"Descending" as written by and Adam Jones Maynard James Keenan....
Free fall through our midnight
This epilogue of our own fable
Heedless in our slumber
Floating nescient we
Free fall through this boundlessness
This madness
Of our own making

Falling isn't flying
Floating isn't infinite

Come, our end, suddenly
All hail our lethargy
Concede suddenly

To the quickened dissolution
Pray we mitigate the ruin
Calling all to arms and order

Drifting through this boundlessness
This madness of our own making

Sound our dire reveille
Rouse all from our apathy
Lest we
Cease to be

Stir us from our
Wanton slumber
Mitigate our ruin
Call us all to arms and order

Sound the dread alarm
Through our primal body
Sound the reveille
To be or not to be
Rise
Stay the grand finale
Stay the reading of our swan song and epilogue
One drive to stay alive
It's elementary
Muster every fiber
Mobilize
Stay alive

Stir us from our
Wanton slumber
Mitigate our ruin
Call us all to arms and order


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by Passenger146

"Descending" as written by Adam Jones Maynard James Keenan

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Descending song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +4
    My InterpretationDamn this song is good. Alright, so what I hear is a wake-up call. Society and our culture is crumbling. We’re ignorantly slumbering through our end times, our epilogue. Tool is asking us to wake the F up. Stir us from our greedy, wanton slumber. Calling us to arms to wake up and make something of our epilogue. Rousing us from our apathy. Rather than wallowing in this toxic culture of social media and everyone at war with one another over our opinions and beliefs. We must muster every fiber, mobilize, and stay alive in order to stay the reading of our epilogue, because if we continue the way we’ve been, it’s over for us.

    Just my two cents. Very much seems like a more mature Message but similar to the message of Aenima.
    Elidrilon September 02, 2019   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationGives me some 10,000 days vibes... and in a similar way there could be a religious undertone. What you might not realise is, that Maynard often writes as though he is a Christian, despite the fact that he seemingly despises faith.
    This song could easily be about the diminishment of Christian faith in Western culture due to our changing priorities and the 'gods' of our culture, namely comfort.

    Let me walk you through it:

    "Free fall through our midnight
    This epilogue of our own fable
    Heedless in our slumber
    Floating nescient we
    Free fall through this boundlessness"

    The idea of falling through 'our' midnight is about a society that is uncontrollably heading into (and through) darkness. This has been created as we (western society) have created our own story of what is important in life - - in this case slumber/apathy/rest. In essence society pushes us to go and be rich, powerful and then (the ultimate goal) become master of your own leisure... Maynard calls it "Our own Fable" clearly pointing out that the 'story of mankind' that we have made is actually only a fallacy, and perhaps the things we focus on aren't important at all. It is these things that have prevented us from pursuit of God, and made us apathetic to love others.

    "This madness
    Of our own making
    Falling isn't flying
    Floating isn't infinite"

    Again, this pursuit is "maddness", that we (western culture) have created. We like to believe that we are flying because of the great things we have achieved with our hands and minds, but in fact we are actually falling further into darkness as we separate ourselves further from the creator and true meaning of life. In the same way falling gives off a similar feeling to flying, progression from our own advancement (in this case comfort) gives off a similar feeling of success and meaning to humankind. But the one who is falling is only flying until they hit the ground.
    Similarly, to float, it might feel freeing, but you are only just off the ground. You are still limited, still out of control to experience the boundlessness of possibilities and to know the creator in all his magnificence.

    "Come, our end, suddenly
    All hail our lethargy
    Concede suddenly
    To the quickened dissolution"

    In this part of the song Maynard wishes that our end might come quickly, so that we might not drift further into, nor spend more time in darkness. The end is again caused by our lethargy (our god) which we praise as king. It will come as a sudden end only after we realise we have gone too far. The end is when the falling finishes and when we are completely cut off from God, falling into the pit.

    "Pray we mitigate the ruin
    Calling all to arms and order
    Drifting through this boundlessness
    This madness of our own making"

    Maynard prays that God would intercede. He prays that we might have a change of heart, that we might turn or repent from our ways of lethargy and take action. In 2 Timothy 2 Christians are referred to as "soldiers". "Calling to arms and order" refers to calling Christian brothers to once again pick up their arms and create order (1 Cor 14:33), and to seek God.

    The next few sections of the song are a prayer to God to stir us into action. "Call us to arms and action", "Mitigate our Ruin". He isn't asking mankind to do this, he is requesting higher power to step in. In the same way that someone begins a battle with the reveille, he prays that our society might once again be stirred into action at the sound of the horn.

    "Sound our dire reveille
    Rouse all from our apathy
    Lest we
    Cease to be
    Stir us from our
    Wanton slumber "

    Again, the above reinforces some ideas; 'lest we cease to be' refers to the total loss of mankind, perhaps referring to another flood when people walked so much in darkness that they were wiped off. "Wanton" a sense of deliberacy in this action, as though an active choice to reject the creator and pursue the earthly things sets them against God.

    "Mitigate our ruin
    Call us all to arms and order
    Sound the dread alarm
    Through our primal body
    Sound the reveille
    To be or not to be
    Rise"

    "Our" primal body indicating how he believes we have separated ourself from our creator as we take on a more evolutionist understanding or life.

    "Stay the grand finale
    Stay the reading of our swan song and epilogue"

    Manyard requests to God that he keeps the end from coming (stay). The grand finale, swan song and epilogue referring to the end, when Christ will return and deal with those who have turned from him. In this case Maynard is concerned that because of apathy many have turned, and if Christ was to return now, they would not be ready.

    "One drive to stay alive
    It's elementary
    Muster every fiber
    Mobilize
    Stay alive
    Stir us from our
    Wanton slumber
    Mitigate our ruin
    Call us all to arms and order"

    His final marks refer to his one reason (or drive) he has to stay alive and thats to see people become 'mobilised'; to see them wake from their slumber and once again pursue higher things. He says it is "elementary" or a foundation to life, and to "stay alive" we need to fix what we have done...

    Pick up your arms and come to order... "Take up your cross and follow Me" Luke 9:23
    rhino10194on September 04, 2019   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song, like a good portion of the record deals with our desperate need to Rise and Awaken from our spiraling, unconscious descent into extinction. Maynard is using this song as a platform to sound the dread alarm. I think Maynard may realize that Fear Inoculum (the album) could be TOOL's final reveille considering the accelerating dissolution of our species. Someone said there are religous undertones to the lyrics in a previous comment and it is true that this song a Psalm of our times meant to pierce our slumber calling us to 'Arms and Order.
    j.d.105404on September 06, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the above - amazing song.

    I really have to wonder if they're breaking the fourth wall a bit with these lyrics and describing how difficult it was to overcome all of their hardships and make this new record.

    Sure hope this record isn't actually their swan song though.
    fattyspecialon September 02, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIncredible—it’s hard not to just hit repeat all day. I just get relationship ending vibes and not obvious spiritual overtones like Pneuma, but who knows? I think I’d even like this one better if it was totally instrumental. Fierce.
    jroberts71on September 05, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's funny I always heard 'One drive to stay alive' as 'One tribe, to stay alive.'

    And 'Mobilize Stay alive' as 'Modernize, Stay alive.'

    As if it was a message to people to form 'one tribe', to become a unified species instead of warring tribes, and to 'modernize' in order to stay alive. Those that refuse to adapt and stay stagnant in a traditional mode are doomed to go extinct.

    The lyrics prior support this theme I outlined though, that until now we have sleepwalked toward disaster in our apathy and our refusal to accept change.
    Oswoldon September 14, 2019   Link
  • -3
    My OpinionThis song is about the existence of a people... TO BE OR NOT TO BE, STAY ALIVE.

    There is only one group under threat of destruction, that is WHITE PEOPLE.

    This song is about WHITE GENOCIDE.

    The only part Keenan has wrong is that "it's our own making", no it isn't... whites were FORCIBLY integrated, FORCIBLY flooded with immigrants, FORCIBLY indoctrinated and lied to the entire time.... whites would have NEVER voted to end themselves... and even today despite the massive brainwashing, MOST whites would vote not to end themselves.

    Keenan uses words like lethargy, apathy, slumber to describe the self hating whites who need to be woke up
    ken1171335on September 04, 2019   Link

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