Right In Two
by Tool

Album: 10,000 Days (2006)

Songfacts®:

  • Tool is rarely straightforward about the meanings behind their songs, but this seems to be about the human race and our inability to co-exist peacefully. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Josh - Hampton, VA

Comments: 22

  • Epaminondas from FloridaIt is beyond ridiculous that people have interpreted the word "monkey" to be a derogatory term for black people. How petty-minded can they be... how fragile can their little pathetic egos be? Silly monkeys indeed who "divide it right in two" even as they listen to this masterpiece. SHM... In case you haven't realized we are biologically (and thus, psychologically and behaviorally) basically monkeys... go study some biology you fools. This is precisely what this song is all about.
  • DreamreaperSo I have a theory that I haven't seen. I see it as the angels have sat and watched humans evolve and have become jealous of the time God has spent on creating humans to watch us and realize what we are capable so tries creating disturbances and mocks us while asking questions, why do they use their thumbs to create knives to kill each other, when the angels taught us to create and kill with them so we would never see how powerful us, human beings, could be as one.
  • Izntreal from New York CityMaynard's a genius who sees it all for what it is and has tackled injustice and really tough issues better than our past Presidents could ever have.
    It's lyrics are clearly written, straight forward and honest. There's no "dog whistle" and anyone who would declare the takeaway of "monkey killing monkey" as being racially loaded, needs to look inside themselves as to why they would imagine such a stereotype in the first place.
    Not attacking anyone, but, I've been on the fan boards and it seems folks zero in on all the wrong things and let their imagination run wild.
    Maynard's lyrics are sometimes wrapped in riddles (Forty Six and Two), are sometimes reliant on rarely used words and terminology (The Pot) or just straight up slaps people in the face with brutal honesty (Aenima).
    "Right in Two" is a song fitting for the times, but NOT from the standpoint of BS identity politics and moreso to the point that mankind is petty and unevolved.
  • Chris from AustinThis is a very sad song. Obviously monkeys killing monkeys is horrible. "repugnant is a creature that will squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here" is heartbreaking. But the saddest part to me is that the Angels are standing on the sidelines, cutting us and them right in two.
  • Dean from SeattleSong is about the fallen nature of duality in this world and what it means to transcend this illusion of duality to oneness.
  • Cole from La, CaGod took a rib from Adam to create Eve. Thus dividing in two. Eve took an apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and shared it with Adam ( Apple right in two)
    Eve then had two sons (right in two). Moses split the sea (right in two). God became his son in the flesh (God Right in Two)... these are recurring themes throughout the Bible.'
    There many more examples from the Bible I could list. I think Maynard was reflecting on his mother's faith in God and looking at the Bible's story and wondering what an angels point of view would have been, watching all this go on.
  • Emilio from Mexico City, MexicoThis song criticizes the human being, these silly monkeys. How we are unable to share because of our own greed. How people is currently dying, fighting over nothing worthy. People killing for money, countries dying over territory and we are doom to miss the most important. How come a reasonable being act like this? Perhaps we people drive ourselves way too much with our reason and not with our hearts. Anyway this song is pure beauty.
  • Donna from Venice, FlTo me - Tool - Maynard James Keenan specifically has really touched upon his conflicts with religion and with man. He is referring to humankind when he refers to talking monkeys. Please don't soil such a pure song by claiming it has racist overtones - Maynard is far more evolved than that. He is simply making the observation that as humans with free will - we have made horrible decisions. He goes on to say that "repugnant is a creature that will squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here" meaning that humans chose not to be grateful for their existence and even chose to ignore a higher power. Perhaps even creating God in our own image... Awesome song. awesome CD - Tool is consistently profound in their lyrics and insane in their music - LOVE IT!
  • Johnathan from Fort Wayne, InI love the bongos/ ongas in this song. It is amazing. Great song with tons of meaning behind it. Tool continues to stun me with the ability they have to put so much into their songs.
  • Kyle from Port Lincoln, AustraliaThey talk about how god spent so much time making us and then we choose to ruin it all by killing eachother and fighting.
  • Spencer from Edmond, OkIn this song i think about how much violence is in the world. "Angels on the sideline puzzled and amused why did father give these humans free will now they're all confused" is saying that the angels are puzzled at why we of all the species in the world we were given intelligence aside how violent we are. with the new found intelligence we could "make a club and beat a brother down."basically it is about all the conflict in the world.
  • Jake from Charlotte, NcThis song has nothing to do with Black People. Speaking of Angels watching talking monkeys was a genius way to get religious and evolutionists on the same page. We all know that many scientists believe we evolved from monkeys. The term "talking-monkeys" was actually used when i was a kid in the early 80's. We live in this garden of Eden and we have people with no water and we have Ted Turner and Bill gates. We kill each other everyday all for nothing. We are so GREEDY that we divide everything. No one is willing to share. If we gave up our own pride everyone could live comfortably. Here we are with all of this intelligence, but we can't realise that we aren't even here long enough to enjoy life. We fight over invisible boundaries. It truly is a mystery how we have managed to survive this long. AEnima seems to be a sidebar of this song. One man looks around and understands..It might be tied into the "Great Flood" of Noah. "Wash it all away."
  • Jake from Charlotte, NcThis song has nothing to do with Black People. Speaking of Angels watching talking monkeys was a genius way to get religious and evolutionists on the same page. We all know that many scientists believe we evolved from monkeys. The term "talking-monkeys" was actually used when i was a kid in the early 80's. We live in this garden of Eden and we have people with no water and we have Ted Turner and Bill gates. We kill each other everyday all for nothing. We are so GREEDY that we divide everything. No one is willing to share. If we gave up our own pride everyone could live comfortably. Here we are with all of this intelligence, but we can't realise that we aren't even here long enough to enjoy life. We fight over invisible boundaries. It truly is a mystery how we have managed to survive this long. AEnima seems to be a sidebar of this song. One man looks around and understands..It might be tied into the "Great Flood" of Noah. "Wash it all away."
  • Jack from Strabane, IrelandThe songs about how angels are looking down on the human race, refering to them as "talking monkeys" and absoultely nothing to do with black people!. Maynard James Keenan of course isnt a fan of God as in Judith he is talking about how his mother stills prays to the man, that if religion is real, put her in a whell chair for 10,000 days which is around 30 years or something i cant remember. The Angels also ask "Don't these talkin monkeys know that eden has enough to go around?" and say "Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over peices of the ground" this means that the humans are killing each over land even though there is enough to go around everybody fairly.As humans cannot co-exist without fighting over land they are split "Right in Two". As the song goes on the angels keep commenting on how father or God blessed the humans with things like free will and thumbs and they are mor eor less pissing it all away by fighting.
  • Jason from Kansas City, MoI always hear the "monkey" reference from an evolutionary standpoint. Here are these angels who have watched the human race evolve, develop culture and civilization, and yet, they haven't advanced at all, continuing to fight over territory. They're still simple primates.
  • Defy from Wellington, New Zealandhumans are f**ked thats what it means. We kill, we hurt, we destroy, we torture. We strive to rule. We're f**ked. Don't like thinking about it but we are.
  • Brianne from Windsor, CanadaI have to argue with William on the idea that 'monkey' is a derogatory remark against Black, which I understood to mean black people. It seems clear to me that, though racism and racial disputes are implied in the song, the term 'monkey' has more to do with humans in general. "Why did Father give these monkeys free will? Now they're all confused. Don't these talking monkeys know that Eden has enough to go around?"

    These "talking monkeys" are equated to humans, not just one variety of human. In fact, the racial element of the song, if there is one, is in the subtext rather than the words themselves: "Fight over life, over blood, over air and..."

    I see this song as having to do with a much broader subject than simply racism. It deals with the fact that we're all fundamentally the same - talking monkeys - and yet we're always fighting with each other over perceived differences and over material possessions and things that don't really matter in the end. "Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here." We fight with each other over meaningless things when we should be embracing 'heaven' - which, in the context of this song, I believe is our personal sense of spirituality.
  • Demetrius from Cleveland, MsKing James Version of the Bible, Revelation chapter 6, verses 1 to 8
    Its as if they are saying that people are fighting over the world and are so ignorant like talking monkeys that they dont know they are in Eden. Or they have forgotten and this song is the warning that the 2nd horsemen war is here. And the third is the one calling the angels to the sideline to take measures of whats happening. "Repugnant is a creature who would
    Squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven
    Conscious of his fleeting time here" It is disgusting to know you won't live for ever but still won't look to heaven for help knowing that the 4th and last horsemen(death) is on its way. Since they want to cut everything right in two. Cut it all right in two and seperate us so we don't have to watch them anymore.

  • Dean from Arab, AlWhen two Mothers both claimed a baby as their own; they went to their King to settle the dispute. King Soloman said to cut the baby right-in-two and give each Mother half. One Mother said "No, don't cut the baby in half; it is her baby." King Soloman responded, "This is the real Mother of the child; do not cut the baby in two give the baby to it's mother."

    We are cutting this earth in two, and neither Mother is saying "No." Tool is saying "No."

    The monkey is unthinking people, but black, white, yellow, or red is relevant here. Like religion, race is just another difference to divide us right-in-two.
  • William from New Haven, CtThough the views of whether the song has to do with the human race and its inability to co-exist peacefully seems logical and coming from Tool, quite logical; I feel that is has to do with racism:blacks and whites. Though its is 2007 and I dislike the revival of the topic, segregation may exist and it seems that Tool is bringing this forth. "Monkey" being a derogatory remark against Black, it seems as though he is speaking of meaningless conflicts between races. Or I could be wrong.
  • William from Royal Palm Beach, FlDid anyone notice how somewhere around the middle of this song, adam plays the same riff that is in "jimmy."?
  • Chris from Monticello, KyTo, me as Josh says, this song is about human beings inability to co-exist and how according to these "angels on the sidelines" we might not deserve the "eden" we are allowed to inhabit.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Cy Curnin of The Fixx

Cy Curnin of The FixxSongwriter Interviews

The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"They're Playing My Song

With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Stephen Christian of Anberlin

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Alan Merrill of The Arrows

Alan Merrill of The ArrowsSongwriter Interviews

In her days with The Runaways, Joan Jett saw The Arrows perform "I Love Rock And Roll," which Alan Merrill co-wrote - that story and much more from this glam rock pioneer.