"One Armed Scissor" as written by Tony Hajjar, Omar Rodriguez, Cedric Bixler, Pablo Hinojos and Jim Ward....
Yes this is the campaign
Slithered entrails
In the cargo bay
A neutered is the vastness
Hallow vacuum check the
Oxygen tanks
They hibernate
But have they kissed the ground
Pucker up and kiss the asphalt now
Tease this amputation
Splintered larynx
It has access now

Cut away, cut away
Send transmission from
The one armed scissor [Repeat x3]
Cut away, cut away

Banked on memory
Mummified circuitry
Skin graft machinery
Sputnik sicklese found in the seats

Self-destruct sequence
This station is non-operational
Species growing
Bubbles in an IV loitering
Unknown origin
Is this the comfort of being afraid
Solar eclipsed
Black out the vultures
As they wait
Unknown, unknown
Unknown, unknown, yeah

Cut away, cut away
Send transmission from
The one armed scissor [Repeat x3]
Cut away, cut away

Dissect a trillion sighs away
Will you get this letter
Jagged pulp sliced in my veins
I write to remember
Cause I'm a million miles away
Will you get this letter
Jagged pulp sliced in my veins
I write to remember [Repeat x3]

Cut away, cut away
Send transmission from
The one armed scissor [Repeat x3]
Cut away, cut away

Cut away, cut away [Repeat x2]


Lyrics submitted by moloko

"One Armed Scissor" as written by Jim Ward Cedric Bixler

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

One Armed Scissor song meanings
Add your thoughts

198 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General Commentive a feeling that this magnificent song is a representation of a rigourous touring schedule (which atdi actually failed to complete due to chronic exhaustion, leading to the split). the first verse in particular is suggestive of this: "A neutered is the vastness
    Hallow vacuum check the
    Oxygen tanks"
    atdi tackling the massive emptiness, penetrating various places in the world, ensuring that they have enough life in them to do so, ie oxygen. "Pucker up and kiss the asphalt now" is a sarcastic and ironic reference to how they detest the road.

    the rest of the song relays the desire for contact with home, highlighting the sickness of touring and also the dependance on technical equipment for contact and also for performance. the video also shows the many negative aspects of touring, such as pushing the vehicle down the road and seemingly endless footage of atdi stage action.

    after reading the other interesting interpretations of the song, i do not see suicide theory as credible although it would make sense if there was self hatred and it is impossible to rule out the idea of suicidal thoughts during the tour, as i dont personally know the band.

    so they are my thoughts behind the song, its probable im incorrect, but i suppose this is more food for thought
    for others.
    jack gason May 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOk. SO all of you guys are overthinking this song. Me and my friend earlier found out the TRUE meaning. It's about the journey of a pizza. the "campaign" is the whole experience. the cargo bay is the oven, mummified circutry is just talking about the oven etc. Now, the one armed scissor is the pizza cutter and "cut away" is like someone yelling COME ON MAN HURRY UP CUTTING THE FOOKIN PIZZA RAWR!!! Yep. So there you guys have it. The real meaning of one armed scissor. Enjoy!
    the_?on January 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHIS IS WHAT GOOD MUSIC IS. Not puddle of mudd, or staind, or any of that shit, who cares what it means, it's rock and fuckin' roll.
    sierpon May 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song has SOOO Many different views and hits HOME for EVERYONE who hears it!!! Doesn't it make this song truly amazing, when SOOOOOOOOOO many people can hear it and relate to it and interpret it, either through SUICIDE, LONLINESS WHILE ON TOUR, broken RELATIONSHIPS, or even a VIETNAM WAR HELICOPTER? I dunno which one I believe the most, but i'm Def. in AWE :O
    Lilakon March 16, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song is about touring

    a scissor has 2 legs or arms .. one armed scissor so its down to one meaning touring is hard like u have one arm or leg........ it makes sense to me
    Scarecrow Plotson June 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWOW i'm way late on the bus for this ultra popular song.. but here goes. The meaning of this song is way obvious and is one of their most straight-foward yet somehow must misunderstood tracks. It's 100% about Cedric (and probably Omar's too) feelings about walking away from ATDI. It's also about having said feelings while on tour.. having to be in close quarters with people (mainly jim) who you dont really relate to anymore.
    Most obvious points:
    "Cut away (is what cedric and omar would eventually do). Send transmission to the one armed scissor (a one armed scissor has no function. send transmission... no communication... you could say 'the one armed scissor' is the band itself... or even jim ward specifically)
    [we] banked on [a] memory [but found] mumified circuitry (jim had once been kicked out of atdi... but was soon taken back when they had very dramatic problems with his replacement... when he came back... were things still the same? were they still the same people who grew up together and came up into fame together? they tried to relive the fun they had with jim... they banked on a memory to make them happy... it didnt help.. they only found mumified circuitry... the same old problems)
    Sputnik sickles found in the seats (again... more of the same old... you try to build something new... you find evidence that youve done NOTHING new.. and have simply relived mistakes you shoulda learned from the 1st time. you climb aboard this space craft... this tour van... and you find the sputnik sickles... the remains of a long forgoten and irrelevant spacecraft.)
    A self-destruct sequence [because] this station is non-operational. (Obviouuuuuus)

    Unknown origin, is this the comfort of being afraid (to break up... to try to start again from the begining... is it better to be safe and unhappy... or to walk and possibly fade into oblivion)
    Solar eclipse.... [we'll] block out the vultures as they wait (lots of ppl.. especially back home were already talking trash. they waited... possibly even prayed for ATDI's eventual doom. They hafta be sure theyre walking away for the right reasons... not because the vultures got to them... they'll solar eclipse and block them out)
    A trillion sighs away (after so many arguments your only response becomes this sigh... you refuse to continue) will you get this letter? (do you get the message we are unhappy... OR communicating with home... asking for advice....) Jagged pulp sliced in my veins, i write to remember (drugs... vague memories of what's actually happening... homesick... you write not only to communicate with those you love... but to try to piece together what's happening to you... out there on that road... in a van with people you no longer particularly like).
    bringthatbeatbackon July 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEvery single song that At the Drive-in has made is incredible, also The Mars Volta and Sparta which the band has split into. I wish they were still around it would be wicked to watch them live. Even from a chicks point of view these are great artists. The one armed scissor is a knife, this song could never be analysed with out the true word from the artists, we will never know
    transatlantic foe*on December 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song perhaps contains the finest cryptic lyrics that Cedric has written in ATDI. Which is what i think we must remember!!!....that the lyrics are cryptic; they are like jigsaw puzzle pieces that when ALL put together make sense (in their entirety). For those of you who also listen to and for those who prefer THE MARS VOLTA (btw: i congratulate your good taste and recognition that ATDI had to end for THE MARS VOLTA to exist so that Omar and Cedric can make music exactly how they intend to without hinderance from other band members) I am surprised that there has not been the repeated and explicit mention of JULIO VENEGAS - Omar and Cedric's mentor and friend. Even the song by ATDI 'embroglio' talks about him. TMV album 'de-loused' is all about the fictional character Cerpin Taxt (julio venegas) and his journey whilst in a comatoise dream through a fictional world he dreams up (which he awakes from and attempts to return to in 'Take the Veil'. In case you're getting lost, I'll use that MTV interview you lot told people to visit, in which Bixler said. "It deals with a fictional character that represents all of us, and he's dealing with things like culture clash, just being in a new place, being alone for long periods of time, and just being cut off from everything. I think if anyone is confused about things like 'skin graft machinery' just think of the first track off de-loused...'nurse says that my skin will need a graft'. Feeling removed from reality is the whole point in de-loused - Cerpin Taxt can't deal with what's really going on; he keeps doing drugs and removing himself from reality. So when he comes back to reality he doesnt know how to exist, how to be, how to function....maybe like a ONE ARMED SCISSOR????????....(do we get what i'm saying now?) which clearly cannot function properly if it is reduced to half of what it is - like JULIO VENEGAS who felt incomplete in true reality could not function - like the scissor, JULIO VENEGAS being incomplete cannot fulfil any purpose he might have (like one arm of a scissor cannot cut through anything in the way it used to but can only 'cut away' with what remains). This suggestion is the incomplete person can't cut it properly, can't cut through the problems they face, but only cut away from them. I'm interested to see what other people think. And by the way, if my comments sound arrogant, its just because i really dont want anyone to think like the person who said its about pizza.......what a dick, whoever that open-mided person was
    theresweatsacuton June 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust to follow up on my earlier post:

    Seriously now, this is not some metaphorical masterpiece, it's almost a play-by-play description of the Alien movies. The whole "mummified circuitry, skin graft machinery" bit is a dead-on description of the H.R. Giger art created for the movie Alien. Giger is well-known as an artist who paints mostly disturbing bio-mechanical scenes.

    The "self-destruction sequence" bit is taken right from the damn movie -- they try to blow up the ship and they can't, because as it says in the song, "this station is non-operational."

    Slithered entrails in the cargo bay? Another scene from Alien.

    "Species in an IV loitering"? Another scene from one of the Alien franchise.

    You could even argue the "one-armed scissor" is the bio-mechanical hive first shown after the crash landingin the first movie.

    The people trying to stretch this into some grand metaphor about the rigors of life have been listening to too much My Chemical Romance. FFS.
    xystophoroson September 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a prelude to the concept of the album. Being the 3rd song, we are shown a man known as One Armed Scissor. He has been alienated from society, and people think he is a waster, but the following lyrics cast him in a different kind of light. What the album R.o.C is about is how organized religion, specifically the "bloody Church of England" as CB put it, reflects on our society and alienates people that society doesn't want, thus making those in religious power their own gods. The album is a very pro-god anti-religous establishment album. Men create this all powerful god in their image and give him what they deem to be his powers, and then twist it around all the time. Since organized religion creates god, the can twist it every which way. The lyrics on the album are preluded by this message
    johnny dazedon July 25, 2008   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