Sober Lyrics - Tool

Review The Song (92)



There's a shadow just behind me,
shrouding every step I take,
making every promise empty,
pointing every finger at me.
Waiting like a stalking butler
who upon the finger rests.
Murder now the path is must we
just because the son has come.

Jesus, won't you fucking whistle
something but the past and done? (x2)

Why can't we not be sober?
I just want to start this over.
Why can't we drink forever?
I just want to start things over.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
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I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
I will work to elevate you
just enough to bring you down.

Mother Mary won't you whisper
something but the past and done. (x2)

Why can't we not be sober?
I Just want to start this over.
Why can't we sleep forever?
I Just want to start things over.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave.

Trust me. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me. Trust Me.

Why can't we not be sober?
I Just want to start things over.
Why can't we sleep forever?
I Just want to start this over.

I want what I want.
I want what I want.
I want what I want.
I want what I want.






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Thanks to Meagan for submitting Sober Lyrics.
Could happen to you | Reviewer: Calos | 9/8/14

I do not think there is an univoque interpretation for a real work of art. What art really does is to point toward the immensity of reallity. But giving a concrete interpretation, closed in itself (as the one about alcoholism) misses the whole point. I suggest to read the first chapter of Chesterton's Orthodoxy, or to look to a whatever piece of art that is worth.
I find this song as an authentic work of art. It suggests with great images what we find, sometimes in life. On the one hand, I myself have been called somehow as a worthless liar, and my students warned not to listen to me, because "I would only complicate them" and if they would trust in me, they would fall as well. This is what happens in every place where a brainwash is going on.
On the otherhand, I have felt the temptation "There is a shadow just behind me, shrawding every step I take", and because of the difficulties of life "making every promisse empty".
What must I do? Trust him? It seems that there is this shadow, and some times in life, It seems very real. One must realize it, to get over it.

alcoholism | Reviewer: Moose | 9/4/13

This is a song about alcoholism, plain and simple. The song is from the point of view of the alcoholic. The first verse is like a confession that substance is a force over the person that prevents the person from being accountable or trustworthy, as if trying to convince a friend or loved one that his misdeeds and unfulfilled promises are not intended to hurt. Then, there is an acknowledgement that he is ultimately going on a path to die and he knows it.

The lyrics proceed as a conversation, but just stating the alcoholic's part of the conversation. This is reminiscent of my own dealings with alcoholics. They plead for sympathy when they screw everyone over and want you to believe they have no control. When you try to hold them accountable for a particular misdeed, they get angry that you keep talking about the past and won't accept their apology and promise to change - "Jesus, won't you fucking whistle something but the past and gone." I.e., "get off my back, man."

Now that the subject is pissed because his plea for mercy is not good enough to get whomever he is talking to off his back, the chorus sets out the true desire of the alcoholic: Why can we drink forever. This used to be fun. Why can't I just start over at the beginning when I used to be able to drink whatever I wanted without all these bad consequences.

The song then continues to alternate with another verse of confession where the subject is telling the friend or loved one that substance has reduced him to a worthless liar who will ruin your life as well as his own if you let him. He will chew you up if you continue to be involved with him.

But then, just as you pull away, the alcoholic gets scared and mood shifts - - "trust me, trust me, trust me." I.e., "don't leave me, I'll change." This is what alcoholics do. They will alternatively acknowledge the obvious, but then plead for you not to cut them off.

Ultimately, the subject is left mumbling like a child: "I want what I want, I want what I want." It is as if to say, "I know there is no justifying my selfish ways, so all I can say is "I want what I want."

A Falling Angel | Reviewer: Bible Thumper | 4/6/13

This is a demon possessed sprit brilliantly communicating to his falling angels. It is upset and tempting Jesus (THE SON) to whistle as well as with Mary. The spirit wants to set his throne above the MOST HIGH and start all over. The power is only temporary and the arrogance of having me is NO as "I won't TRUST YOU"....

About Guilt | Reviewer: Too-Wise-2-listen-literally | 7/5/12

Songs like this just grab your attention; it's just the style of that bold lyrical spell it puts you under. People are always looking for signs, adopting superstitions, engaging in prayer, or looking for some sort of pattern in the world around to predict future events. Then you hear a song like this and the music just dictates how it is and how it's going to be; and in that short-lived escaped you no longer burden yourself with uncertainty, with that need for control.
Alternatively you find the contrast between a man who lacks control, battling the control that his addiction has over him. But almost as a defense, a sign that a battle brews within, he presents himself as the one in control, the one who is overpowering.
The greatest battle of all is the shame and guilt that he wants nothing more than to overpower or just let go of; the highs of yesterday lose their innocence as a conscience mind reminds you that tomorrow isn't going to be any brighter.
Just another guilty pleasure that chews away at an innocent view of the future through false-hope; and the only thing an addict has to blame for that hope which then becomes false is his own conscience and his own guilt. You can lie to others and lie to yourself, but you can't lie to your conscience; almost like a second being that an addict wishes to escape from or reject as the problem. Because guilt is all you'll find when pleasure comes without a brighter future, with a sober tomorrow, and hope that calms an urge rather than extends itself to family and friends.
Sober is the right hope to find, but a sober addict struggles to accept that sober is the path that leads to all things good. But that path belittles your very being, disregards your emotional needs, and then asks of you to have the will-power to change your lifestyle and habits with enough belittle meant to make an obese person eat themselves to death out of self-pity.
This song is that human urge to empower that struggle, to be demanding and in control; gain will-power and hope by giving power to that struggle as the center of the universe. Egocentric in saying "I want what I want", "why can't we all be sober", like the world deals with the same struggle and feels as he feels. Then speaks of Jesus in his lyrics like spirituality, history, the lord and savior revolve around his present struggle.
Just that exaggerated self-view that is so strong in this song that you can just feel it take control and make all else meaningless; so strong that it overpowers the world around as if the song reveals more truth in our fate than clues or patterns from our surroundings.
Consciously powerful and strong by root of something unconscious; something so unacceptable that you can't even become consciously aware of it. If you knew then you still wouldn't know. That defense mechanism that can't be aware of the root of the problem but can only fight a fear; a fear hidden behind awareness and consciously validated through obsessive justification to aviod truth that can't be accepted as true.

I agree with anonymous | Reviewer: rightin2 | 4/20/12

My interpretation is also about the dangers of blind faith..or being "sober" as in sedated...sedated by religious dogma...and wanting to return back home to our source--start things over and return to unity, no more separation--to relieve ourselves from this manipulated and harsh "reality".

Addiction | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/13/12

This song was written about a friend who could only express himself creatively when under the influence of substance. A very powerful song none the less, it could be applied to any form of addiction, or any form of self abuse in a negative cycle. The greatest part of this song is near the end, with the line "I will find a center in you; I will chew it up and leave" followed later with "I want, what I want". These are the most powerful lyrics in my opinion, because of you have ever know an addict, most time they will realize their effects on other people, but their selfishness and addiction prevents them from doing anything about it. Reminds me of a long lost friend who took the path of substance abuse.

Maybe? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/21/11

Wow, lots of interesting comments on this. I think it is about a tortured soul abandoned to his own sins/addictions in hell. How he wishes he could not be sober or dream forever or wishes he could just start things over. Also he begs the saints to undo his fate. In the end he still wants what he wants and so he remains

Self-Reflection; Acceptence | Reviewer: 21k5 | 12/12/11

My belief through my own experiences, which is what Maynard seems to want us to do. It is a self-reflection of his own addictions to life. He is at conflict with himself, his inner person is not in harmony with his outter self. The mask he uses to shield himself from the world, comes in direct conflict with his own beliefs. His failure was his inability to blame himself for his problems. Losing everything is the first step towards freeing yourself, but somewhere along the line someone not as visibly corrupt as he, fell in love with him. He does not understand why someone who he view as so perfect would ever love him. This person being jesus, (himself), God (his father) or Mary (mother). He has trouble accepting himself for who he is, so he doesn't the light at the end of the tunnel, he is hiding something, and therefore drinking/using to forget. Thru this intoxicated state of mind he finds himself yet when he sobers up he forgets. The negative side affect of mind altering substances. The song reflects this conflict. Or it is quite possible he had a really bad hangover one day... and his girlfriend broke up with him. Either it is a very inspiring deep song, and amazing live. I highly encourage anyone dealing with problems of addiction to goto a tool show, it will change your life.

my opinion | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/30/11

In my opinion I think he like drinking and doing whatever mind altering drugs he prefers because they made life more easier or bearable for him at the time he wrote the song. I don't think he really wants to quit because he probably doesn't like being sober and prefers the feeling of alchohol or whatever else he does. But at the same time he realizes its not right to feel that way but because of the way the world has become and with all the messed up people and things in this world make hard to live sober. It sound kind of like he wants jesus to come and return the world to the way it was before it got as bad as it is. He sings about this sort of thing in aenima. I think when he says that he's a worthless liar and an imbecile he might be reffering to himself when he under the influence, but I don't don't really know. He's the only one who knows for sure

Make the World Sober | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/12/11

maybe this has been said already and all songs are subject to the listeners interpretation but for me i take a different look at this song

I've been listening to tool and this song since the early 90's and i love the band and their music and lyrics every song they put out has so much hidden meaning and so much thought provoking conversations, not to mention the music is what i like to call "mood music" it can lift you up, it can bring you crashing down, it moves you and those that really listen and love tool and understand their music, it changes them.

So for me this song always was about Jesus, and his second coming. If you think about it, saying start over again, and Jesus blow your whistle, i think that its talking about the world has gotten so far gone, so messed up, and so crazy that if Jesus were to be resurrected like it says one day he will come back, and the sinners go to hell etc (again if you believe in all that, to each their own) that it will start everything over again.

being sober in this sense is to be normal or without sin, going back to the world the way it used to be, without lies and murder and deceit. I also think it says that its talking about Jesus, in a 3rd person sense, that he is a worthless liar, and if you trust in him you fall as well, or it could be the devil (but i think its Jesus) and so its contradicting what Christians believe in, and saying that trust in Jesus, trust in him to make it all start over again, to cleanse the world and be sober again. To get rid of humanity's addiction to sin and it says he will find a center in you work to elevate you only to bring you down, i think this means that if you are one of those who believe in Jesus and worship him and who believe he will keep you safe and bring you up in your life, its saying that he will do that only to bring you back down or let you down in the end, that our faith is simply a game to him, and that if Jesus ever came back, we could sleep forever, meaning he would wash away all the sinners, and be the world would be sober again.

Again to each their own on these lyrics but from the start i always thought this was about the world being sober, and not a drug thing, but that is my opinion.


Settle down | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/27/11

Just because tool is a big famous band doesnt mean their songs are complicated, deep & meaningful. Songs can be about simple things. Maybe Maynard had a mate who was getting drunk all the time & was getting annoying

Alcoholism | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/24/11

the Song could be about whatever the author wants it to be. As a recovering person, this song seems written by a person who has personal knowledge of Alcoholism. It is a perfect description of an Alcoholic thought process. In the context of someone still drinking and perhaps trying to get recovery. It also has a fantastic base line and drum rhythm.

Personal take | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/23/11

I actually dont believe that songs have a specific meaning. I believe that lyrics can be interpreted in many different ways, thus there is no single correct answer to the question "what is this song about?". I personally see the song as (anti-)religious, because I am anti-religious, but if someone else were to see it as a song about drug abuse, who am I to question their opinion?

Look closely | Reviewer: forsakenbacon | 10/20/11

but maynard says "Why can't we not be sober". can't and not a double negative. put in another way "Why are we sober". Technically he is not asking why can we be sober because of that good old not. Not basically reverses the meaning. Maybe it has some super crazy meaning or maybe he just means you only have one life why not live it up every now and again. I'm sure a man with a possible alcohol problem as what seemed depicted in the video, maybe maynard im not sure who the songs about, would not own his own wine vinyard. thats kinda like pouring gas on a fire and then falling in the fire and dieing... cause i mean its a wine vinyard... he could drink himself to death. Anyways im pretty sure Maynard has it under control, and if not i guess he's just living it up. I think his line "Why can't we dream forever?" could also reference the use of some type of drug.

Maybe, maybe not. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/10/11

This song seems to me to be about nothing other than substance abuse and/or addiction. Maybe others don't see it that way because they have never personally been there but, and trust me on this, I have and this song describes it perfectly.


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