"Magdalena" as written by and Maynard James/howerdel Keenan....
Overcome by your
Moving temple
Overcome by this
Holiest of altars

So pure
So rare
To witness such an earthly goddess
That I've lost my self control
Beyond compelled to throw this dollar down before your
Holiest of altars

I'd sell
My soul
My self-esteem a dollar at a time

One chance
One kiss
One taste of you my Magdalena

I bear witness
To this place, this prayer, so long forgotten
So pure
So rare
To witness such an earthly goddess

That I'd sell
My soul
My self-esteem a dollar at a time
For one chance
One kiss
One taste of you my black Madonna

I'd sell
My soul
My self-esteem a dollar at a time

One taste
One taste
One taste of you my Magdalena



Lyrics submitted by Jack

"Magdalena" as written by Maynard James/howerdel Keenan

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Magdalena song meanings
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  • +5
    General Commentokay, i understand that Maynard's lyrics often can mean multiple things. but this is a song that seems very clear to me. he is talking about a man who is obsessed with strippers, or a particular stripper. and every time he goes to see her dance in the strip club he loses control of himself, looses any self esteem he may have had, and feels the compulsive urge to throw his "dollars" at her fantasizing in his head that he would ever have the chance to have one kiss, or one taste of her. the name of the song being "magdalena" is obviously being used because mary magdalene was considered a prostitute. and in some ways strippers are prostitutes. they take off their clothes and dance in a sexual way to turn men on in order to make money. so basically they are selling their sexuality which basically is a form of prostitution. when he is saying that he is willing to 'sell his soul' or his 'self esteem' 'one dollar at a time' is obviously referring to the way men in those places use their dollars to show their appreciation of the stripper. as i said he is either obsessed with strippers in general, or one in particular. it does tend to suggest that it is one in particular because he is saying that it is rare to see such an 'earthly goddess' that he feels compelled to 'throw this dollar' he is also looking at her body as if it were a 'moving temple' or 'holy altar' again referring to his exaggeration of feelings for her to the point where he has placed her in the realm of the divine. to me it is obviously just a mockery of the kind of men that go to these strip clubs regularly and end up cheapening themselves, over this stripper whom he just so desperately wants one kiss or one taste of to the point that he loses control and throws down his money at her feet almost as an offering one would bestow upon a goddess. of all of their songs, i think this one is pretty much an easy one to understand.
    nephilim101on June 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentobviously this song is about not wanting to do all of this to the stripper but he lost his self-control because its force was just too hard to draw away from...

    something else to think of: mary magdalene in the bible... a friend of jesus, a prostitute, but due to her devotion she was pardoned by jesus... OBVIOUSLY maynard does not believe in christianity, it has been seen with tool and APC songs, but the fact that Magdalena is spelled similarly to Magdalene, is something to ponder upon...
    Jondude11on December 15, 2001   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou can't say "obviously" when referring to apc or tool. that could possibly be one meaning, but there could be so many more. the beauty of these songs is that you can interpret them for yourself and give them a more personal meaning.
    lenaon March 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBy the way, I'm just wondering about where you guys heard about Jesus coming on to Mary Magdalene and stuff. I'm a Christian and as far as the Bible says, He never came unto her and I don't think He would. I don't want to be one of those annoying Christians who gave us a bad name by going and pointing accusing fingers at anyone who says any little thing. I'm just geniuinly curious. Where did you hear about stuff like that?
    Beowulf_Xtremeon April 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about a stripper, not a prostitute. With a prostitute, he would get what he wants by throwing his money down. With a stripper he does not.
    iconofsinon March 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt should be "lovely goddess" and not "earthly"

    I see a lot of people saying it's about a stripper, maybe. But when I first heard the song, I think it's more about some one who is in love with a person and is willing to do anything for a kiss, a touch by the other person.
    x_Tyr_xon August 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRjina - Yup ure right, after all this is the purpose of this site and all. I wouldn't be writing some made up shit, MJK just said it.
    And let me just remind you that the lyrics to "Judith" are refering to his mother and the song "Brena" is about his ex-wife.

    I think this was the original idea of "MER DE NOMS". I'm not saying we shouldn't be interprating it in different ways, after all MJK is a great writer.

    and yeah - I still don't believe it's about a stripper or "Mary Magdalene".

    good night
    violentretardon May 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a bout sex

    "Overcome by your
    Moving temple
    Overcome by this
    Holiest of altars"

    What's the name of his vineyard? Merkin. What's a merkin? Look it up...

    and desire and the power of the "Moving temple" "Holiest of Altars" think anatomy folks.

    It's the power of the Puscifer...

    Sometimes if you look too deep you miss the obvious.
    FLWBon January 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpoptarts - what??

    and blacklight, yeah, i see it definitly... a lot of tool's biblical references and APC's as well are sort of anti-dogma but still intertwined...
    Jondude11on January 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe the line is
    "I bear witness to this place, this prayer, so long forgotten
    so pure, so rare, to witness such an earthly goddess"
    Another awesome song from an awesome band.
    toolgirlon March 11, 2002   Link

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