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Tool: Right in Two Meaning

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Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused...
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused.

Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys,
Where...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Aug 24th, 2007 8:29am report


    I personally take this song as a metaphor of everything in this world from the start, to the now.

    "Angels on the sideline,
    Puzzled and amused.
    Why did Father give these humans free will?
    Now they’re all confused."

    More or less when the earth was created, and "God" planned everything out, and was finished. The angels stood in amusement of Gods so called knowledge of knowing everything before it happens, and the love for his children he gave them the choice of destroying themselves, and the world that he created for them that was supposed to be a paradise, or a "heaven."

    "Don’t these talking monkeys know that
    Eden has enough to go around?
    Plenty in this holy garden, silly old monkeys,
    Where there’s one, you're bound to divide it,
    Right in two."

    With this stanza, I think it means that it's more than obivous that there's enough for everyone in this world, that we should share it and what has been giving to us. But since we chose to go our own way. We split everything up and kill or hurt things or people for it. We made everything into two parts. "Good vs Bad, My land and yours, etc."

    "Angels on the sideline,
    Baffled and confused."

    Now the angels are completly dumbfounded that the maker of the childen he would do anything for, let them destroy themselves, and let pain, hunger, catstrophe etc. go on, and continue.

    "Father blessed them all with reason.
    And this is what they choose.
    Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey.
    Over pieces of the ground."

    vPrevious song.v
    The angels ask "God" What are your (Intensions)to deal with these children of yours? What are you going to do to help them from destroying themselves when all they need is guidence? As we all know God gave us free will, and this is what we choose.

    "Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
    They forge a blade,
    And where there's one they're bound to divide it,
    Right in two.
    Right in two."

    (Continuing with the previous)
    "God" told the angels he gaves us so much, more than anything else on this earth. Reason, intelect, feelings, and choice. So if they choose to destroy themselves by building weapons, and dividing everything into two, then let them. It's their choice not mine!

    "Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey.
    Over pieces of the ground.
    Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
    They make a club.
    And beat their brother down.
    How they survive so misguided is a mystery.
    Repugnant is a creature who would
    Squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here"

    With all these things "God" gave us, we chose to be like this. It's "Human Nature" to be greedy, to want more power, and to kill anything along with destroying others to achive our fleshly desires. Repugant as if we never learn, it's humanity to keep repeating itself. History to come full circle in the future. We are well aware of this, and instead of coming to a peaceful resolution, and try to be more spiritual. We are afriad and sick of the thought of death, and ignore it and give into our fleshly desires.

    "Fight over the clouds, over the earth, over sky.
    Fight over life, over blood, over air and light.
    Over love, over sun, over nothing.
    Fight till they die. Over what? Over lies and greed."

    Self explanitory more or less. Fight over stupid things that honestly have no spirtual value. Just materialistic. Things that fade away in time, and will be forgoten.

    "Angels on the sideline again.
    Been so long with patience and reason.
    Angels on the sideline again.
    Wondering when this tug of war will end."

    Angels are still in dismay, looking at "God" and asking "WHY?!?!?" They are in pain, and suffering. They need guidence, they need to be redericted toward the spirtual side of life, of what life's meant to be. A pleasent spirtual expirence. Not pain, insanity, and depression. So when are going to stop this "Tug of War" "God".

    "Cut it all right in two.
    Cut it all right in two.
    Cut it all right in two.
    Right in two.

    Right in two."

    As we cut everything into sections, of what's mine and yours. We still are unhappy, so we fight, argue, and kill to gratify our fleshly desires, and destroy what has been giving to us cause of our free will to choose destruction over peace.

    Hoped you guys like my interpertation of the song feel free to put in your thoughts on my conclusion and shed some light on what I might be missing.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 3rd, 2006 7:45pm report


    Personally, "Right in two" means that us as humans are selfish beasts. Wherever we land up we have to divide what has been given "right in two". WE have been given choice and reason but yet as foolish as apes we make the wrong choice and have the complete opposite reasons to live, i.e materialism. wars. chaos. destruction. power. This song, unlike other Tool songs,has a nostalgic meloncholy to it and plays on the wrong or right emotions. Basically- its sad. very political, but sad!!!!!



  3. 3TOP RATED

    eckoman72420
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    Sep 11th, 2006 9:05am report


    This song is written from a third person view of how the angels feel towards human beings and god. They can not figure out how humans can take for granted what god has blessed them with so bountifully (life, freedoms, relationships, etc.)
    god gave humans the right to choose how they live their lives (which was a choice of his, not an obligation), and all humans could do in return is to become so selfish and conceited that they will kill their own kind for more material posessions, such as more land.
    I think Maynard compaired humans to monkeys not to add comedy to the song, but because like monkeys, humans do what they see other humans do, they except it as acceptible behavior. By doing this, they give up god's gift of choice.
    Instead of blessing others manually, we humans would rather use the knowledge god has given us for negative reasons, such as building weaponry.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 10th, 2017 2:33pm report


    The "Angel's" hands are metaphorically tied, they can only observe mankind's nature to get its "fair share" destroying itself and everything in the process.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 9th, 2016 11:19pm report


    It's about the self destruction of the human race.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 29th, 2014 8:32am report


    My interpitation is something I've know for a long time which is that the angles on the side line are the good ppl in the world you are aware that some stuff humans do is just plain wrong morally like love thy neibors like thy love self which means give your ego to them with your love because ego is just self love which evil is just miss used love but point being we are the angles on the side line where it says give a monkey a thumb watch him better his brother right in two we humans do shit just because we can which we could not do what we do with out a thumb we choise to use anger as weapon we choise to do things that should not be done and don't need to be done we all ways have a choise because we have free will even though it may seem like it it's there I could go on much longer but I should stop I already said enough



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 7th, 2014 3:32pm report


    The songs obvious topic is about "god" giving us free will but we being greedy and prone to violence we kill and destroy to gain what we do not have. But being that we are flesh and blood we can only obtain materialistic things. We do not look for a better humanity mind or spirituality. We fight for land women/men power etc. But this song is about more than human greed.. Its about a god who allowed us to be free.a god who allowed us to do as we saw fit. But we fail. This song is an angels plee to "god" to save us from ourselves. In he music video at the end we see babies being pumped out of women some are divided and destroyed by a overseeing power others are sent given pills and grow up to become brainwashed idiots controlled by this over seeing entity In a way I think thus is key because god is showing the angels that power corrupts and if he were to take control over us he would be no better than the evil creature who we have let control us.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 12th, 2012 12:46pm report


    I would agree this song is about people in general abusing their God given rights. I would also say that
    "Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
    They forge a blade..."
    This has to deal with the false forging of the bible i believe, how people may have misinterpreted Jesus, and at the same time it also deals with religious wars. forge a blade. Or any war, really.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 1st, 2012 11:00pm report


    My interpretation of “Right in Two”
    This song is written from the perspective of Angels, as they exist in the realm of religion. The angels are stuck on the “sideline”, unable to change anything that God has done, and they are commenting on the creation of God.
    This song starts off with the angels being “puzzled and amused” with God. God, in his all-powerful and all-knowing nature, created humans with free will. This is what separates man from monkey: free-will. With the one gift that God bestowed upon man, we decided to divide everything right in two, even though the world had plenty to go around for everyone.
    The next verse starts with the angels again, but this time they are “baffled and confused” with humans. They do not understand why we have chosen to live life the way we do. With our gift of reason, we have not joined together as a single society, but instead choose to use our gifts to create weapons and wage war to divide everything in two.
    The last verse refers back to the angels, “benched with patience and reason.” They are waiting; waiting for God to end it all. They are waiting for God to decide when enough is enough; to decide that humans have gone on long enough squandering their gifts, and it is time to end it. This is represented by the fact that “right in two” continues to repeat itself throughout the end of the song, alluding to the notion that humans will divide and fight over everything for all time, despite our knowledge.
    There are two very important aspects to this song that I want to address specifically. There is one line in the song that stood out from everything else. “Repugnant is the creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.” There are many ways to interpret this, and after much meditation I have come to this conclusion. This line refers to why religious people would choose to live in this life knowing that there is an afterlife that is perfect and better than this one. They are called repugnant, not because they divide and conquer, but because they choose to live this life on earth, knowing that this is not permanent, but is only fleeting. Why would these repugnant creatures decide to stay?
    Another concept is the interpretation of the meaning of “silly monkey.” The obvious answer is to say that “silly monkey” is referring to mankind and/or human nature. However, I believe it is deeper than that. Using a monkey as an illustration of man who has been gifted with free-will and reason is not consistent. With the gift of free-will and reason, we are to believe that we are better than monkeys and apes. The irony is that monkeys live more peacefully than humans. They do not divide and conquer as humans do. So, justifiably, monkeys are essentially more advanced as a society than humans are. We want to believe that we are better than apes, but the truth is we are no better than apes. If apes can coexist with each other, perhaps the concept of free-will and reason was a curse that God bestowed upon man, and not a gift after all.
    As always, this is my interpretation of this song, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 3rd, 2012 10:13pm report


    The song is not neccesarily from the perspective of a religous person, nor is it from the perspective of an athiest/agnostic. It's just Maynard's perspective. He isn't well renowned for his Christian Beliefs, infact i'm unsure if he even has any to be honest, but nether the less, he wrote this song in a relatively blunt way. The song, no matter who's perspective it's from is a reflection on mankind and the irrational behaviour that we have undertaken on this earth that was sculpted, as depicted in the Bible, as perfect.

    "Angels on the Sideline" - Clearly a reference to the representatives of Heaven losing all control.

    "Why did Father give these humans free will" - I believe this to be a comment on WHY the angels and the spirit of God have lost all control. Remember, God can't effect free will.

    The 'monkey' lyrics are obviously a satirical view on evolution and it's catastrophic effect on mankind.

    "Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down" - This really speaks for itself.

    Anyway, that's just my interpretation, probably already been said a million times on this page. www.facebook.com/AntariBand <--- This is my band.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 12th, 2012 8:28am report


    First off, none of us will ever really KNOW what the band had in mind when this song was written, but I think it's a beautiful song and I think it's great that it sparks this kind of discussion. Maybe there's hope for us yet. And isn't that what true art does? Bitch slap your mind and soul?
    We all live in the field of opposites. There is no up without down. There is no black without white. There is no love without hate. In my humble opinion, if you take the song in the context of the album, or even if you don't, it's a call to rise above our base nature and wake up. "The universe is hostile, so impersonal. Devour to survive. So it is, so it's always been." Present and past tense in that lyric, but no future.... WE decide how we proceed. There apears to be a gulf, an abyss if you will, between us and the Divine, but kill your ego, empty yourself, and you may find that the chasm you percieved vanishes, the things you thought important no longer matter, and that the divide between yourself and the "other" is an illusion.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 19th, 2012 4:27pm report


    The song at no point suggests that mankind might benefit from a little guidance. The Watchers' point of view here is devoid of any hope or love for humankind (does the moniker "talking monkeys" not make that abundantly clear? how about "repugnant creature?"). The Watchers here are not pressed by any desire that God or anyone (or themselves, certainly), guide us and help us along. They are looking down on us with irony and disgust. If anything, I see them poised to fall on us and claw us to pieces, for the aberrations of creation we have become.
    Secondly, the last line is "Fight till they die. Over what? Over WRITING!"
    (it suddenly makes sense, doesn't it?)
    You're welcome.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 11th, 2012 4:14pm report


    Hey everybody, this song really catches on me, and so i decided to give up the explanation of the song in my opinion, - basically how i refer to it.

    The verses will show with an explanation for each verse below it.

    First of all, this song is written from a christian point of view, and it feels almost like a poem, if even it is not.


    1st Verse
    ------------------------
    Angels on the sideline,
    Puzzled and amused.
    Why did Father give these humans free will?
    Now they're all confused.
    ------------------------
    The angels are gods messengers to the human beings, but they cant handle the humans or help them get their scenses right, and they dont know what to do, and because the humans got their free will (by stealing an apple from the holy tree of the garden of eden) they became individuals, fighting, splitting up, getting selfcentered looking for power instead of happiness, which i think is confusing.


    2nd Verse
    ---------------------
    Don't these talking monkeys know that
    Eden has enough to go around?
    Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys,
    Where there's one you're bound to divide it.
    Right in two.
    ---------------------
    Talking monkeys = everyone needs to know everything about everyone.
    The 2nd and 3rd phrase might be saying that so many people has already been sent up there talking their mouths off?
    The last part means what i mentioned in 1st verse: that wherever the human goes it needs to seperate or crush things like friends, religion, negotiations, believes and more and more..


    3rd Verse
    --------------------
    Angels on the sideline,
    Baffled and confused.
    Father blessed them all with reason.
    And this is what they choose.
    And this is what they choose...
    --------------------
    This is alot like first verse, but the last half of the verse is leading up to a more centered verse that is comming right after, - what the human chose to do.


    4th Verse
    --------------------
    Monkey killing monkey killing monkey
    Over pieces of the ground.
    Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
    They forge a blade,
    And where there's one
    they're bound to divide it,
    Right in two.
    Right in two.
    -------------------
    The monkeys (humans) destroying each other for land/power, smart manipulating evilminded people make the common, stupid/brainwashed folks do things that they have already been told is good or "the right way"
    So they decide to kill/judge/empower their own race, considering themselves as the most talented and reasonable species.


    5th Verse
    ---------------------
    Monkey killing monkey killing monkey.
    Over pieces of the ground.
    Silly monkeys give them thumbs.
    They make a club.
    And beat their brother, down.
    How they survive so misguided is a mystery.
    --------------------
    A repetation of 4th verse, with a different second half part, which means that the evilminded rulers makes people fight amongst themselves, and then mankind is questioned in how it has been able to survive with the way we treat things like our own species, and own planet too for instance.
    ---------------------


    When we have theese five verses covered i think the rest of the song seems a bit logical, except for the 2 phases after 5th verse.

    Here is the rest of the song lyrics:


    Rest
    ---------------------
    Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.

    Cut it all right in two [x4]

    Fight over the clouds, over wind, over sky
    Fight over life, over blood, over prayer,
    overhead and light
    Fight over love, over sun,
    over another, Fight...

    Angels on the sideline again.
    Benched along with patience and reason.
    Angels on the sideline again
    Wondering when this tug of war will end.
    ---------------------

    I hope this helped some of you who either didnt quite get the meaning of maynards poem, or didnt want a rewrite of the song.

    Have a good night :)
    MGH.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 9th, 2012 1:34pm report


    If you watch the movie, "The Prophecy," with Christopher Walken, or the numerous sequels, you can hear the song's trademark bongos playing in the back ground. The movie deals with a war between the angels, and one group of angels' jealousy over God's devotion to humans. The term, 'Talking Monkeys,' is frequently used. I don't necessarily think the movie was the inspiration for the song, but I do think the song writers definitely are familiar with the movie and in some way had it in mind while composing this song.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 2nd, 2011 8:09pm report


    to me this song is about the duality of the human mind combined with the unconsciousness of our race and its repercussions throughout time. We split ourselves from others, happiness from sadness, rich from poor etc (and each one has a positive and negative value, we think that the positive is to be sought, negative is to be denied) when in reality these arent opposites, they are one and the same spectrum and neither should be favoured over the other...otherwise we miss the point. just my opinion... :)



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 24th, 2011 3:49am report


    i just want to add a quick note to this discourse: the division of the selves and of nations and so on are not the "Right in Two" being spoken of. it refers to the original division of subject/object. the whole of existence is a spark in a void, there is no division between "spirit" and "form". the other divisions follow as the expression of the desires of the mindstate impaired by the idea that it is seperate from the fabric of reality.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 24th, 2011 1:07pm report


    Hmmm the Line i wonder about is : Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to live to light a heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.

    I don,t get it :S What's it mean? Whoever tries to live 'right' by the Bible or wtv to get to heaven instead of using his 'ability to live' is Repugnant? Or is he being sarcastic, meaning that Is humanity's perception of things, and it's stupid? HELP! XD



  18.  

    Roach
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    Dec 31st, 2010 12:55pm report


    I think this song is a very important part of the concept of the album. There are 3 faces on the cover, being one single head. So there are 3 master songs on this album.
    10,000 Days: Opened by Wings For Mary, this song has a dark epic atmosphere and talks about the end of the world.
    Rosetta Stoned: Opened by Lost Keys, it is a very chaotic, freaky song. He has funny aspects and is more heavy. The end of the world could be stopped, but it isnt.
    And then, last but not least:
    Right In Two: Opened by Intension, this combines the primar atributes of the other master songs. It is dark but later heavy, has some kind of funny lyrics with serious background. It seems like this is the middle face on the album cover, using the eyes of the other two.



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