Litanie contre la peur
by Tool

Album: Fear Inoculum (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • The term "litanie contre le peur" is French for "litany against fear." It is likely taken from Frank Herbert's science fiction classic Dune.

    In that novel, the litany comes into play a few times, but most memorably it's summoned in an early, critical scene in the novel. When protagonist Paul Atreides is a young man, he's approached with a test of his self-control and courage. The Reverend Mother holds a box and tells him to put his hand inside while she holds a poisoned "gom jabbar" (a kind of mechanical needle) to his neck. She tells him the box is going to cause him tremendous pain, but if he reacts to it and pulls his hand away, she will release the gom jabbar's needle and kill him.

    To steady himself, Atreides summons to mind the Litany Against Fear, which goes:

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


    Atreides thus controls his animal impulses and begins his journey to becoming a hero.
  • This instrumental track runs 2:14, the second-shortest song on the album behind "Mockingbeat." It acts as one of four brief interludes between the longer songs. Specifically, it seperates "Pneuma" from "Invincible."
  • The song is all synthesizer and digital affects, with an ethereal voice humming occasionally. The effect is a hypnotic little bridge in an album intended to be listened to as a whole, from beginning to end.

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