heh
  • Feran from Pittsburgh, PaI was looking up some people's opinions on what Disgustipated meant since I was rather too lazy to listen to it, and people's opinions were a bit off..

    Chris from NJ, you're getting there, but you fail to address the main points of that beginning part as a whole. The tone of Maynard's voice, and the fact that he is being called a "reverend" is a direct reference to televangelists, the famous of which is Falwell, well-known for his complete bias and prejudice and conservatism, and the fools who follow him, thinking they've been "touched by the Holy Spirit and the grace of the Lord! O mighty!"

    You also have to notice that the song began with the "baa's" of sheep, foreshadowing each of the replies from his audience being intermingled with the "baa's" of sheep, showing that they are just blind fools following whatever he says.

    Jorge, it's not "might be religion", it IS about religion. The animal sounds of "baa'ing" is a reference to the blind sheep of the masses who whore after whatever lies they're being told. The "this is history. this is necessary. life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life" provides more insight into what Maynard is trying to say.

    I think it's ridiculous that people think that Maynard is just talking about the "cycle of life" because it isn't that simple; it's more philosophical and political. The rabbits symbolize the people. Rabbits are known to be jumpy, flighty, mercurial, and have rather aloofish personalities. They hop around, are ignorant, and do whatever. If we take the song to mean that both the carrots and the rabbits are living things, then we parallel the rabbit/carrot allusion to prejudism. Assuming the "carrots aiding eyesight" comment is a valid point, we can see that throughout life, we only realize what we've done after we've done it. Society is impetuous; we kill others and fight others blindly, and only after the damage is done, do we see what we've done. We eat the carrot, and through eating the carrot we see. We kill others, and only after we've killed, do we realize what we've done. "Let the rabbits wear glasses" says there are other ways to go about things, rather than impetuous slaughtering or jumping to conclusions or impetuous actions.

    "This is history. This is necessary. Life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life" strengthens this theory. Following Maynard's symbol as an "enlightened reverend", he is preaching a mantra that is brainwashing his audience into believing that it's completely alright that we kill each other. It has to be done. Life feeds on life. People kill other people. It's just the way things are. Accept it. This is how things have been going for years; it's history. Because it's the way things have been going, we are afraid to change. Society is afraid of change. We are conservative. We stick to what we know, and are afraid to stray off the trodden path. Let life continue to feed on life.

    So the tone switches from the high and enlightened to a more cultish brainwashing mantra.

    The song is quite direct so far. Even lacking the televangelist reference you still get the impression that he is a preacher brainwashing addle-brained idiots.

    The next part is freaky and neat. Sounds like the description of a psychotic killer. I'm not sure of the reference in this case.

    It honestly sounds like a murderer. An insight into a killer's mind. Maybe it doesn't mean anything at all. It seems a bit one tracked though. The person doesn't really have any control. First blue, then green, then red. Serial killer I guess. It's implied that it's a repeated incident. Waking up in the ditch. Being controlled by the colors. Two little people. Now the color is red, of murder. Camera could be part of the killer's methodology.

    I don't know. If anyone can offer insight, I am open to opinion. Sometimes we look too deep for meanings that aren't there as well =P
  • Chris from Highland Park , NjCarrots are full vitamin A (Betacaratine) which is good for your eyes, "Damn you, let the rabbits wear glasses" is a joke, directly related to the whole life cycle theme of the song which was mentioned before. Ohh and don't forget all the refferces to blind following of organized religion or just blind following period, as portayed through the famous catholic, shepard/flock reference.
  • Jorge from Venezuela, South Americadisgustipated is about how eperiences can changes our life trying to make us blind, might be religion i don't no!.. you can notice that when the man says can i get an amen, can i get a hallelujah and there's nothing but animals sound.. the "life feeds on life" and "this is necessary" parts are like a division between the part aout the experience and the other one lets call it the blind awaken, why? he was in his own world,(every body has his own, some can be dark some can be bright, some are just black and blue) every thing he look at or touchwas him or that he thinks, but there's a part "you tried all the doors. they were locked. it was a new car" it was new something he wanted real bad but he can not have it maybe because he was awke but blind cause there was something that didn't let him, but he tried to ignore it he saw two tiny persons at the end he keeps those but about the car only the color!!!
  • Amanda from Edmonton, Canadathis song has 4 sections. the first part is about taking life away from anything that is living and the reference to the carrots and the animal noises in the backround are a representative of this. when the speaker says " let the rabbits wear glasses" he means, let eveything that is life containing be equal to each other. and yes, this song is making references to being a vegetarian, but is also mocking the weight of religion in our society. when the speaker says " the angel of the lord snatched me from my perfect slumber" he was referring to an alien abduction because the speaker also talks about his new outlook. the next part of the song that JMK talks about " this is necessary, life feeds on life" is about of course these ideas proposed in the beggining coming together, it is also talking about how everything eventually connects with each other. the third part of the song is an elongated steady noise that represents a gap in society. the gap that seperates those capable of having the courage to state what they truly believe in. JMK is one of those people. The fourth and final part of the song is making reference to the human races extreme greed. when the speaker is talking about wiping his hands on the grass and then HIS colour was green, he was talking about the fact that the human race in general feel an obssessive compelling feeling to own everything, because of course everything on earth belongs to us in our own eyes. when the song says " you looked up at your own sky" it means you are back from your night journey with the " angel of the lord". when the song says " if god is our father, then satan must be our cousin" gives reason to believe that the speaker "reverand maynard" has been taken on a mental or physical enlightenment.
  • Jeff from Melbourne, United StatesWhat else I forgot to mention was that the angel that snached maynard up from his place of slumber was Michael Jackson himself.Michael Jackson was the one who told maynard of the cries of the carrots that is why tool made this song to thank Michael Jackson for Thriller and speechless.The song speechless is about how maynard keenan feels about Michael Jackson and other little boys.When he says life feeds on life he means we all feed on each other by loving each other so we must love every one.So call me what you want but dont call me late for dinner.
  • Jeff from Melbourne, United StatesI think this song is about how much maynard loves the good reverand Michael Jackson.What he is saying at the end of the song is that Michael has tought him so much about loving cildren.He loves the cildren so much that he is going to play hide and seek with them in the woods.What he means when he says this is necessary is that we must love children because Children need love to.I love Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 and I love thriller.
  • Jeff Long from Melbourne, Flyou know what else this songs deep meaning intended for those to see.Is that the colors show the promise of God.This promise was formed through a rainbow. Such as how this is neccessary that life feeds on life and this son isa just and advertisment for skittles.life feeding on life in skittle commercials there is life. by eating the rainbow.of skittles.thus my proffesional oppinion of the class of harvard 1988 i say this song is a scam of a skittle commercial.so buy skittles for the reverand menard has spoken
  • Glenn from Mildenhall, EnglandThe cry of the carrots means don't be a vegetarian. The Carrots cry like the Cows.
  • Simon from Anchorage, Akthe thing about the right for a carrot to live is just a joke about political correctness
  • Brian from Mayfield Heights, Ohactually, the foreign parts in "Message to Harry Manbeck" are in italian- thought i should clear that up. Also, the idea for the song was indeed left by the landlord... but they altered it, I belive. The little ode to carrots before that is merely another example of Tool's randomness at a first glance.. which means it has a deeper meaning we will never be able to grasp. Thanks Maynard! You've confused the sh*t out of us!
  • Michael from Seattle, WaThe little story at the end was not left on his answering machine. You are thinking of the song from AEnima that is partially in spanish, and it's not his landlord either. It is beilived that the whole song is about a murder, and what the murderer is reasoning in his mind, if you listen carefully there is a shotgun going off towards the end of the song before the story part, "this is (gun caulks) necessary (gun shoots)"
  • Julene from Glendale, AzDisqustipated is about the whole life cycle. How now matter what is done life will feed on life. Talk that if we look at everything as having a life, and we believe in the terms "Live and let live." then really there will be no life. the lines in this song are "This is neccassery, life feeds on life." Which is true, and everything has a life. The plants, the animals, the sea creatures. With out one of them another will die. With out plants most animals (unless they eat meat) are gone, once animals die we have less for, if the animals that eat meat are still around then we are bound to be there food or them ours. Life is a cycle, no matter how you look at it. One life needs another life to die to live. "This is necassery. Life feeds on life."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillian

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe ShaverSongwriter Interviews

The outlaw country icon talks about the spiritual element of his songwriting and his Bob Dylan mention.

Colbie Caillat

Colbie CaillatSongwriter Interviews

Since emerging from MySpace with her hit "Bubbly," Colbie has become a top songwriter, even crafting a hit with Taylor Swift.

Michelle Branch

Michelle BranchSongwriter Interviews

Michelle Branch talks about "Everywhere," "The Game Of Love," and her run-in with a Christian broadcasting network.

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.