"Pet" as written by and Maynard James/howerdel Keenan....
Don't fret precious I'm here
Step away from the window
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come
Counting bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums
Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble
Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind what other voices say
They don't care about you
Like I do
Like I do
Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils
See they don't give a fuck about you
Like I do

Just stay with me
Safe and ignorant
Go back to sleep
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come
Count the bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums
Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble
Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums

I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices son
One and the same I must isolate you
Isolate and save you from yourself

Swaying to the rhythm of the new world order and
Count the bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drum
The boogeymen are coming
The boogeymen are coming
Keep your head down go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Stay with me
Safe and ignorant
Just stay with me
Hold you and protect you from the other ones
The evil ones
Don't love you son
Go back to sleep


Lyrics submitted by OwnPersonalDemon

"Pet" as written by Maynard James/howerdel Keenan

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Pet song meanings
Add your thoughts

309 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    Song MeaningThis song is about the role of American mega-organizations like government and corporations in shaping American worldviews.

    Don't fret precious I'm here
    Step away from the window
    Go back to sleep

    *The public is the 'precious,' as government and corporations derive their power from the collective consent of the individual constituents. The 'window' is a view of another perspective which elucidates the ignorance of the common American to the effect their country has on the rest of the world.

    Lay your head down child
    I won't let the boogeyman come
    Counting bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drums
    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Head down, go to sleep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    *The 'bogeyman' is an imagined, hyped-up enemy that comes when you are sleeping. In this case, it is radical muslim terrorists. We see them as a threat to our country's well-being and we base our fear in our misunderstanding of their motives. They don't oppose Christians or Americans on principle, but rather how we impose our belief systems on the rest of the world, to our own benefit.

    Pay no mind what other voices say
    They don't care about you
    Like I do
    Like I do
    Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils
    See they don't give a fuck about you
    Like I do

    'Truth' and 'choice' represent real freedom, but we sacrifice these for national security. The 'pain' is what we might feel if we were actually aware of and empathetic to all the people who are thrown under the American bus. The word 'devil' is an example of how we label what opposes us as a devil, which carries with it the assumption that we are pristine.

    Just stay with me
    Safe and ignorant
    Go back to sleep
    Go back to sleep

    Lay your head down child
    I won't let the boogeyman come
    Count the bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drums
    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Head down, go to sleep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    'Pay no mind to the rabble' is like our government and media telling us that the growing number of people who oppose American policies are somehow wrong or insignificant.

    I'll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and all your demons
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    A will to survive and a voice of reason
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and your choices son
    One and the same I must isolate you
    Isolate and save you from yourself

    Swaying to the rhythm of the new world order and
    Count the bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drum
    The boogeymen are coming
    The boogeymen are coming
    Keep your head down go to sleep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    Honestly I think the 'new world order' mention of a reversal of the traditional power structure. The old order is where we see all humans as having rights, and protecting those rights is the purpose of the top organizations. The new order is where the top organizations have rights and the people get rights in so much as they can serve the purposes of the top organizations. Economically, this is already true; workers in developing nations get paid often 1/100 of what Americans get. This means, in economic terms, an hour of their work is worth 1/100 of ours.

    Stay with me
    Safe and ignorant
    Just stay with me
    Hold you and protect you from the other ones
    The evil ones
    Don't love you son
    Go back to sleep
    ajstephon October 09, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMost people think it's about a corrupt government lieing to people. It's not.

    That's why APC made "counting bodies like sheep"... to show that they understand how it could be conveyed as a political song... but this is also why they made "counting bodies" a completely "different" song instead of titling it as a "remix". Although the lyrics are comparable, the messages of the two songs have two different contexts.

    "Pet" is actually about protecting and preserving the innocence (of our youth and loved ones) by sheltering them from the ugliness of the world.

    Pet was written most likely for his (Maynard's) son. It is most likely about the personal conflict he endured sheltering his son from (not only the danger, but the lifestyle associated with) his alter ego as a rock star.

    One of the reasons Maynard seems sso frustrated with his fanbase in his interviews is due to the fact that even his most enlightened fans will grab straws at the first metaphore they hear and run with it. (IE: The song Judith DOES NOT try to relay an Anti-Religious theme. It is moreso a song of admiring the strength of faith even after enduring great hardship and tragedy. Specifically his Mother who was wheelchair bound for approximately 10,000 days and remained faithful to God even after enduring that hardship the rest of her earthly life.)

    If you listen to the emotion of the instrumentals (and vocals) behind the song Pet, it is moreso about the mood swings (frustration, anger, patience, love, protection) of a parent going to great lengths to protect his/her child. Even the guitar emulates a crying child. The emotional twists in this song portray that innocence is fragile and can be broken at any time if a concerned parent, guardian, or loved one does not remain protective, attentive, and cautious.

    If you listen to the emotion behind Counting Bodies, it is dark, as if these emotions depicted in Pet are actually being forced upon you against your will. This is why APC even went to the extent of releasing a music video to reinforce this message. To make it abundantly clear that Counting Bodies is about government tyranny.

    Maynard stated in several interviews that the difference between APC and Tool was the emotional context of the two bands, therefore implying that beyond common metaphore, one must also embrace the emotion behind the song to grasp its true meaning.
    ZenAndTranquilityon January 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI wrote a response to one of the comments here but I figure this will get more attention. Maynard James Keenan said, in his own words, what this song is about on the aMOTION DVD. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT about the government, Bush, the NWO or any of that crap.

    This song IS ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION, as is the entire album The Thirteenth Step. I.E. the thirteen steps of addiction.

    This song is about being so caught up in an addiction that you feel the world isn't a safe place anymore, that the only thing protecting you from the horrors in the world are the drugs that, in reality, are ruining your life. How drugs protect you from reality. Go back to sleep=get high, your problems will disappear. Maynard even described Richard Prior's freebasing incident as inspiration for this song.

    When this song was remade into Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums, it takes on the entire anti-government, anti Bush, NWO meaning that so many people have described here, again as per Maynard. That was the entire reason for the remake of the song. Maynard felt it could have more than one meaning, but didn't want the message of the two songs to be confused. Too bad they obviously are anyway.

    Maynard says that he intentionally doesn't tell people why he wrote the songs, he wants the listeners to find their own meaning in his words. When he does state why he wrote it, there is a reason. I figured most of his fans would take that as the word of god basically, since so many look up to him like he is a god. The information is out there in his own words, I don't get how so many of you still screw it up. You can take whatever meaning you want from the lyrics, I'm just providing facts from the writers mouth that say you are wrong.

    This song, along with this entire album, have a deep meaning for me. It represents and accurately describes four years of my life, when I fell partly into addiction, but mostly spent those same four years watching my ex fall terribly deep into a terrible heroin addiction where she overdosed twice, her brother overdosed and died, and no matter what I did, I couldn't help her. It's a terrible feeling, and I can see the emotion in every song off this album from multiple views due to my experience. Luckily I woke the fuck up and cleaned up. I had to walk away from my ex, who I loved very much, and that was the hardest thing I've ever done. She was just too far gone. IIRC Maynard was going thru the same thing with a lover when he wrote this album, and that was a major influence behind some of the songs.This album is one of the few things that kept me going.
    si4ws89on June 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm. I think this song is about the current state of our country and the war. I can picture Bush singing this to us, asking us to pay no mind to what's going on in the war, and to not bother asking questions-- he'll take care of us, right?
    *Cough* sure.... It points out how today's society is asleep, ignorant, and pretty much unaware of what's happening around us. We just kinda go with it and assume it's all for the best.

    "... Pay no mind to the rabble..." --would refer to people trying to speak out about what's going on in order to help everyone else see it as well, but we're told to not listen to them.

    "...Your enemies and your choices son
    They're one in the same
    I must isolate you
    Isolate and save you from yourself..." -- The speaker asking: Why endanger yourself by risking a bad choice? Let me decide for you, and keep you safe

    At first I thought this song was a father (or mother) talking to their child, trying to comfort them and maybe sheltering them a little too much. Kinda gets into the whole "overprotected" thing, but yeah, I'll try and steer away from that subject for now. But the line that changed my mind was "... Swayin to the rhythm of the New World Order..." I dunno, makes sense to me, anyway :)
    ObsessiveTendencieson April 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentalright listen guys i cant blam eu for not seing it as clear as i do and imnot bragging because it was the most horriblie expierence ive gone through but ima recovering heroin addict and i will bet my life that this song is being sung by his drug to the user, it is so obvious to me . and also the albym is called the 13th step and every song on there is direectly related with addiction, nothign else and expecially not bush, ILL be the one to protect u from ur will to survive and ur choices son, ur addiction does exactly that it consumes u, i could sit and decode every singgle line for u but think about it as ur addiction, speaking, mocking the user,
    slickvicon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy take (so don't bash me for it) on it is that first off, as stated while on tour for this album, Maynard mentioned the album was mostly about an addiction to alcohol. But APC doesn't seem to have a one track mind, do they?

    The main clues to the meaning of the song to me are seen in phrases like 'I will protect you from the other ones, the evil ones'. When have drug or alcohol addicts referred to themselves as evil, or even the drugs they do as evil? They'll talk about them negatively all day, but evil?

    Moreso than that though, the overprotective metaphors are paired with phrases like 'go to sleep to the rhythm of the war drums. Doesn't that sound symbolic of an entity trying to keep a blinder on its 'subject'? The very name of the song itself 'Pet' can be linked with the very basics of submission to another being. Look at our government and how much they keep from us. What tidbits they keep under wraps to 'protect us'. No one in this genre typically likes talking politics, but even then everyone's going to have something to say about it at one point or another, even Maynard. It may not be his cup of tea, but doesn't everyone get tired of bullshit? We have a government that pulls the wool over our eyes frequently, protecting us from what they tell us are the evil ones. And the longer we sleep blindly, the more the bodies will continue to pile up that we know nothing about, hence 'counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum'.

    I have been in a position where it seemed necessary to respond to (one sided) political issues and I hate talking politics normally. But take this for face value, it's just my opinion. I could be wrong, but I like the song myself for my interpretation.
    AttunedToMadnesson April 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOk...This song has absolutely zero to do with DRUGS!

    Maynard explained this song is in fact written in regards to current events (post 9-11)

    The some simply explains a unified world govt (new world order) using terrorism (boogymen) as well as the ignorance of the people (go back to sleep)to wage a global war of greed and power!

    Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums, swaying to the rhythm of the "new world order" (obviously)

    the song meaning here has never been more obvious come on already
    Mark128on November 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about smothering parenthood.
    Tunes24on September 21, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationeveryone percieves everything through their own mind , right ? so no one can really say what is what if you think about it.
    To me : this soung is about fuc*ing withdrawal... that state of mind you enter after 3-4 days and nights of no sleep containing nasuea , chilles , sweat and all the agony u can imagine. And that state of mind i personally call : crazy town . Crazy town is in my opinion the toughest part of it. Cuz that's when ''The Other ones'' just Can't resist the urge of telling you over and over and over and over again that oonee little hit... will suith the pain.. and concidering the wake time your mind constantly playes you tricks. Everything becomes eerie in a very surrealistic way. ''The demons'' makes me just think of all the fuc*ed hallucinations after days of no sleep
    It doesn¨t even have to be hallucinations. just to be in a state of mind that everything around you is there to hurt you and that everything is evil is , to me, the time in the withdrawal when ''only one hit'' sounds absolutely righteous and logical.


    Swaying to the rhythm of the new world order and
    Count the bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drum
    The boogeymen are coming
    The boogeymen are coming
    Keep your head down go to sleep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    Stay with me
    Safe and ignorant
    Just stay with me
    Hold you and protect you from the other ones
    The evil ones
    Don't love you son
    Go back to sleep
    so all in all i see it as the struggle


    That whole verse to me is the grand finalé . i'ts the point when you either give up and go score to not stay in the semi- psychotic state that ur in , wich is going to get worse before u actually fall asleep, or in some way try to listen to the voice that sais :'' stay with me''. and again , to me , that's when you find your way out of ''Crazy town'' back to yourself.

    Thanks for me . all the best
    thejunkawardson October 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess that works, too-- The song being sung by the drug to the user.
    ObsessiveTendencieson April 09, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain