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 stealth banana split the sky like one would hope but never really expect to see in a place like this. Cutting right angle donuts on a dime and stopping right at my birkinstocks, and me yelping "holy fuckin' shit!"

Then the X file being, looking like some kinda blue green Jackie chan, with Isabella Rossellini lips, and breath that reeked of vanilla chig champa, did a slow mo matrix decent outta the butt end of the banana vessel, and hovered above my bug eyes, my gaping jaw, and my sweaty L. Ron Hubbard upper lip and all I could think was, "I hope uncle martin here doesn't notice that I pissed my fuckin pants!!"

So light in his way, like an apparition, he'd had me crying out...
"Fuck me!
It's gotta be
The dead head
Chemistry
The blotter got right on top o' me
Got me seeing E mutha fuckin T!"

And after calming me down with some orange slices and some fetal spooning, E.T. revealed to me his singular purpose. He said. "you are 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." Me! The chosen one. They chose me!!!! And I didn't even graduate from fuckin' high school!!

(You'd better listen)

Then he looked right through me with somniferous almond eyes
Don't even know what that means
Must remember to write it down
This is so real
Like the time Dave floated away
See, my heart is pounding cuz this shit never happens to me.

Can't breathe right now.

It was so real
Like I woke up in Wonderland
All sorta terrifying
I don't wanna be all alone
While I tell this story
And can anyone tell me why y'all sound like peanuts parents?
Will I ever be coming down?
This is so real
Finally it's my lucky day
See, my heart is racing cuz this shit never happens to me

Can't breathe right now.

You believe me don't you?
Please believe what I've 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

Strapped down to my bed
Feet cold and eyes red
I'm out of my head
Am I alive? Am I dead?
Can't remember what they said
God damn, shit the bed

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
But I forgot my pen
Shit the bed again
Typical


Strapped down to my bed
Feet cold and eyes red
I'm out of my head
Am I alive? Am I dead.
Sunkist and Sudafed
Gyroscopes and infrared
Won't help. I'm brain dead
Can't remember what they said
God damn, shit the bed


Can't remember what they said to me
Can't remember what they said to make me out to be a hero
Can't remember what they said
Bob help me
Can't remember what they said


We don't know and we won't know
God damn shit the bed


Lyrics submitted by Solarius, edited by Kyralik, merarkil, BrainBaked


Rosetta Stoned song meanings
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532 Comments

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  • +10
    General CommentThis is about the fallacies and ignorance and narcissism of certain psychedelic enthusiasts. It's a masterfully humorous song, and full of truth.

    The part where he says "Me, the chosen one. They chose me, and I didn't even graduate from fucking high school...."

    It's a sort of slap in the face to all the psychonauts and self appointed mystics and shaman who walk around acting as if, or believing, that they have been granted special access to the mysteries of life. That they have tapped into some fount of knowledge about all the Big Questions that have eluded mankind since day one. Never mind the fact that many, more powerful, minds have been unable to give us definitive answers to these questions... they have been granted special access to the answers because...why? Because they took acid and believe in ufo's?

    No, because they are special, they have been chosen. It's a sort of narcissism, to think that you are so important that you get to know the mysteries of life that nobody else gets to know, and that you should simply be granted this knowledge and responsibility because you were wise enough to ingest a chemical that has been experimented with for most of the last century, by millions of people, some of them likely much more talented and intelligent than you.

    The "Rosetta Stoned" feeling is a common occurance on lsd. I had it happen a few times when I used to take it as a teenager. You get this overwhelming feeling of having discovered some deeper, hidden meaning about life, a major revelation of some kind. But somehow, by the time you are sober again, the feeling is gone. Some faint echo of it nags at you, because it felt so real, what was it? Should have written it down...shit the bed...

    Ok, so next time you take acid, and it happens again, but this time you are prepared, you brought your pen!
    So you write down the essence of your revelation, this refinement of knowledge that has eluded mankind, but now you, the chosen one, can tell everyone, because you wrote it down! Good thinking!

    You come down, and later feel that tug in your mind...what was it... oh yeah, the piece of paper! You pull it out of your pocket and read:

    " A circle and a square are really the same thing!!!!"

    " "Pink should be cherished and respected, it s here to mitigate aggression."

    " If I try hard to honor you, you will try harder to honor me."

    " The important number is 3!"

    Huh?

    Is this some gibberish, and some paraphasing of ancient and well know pieces of advice like the golden rule masquerading itself to you as something you invented on your own? What happened, it doesn't feel as overwhelming to read it sober, does it?
    Hell, none of these ideas are new, and all of them have been descibed and debated in much clearer and understandable language than this psychedelic obscuritan drivel anyhow...
    TheJackylon June 16, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentContinuation of Lost Keys, its his answer to the doctor: "Picture this if you will" how he was captured by aliens or a mighty power that told him to tell everyone the world was going to end.
    In the beginning its a tedious song by my favorite part develops and in minute 8 of the song, Maynard reaches a great pinnacle of the song with his voice:

    Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
    Such a heavy burden now to be, the one.
    Born to bear and write you all the details of our ending.
    To write it down for all the world to see.
    But I forgot my pen.
    Shit the bed again... typical.

    Great finale
    a7a8a9a1on April 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI just want to say right now, he didn't actually shit the bed... shit the bed is a phrase that means to fail, or basically fuck up. Like being revealed the details of our ending, but forgetting to write them down. Or, youd could, as always, take it both ways.
    Frances-The-Toolon April 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is what I get from it, it may not be what you get, and that’s totally fine. Keeping in mind the three languages on the Rosetta Stone and the above quotation.

    There are three narratives that need to be deciphered in this song. At the beginning we have the narrative of events told by the guy who is still suffering the effects of LSD to the doctors. The garbled sound of the lyrics seems to accentuate the nonsensical lyrics themselves. Then we get the second narrative, his inner thoughts. This helps us understand the first narrative, he cant explain himself because he is still really stoned, but what he has to say does make some sense. We are missing a third narrative, which is that of the aliens.
    So then what is the Rosetta Stone, his key to unlocking the cryptic message? The title suggests it’s the LSD. It is what allowed for the alien experience and makes the first nonsensical narrative possible, then the second more rational narrative. The reason we are missing the alien narrative is because we have an unprepared individual with no frame of reference, he forgot his pen. So he ends up missing the point. You get what you can from the Rosetta Stone (LSD or the actual stone used to decrypt the hieroglyphs) but once you decrypt, you don’t need the Rosetta Stone anymore. Once you figure out how to read Hieroglyphs you don’t need to translate through the stone again, you do it because you understand it. Much like once you reach a bit of spiritual enlightenment you can “get there again” because you understand it. The story teller was not prepared and therefore did not have the frame of reference to understand the new perspectives he encountered. It becomes a sort of response to “Third Eye.”

    What makes this song cool to me is the humor used to poke fun at the stereotypical high school drop out that trips out just to trip out. Tool makes some great stuff.
    nonetospeakofon May 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am pretty sure that this song is a piss in the face of L. Ron Hubbard and him introducing scientology. All the sci-fi stuff and how he claims that "Im the chosen one, im the one they chose"... "You believe me dont you, please believe what i just said"as him being desperate for attention, "But i forgot my pen", "Cant remember what they said", "God damn, shit my bed" To illustrate just how crazy and ridicules the whole thing is.... Ends the song by saying "we dont know, and we wont know" to express how nobody can really know anything and that L. Ron Hubbard is a fraud!

    Just and opinion:) By the way L. Ron Hubbard is also mentioned in the song, guess it has a meaning to it!
    sgnl05on May 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTool's stance on the chemical known as DMT is well known. Sounds like a description of a DMT trip. vivid hallications, heart racing, coming down, etc..
    robkaoson April 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDude, they aren't running out of ideas. You can't expect this to a rehash of the highly enlightened stuff that was 'Lateralus'. Look at 'Aenema'. Just 'cuz the lyrics aren't completely mind-boggling, that doesn't make them any more amazing. Tool is far from losing their edge, though this album is a little laid-back. Songs like this prove Tool still knows what they're doing, and that they are one of the most amazing bands of the last decade.
    rock_hawkon April 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmmm... the first time i actually understood some of the words when i listened to this song i thought it was about terry schaivo. obviously wrong. perhaps the song is a "rosetta stone" of sorts, maybe that means it can be used for the other songs, maybe it just has a message in every third letter or word or something... who knows...
    caughtinaglimpseon May 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment“I think psychedelics play a major part in what we do, but having said that, I feel that if somebody's going to experiment with those things they really need to educate themselves about them. People just taking the chemicals and diving in without having any kind of preparation about what they're about to experience tend to have no frame of reference, so they're missing everything flying by and all these new perspectives. It's just a waste. They reach a little bit of spiritual enlightenment, but they end up going, 'Well, now I need that drug to get back there again.' The trick is to use the drugs once to get there, and maybe spend the next ten years trying to get back there without the drug.”
    -MJK
    nonetospeakofon May 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHeh, a lot of this song reminds me of the film Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas.

    To expand on nonetospeakof's comments, here's an MJK quotation:

    "I think psychedelics play a major part in what we do, but having said that, I feel that if somebody's going to experiment with those things they really need to educate themselves about them. People just taking the chemicals and diving in without having any kind of preparation about what they're about to experience tend to have no frame of reference, so they're missing everything flying by and all these new perspectives. It's just a waste. They reach a little bit of spiritual enlightenment, but they end up going, 'Well, now I need that drug to get back there again.' The trick is to use the drugs once to get there, and maybe spend the next ten years trying to get back there without the drug."
    - Maynard James Keenan

    I think this song is basically the artistic, musical version of that quote. With "goddamn, shit the bed," he's saying he screwed up and he's trying to get back to where he was. But perhaps he's trying to do it without the initial catalyst? (LSD, DMT, whatever)

    I also think the vocals are very clever. Being quite unconventional for MJK, they give the song a bit of a surreal sound (moreso than most Tool), especially with the delay voice, which is also slightly off-tune at times (obviously quite intentional).
    thirdeye187on May 02, 2006   Link

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