Tool: Pushit Meaning
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While you were begging me to stay
Take care not to make me enter
If I do we both may disappear
Know that I will choke until I swallow,
Choke this infant here before me.
What is this but my reflection?
Who am I...
guitarprodigy Sep 6th, 2008 9:21am report
I think this song is written from the point of view of someone abused in a relationship (typically a woman) who eventually goes insane and kills the abuser.
the gap referred to in the opening (and later) refers to the brink of insanity. "take care not to make me enter. If I do we both may disappear". later "slipping back into the gap again. I'm alive when you're touching me, alive when your shoving me down" she slips back into the gap during the abuse. "staring down the hole again. Hands upon my back again. Survival is my only friend. Terrified of what may come" the hole refers to this gap. Hands upon my back again(physical abuse. again) maybe the infant early in the song is a child she is pregnant with. The choking may refer to the effects on the child from the abuse. "who am I to judge or strike you down?" refers to the lowered self-esteem(or "male privelege" as it is referred to in abuse classes) she feels from her tormentor. This is also evident in the later line "but i'd trade it all for just a little piece of mind". "pushing and shoving" refers to abuse. "alive when you're touching me, alive when you're shoving me down" she is trying to voice that she is a human being, though being treated like less than that. "put me somewhere I don't want to be. Seeing some place I don't want to see. never want to see that place again." referring to "the gap" again. going insane briefly and not enjoying it. "if when I say 'i might fade like a sigh if I stay', you minimize my movement, anyway. I must persuade you another way." (if when I say you might kill me if I stay, you abuse me more, then I must change your mind for you.) "there's no love in fear"(self-explanitory)"just remember I'll always love you. even as I tear your fucking throat away. It will end no other way"(love ya', but I gotta kill ya'. This is the only way to make the abuse go away.)
the abused inevitably slipped into the gap, went insane and killed the abuser.
anonymous Apr 17th, 2007 4:20pm report
"Have you ever loved someone so much you had to kill them?" Maynard is referring to his own ego self.
"Saw the gap again today, while you were beggin' me to stay" the gap between his lower-level more primal conscious and his higher awareness."
"take care not to make me enter, if I do we both may disappear." His higher self is the realization that there is no self so his ego self will not let it enter.
"I'm alive when you're touching me, alive when you're
shoving me down." When he indulges his ego he feels more alive because he has identity, but at the same time it's an illusion of desires which control him.
"But i'd trade it all for just a little piece of
miiiiiiiiiiiiiiind" Hes trying to find his true and higher self and would trade any illusion for real peace of mind.
"I must persuade
you another waaaaaaaaay" He needs to persuade his ego-self to somehow want to give itself up but not for the sake of itself.
generally the songs about a battle within.
anonymous Sep 20th, 2006 9:27pm report
On one of Tool's tours Maynard said before playing "Pushit": "have you ever loved someone so much that you had to kill them?"
pushit is a song about a relationship between two lovers.
"saw that gap again today, while you were beggin me to stay" she is begging him to stay with her, this reveals a very grim gap/empty hole that he returns to when he falls back in love with her. They both slip back into the gap due to the fact that they bolth still love each other, even though thier relationship will never last.
"if, when I say I might fade like a sigh if I stay,
you minimize my movement anyway, i must persaude you another way"
when he tells her he knows she will eventually get bored of him, she brings him even closer. So, he must persuade her another way. That doesn't work, and the pushing and shoving continues. She pushes him, and he shoves her away. "there is no love in fear" he fears that he might fall back into that gap again.
"staring down the hole again.
Hands are on my back again.
Survival is my only friend.
Terrified of what may come.
Yeah. Remember I will always love you,
as I claw your fucking throat away.
It will end no other way.
It will end no other wayyyyy!!!"
he falls back into the gap for the last time, he is fed up with loving her (as odd as that may sound) and brutally kills her because he knows it will end no other way.
anonymous Jun 6th, 2017 6:46pm report
Pretty sure this a huge joke about taking a dump. Staring at the toilet reflection. If you let it drop we both disappear, hands on my back staring down the hall.... sounds like straining.
anonymous Dec 13th, 2015 12:07am report
Bottom line a young man with mental problems can't maintain his sanity in a relationship and a baby. His paranoia and insecurities result in snapping and killing her and the baby
anonymous Jun 2nd, 2014 6:37am report
I think it is about how Maynrds father would sometimes tie him up and abuse him. "I am somewhere I don't wanna be... Never wanna see that place again" He is at his childhood home. "Starin down the hall again, Hands are on my back again" He is tied up by his father at his childhood home. It could either be this or he really misses his mother who died from a stroke and couldn't save him from his father
anonymous Jul 15th, 2013 7:41am report
I have always perceived "Pushit" as an expression of long awaited awakening. "I will choke until I swallow" the infant is the divine child within, and he tears his own throat away. To me that represents humility. To be humbled our innocence must be compromised, for the sake of relinquishing ego. The pushing and shoving back and forth is with the ego/persona. He has to let go of old ideas that are limiting him.
anonymous May 31st, 2013 5:53pm report
Its about him looking at his ass in the mirror after his two week stint in LA County lock up.
anonymous Mar 7th, 2013 3:45pm report
I believe it's about a split personality or schizophrenia .. Could be himself but anyway .. Seeing the gap again don't push it or put shit on me or ill slip into gap again the gap being the realm of no control the spilt the bad temper...
I'll choke this infant someone this disorder could .. He sings choke until I swallow .. Which snap out of it ...
The reflection his himself saying who am I to judge or strike you down .. Love this lyric .. To me always question yourself what you do before you do it!!
And at the end hands tired no control if he goes too far he might gets lost if this happens he dies anger will kill her too or whatever put shit on it ..,
anonymous Jan 11th, 2013 1:45am report
I agree this is about the tragic complexity of domestic violence -
"if when I say 'i might fade like a sigh if I stay', you minimize my movement, anyway. I must persuade you another way.".....
"There's no love in fear. Staring down the hole again.
Hands around my back again. Survival is my only friend.
Terrified of what may come. Remember I will always love you, as I tear your fucking throat away. It will end no other way. It will end no other way."
anonymous Sep 11th, 2012 9:23pm report
Okay, I'm not even going to get all philosophical in explaining this, however, this song is completely about opiate addiction, but will only be understood by someone with personal experience... So, no point in explaining, if you've been there, or are close to someone who has, you get it!
anonymous Jan 13th, 2012 1:49am report
This will probably be dismissed but I think that everyone is missing the meaning of this one. Pushit is about abortionand the talk of striking and infant down, then "Cesaro Summability", the sounds of a newborn, then "Aenima", the flushing or purging of something. I feel Pushit is an unexpected pregnancy between two lovers and the impossible decision of terminating it. "What are you but my reflection?" Who am I to judge or strike you down?"
"Choke this infant here before me."
"I would trade it all (his child) for a just a little piece of mind."
Even the term pushit is like giving birth but the infant is pushing back and shoving him, making his life difficult.
"Remember I will always love you" even as he takes it's life for the most part.
He feels alive in the fact that this birth could possibly happen but he would give it all up to negate the responsibility. I feel he is convincing his lover to abort the child, to let her rest her trigger on his finger. The gap is the unknown, the future if they decide to have the child.
He is terrified of what may come and his own survival is all he can think about.
anonymous Aug 27th, 2011 8:14pm report
This song, to me, represents the relationship I have with my father. It can be great at times, but can turn to hell in an instant.
anonymous Aug 9th, 2011 8:16pm report
It is pretty obvious that Maynard is referring to himself in this song. I will choke until I swallow, choke this infant here before, what are you but my reflection. Who am I to judge or strike you down? It has to do with his struggles with fame, from its infancy before the release of Opiate, going through the breakthrough of Undertow. How he is treated, and how he is worshiped by fans. Also everything is written about him, he finds struggle in separating the two Maynards. The true person, and the rock star persona. Take care not to make me enter, if I do we both may disappear, refers to the temptations of fame, the drugs and various other addictions. If you do not have moral ground to stand on, and believe in nothing, you fail to exist as your old self, and a confused uncertain shell remains, with only your new addictions and vices to comfort you. His romance with fame is it allows him to do the things he truly wants to do in life, his battle is trying not to get sucked into the negative things that go along with fame.
anonymous Jul 2nd, 2011 7:48pm report
Every single meaning that has been and will be posted here is correct- for proof just look and the name the band chose for itself. Tool's beautiful music is written in such a way that it is possible for everyone to come away with a different interpretation and still be correct. Although the band members definitely wrote the song with a specific meaning in mind, this, and all of their songs are tools to help people overcome their problems.
anonymous Nov 23rd, 2010 11:17am report
Guitarprodigy has the best interpretation.
It's sung from the point of view of the abused member of an abusive relationship. The main topic it hits on is how so many people will stay in an abusive relationship because they still genuinely love the person that is beating (“pushing”) them down.
I don't see “the gap” as the brink of insanity though. Rather it is the threshold to the hole (“Staring down the hole again”) that she is being pushed into that will accept the abuse as the price she has to pay for his love.
The majority of the song is her struggle with trying to end the relationship despite loving her partner because she sees that if she accepts living in the 'hole' that it will kill her.
However, the love (and fear) brings them back together ("you minimize my movement") until she realizes that the only way she will be able to free herself from the abuse while preserving the love is to kill her partner. “remember I'll always love you, as I tear your fucking throat away”
It's a very tragic and depressing song, but at the same time beautiful. My favourite Tool song.
“Ever have someone love you so much that they tried to kill you? Or perhaps suck you down into a hole, and you had to kill them to get away? Me either.” Maynard, Philadelphia, 1996.
anonymous Nov 9th, 2010 11:09am report
actually it's about Maynard's experiences with child abuse and how he is fighting the urge to lash out at people that he cares about. The whole Remember I'll always love you, is from his parents telling him that as the abused him.
anonymous Aug 1st, 2009 8:27am report
this song is about fighting to achieve a higher consciousness but you yourself keeps pushing you down. "Put me someplace i dont want to be" the sensitive, vulnerable place you must put yourself in order to pull yourself up to the next level. We are all our own enemies when the circle makes a full turn around in every aspect of life. The fight to higher consciousness is a long and hard, battling no one and nothing but yourself. Yes, it can relate to a women and child shoving him down, giving him negative thoughts;feelings to keep him from becoming one. All of us cant relate to the exact experience, but the simple feeling expressed can be felt by all who walk this earth.
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