Tool: Jimmy Meaning
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The face of your own stability
Suddenly look away
Leaving you with the dead and hopeless?
Eleven and she was gone.
Eleven is when we waved good-bye.
Eleven is standing still,
Waiting for me to free him
jeffthetool Apr 26th, 2006 4:29pm report
So, bored as I was and ambitious to increase my understanding of my favorite lachrymologists, I stumbled across a song interpretation of "H" by Tool. I then did the math enough to know that "jimmy" and "Prison Sex" are also players in my sordid little game of understanding. The entire event that sparked these epiphanies was the song "10,000 Days". All of this will come together if you sit back, relax and close your eyes -- wait, keep them open you need to use them to read this -- anyway this will all make sense, trust me, trust me, trust me.....
jimmy is James Herbert Keenan or Maynard James Keenan – yeah, that’s his birth name. Make sense?
The "j" in the name is purposely lower case to symbolize a child.
“Eleven and she was gone.
Eleven is when we waved good-bye.
Eleven is standing still”
Maynard was born April 17, 1964, his mother died June of 2003. In aMotive (A Perfect Circle’s DVD) Maynard explains that his mother had a stroke and lived wheelchair bound and partially paralyzed until her death in June of 2003. Take 27 from 2003 and you get 1976 (when she had the stroke), take 1976 from 1964 and you get...12?!! What the hell? Wait, take 10,000 days and divide that by 365 days, that’s roughly 27.3 or 27 years and a quarter of a year. A quarter of a year is 4 months.The first quarter of a year is January through April. Therefore, if Judith Marie Keenan had a stroke between January 1 and April 16 of 1976 Maynard was still 11.
“Eleven and she was gone.
Eleven is when we waved good-bye.
Eleven is standing still”
Judith didn't physically leave Maynard but was crippled and unable to be there for him the was she always was. This could mean Maynard had to rely on his stepfather to provide for him. He suffered abuse from his stepfather and probably suffered more now that Judith couldn't be there to protect him.
“What was it like to see
The face of your own stability
Suddenly look away
Leaving you with the dead and hopeless?”
Again, his happy stability is gone, dead and hopeless because his mom can never be the same, she’s crippled, can't protect him.
“Moving me with a sound.
Opening me within a gesture.
Drawing me down and in,
Showing me where it all began,
Recalling memories that take him back to when he was eleven – now this can mean either he is remembering the day his mother was crippled or he is moving before that to happier times.
“Under a dead ohio sky,
Eleven has been and will be waiting,
Defending his light,
Where the hell have I been?
Sleeping, lost, and numb.
So glad that I have found you.
I am wide awake and heading home.”
He lived in Ravenna, Ohio. He is thinking back to his youth and innocence to when he was happy, possibly reverting back to happier times due to the trauma of the entire experience and the abuse he is suffering because Judith can't protect him from his father.
He then moves into “sleeping, lost and numb” – symptoms and suggestions of depression (sleeping) and putting up emotional barriers (lost and numb).
“So glad that I have found you.
I am wide awake and heading home.” – Reverting back to childhood.
“Hold your light,
Lead me through each gentle step by step
by inch by loaded memory.”
Telling his inner child to hold his light to lead him back to that happy childhood, getting lost in memories.
“I'll move to heal
As soon as pain allows so we can
Reunite and both move on together.”
If he can get through the pain he can start to heal, cope with his memories and move on.
“I'm heading back home.”
He’s going back inside himself to that happy place.
If you analyze "H." by Tool you will come to understand that Maynard was emotionally abused by his father (or stepfather, can't be sure which one). This could go hand in hand with "jimmy" if you consider the fact that his mother cannot protect him from the abuse he is suffering because of her condition. This may also go hand in hand with "Prison Sex" because in a live show in Quebec on 11/29/96 Maynard said "Prison Sex" was about "recognizing, identifying a cycle of abuse within yourself, that's the first step of the process -- realization, identifying. The next step is to work though it, but this song is about the first step which is recognizing." The "cycle of abuse within yourself" could be about Maynard's feelings but is probably more about his father's (or stepfather's) because his son had not yet been conceived when this album (Undertow) was released.
This is an interpretation of the song H. by Tool off of their 1996 CD Ænima. This interpretation was submitted to lyricinterpretations.com by a person known as "Zaq". This seems to make sense. It seems that this song is about Maynard and his struggle to not fall into a cycle of abuse (reminiscent of "Prison Sex"?) directed at his son Devo. Devo was born in 1995 and Ænima was released in 1996, though Devo was obviously conceived in mid to late 1994 giving plenty of time for Maynard to write this song about an unborn child "my blood before me". I also think that this song goes hand in hand with "jimmy" in describing Maynard's thoughts and feelings about himself and/or his parents. I came to this conclusion when I saw Maynard James Keenan was actually born James Herbert Keenan. So, jimmy is James when he was eleven and H. could be short for Herbert his middle name. H. Is also Devo's middle name, not initial but name, H. Isn't short for anything save for H.
Here is "Zaq's" interpretations of "H."
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!!!
Submitted by "Zaq" on lyricinterpretations.com
One note about the line "considerately killing me...", I think that means that parts of him are dying but they are the bad things and they are being killed considerately by love from his son and his love for his son.
I hope this makes sense, it did to me and I was perfectly "sober" when I wrote this. Oh, and sorry about all the puns and subversive references to various Tool songs, I couldn't resist.
infinitepaths Jan 21st, 2006 1:13pm report
I believe that when Maynard says "eleven", I believe that he is symbolizing the #1 + #1 = #11. "'till one and one are one, eleven." "so we can Reunite" I believe that eleven represents his stability, meaning his innocent view of the world, he did not have his own view of how the world and life really is, he felt safe, etc. He used to see through the eyes that "they" gave him as a child. He is now separated from himself from back then, for now he sees through his own eyes. "Defending his light"--A person "knowing" what to believe in and follow, grasping on to their beliefs for a sense of security, they never doubt or question, for they "know". He has lost his "light". He is searching for the light that he once had. If he were reunited with his old light that would be great, but I have yet to find it myself. It would be great bwecause then you would know all of what you know now, but also have that light, that stability, that security, that light to defend. "I am wide awake and heading home" He is heading there, but not yet there for that is the whole point. -KATE
oogodmitch Mar 28th, 2006 3:59pm report
Check out alchemy, the tarot, kabbalah-eleven-even the Bible (most interpretations)... Astrology/numerology... eleven
Oh yeah, the twin spiraling D.N.A.,the digital code of awakening is 11:11...7+4 (universe and earth). Carl Jung. 11 dimension theory. Maynard is a deceitful bastard! Interpretations make you think, may teach you, but what it means to you is really what counts. If your trying to crack the code, cosmic or conspiracy, there's a lot to keep you busy, Reverend Maynard is the Rabbit. Don't ever believe there's an absolute. Also the song is probably about duality as well,for example;: Yin/yang, mother/son, conscious/unconsciousness, love/hate, body/soul, and on.
Yeah, that's (my) theory, anyway. FNORD
anonymous Dec 6th, 2019 12:34am report
Its all about digging in, finding ur light and allowing it to lead the way to let go of what u need to move on. Reuniting wt ur inner self to become whole again.
Yes. It has to do wt his mother, himself, inner self, ego, and following ur intuition.
Way bigger than christianity.
Do any of u realize what our minds r capable of? All u need to do is meditate on it and find that light.
Maynard absolutely does. This song explains it. Just as 46&2 does as well. I see that more as an instruction manual of sorts, laying out the process...or what needs to be done for the clearing. So u can get to 11.
anonymous Aug 10th, 2018 8:09pm report
11 is a highway in Ohio.
anonymous Jun 17th, 2018 6:30pm report
My Macgruder interepretation is the only fucking truth in the whole hell verse we in (the skies a magical fucking pan curse for you who not take) Its about 3 final people in the show 10- the end of god 11- the end of 2 folk - and 12 the female end of time it cost me a fucking real million of spirit money too find this out 3/2/1 its the end of time.... in other words your gay ass bitch maynard is a fucking satan tool(dick) A perfect circle (pussy) Puscifer (maynard fucking a bitch) combine 321 with six six six ( sex sex sex ) in latin you get you some obvious gaywad…. NO?
Mary_Magdalene Sep 17th, 2016 9:36am report
Silly rabbits.. Jimmy refers to one of the 12 disciples of Jesus St. James, patron saint of healing and comfort. After Judas was cast out there were 11 disciples left. Judas could only be freed upon the return of God. 11 has been waiting defending his light and wondering where the hell i have been. His light is the heavenly light of the Lord. The song refers to an ancient soul, I wouldn't say my mother was ancient if she passed when I was 11. This song most likely had a double meaning of his mothers passing and biblical references. Knowing Maynard it has multiple derivatives. Tool, a perfect circle and pucicer all reference Christianity and Catholicism over and over. Dig a little deeper into your souls folks and stop doing so much math, Maynard wasn't about factual mathmatics as much as spirituality and emotion.
anonymous May 10th, 2016 5:06am report
11=spiritual alchemy, it os essentially the numerical representation of the "Great Work". The sole purpose and aim of the mystical art is union with the universe and ultimately the knowledge and conversation if ones Holy Guardian Angel. Jimmy is Maynards higher self personified by the innocence of his child self. End of discussion go have a bbq.
anonymous Dec 6th, 2014 12:59am report
A quarter of a year is three months, not four.
anonymous Jan 15th, 2014 1:40pm report
jeffthetool you should also note 46 & 2 and how he sheds his skin like a snake.
anonymous Aug 10th, 2011 8:30am report
Isn't this like, the sequel to the song "Prison Sex", or something?
anonymous Sep 24th, 2010 9:26pm report
Darzo here. I'm pretty sure this is at least passingly referencing the Poet, James Wright. There are a lot of parallels. Hell, even a lot of similarities between Maynard and Wright.
anonymous Aug 1st, 2009 8:08pm report
Jimmy is referring to Jimmy Page the guitarist for Led Zepplin who was a fan of Allister Crowley who in one of his books says eleven is the my number.
JohnnyLoco Jun 27th, 2009 6:33am report
This song is clearly about a past relationship that he had left, either with his healthy mother or with his son. The guiding light he is talking about is the light that was in his heart. Jimmy is definitly his nickname as a child or maybe even now. Eleven is a symbol for the one he misses, 1 + 1 = 11, reuniting himself with someone
anonymous Apr 16th, 2009 4:29pm report
......"11 guarding his light" .. Years ago I began seeing the number 11 everywhere (((everywhere!!))) accompanied by a strange intuition about the universe and our origin that I can't really explain without sounding insane.But I would normally see it in the form of 11:11. So I googled 11:11
and to my astonishment there were millions of hits most about the same thing. Most who share this phenomenon believe they are "LIGHT HOLDERS". Those who see chose to be a part of this in the spiritual plane before they were incarnated here on earth and the number 11 is there to guide us on the right path. But I'm sure all of this sounds crazy so I'll quit attempting to explain ...its something on the inside.... But this song is an extremely large coincidence for me since ironically my name is James I'm obsessed with the number 11 and I live under the dead ohio sky referred to. And not mention that 11 represents coincidence 11*2=22 11*3=33 11*4=44...555..666..777 the root number if you will the beginning itself which is what brought me to this website. but if your interested research 11:11, 2012, wholism, the I ching, Taoism, the bible,spiritual alchemy basically open your mind maybe eat some mushrooms....peace.
anonymous Jan 29th, 2009 1:31pm report
Ok so she had a stroke when he was 11, then the song Rosetta Stoned is 11:11 minutes long coincidence?
anonymous Mar 14th, 2008 3:19am report
I agree with the whole "Eleven" being part of his childhood and his mother having a stroke. I was bored one day, and figured out the whole 10,000 days thing, it's actually 27 years, 4 months, 21 days. pretty nifty.
I also agree with the interconnection between H./jimmy/10,000 days, but I believe there is a fourth element to this coagulation. I first noticed it when someone mentioned the "Sweet Gravity" in H. Talking of Maynard being like his father, but if you look at it, the song "Gravity" by A Perfect Circle, another Maynard band, there are some parabolas...
"I fell again
Like a baby unable to stand on my own
Tail in hand
Dizzy and clearly unable to
Just let this go
I am surrendering to the gravity and the unknown
Catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun
I choose to live"
I don't know, it might not be related at all to the other three. Also, there's "Judith" and "Wings for Marie" which are kind of a duh when it comes to them being about his mother. The first time I heard the song "Gravity," my initial reaction was that it was about drugs, but upon further pondering I thought perhaps it could be alluding to the loss of his mother; "like a baby unable to stand on my own." And it could play into the youthful innocence depicted in "jimmy" when it comes to the "surrendering to the gravity and the unknown." There's always the "what if..." factor, and this is all total speculation, my reasoning could be way off, all the way in B.F.E, but this was my take on it anyhow. Sorry for posting on one song and totally rambling on about a wholly different one, especially if they turn out to not be connected at all...
thanks for hearing me out!
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