What does Rosetta Stoned mean?

Tool: Rosetta Stoned Meaning

Album cover for Rosetta Stoned album cover

Rosetta Stoned Lyrics


All righty then... picture this if you will...
10 to 2 am, X, yogi DMT, and a box of krispy kreme's in my "need to know" pose just outside of area 51, contemplating the whole chosen people thingy when just then a flaming...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jul 23rd 2009 !⃝

    This song is very personal to me, (sounds goofy, but "hear me out")
    I feel like I've ridden the path of inner exploration along with Tool (not just MJK, the music speaks just as loud behind him) and I think Rosetta Stoned caps off the journey.
    First Here's my quick summary of the albums:
    Undertow = "there's something down there"
    Ænima = "here's how to find it"
    Lateralus = "Look! Here it is!"
    10000 = "hmmm.. That was OKAY I suppose..."

    I tried all these different drugs, had episodes, spoke with gods, planets, aliens, dinosaurs, saw wonderful and terrifying things.
    Then I outgrew that. I felt like the psychoactive experiences had taught me all I could learn and all that was left was just "partying" (except DMT)

    anyway, I believed I was learning all these things, but years later, I am not sure all the drugs were necessary for that. Rambling about myself -

    -point. Had a super huge revelation about the secret of life. Took a lot of drugs to find it, but in the end, The search for truth has only one answer:

    "we don't know, we won't know"

    Even after discovering the simple fact that being a human on the planet is such a precious gift (Lateralus)
    MJK still had a mom that this was useless to, because she suffered 10000 days regardless.

    And the only CONCRETE result of the "deadhead chemistry" was Shitting the bed.

    He's basically saying "I know you liked those albums guys but I'm not really a hero"


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Aug 26th 2006 !⃝

    Ok, so far all we've gotten pretty much is "its about a guy on acid at area 51..." yup, it is. But, that's not all, folks...
    Hmmm. Where to begin... I think this song has a (possible) meaning and a definate purpose on this album.
    First ill go with the possible meaning. I think its very possible that this song is kinda a story of how religions start. (hear me out) he gets "chosen" by a being or race that is on a higher level and is obviously more evolved than us. He is "the chosen one. The one who will deliver the message. A message of hope for those who choose to hear it, and a warning for those who do not." exactly like a religion. Choose to believe or end up dead/in hell.
    "overwhelmed as one would be placed in my position/
    such a heavy burden now to be the one / born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending. / to write it down for all the world to see." being put in a position of importance is a huge burden, and he has to bring a message of salvation for all the world to see. And he's gonna write it down, of course he is, all religions have their holy books.

    And for the purpose on the album, it serves as an introduction to the last two songs. The next two songs are the "message" that was given to the story-teller by the alien. If you leave out the whole "sunkist and sudafed" and "god damn. Shit the bed" part, the last thing said is "I don't even know where to begin..." which is how many stories start... And the next two songs are all about how we have evolved and how we have become warlike. The message is, we need to stop. Its madness, and if we don't end it, we will be ended, most likely by our own hand.
    Thank you for your time and attention... I hope it was worth it.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jul 17th 2006 !⃝

    Ok, so this is my first go at this. For a start "lost keys(blame hoffman)" and "rosetta stoned" are one and the same. The obvious meaning we can draw from "lost keys" is the name hoffman (albert), ie the father of lysergic acid diethylamide or in laymans terms lsd-25. This would explain the strange goings on we encounter in "rosetta stoned". Maynard (the protagonist) explains he is at his 'need-to-know post' just outside Area 51. Readers of toolband.com will know that Tool, along with Blair, have made numerous trips to the secret US base camping at the border, in the hope of seeing alien life or technology.

    More clues that point to the use of lsd are the lines, 'i don't want to be all alone' and 'will I ever be coming down?'. Two traits of acid (lsd) are the long amount of time you are under the influence of the drug and the feelings of depression and loneliness assosciated with the abscence of human contact, hence why he turned up at a hospital.

    Finaly, the last pointer towards lsd is in "blame hoffman" is the fact that the nurse descibes his vitals as stable. Which indicates whatever this man is going through, it is all in his head. This is my opinion and feel free to disagree, that's what the whole point of interpretation is. Thanks for your time.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 29th 2013 !⃝

    the meaning is simple. we humans are the cosmic punchline to the universal joke. if you really look at it over all aliens come to this Guy tell him he's the chosen one and the Guy is a high school drop out and has no life and they chosen him to save humanity and he's so fuckin' high he can't tell if he's tripping so he goes to the hospital for help cuz he can't stop trippin' we as humans are so simple minded and unwilling to believe that the hospital ships him to the crazy house. the song reminds me a little of black sabbath's fairy wears boots.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 27th 2013 !⃝

    I think maynard is criticizing all those auto chosen guys who claim they have a message for humanity, by a really funny story. my view

  6. youefoh57
    click a star to vote
    Nov 28th 2012 !⃝

    It's never easy to interpet a song from tool,simply because of the complexity of the manner in which the band uses controversial subjects such as religion,psychology just to name a few. When Maynard had his side project Pucciffer, he had Milla Jovich as a character in the for the lack of a better word rock opera. Milla made a movie called "the forth kind" based on a story of a psychiatrist who was working with alleged victims of alien abduction. I think that this songs lyrics attempts to explain what would happen if a victim of alien abduction had actually been either found or brought to a hospital in an altered state of mind but not because of drugs but rather because of manipulation of his memories by his abductors! Assuming that abduction is real, the easiest diagnosis for something unknown is drug intoxication, in this case LSD....

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 20th 2012 !⃝

    This'a damn interesting read on tool tune! drunk/stoned here...always thought was bout a DMT trip, a life changing experience of chaotic vision, of dropping vices..like drugs or alcohol and taking up other habits like taking life into perspective and seeing it in very new light. then when he comes to the end of it, hes forgotten the essence of the experience,as soul molecule fades, but knows forsure something profound just happened.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 8th 2012 !⃝

    i think there is a lot more about L ron hubbard in this song than people realize. Hubbard is Tools all time favorite to rip on. Eulogy was confirmed by Danny Carey as being about L Ron which makes perfect sense with the lyrics. (So you morons can stop discussing what eulogy is about) Why does tool hate on him so much? because he opitimizes everything thats wrong with religion. He makes up some shit, tells people in a charismatic way that it came from a higher power, and gets a lot of people to follow him. He earns lots of money and fame, and was one of the more egregiously corrupt founders of any religion ever, if not the most. He used the superstitous nature of humanity to profiteer and ruin peoples lives. Now for how it relates to this song. Hubbard dropped out from a high school in montana after getting poor grades and several years later, after failing tests to join the navy was sent to some type of alternative school so he would be admitted to college. He didn't even graduate from fucking high school. In 1938, he had an out of body experience reportedly due to nitrous oxide, which is known for its hallucinogenic effects, though not lsd, which i admit is a hole in my theory for now. (The hoffman reference) He claims to have died for 8 minutes (am i alive, or am i dead?) in which he recieved a divine message that he must impart to others. he than reportedly sat at his typewriter for 6 days and nights with nothing coming out. (possibly the pen reference) Finally, a manuscript that is still unpublished named excalibur was authored by hubbard. Keep in mind that Hubbard had already authored many books ( he has the world record for most published works ever), but on this one he called publishers saying he had the biggest book ever, a book of revolutionary proportions that would eventually usurp the bible. According to legend, every one who read the manuscript either went insane or killed themselves.(hence, not published) This manuscript developed the founding principals of dianetics, which is the philosophy that scientology is based on. Originally dianetics was not a religion, but when other people started to get rich from it, hubbard monopolized it into a religion called scientology, than made more corrupt changes, i.e. the e meter, but I digress. ( a lot, sorry)
    Point being, I know this song is not entirely about the head trip of L Ron Hubbard, because the lsd/dmt (who gives a fuck which one) and the area 51 thing. My argument is that this song is experiences of the bandmembers, Lsd/dmt at area 51, made into a parody mocking their favorite target. Them gettin all fucked up off lsd/dmt and shittin themselves at area 51/the hospital being the satirical equivalent to L Ron's founding of scientology. Fuck you L Ron Hubbard and Tom Cruise! i can only hope that tool will pay their compliments to Joseph Smith someday too.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 28th 2012 !⃝

    im not going to get to much into this one, its my all time fav song tho. but i did want to add that to me and could be the actuall meaning, the sunkist and sudafed. god damn shit the bed part means: well lets start with this... this song is very much about the significance of a lsd trip he had however the song may include other drugs.. theres one way you can cook meth, shake an bake as its refered to.. it very much involves a two litre coke bottle (or sunkist, sprite etc.) and sudafed... as maynard metions deadhead chemistry refering to lsd also meth can easly fall into that catagory as well. now when to take the action of injecting meth into your veins, if its real good shit, your body is entirley let loose. loosing most if not all body functions. when that happens and ive seen it myself, people shit themselvs after falling bck into the bed they were sitting on... the song "says god damn,,, shit the bed..." and after u shoot up its common when u feel the intense rush to say GODDAMN! thats some good shit.. then they loose their functions.ive seen them have orgasms after orgasms, piss themselves, puke etc.. depending on the person reactions differ.... maybe in maynards case its shiting himself idk but thats how i interpretated that spefic part of the song...

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd 2012 !⃝

    Rosetta Stoned - Tool

    Can't breathe, right now!

    You believe me, don't you?
    Please believe what I just said, see the Dead ain't touring.
    And this wasn't all in my head.
    See they took me by the hand and invited me right in,
    Then they showed me something.
    I don't even know where to begin......

    I really don't have a clue as to what this song could be about but I am going to take a stab at it anyway. It reminds me of Alice In Wonderland, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests, The Magic Bus Further, And Three Ish Years O My Dreamy Life. Definitely somethin hugely freakin crazy & psychedlic.

    First things first: Let me admit that I am not a big fan of him saying that he pooped in his bed and peed in his pants. I really dislike honkin poop in the sheets & damp tinkled upon trousers... They are pet peeves I have and I know we all have our hangups. Anyway.. There is also a great deal of swearing in this song and that is "okay" but there are SOOO many other words a person can use to add colourful flair to their point. Must we be bombarded with the constant f*cks & the shi#s..? I wish people could use their brains and try to be a wee more creative.. My two cents.

    Secondly: Love the talk of Birkenstocks but I don't wear my forest green suede ones much these days. They look hypocritical with any type of pedicure. One must have bunions and hammertoes to look really authentic in Birkies. Save the Birkies for Bethlehem. That's one of my many pertinent mottos in life.

    Next : This man "Tool" doesn't know if he is alive or if he is dead. He's having a hard time breathing. I can relate on many a day in my dream life... I walk around my town and very nonchalantly try to notice if anybody actually looks at me or talks to me. It is a fun game I play with myself. Every day I feel completely invisible because people walk away when I approach. If they don't walk away, they pretend they don't see me. If I catch them in order to have a chat, they keep it to 2 seconds. THEN they run off. I think I must have rotten muskrat lodged in my teeth. They make me feel odd & repulsive. Am I crazy? Why is everyone avoiding me? Is this really happening or is it a dream? Why is everyone sooo weird? It's enough to make a person feel paranoid and/or delusional. Every now and then I decide to buoyantly realize that I am now officially thee only normal one left on earth. But still, it's lonely. Maybe they think I am the Grim Reaper or ET or Jesus. Or The Chosen One To Walk In Hell.. If I did not have kids, parents & a dog to let me know that I am still alive, I might have truly vanished from the earth several years ago. And I can't tell my dream story to anyone on earth.. It's too bizarre.

    Which brings me to my conclusion: This song reminds me of this quote::: In 1989, my idol Jerry Garcia said this : "If you go into a situation with nothing planned, sometimes wonderful stuff happens. LSD was certainly an important part of that for me. I also think there's an electronic hinge like computer cybernetics that's going to take us to interesting places and may work the way psychedelics do without the idea of substance.... Have you ever heard of this stuff called VIRTUAL REALITY?" Hhmm. Well, yes Jerry, I believe I have.

    Coincidentally, my name is Rosetta and I have been stoned. Thank you Mr. Tool for validating my experience.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 8th 2012 !⃝

    Meaning if any. Dmt n x = trippin balls A story about a crazy trip that he somehow remembered. Or a story about trippin on dmt n x and crazyness that insues.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 17th 2012 !⃝

    Its a story about a human that cant confirm a LSD flashback or a telepathic encounter with an extraterrestial race delivering a message.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 8th 2011 !⃝

    it's a dmt/lsd trip.....the strange entities in the dmt world are always trying to show one something that you know is of the utmost importance for the advancement of our race but be damned if you can fathom wtf they are trying to show you, and the memory of it fades so quickly after the experience - like having no pen to write it down, it's frustrating to try and recall the experience and the lessons these entities are trying to impart on you.....the chosen one....the only one in this pure point of time in this vast universe of dmt brilliance that may never end........

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 26th 2011 !⃝

    All you had to do was let the rabbit wear glasses. Was that too much for you? Everyone died, no one was saved.. And we're supposed to say "thanks, Jesus?" Poor carrots..

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 26th 2011 !⃝

    Someone correctly posted that the title of the song is "Rosetta Stoned" and not "Rosetta Stone". That's a pretty big thing to miss, cause if you're just thinking "Well the Rosetta Stone was something used to translate between 3 languages in ancient times" and you're not concidering the "D" at the end, you're already way off base. There IS a reference to the stone in more than one way though. First off, it's a 3-part meaning and the number 3 comes up more than once.

    1. The drug thing. Concidering A Perfect Circles album "Thirteenth Step", it's pretty obvious that Maynard knows his way around drugs. The chances of this being an account of something he's actually experienced (or something similar to it) are pretty good. As a lot of you have also correctly spotted, there are 3 seperate drugs inviolved. In other words: He's STONED. Hence the title.

    2. The religious thing. Tool, and Maynard in particular, are IMO not atheists as most people think. They just don't believe in organized religion and what people do because of it. They're what you call agnostics. They might believe in some sort of higher being or purpose, but they don't believe that anyone has got it right yet or perhaps that anyone ever will. They're spiritual, but they believe spirituality is individual and that no spiritual experience is more or less valid than any other. You don't HAVE or even NEED to name it. It's yours and noone elses. I believe the general idea of their "rampage against sheep" is not to tell people to not be spiritual, but to just not have other people tell you HOW to be spiritual. Go have your own experiences and share them with others if you want to. As long as you respect that they're YOURS and let other people have their own. Which brings me to the next point:

    3. The Rosetta Stone. As mentioned earlier, the Rosetta Stone was used in ancient times to translate between egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic and ancient greek. The 3-part trip that Maynard is on in the song (DMT, LSD and Ecstasy) gives him an experience that is almost impossible to communicate to other people. And that's almost always the way it is with spiritual enlightenment. As I said before, it's yours and yours alone and trying to explain it to other people can make you sound crazy to them. The way we understand things is based on our current knowledge of how the world works. If you experience something that noone else has ever experienced in the exact same way, how do you explain it? You can't! You're effectively trying to translate something from your experience to someone elses and it just doesn't work. Wouldn't it be cool if you had an "acid-head to conformist" dictionary? Your own Rosetta Stone so you could communicate what you've seen and heard?

    That's what I've gotten out of it so far and this is what just makes me love most of what Maynard does (although Puscifer is just weird - sorry Maynard). I think this is why a TOOL album takes so long to make. If you put this much thought into every song, it has to.

    Thanks for reading

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 24th 2011 !⃝

    its about DMT!!!!!
    it says in the beginning of the song, YOGI DMT
    that shit will give you the craziest alien/ galaxy realm trip you have ever gone on, more brutal than LSD in so many ways, you have a tendancy to loose perception of one's body, so shitting yourself, or pissing yourself, is common in taking large doses, creating an outer body experience, he could have been strapped to the bed, but in his mind he was travelling to other fucking dimensions, meeting EfuckingT is very common, research DMT and the affects on the brain, and research the pineal gland in the brain, if you really want to understand the song

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 25th 2011 !⃝

    Songs about a acid trip ''deadhead chemistry'' grateful dead fans are called deadheads.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 22nd 2011 !⃝

    You all have it wrong. Rosetta Stoned's lyrics are the recounting of a DMT trip. DMT is a naturally occurring chemical that's produced by the brain and responsible for our dreams. The gland that produces the chemical is located on the front of the brain, in the middle but slightly above the eyes, on the forehead (sometimes referred to as the Third Eye).

    DMT can also be distilled from certain plants or created synthetically. People who have studied the use of DMT while awake have noted quite a few things. The first is that the trip comes on very fast and incredibly strong. Fir some people, the initial shock can cause a temporary loss of bowl control Lots of DMT users have eerily similar experiences of seeing mechanical elves or aliens, can interact with hallucination, and quite a few remember being told something extremely important but can't seem to remember what it was.

    The lyrics of this song recount a typical DMT experience. If you don't believe me just do a quick Wikipedia search for DMT.

‹ prev 123456789

More Tool songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Taking Over Me anonymous
All The Good Girls Go To Hell anonymous
Wingriddenangel anonymous
I Spoke to The Devil in Miami anonymous
This Woman's Work anonymous
Action! Not Words anonymous
Everybody Loves Me, Baby anonymous
Fall in to Sleep anonymous
Lemon Boy anonymous
Drama Club anonymous
Gravity anonymous
Our First Time anonymous
Nymphetamine anonymous
Liquid Smooth anonymous
Teddy Bear anonymous

(We won't give out your email)