Right In Two – Tool- Monkey Killing Monkey

Right In Two - Tool

In 2006 Tool released their epic album 10,000 Days. The title was chosen to reflect the period of time between 1976, when singer/songwriter Maynard James Keenan’s mother Judith Marie suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, and her death in 2003. Her suffering lasted 27 years, approximately 10,000 days. The songs are a dazzling display of the band’s masterful musicianship and offer a fascinating journey through Keenan’s vivid imagination and visionary spirit. That journey is presented as an innovatively diverse sensual experience, described by Keenan, “These are not commercials, they are not three-minute jingles, they’re not as easy to get into — this is more like presenting a film.” Covering themes of alienation, grief, man’s inhumanity to man and the struggle to remain authentic to oneself in the face of a morally unhinged society, the album is a gripping musical statement.

“Right In Two” opens with Adam Jones’ lonely but captivating guitar line, overlaid with a sense of futility and derision evoked by Keenan’s isolated voice. He immediately poses a fundamental question: Why would God grant free will to mankind who use it for personal gain and to divide from each other? Referring to people as “silly monkeys” who are given thumbs to make clubs to “beat their brother down” and kill each other “over pieces of ground,” Keenan paints a disturbingly cynical and very realistic portrait of humanity. Angels, traditional religious symbols for the higher aspects of human endeavour, sit on the sidelines “puzzled and amused.” In the confused, abhorrent world they look down on, there will never be unity, everything will always be divided “right in two.”

“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 there’s one you’re bound to divide it right in two.
Angels on the sideline, Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them all with reason, and this is what they choose?
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.
Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys.
Give them thumbs, they make a club to beat their brother down.
How they’ve survived 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.
Gotta divide it all right in two.
Fight till they die over sun, over sky,
They fight till they die over sea, over air,
They fight till they die over blood, over love,
They fight till they die over words, polarizing.
Angels on the sideline again,
Benched along with patience and reason.
Angels on the sideline again,
Wondering where this tug of war will end.
Gotta divide it all right in two.”