"Jerk-Off" as written by Daniel Carey, Adam Jones, Paul D'amour and Maynard James Keenan....
Someone told me once
That there's a right and wrong,
And that punishment
Would come to those
Who dare to cross the line.
But it must not be true
For jerk-offs like you.
Maybe it takes longer to catch a total asshole.
But I'm tired of waiting.
Maybe it's just bullshit and I should play God,
And shoot you myself
Because I'm tired of waiting.
Consequences dictate
Our course of action
And it doesn't matter what's right.
It's only wrong if you get caught.
If consequences dictate
My course of action
I should play God
And shoot you myself
I'm very tired of waiting.
I should
Kick you,
Beat you,
Fuck you,
And then shoot you in your fucking head

Lyrics submitted by dank, edited by pointthegun

"Jerk-Off [Live]" as written by Daniel Carey Adam Jones


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Jerk-Off song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentObviously MJK explaining that no one person should be able to say what is wrong or what is right. And the "Jerk-offs" who set the standard for what is socially acceptable and what is not, have no right to set the standard.

    "It's only wrong if you get caught." Means the "Jerk'offs" who set the standards do not follow them. Therefore he is tired of waiting for them to get caught in their wrong doings.

    That is just my interpretation.
    SuZy Qon May 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think he's referring to nazis or any groups who think that they are above the law- right and wrong don't apply, maybe he is talking about the "assholes" as idiots like this as termites or roaches that need to be "systematically removed". I mean you look at extreme right-wing skinhead websites and it just makes you feel sick, Like when i listen to this song, it makes me think of people like David Duke etc. and what needs to be done to them, whenever i hear of someone i hate i think of this song.
    sta515on October 04, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThere's a dichotomy between the song lyrics being quite obvious in themselves (quite literal) and an interpretation of 'playing God' by masturbation or whatever. You know the stuff we release is actually living? It's alive? Don't you think we're playing God? This song is questioning your morals and whether there is a right or wrong. You can also see how they are a parallel to each other. If you interpret the lyrics fully you can see how he can actually be talking about himself in reference to masturbation. You can see how how the lyrics can be interpreted to be about the listener themselves, when obviously the literal interpretation would be about someone else, would it not? Then obviously you can see how we are all subject to criticism in our mode of morals. Judge not lest ye be judged or w/e.

    This song also discusses karma. Karma in the Buddhist sense literally means action. There is no God judging whether or not what you do is 'right' or 'wrong', what you do will have a reaction and that reaction will eventually ripple on and on until it comes back to you. It's interesting how both of the interpretations I have listed discuss killing life. Life in the form of sperm isn't going to achieve great things compared to human life. We think human life is unique because we have the ability to help other people, to act with compassion, we are not drawn by instinct only. So you can see how there is less of a moral implication of wasting sperm, but does it make it any less right or wrong? That's for you to decide.

    This also leads to the point of what would happen if you were to kill someone that would eventually go and kill others. Very controversial. I think what we should do is not kill people who are a danger to others but help them. This is my moral obligation, and my version of 'helping' people may be dogmatic. Some people don't want help do they? Or what is help? We are all unique are we not? Or are we all more similar than we'd like to believe?

    You know, this song is very charming in the way it's expression is so truthful to it's lyrics. Maynard sounds a bit like a little kid. If someone were to wrong you would you immediately wrong them back?
    ToolFanaticon July 30, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about how I like to jerk off my neighbor's cat...
    EnragedGooberon June 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts pretty obvious as to the meaning of this great song: Being pissed off at someone so much that you want to beat the shit out of them. Knowing Maynard, theres probably a deeper meaning to this that i don't know about. Great song nonetheless.
    DownedSystemon February 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentin my opinion:
    It seems like he's talking 'bout the government, they tell what's right and wrong, they punish you when you're doing something against the law while they're often corrupt themselves. (makes me think of "Know your enemy" by RATM where Maynard is singing some lines, it's about the same period)
    The GOD might link to "God bless America", when there isn't allways a lot of reason why God would bless a total asshole

    But still then, it could mean anything else
    insurgentoon April 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is a wonderful meaning of this and a few other tool songs in an interview with maynard, here's the link:

    Nyfeon April 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can feel Maynard's rage in the entire album, and in undertow as well. I think it comes out most in this song, "Shoot you in your fucking head."
    joshthackon April 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe's talking about someone who never gets what is coming to them. Saying somehow the rules don't apply to you. Speaking of karma and whatnot. Not very difficult. Maybe you should write your own songs so you can stop trying to feel intelligent by decoding somebody elses.
    adamizeron May 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about the illusion of free will. I believe we do not have free will to choose what we do, our bodies (including our brain) must follow the laws of physics and so our actions are a consequence of how the universe is. And therefore there is no right and wrong. "it's only wrong if you get caught" but the singer hates this line of thinking because of it's anarchic consequences. So he feels it would be poetic justice for the consequences of his thinking to be him shooting the advocate of this philosophy in the head.
    MrBungleon May 14, 2002   Link

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