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Tool: H. Meaning

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Song Released: 1997


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H. Lyrics

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What's coming through is alive.
What's holding up is a mirror.
But what's singing songs is a snake
Looking to turn my piss to wine.

They're both totally void of hate,
But killing me just the same.

The snake behind me hisses
What my...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    Zaq
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    Jan 16th, 2006 1:25pm report


    The snake represent Maynard's father.
    The "blood before me" represents Devo, Maynard's son.
    "What's coming through is alive.
    What's holding up is a mirror.
    But what's singing songs is a snake
    Looking to turn this piss to wine."
    This means the Maynard we experience in most songs is the Maynard seen in his father's mirror, the Maynard that was shaped in his father's image. But he is trying to turn all these negatives(piss) to positives(wine).
    The snake behind me reminds me, how bad I could have been.
    My son in front of me begs me to let my guard down, to love, to grow again.
    "Venomous voice, tempts me,
    Drains me, bleeds me,
    Leaves me cracked and empty.
    Drags me down like some sweet gravity."
    The way he was treated by his father makes him feel like shit, takes his will to live away, and he is tempted to let it drag him down(because he feels worthless). It is "Sweet gravity" because it would be easy to treat his son that way, and in a way it would feel right, because it would be a release, and because his father treated him that way.
    "I am too connected to you to
    Slip away, to fade away.
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me,
    And considerately killing me."
    He loves his son too much to slip and fade into what he feels he is destined to become. Even when he isn't with his son, he can still feel his son's effects on him, can still feel his son killing the snake inside of him.
    "The walls came down."
    The walls he had put up to protect him emotionally have come down, allowing him to love and be loved.
    "And the snake is drowned and
    As I look in his eyes,
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of those times.
    I could have cried then.
    I should have cried then."
    The snake inside him is dead, and as he watches it die, he is no longer afraid. He was so relieved that he could have cried.
    "I have died
    and will die.
    It's all right.
    I don't mind."
    The snake has died, other parts of him will die, he will change, but it's okay. I don't mind.
    "And considerately killing me..."
    HEY, it's a POSITIVE Tool song!!!



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    May 3rd, 2006 5:19am report


    H is, at its core, a love song (perhaps one of the only by Tool). I think this song is about the power of another (or our intense devotion/connection to that other) to break down the walls we build when we are damaged and to give us the will to overcome the destructive power an abusive parent/lover has over us. Whether the abuser is a father, an ex-lover or even a part of ourselves, none of us are immune to the power of love. Love is very much alive. It flows within us, moves between us and guides us.

    Consider this..

    What's coming through is alive (Love breaking the barrier I create to shield myself from pain)
    What's holding up is a mirror (I am all that stands in the way)
    What's singing songs is a snake
    Looking to turn my piss to wine (Still I, my own worst enemy, try to overcome my own misgivings)
    ....
    Killing me just the same (The conflict consumes me)

    The snake behind me hisses....
    ...Begs me.. open up my heart again (Standing behind me is pain.. pain of the abusive father, pain of the terrible lover incessently tempting me, but ahead of me is a passion, my own passion begging me to submit to this love)

    Venomous voice..
    ...Sweet gravity (The past pulls me back, willing me to give in to the temptation of what is easy, what is known. It is easier to give in to the abuse than to believe in something pure and selfless)

    I feel this coming over like a storm again (There is a breaking point, and I see it coming. I can shelter myself from it or open myself up to its power)

    I am too connected to you
    Slip away, fade away
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me
    Considerately killing me (I am powerless to ignore my love for you and my fight against you is failing. I am beginning to see what you do for me; sweetly killing the me that was a victim, the me that could have become the abuser myself)

    *Note the melody and rythym change.. Signifying the approaching climax*

    Without the skin
    Beneath the storm
    Under these tears
    The walls come down (I have chosen not to shelter my heart from this storm - the storm signifying this passionate love - and I have succumbed to this thing)

    And as the snake is drowned
    And as I look in his eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I could have cried
    I should have cried (The storm that freed me is the very storm that destroyed the abusive power that once held me, the snake. As I watch it drown, I realize that there is no need to fear, for the power it had was artificial. It is gone.)

    *Here is the instrumental climax, giving this realization an epic quality*
    And as the walls come down and
    As I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died, and will die.
    It's all right. I don't mind.

    (As my inner defenses are finally broken, and I see into the eyes of my love, the fear I had lived with fades to nothing. My solice is in the fact that, as many times as my heart has been broken, and may even be broken still, I have hope. I have immeasurable optimism that allows me peace, because the worst parts of me are now dead.)



  3. 3TOP RATED

    wildbill06
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    May 14th, 2006 5:59pm report


    I have a live Tool bootleg from Houston, TX in 97'. Maynard said to the crowd before H., "ever seen those Warner Bros. cartoons, where there is someone trying to make a decision and they have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Of course the angel is telling him to do the right thing and the devil is telling him to do what would not be right. Well sometimes we have this happen in real life, but its not always that simple, maybe its friends telling us what we should or should not do, but thier advice might not always be whats best for us...this song's called H."

    I think the song is about using your own conciense, thinking for yourself and to not get "dragged down" by outside influences.



  4.  

    kooljohn176
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    Dec 9th, 2018 12:27pm report


    This TOOL song seems to be about the son's temptations and addiction for the use of the drug ''heroin''. who followed IN THE SEEDS OF THE ''POPPY'' H. for heroin ''Pushing Father into the same king of Hellish Desert Storm ''poppy business'' of the Snakes.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 24th, 2014 8:58pm report


    H. Can be a couple of abstract interpretations.Addiction and the viscous cycle of dark graving birthed by pain. Looking in the mirror realizing the snake is ego inside protecting the I.D desires for the damage could be great. The storms of guilt and withdrawal restart cycle. The blood of love of self but also bloodline of the family. Blood begs to flow into heart. The eternal struggle is escape from the failures life contains. No hate but relief as considerately killing me



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 4th, 2013 10:04pm report


    It's about influence. Whether its drugs, god, a father.. Any influence



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 29th, 2012 11:32pm report


    in there interviews they have said the songs are about themselfs. the meanings are for you to think for yourself and what it means to yourself



  8.  

    Nathalie MacKay
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    Jun 15th, 2012 6:32pm report


    I think Third Eye has a point.
    Funny it's mentioned of snakes; meaning reptiles which are amongst the ones that are controlling humanity. They have been playing with our genetics and manipulating us; we may feel like we are part of them and in some way if not most of the time are behaving like them, jealousy, possession, etc...all these negative thoughts that we have do no really belong to us but to them who are trying to genetically modify us and they doing a jolly good job at it! lol
    Time to do you research kids before judging what the person says...wake the fuck up. Night Night xxx



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 25th, 2012 2:55am report


    It's about "H" or heroin. Period.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 1st, 2012 2:08am report


    The basic premise of the song is about a father choosing to be a father over addiction. Here's how...

    What's coming through is alive. (literal child birth)
    What's holding up is a mirror. (seeing yourself in your child)
    But what's singing songs is a snake (addiction)
    Looking to turn this piss to wine. (addiction distorts our reality)

    They're both totally void of hate, (yes, they are)
    But killing me just the same. (addiction, literally, child through the cycle of life)

    The snake behind me hisses
    What my damage could have been.
    My blood before me begs me
    Open up my heart again. (these lines represent the decision before him...addiction vs. child)

    And I feel this coming over like a storm again.
    Considerately. (the conflict arises)

    Venomous voice, tempts me,
    Drains me, bleeds me,
    Leaves me cracked and empty.
    Drags me down like some sweet gravity. (these lines represent the call of addiction)

    The snake behind me hisses
    What my damage could have been.
    My blood before me begs me
    Open up my heart again. (again he weighs his decisions)

    And I feel this coming over like a storm again. (the conflict returns, however, in both cases, I think the storm is also the birth of the desire that is starting to overtake him that he wants to be there for his child. The key is the word Consideratly in the time this line comes up. He using it in reference to the child numerous times)

    I am too connected to you to
    Slip away, to fade away.
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me,
    And considerately killing me. (Notice the introduction of the word "you" here. You is the blood, You is the child. The father is realizing his bond with his child and how it is changing him)

    Without the skin,
    Beneath the storm,
    Under these tears
    The walls came down. (Clarity come with sobriety)

    And the snake is drowned and
    As I look in his eyes,
    My fear begins to fade (Now the father is realizing he can do this)
    Recalling all of those times.

    I could have cried then.
    I should have cried then. (These three lines talk about how he should of felt what he needed to, but chose to not feel it "cry" by relying on his addiction)

    And as the walls come down and
    As I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade (Again he realizes he can be a father free of addiction)
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died
    and will die.
    It's all right.
    I don't mind. ("I have died" means the death of his addiction, where as "I will die" just refers to the cycle of life, where his child gets older and he dies a little more each day, but he is at peace now being a father, and does not mind this anymore)

    I am too connected to you to
    Slip away, to fade away.
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me,

    And considerately killing me. (Reaffirming his choice)



  11.  

    misfitss138
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    Jan 22nd, 2012 1:47pm report


    OK, we all know we will NEVER know exactly what Maynard wrote this/ or any song about, but I sure do love to try. I will listen to the same song over and over and try like hell to figure it out...here is my theory on this song:

    I will keep it short and then you can listen and see what you think:

    Listen to the song as though you are addicted to Heroin or H.
    AND that you have a son/child with the middle name of ....yes, you guessed it H.
    Your son or blodd wnats you to stop doing the drugs.

    Loook at it as though the song is about not just one subject but two.

    Also, my favorite line from the song "consideratly killing me" referes to both his son and the drugs:
    The drugs or anything you are addicted to (even cigs) are consideratly killing you, you know they are killing you but they are doing it in a considerate way....they make you feel good.
    His son or Blood is also consideratly killing him by asking him to quit doing the drugs...hence they are being considerate to him, but it is killing him to stop.


    I would enjoy to read any feedback on this theory.



  12.  

    TooL420LooT
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    Jan 4th, 2012 1:34pm report


    before i tell you what this song is about, i shall tell you how it was brought upon me.

    my math teacher and i love the band tool, he always refers to them in class (uses the number 10,000 a lot in problems)(album 10,000). he told me to look at the lyrics of h. and tell him my answer.

    i told him that its about maynards father abusing him and raping him, he replied no, thats prison sex (this was all said infront of the class).

    he then told me to listen to the song with lyrics infront of me. i said fine...

    then before the song started he said imagine if your father abused and raped you. then all the thoughts of your past with your father came through into this world in the form of your son. would you treat him with all the care you possibly could because you didnt want to be like your father? or would you feel the need to "pass on" his legacy, become him, see what it was like from his point of view, just to understand why all this even happened to.

    What's coming through is alive.
    What's holding up is a mirror.

    this decribes how maynard is almost in the shoes of his father, watching himself, or at least a part of himself, being brought into the world.

    They're both totally void of hate,
    But killing me just the same.

    this describes how he has two decisions, pass on the legacy and see why he was tormented, or never find out and always wonder? both decisions are "killing him just the same"

    The snake behind me hisses
    What my damage could have been.
    My blood before me begs me
    Open up my heart again.

    snake, his father, and his fathers ideas, what they could possibly do to this childs life, his blood before him begs him to not to, but to open up his heart and be as loving and caring as possible.

    And I feel this coming over like a storm again.

    Venomous voice, tempts me,
    Drains me, bleeds me,
    Leaves me cracked and empty.
    Drags me down like some sweet gravity.

    ^this describes how the thoughts of doing all this do his son is hurting him more than anything. this is crucial to maynard, he can not make up his mind, its draging him down, leaves him feeling empty (unloved.)

    I am too connected to you to
    Slip away, to fade away.
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me,
    And considerately killing me.

    this illustrates that he is to connected to his father to forget about the thoughts, he still feels the tormenting, the touching, the changing of his soul, its all killing him inside.

    Without the skin here,
    Beneath the storm,
    Under these tears now,
    The walls came down.

    this is a very powerful verse. without the skin, meaning, thinking with his consiousness, not his body and brain, beneath all sickining ideas(storm), under all the tears he's shred over this, the only thing blocking him from loving his kid was a "wall" his fathers doings and how its affected his life, made him who he is today. hes trying to forget all about it, even tho its been affecting him his entire life, his breaking down the wall.


    As the snake is drowned and
    As I look in his eyes,
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times.
    OR
    as my thoughts of him are drowned(stopped)
    and i look in his(h. his son) eyes,
    my fear(thoughts) begins to fade,
    remembering all the times

    I could have cried then.
    I should have cried then.

    ^self explanitory

    And as the walls come down and
    As I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died
    And will die.
    It's all right.
    I don't mind.

    recalling the times, he feels like thats already killed him, killed his future, he knows he will die someday, but he doesnt mind, hes over it, hes conquered his lifes greatest battle


    I am too connected to you to
    Slip away, to fade away.
    Days away I still feel you
    Touching me, changing me,
    And considerately killing me.
    considerately killing me.
    killing me.
    considerately killing me.

    but then the ideas come back to maynard.
    he knows he will never forget whats been done to him, he cant help it, its his father, he loved him, the memories will always haunt him. there still killing him, he still has to look at his song the same way. nothing else matters

    so either he has defeated the thoughts and looks at his son the way he wants to, or he looks at him the way his father looked at him(maynard).

    p.s my class was pretty freaked.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 12th, 2011 12:21pm report


    its about heroin addiction!!!

    Dizzy



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 9th, 2011 11:46am report


    When The Album was Released... I had seen that it had a working title in recording of "Half Empty", but was shortened to H.

    So, you Heroin theorist out there - no H. is not for Heroin.

    As others have said - MJK did say this on a recorded bootleg that it was eluding to a devil on one should and an angel on the other shoulder.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 4th, 2011 8:20pm report


    H. is not about love or a person, it is about drugs. Maynard is talking about heroin, and how it made him feel cracked and empty. if u read the lyrics with this in mind you will understand. i mean for cryin out loud...the song is called H.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 6th, 2011 7:17am report


    it's about how he now is relaxed on his vineyard in Cali and his kids have no worries!!! I SUBMIT



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 6th, 2011 7:15am report


    it's about it all!! H, His ancestory! TOOL!



  18.  

    anonymous
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    May 11th, 2011 5:21am report


    i also assumed this song was definitely about heroin addiction.


    "And as the walls come down
    And as I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died
    and will die.
    It's all right.
    (I don't mind)"

    but to me i didn't really think that the song embraces recovery.
    especially at the end:
    "i am too connected to
    slip away, fade away
    days away i still feel you
    touching me, changing me
    considerately killing me."

    to me the last two verses represent surrendering to heroin addiction, losing all the fears you have had about it... and realizing that you are powerless over it. but instead of reversing roles of power, you give in. and you don't care because you have died, will die and don't mind. i feel that using heroin kills who you really are, making you a slave to it, but infatuated with its "sweet gravity", you don't care that you could possibly die or are "considerately killing yourself", for you already feel that in some ways you have died already.



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