Tool: Cold and Ugly Meaning
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Cold and Ugly Lyrics
anonymous Sep 11th, 2006 9:29pm report
This song is about people hiding behind a mask
because they are afraid they are not good enough
and they might get hurt.
anonymous Nov 22nd, 2014 11:15pm report
I feel this song is about MJKs mother. A lot of tool songs seem to be focused on either his or her perspective.
Fade! (his mother is slowly dying due to her illness aka fading away)
Underneath her skin and jewelry, hidden in her words and eyes (his mother is paralyzed so the façade she puts on makes her seem fine but MJK can see through her words and eyes she's terrified of what's to come. She hides behind her faith which I believe is metaphorically symbolized by the skin and jewelry)
Is a wall that's cold and ugly and shes scared as hell (she constantly has faith and hope that she will have a better life once she reaches heaven, but deep down there's a wall holding back all those negative emotions and MJK, being her son, can see she's scared as hell)
trembling at the thought of feeling, nothing seems to penetrate her (shes afraid of feeling the negative emotions and none of those feelings seem to affect her as further realized through the song "The Patient")
Wide awake and keeping distance from my soul(this could relate to both MJK and his mother. His mother is paralyzed, but she's conscious. She can talk and look but that's it. She cant live. She's trapped in her body but cant use it so she's kept away from her soul. OR due to lyrics in "Jimmy" this could relate to MJK as "Jimmy" speaks about MJK coming to terms with his mother and finding his lost soul that's 11 and making it apart of him once again)
I am frightened too, I am scared like you (MJK is obviously just as scared as he believes his mother to be)
I find it hard to believe this song could be about any girl other than his mother. Seems to odd for MJK to write a song about some random girl and about an obvious topic with no deep intention when the lyrics are so emotional. So I think this song has to be about his mother.
anonymous Jun 9th, 2011 6:13am report
I did two years of homeschool with my stepdad who was a christian pastor I always felt safe. When I was 12 he died of cancer, my mum took my little sister and left me behind with my father. Carefree, drinking, smoking, joking, father, unreligious stranger and potential threat. My religious views had me so paranoid that I put up a secret barrier to protect myself just in case he turned into the monster I imagined. My interpretation of cold and ugly is unwelcoming and insincere which is what I was. Hidden in her words and eyes (to avoid the voulneralblity of confessing emotional weakness, fear or asking for help from people I didn't trust, whenever I was afraid I would declair my hatered without much explanation). I was scared as hell but felt I couldn't tell anyone, I just wanted so badly not to feel emotion at all. Wide awake (alert) and keeping distance (either physically or mentally). Nobodies' words could penetrate my stubborn exterior cause I felt like they couldn't understand and I wore the Grudge like a crown. I feel comforted by the fact that some else is frightened too. I love my dad I now know how frightened he was of never being able to get through to me. I left christianity behind and felt a great weight lift off me and my fear dissipated. I love TOOL
anonymous Mar 22nd, 2011 3:40pm report
It's about how everybody is too insecure to be themselves, so they be the most desirable personality they know.
anonymous Feb 5th, 2010 2:56pm report
Underneath her skin and jewelry,
(Explaining all the looks)
hidden in her words and eyes
(hidden from everyone else)
is a wall that's cold and ugly
and she's scared as hell.
(Explaining how she is afraid of being herself and is wearing a mask)
Trembling at the thought of feeling.
(hard for her to be herself)
Wide awake and keeping distance.
Nothing seems to penetrate her.
Cuz she's scared as hell.
(explaining how she is scared)
I am frightened too.
I am frightened.
anonymous Dec 9th, 2009 12:53am report
This song is not telling a story. The woman described is an everyman, saying how we mask our true feelings.
It's about the darker side of everyone's personality that they hide with false laughter and a fake smile.
It COULD have something to do with drugs, as drugs DO make you feel desensitized to the world, and it sounds like Maynard is trying to help her, finding common ground with "I'm frightened too" and "I'm scared like you".
She seems to be unable to reform from something bad.
"Nothing seems to penetrate her/because she's scared as hell"
Could be drugs, or maybe something else.
Lucabarzini Jul 3rd, 2009 7:43am report
My interpretation was that this is about a woman/girl who is insecure and afraid to open up to this person and she's scared to get hurt so she lashes out and withdraws from the relationship between them and the person simply is scared to after seeing the insecurity between them.
anonymous Dec 29th, 2008 12:02am report
It's about some girl that has some cold and ugly underneath her exterior of tangible and intangible. Like pretty much all dysfunction, it's a problem rooted in fear. In this song, the singer (maybe he's singing from another perspective again - I don't know) is coming from a place of love and connection. "I am frightened, too. I am scared like you." This woman refuses to connect - refuses to love or be loved. She's "wide awake and keeping distance from my soul". It's one of his simpler songs lyrically, but it's definitely a good collaboration between everyone in the band. The music gives all the emotional context for those lyrics that are otherwise pretty straightforward.
anonymous Aug 22nd, 2007 8:59pm report
This song is about my ex-girlfriend who is absolutely gorgeous on the outside but horrifically ugly on the inside, selfish, cruel and manipulative; in order to protect herself against the deep fear and loathing she lives every second of her life trying to maintain her control against her insecurity. Very sad.
anonymous Aug 12th, 2006 8:11pm report
Watergem's interpretation can be takin as correct but there's a simpler interpretation
i think it's more general about people
we use our material possessions ("skin and jewelry") to hide ("hidden in her words and eyes") our problems ("a wall that's cold and ugly") and the person is "scared as hell" to face it so "she's keeping distance" "and is frightened," "trembling at the thought of feeling," and is "wide awake and keeping distance from (their) soul."
so the song is telling a story(the story was interpreted by watergem)but the deeper meaning is above
This is about a woman who is suffering from some kind of mental disorder, shock, or trauma. She hides behind her jewlery and makeup, to cover what she's feeling inside. Shes scared as hell of what people will think if they know her problem, or she's scared of what her problem is. She is terrified to the point she trembles when she thinks about her problem, and keeps her distance away from it. Nothing can get inside her to cure it, she's so scared. The second and third verse is a psychiatrist trying to help the woman. The psychiatrist tries to help the woman by familiarising himself with her situation saying he is scared to. He does this so she feels less alone, and it will open her to him so he can help. He says he keeps distance from his problems too because he is scared like she is.
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