Tool: Eulogy Meaning
Song Released: 1998
He had a lot of nothing to say.
We’ll miss him. (2x)
We’re gonna miss him (2x)
We wish you well.
You told us how you weren’t afraid to die.
Well then, so long.
Or feel too down.
Not all martyrs...
First of all, this is just my opinion, based on what I have learned about tool. It could be one hundred percent false because there is so much incorrect information circulating about tool, no doubt I have acquired some of it. Not to mention the fact that the band itself is alleged to enjoy spreading lies about themselves and their music.
On the issue of who writes the song lyrics. Most people I am sure would assume it was just Maynard. But in my opinion, that would be contrary to what he and the band stand for. They are always saying to question authority. So why would Maynard set himself up as the authority in the bands lyric writing rather than share it amongst the whole group? From what I have learned about tool, they believe in synergy, the sum being greater than the individual parts. That doesn't leave room for one person having a monopoly on any one aspect of the band. So it is my opinion that in tool, every member shares in all aspects of the creation of their music. Take for instance the interviews with adam jones where he says that when practices by himself and creates the riffs he wants to present to the band, they are all in standard 4/4 time until he starts to play them with danny, in that instance, danny has some control over how the quitar is played. Make sense? I dunno if I communicate very clearly.
Now for my opinion on what the song actually means. Well, its called "Eulogy." Someone or something died right? If you believe Maynard is genuine in his lyrics and not just trying to make something that he thinks wil grab your interest then you must come to the conclusion that whatever Maynard is singing about is something he is very passionate about. Now this is what I have heard. Before this record was released, a very close friend of the bands had died in a senseless manner and they were all very angry about it. That close friend was the comedian Bill Hicks, whose picture is inside the album cover and whose jokes about drugs enhancing everyones lives are on the record. So, logic tells me that even though the song is written in a general manner and could be seen as being about a lot of different people, Bill Hicks makes the most sense to me. I honestly can't see the band giving half a shit about Kurt Cobain, especially not enough to write a song about him but that's just my opinion. Bill hicks had a lot to say, he was a political comedian.
Ok now assume that it is about bill hicks and they were all good friends. look at the lines where he says we'll miss him, we're gonna miss him. Now why would he say "we" instead of "I". To me that is further evidence that even though Maynard is the singer he is more of just a spokesperson for the entire group, meaning he isn't the only one with a hand in the lyrics and its not just what he cares about that he sings about, he sings for the whole group, its a collective effort. And that is all very congruent with being against authority.
And just one more thing. Just an observation. I think that what you think a song means, is more reflective of who you are rather than what a song is about. A huge Nirvana fan will no doubt think this song is about Kurt. People like music because they relate to it. Whatever your closest relation that song is, is no doubt what you are going to believe the song is about, it shouldnt be any other way.
wearethestories Mar 2nd, 2006 3:38pm report
The poster above just said exactly what I would have said right before reading the lyrics another time. As a Christian, this song has typically been the hardest for me to stand (this and two others off of Opiate and Undertow). I love Tool, they are my favorite band of all time and I think all of them are absolutely incredible muscians and philosophers. That said, I don't think that this song really is about Jesus, or about Christians in general. And, for the record, this isn't justification for hypocrisy - I'm not attempting to claim that this song isn't defaming Christianity simply because I am a Christian, but I happen to like Tool a helluva lot.
So, first off, from a literary standpoint, there is absolutely no reason to claim that Maynard has a "higher power" he is looking on from that isn't the same "person" saying the heavy shit at the end of the song. There just isn't.
Secondly, everything about the Jesus-thing seems a little too tight and convenient. I find it hard to believe that just because Maynard has had some very negative experiences with the Catholic Church (as obvious in "Opiate"), that he would continue in this vein to create a very simple song that warns people of the "foils and lies of Christianity". He's done that, he spent a record and half an EP to do that. I think he's done with that (at least until APC's "Judith", and even that has a lot more compassion for people [even Christians] than "Opiate" or "Sober" do).
Third: I think it's important to recognize that this entire CD (AEnima) is dedicated to "The Late Great Bill Hicks: Another Dead American Hero" (or something like that), as seen in the insert to the album. It is true that "AEnema" and "Third Eye" are explicitly Hicksian in nature - each overarching theme comes directly from some sort of the comedien's philosophy.
Fourth: the statements about the person whom the eulogy is about "rants" and "raves" and "takes a stance on every little thing". This, as Maynard would know from actually studying the Bible (and he has), is completely fallacious. Even people who do not subscribe to the Christian faith recognize that Jesus Christ was a real person who expounded love, forgiveness, and genuine brotherly acceptance of EVERY person. In fact, the basic laws of every society ever is based upon the Golden Rule that is laid out in the Bible: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". It's not that they took that from the Bible, but that the Bible spells that concept out. Maynard doesn't have a problem, per se, with Christ, just with the "middle men of religion". Those people defame Christ more than Maynard ever could.
Fifth: The song is irrational any way you choose to look at it. It isn't cohesive. I think it makes much more sense for it to be a song that is cryptic in meaning about a friend who died suddenly and left Maynard (alone?) --- someone who was "strong and loud" who had a "lot to say" but who ultimately died and went away. I don't think Maynard would be cryptic about his feelings toward Christianity --- he hasn't been so in the past, or in the future.
Anyway, if you read all of this, thanks.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2005 8:33pm report
Well Maynard has said himself its not about Cobain or Jesus or
Christianity in general. He is attacking the "self righteous" in general.
anonymous Jul 28th, 2017 7:13am report
Why then are you so surprised when you hear your own eulogy? He had/has ALOT to say..He had/has ALOT of nothin' to say...Anyone else think it's possibly about Maynard, himself? Think about it.
anonymous Nov 23rd, 2016 11:32am report
''Eulogy'' is a song about the ideology of ''The Racists on The Left'' that needed to die out with their phony Leader[s] and come down from their high places and become real with It[their ideology] 'cause they've used it for ungodly purposes against us the people. But now they're angry as hell that they lost to The Right[eous] TumpEt sound to be ''slowed down in order'' not to keep up their evil intentions of corruption and evil lies against us that have been polluting our souls, only to be left with The Righteous strength to say goodbye to them.
anonymous Jan 2nd, 2016 1:36am report
Whoever said its about that wacky cult leader L. Ron Hubbard is absolutely correct. I can't believe that anyone has interpreted it in any other way. I had to read the lyrics again to make sure I was singing them correctly in the shower but it's clearly a position taken on Scientology. (Also I think it's odd that the auto fill capitalized Scientology, it's a cult like the rest of these "organized religions"). We're monkeys that lost our tails and learned to fuck facing one another. Deal with it. 46&2 just ahead of me-
anonymous Oct 31st, 2014 10:37am report
When I was in 8th grade (right now) I had a friend who left my group. And this was before I heard this song. When I heard this song it told me what was gonna happen and if he was gonna come back or not which he is. Who knows if Maynard went through this same experience??
anonymous Aug 30th, 2014 8:59am report
That's funny- don't really think that Maynard has to think as much as you assholes-you're reading way too far into it- it's about Henry Rollins and his big ass mouth, not Jesus - get a life
anonymous Jun 13th, 2014 6:18am report
I believe this song is about all of the people who preach about how we all sin, which is true, but they point their finger at very person, everything, but their own heart. Most of those people tell us the only way to rid of your sin is to try to live as Jesus did, by being willing to die for someone else or for what's right. But those people who preach this most likely won't die for you or for what's right. So those people don't want us to step out of line and sin, by lieing, cheating, stealing ect, but it's our nature, and that includes even the most highly thought of, of people. Also I think this song tells those preachers to get off the "cross" if they are not willing to die for others or what's right. But this is just my take on the whole song others may disagree and that's ok, everyone thinks differently.
anonymous May 20th, 2014 5:25am report
Most of you are just wrongheaded and wrong. It's an ironic and sometimes sarcastic tome for bill hicks who died from cancer a month before cobain killed himself. No one paid much attention to hicks, whom the band respected as a genius commentator on life and its bullshit, which he was, but instead of giving hicks the respect he deserved, all the dumbshit fucktards out there freaked out about cobain, who had nothing like what hicks had. Thus the irony. Cobain got all the attention hicks should have gotten, just to prove hicks right about who people give their adoration to--those who don't deserve it, because most people are ignorant lemmings. Fuck cobain for stealing hicks' time of mourning. Rip bill hicks.
anonymous Mar 11th, 2013 3:30am report
wasnt maynerds dad a preacher?
anonymous Jan 30th, 2013 1:45pm report
After I listened to this I thought it was a song against Christianity and how Jesus Christ died for our sins. And I was a little torn being a Christian and loving the song. Im surprised after reading this forum that Im not alone in feeling this way. I am relieved to see that was not the intended meaning for this song. Thanks for all the posts.
anonymous Jan 29th, 2013 1:10pm report
This is ridiculous. It's about Hubbard and his Scientology bull. Read the lyrics and grow a brain. Or don't, and succumb to religions in your idiotic lives.
anonymous Oct 2nd, 2012 10:54pm report
why is everyone beating around the bush? im pretty sure its about Jesus. "You must be crucified....you said you would die for me" obviously Maynard is trying to convey the message that the whole Jesus thing is bullshit. thats what he is saying, nothing else. even if he said that's not it, its because tool says all their songs are up to the listener's interpretation.
anonymous Sep 12th, 2012 9:46am report
This song is about no person in particular, it is quite simply about the stereotype of 'the loudest asshole in the room' Maynard spent some time in the military, which i imagine was a big inspiration for this song as well.
Any of you who know maynard/tool's relationship with Hicks should immediately understand they wouldn't make a song like this about him. AS for Jesus, what with all the religious symbolism tied to him in this song, i can easily see how that's misinterpreted. As for L. Ron, he was an inspiration for this song as Danny Carey plainly stated, but thats it. It's just the idea of the pyschological nature between the sheep and the shephard, when the shephard is an insane militaristic/religious driven shouting asshole.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2012 8:49am report
it's about Bill Hicks...no question
anonymous Aug 3rd, 2012 8:11pm report
In my own honest opinion, I believe the song is a "Fuck You!" to L. Ron Hubbard. For example, the lyric "Come down! Get off your fucking cross..." The way I interpret that lyric is by pretty much saying for him to get off of his high horse. He's not God. And when Maynard says "Standing above the crowd, He had a voice that was strong and loud and I, Swallowed his facade cuz I’m so Eager to identify with Someone above the ground, Someone who seemed to feel the same, Someone prepared to lead the way, with Someone who would die for me." I took that as one of Hubbard's followers P.O.V.
anonymous Mar 28th, 2012 3:31pm report
This song is one of my favorites from Tool. It has a lot of meaning to me, and i want to share my opinion about the interpretation about it.. "He had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say we'll mis him". I believe he's talking about someone who he loved, who he was close to, who didnt get to speak their mind to the world.."Obviously when he says "we're going to miss him" he could be talking about society, maybe that someone who passed was famous or did great cause to the world, but personally i believe that he is talking about everyone in his band, and that the person was a friend to all of them. "well so long, we wish you well..You told us how you wern't afraid to die". I believe that he telling the passed person goodbye, and goodluck in the afterlife. that you shouldnt greive or cry because its not like he was afraid of dying. "not all martyrs see divinity, but atleast you tried" Not all believers see the division of heaven and hell, or maybe he wasnt that strong of a believer but atleast he tried..He was a strong and outspoken man, that had a point to prove to the world, and soon it was too late for him to express that.
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