"H." as written by Adam Jones, Daniel Carey, Maynard James Keenan and Paul D'amour....
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.
They're both totally void of hate,
But killing me just the same.
The snake behind me hisses
What my damage could have been.
My blood before me begs me
Open up my heart again.
And I feel this coming over like a storm again.
Considerately.
Venomous voice, tempts me,
Drains me, bleeds me,
Leaves me cracked and empty.
Drags me down like some sweet gravity.
The snake behind me hisses
What my damage could have been.
My blood before me begs me
Open up my heart again.
And I feel this coming over like a storm again.
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.
Without the skin,
Beneath the storm,
Under these tears
The walls came down.
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.
And as the walls come down and
As I look in your eyes
My fear begins to fade
Recalling all of the times
I have died
And will die.
It's all right.
I don't mind.
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.


Lyrics submitted by implode, edited by AnthraxPrincess

"H." as written by Daniel Carey Maynard Keenan

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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H. song meanings
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  • +18
    General CommentOkay guys, I'm pretty positive on this meaning. This isn't my own interpretation, therefore I do not take credit for it, but I do agree with it.
    Okay, about the meaning from toolshed.down.net... it's partly true, but not completely. Ya ever wonder why they just DO NOT play that song on tour, like hardly at all, even though it's so popular? Well it's because this song has a special meaning to Maynard.
    Devo Keenan, his son, has the middle name of H... not anything extra... just H. The song isn't about any person at all, it's about his son... think about the song. Maynard had a bad relationship with his father when he was young, constantly being abused. Even though he loves Devo, sometimes he has a problem, and wants to hurt him. He gets it from his father... and it causes him to want to lash out at his wife and his child. that's why when he says they're "void of hate, but killing him just the same"... he means that Devo loves him, but he's still hurting Maynard because of Maynard's past....
    When he talks about "snake behind me hisses, what my damage could have been", he's talkin about how what his father did to him wants to resurge through him and onto Devo. then the next verse "my blood before me begs me, open up my heart again"... he's sayin that the blood before him (his children, future grandchildren, etc.) is begging him to forget the past and start over... Infer the rest of the song for yourself. I think this is the best explanation possible. Thanks for botherin to read this.
    madson4562on December 12, 2001   Link
  • +8
    General CommentMost say this song is about his son, name being Devo H. Keenan (initial only)

    "Maynard" is name James picked up at Westpoint, he was born James "H"erbert Keenan.

    He wrote this song while his girlfriend was pregnant with his child, and it is about the storm of emotion bred up inside him over conflicting feelings of perpetuating the abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather, and a desire to overcome these worries of "Do unto others, what they have don to you" (perpetuating the cycle of abuse) and raise his child with love. "H" is about Maynard struggling with his soon to collide past and present, and his realization in the face of it, that he can do it.
    Tunes24on October 02, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General Comment"the song is about being very close to someone who is tearing you apart, someone you can't bring yourself to leave, but someone who will destroy you because you can't leave them. It is the price you pay for being close to them; they aren't doing it on purpose: "considerately" ~ from the toolshed.down.net FAQ
    thewhitepony33on December 08, 2001   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningLike i've read here and there this song is actually about Maynard's son, whose second name is “H”. But I think that's not exactly about the fear to replicate upon his own son the violence that he himself has suffered from his father.
    I think that the lyric involves directly or indirectly 4 charachters:
    Maynard : who is the center of an inner conflict.
    The snake : Personification of Maynard's hate, rage, and revenge feelings for what he suffered when he was a child
    Maynard's father
    Maynard's son.
    Keeping these in mind, all we have to do is understand sentence by sentence whom the song is referring to.

    >>> “What's coming through is alive. What's holding up is a mirror.”

    Maynard's son lead Maynard to look at himself and think again about his sad childhood.

    >>> “But what's singing songs is a snake. Looking to turn my piss to wine.”

    The snake is the temptation to indulge in hate and resentment, making them look like pleasant feelings (piss to wine).

    >>> “They're both totally void of hate, But killing me just the same.”

    That's referred to the snake and the father.

    >>> The snake behind me hisses What my damage could have done. “

    That's ambiguois. I think the “damage” could be the mark of the father on Maynard, the fact that his personality changed in worst because he became full of hate, resentment, etc.

    >>> My blood before me begs me Open up my heart again.

    But his inner voice (me) and his son (my blood) beg him to not let his father, the hate and resentment win, but to open his heart instead.

    >>> And I feel this coming over like a storm again. Considerately.

    All the fear, inner conflicts, rage, etc. that he experienced in the past as his father came to beat him are happening once again in his mind.

    >>> Venomous voice, tempts me, Drains me, bleeds me. Leaves me cracked and empty. Drags me down like some sweet gravity.

    As above the snake is the temptation to indulge in anger and bad feelings instead of fighting them.

    >>> I am too connected to you. To slip away, fade away. Days away I still feel you. Touching me, changing me. Considerately killing me.

    That's the climax of the inner fight: Maynard is scared that the past hurted him to deeply and too much, so that's impossible for him to change, to forget.

    >>> Without the skin here, Beneath the storm. Under these tears now, The walls came down. And as 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. (…) I have died and will die. It's all right. (I don't mind)

    At the end Maynard won the fight, he is reborn: all the anger that surrond him like walls are gone, the snake that tempted him is gone. He look in his son's eyes in order to find the strenght to change and let the good feelings win. But even if he won this fight he can't erase what happened: he still recall those days, he still remember all the bad feelings he had to hide, all the time he wanted to cry, all the time that he died inside. And every time he will remember what happened he will die inside once again.

    After all this song is pretty similar to “Reflection”: both describes an inner fight against bad feelings (anger and resentment / selfishness and sloth), and both ends up with the win of the good side of the soul. (“And as I pull my head out I am without one doubt. Don't wanna be down here feeding my narcissism” / “Without the skin here, Beneath the storm. Under these tears now, The walls came down. And as the snake is drowned And as I look in his eyes, My fear begins to fade”)




    katchoo85on December 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song sounds, to me, like the trials of being addicted to heroin. Of course the song is H. which is slang for heroin but put it in deeper meaning:

    "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. "

    The snake is the needle, here to help numb my pains, a great numbing sensation this is, its turning my piss to wine.

    "And I feel this coming over like a storm again.
    Considerately."

    This is my withdrawals, being sucked back to the needle. As hard as I try to stay away for my own concern and the concern of my loved ones, I keep being sucked back.

    Venomous voice, tempts me,
    Drains me, bleeds me,
    Leaves me cracked and empty.
    Drags me down like some sweet gravity.

    The drug wont let me go, its destroying my life but I cant, for the life of me, get away. I need it so bad, I want to get away but it keeps calling my back.

    "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."

    I dont know life without you, now that I am clean, I dont know what to do but be depressed, this depression is killing me as bad as you were once killing me. I still want you so badly, I feel you trying to come back into my life.

    "Without the skin,
    Beneath the storm,
    Under these tears
    The walls came down."

    I am hopeless, I am weak and I am open, I cannot proceed. The walls are coming down. This is my withdrawal.

    "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. "

    My sweet, sweet relapse. I miss you so much. I hate the fact I am doing this, but I need it so bad, I shouldnt have done this.


    This is the best part of any song I have ever experienced. I love this line so much, it is so compassionate, so deep. I listen to this song every single day and the moment this line comes on, my heart sinks:

    "And as the walls come down and
    As I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died
    and will die.
    It's all right.
    I don't mind. "


    This is it, Im hooked again. I've already relapsed, there is no turning back now, and you know what? I really dont mind anymore. This is all I know so this is all I will stick to. I'm dead inside, I have nothing more to give, nothing more to live for but this drug.

    Sincerely,
    Lafayette

    I know addiction, I know the effect it holds on someone, and this song sounds to me like my own compassionate addiction which may be why I love this song with all my heart.
    sparkplug619on June 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyo, adamizer likes Tool, we all like tool, so lets not argue about something like this, you have the right to have an opinion however wrong it may be, however narrow sited, grab each others AIM names and have an intellectual fight but save this space for song interpretation.
    Now then I belive this is about heroin simply because of the theme of the lyrics and the name. H = heroin, most of you know, and its pretty damned addicitive, so hes like a part of it, hes too connected to let heroin "slip away" or "fade away" cuz ya know withdrawl symptoms and stuff. Heroin is inanimate, with no motive to why it kills its users and abusers, so its "void of hate" cuz when someone kills another person it's usually because they hate them.

    "And I feel this coming over like a storm again " I feel this may mean withdrawl symptoms, you try to quit heroin but its damn tough, and the things you feel [I wouldnt know what] are so strong, its like a tempest sweeping you off your feet effect.

    the rest I dont know what it might mean, any explanation would be much too vague so im probably wrong on my thoughts about what it might mean, so if anyone cares to elaborate....

    and going against my earlier advice I believe people use the words of other people, not to speak for themselves, but rather to give validity to what they are saying since words with no evidence mean little. and i think most people reading this agree maynard is an insightful individual and things he says have value and if something he says agrees with a point you are trying to make, using his word stregthens the validity of what ever that point may be. just my thoughts...
    Captain-Obviouson May 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    TranslationI’m with TOOLrule3.
    Lets say this song is about a man who was abused as a kid reliving the old pain in the presence of, and in connection (" I am too connected...."),to his son (‘H.’ — Devo Keenan’s middle name); a perfect projection of himself. His well-meaning defenses (the snake) desperately persuade him to avoid the relationship and the subsequent terror, rage, and pain associated. His son ("my blood before me"), in total opposition to the snake's motivation, desperately seeks connection ("...begs me to open up my heart again").

    Both forces mean well for there own reasons and for their own protection, yet one caught between those motivations would be ripped apart inside (“they’re both totally void of hate and killing me just the same” “I feel this coming over like a storm again”). The only way out is through. You would have to let go of your old defenses and let them sink to the bottom of the pain they’re in place to dam (“as the snake is drowned and there’s a look in his eyes my fear begins to fade recalling all of the times I could have cried…”) It’s as close to death as one can come to in a conscious state. He emerges on the other side; anew and reborn - almost a considerate killing.
    JaynardManbackon September 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always loved this verse. It seems like he's realizing and accepting his fate, and he doesn't see it as a bad thing. He's coming to terms with the fact that he's going to have ups and downs, and even eventually die, but it's all right. I love how soft his voice is in the background at the end of it because I think it really puts emphasis on the emotion behind it. It's like the quiet voice is his acceptance of his fate, and the loud voice is his will to keep living.

    And as the walls come down and
    As I look in your eyes
    My fear begins to fade
    Recalling all of the times
    I have died
    and will die
    It's all right
    I don't mind
    I don't mind
    I don't mind
    everythinginitsrightplaceon March 09, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is NOT about heroin but rather the struggle between maintaining himself as the singer of an extremely popular rock band and being a father. The song was named H. after his son Devo H. Keenan.

    "What's coming through is alive
    What's holding up is a mirror"

    His son being born and like a mirror image of himself or he sees himself in his son.

    "But what's singing songs is a snake
    Looking to turn this piss to wine"

    This describes his other side or alter ego, the lead singer of a rock group.


    The song is about facing the two parts of his life.
    StumpyGon July 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's pretty obvious-- this song is about Maynard's son. He is tempted (by the snake, his father, with whom he had an abusive relationship) to distance himself from this child. He realizes, however, that his former relationship with his father is a thing of the past, and he has the opportunity to kill the tendencies he could have inherited from his father by opening his heart and being vulnerable in having a loving relationship with his child. Simple as that.

    I also think that the song might have been different if Maynard had a daughter instead.
    prettyhowtownon September 03, 2011   Link

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