Intolerance Lyrics - Tool

Review The Song (13)

I don't wanna' be hostile.
I don't wanna' be dismal.
And I don't wanna' rot in an apathetic existence.
See I wanna' believe you,
And I wanted to trust you,
And I wanna' have faith to put away the dagger.

But you lie, cheat, and steal.(x3)
And yet I tolerate you?

Veil of virtue hung to hide your method
While I smile and laugh and dance and sing your praise and glory.
Shroud of virtue hung to mask your stigma as I smile and laugh and dance
and sing your glory,

while you lie, cheat, and steal.(x3)
How can I tolerate you?

Our guilt, our blame, I've been far too sympathetic.
Our blood, our fault, I've been far too sympathetic.

I am not innocent. (x2)
You are not innocent.
No one is innocent.

You lie, cheat, and steal.(x15)
How can I tolerate you?

I will not tolerate you.
I will go down beside you
I must go down beside you
No one is innocent.

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The accusatory prayer | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/5/13

Maynard is speaking directly to God "if he is there", which Maynard doesn't think so. He begins by giving a justification for himself before the creator which admits fault but tries to excuse it by saying he tries not to or doesn't want to be doing wrong. It is an attempt to justify sin because of a desire to do right.

Then the justification shifts to an accusation towards God because in his desire to do right he is not met by God who fulfills this in him. He is accusing God of not showing up to help him put away the dagger. What he sees instead is a God, who lies, cheats and steals in both what Maynard perceives God as and in those who claim to be of God, which is probably mostly a character assassination of his father but also a witness of every other "supposed" Christian.

So Maynard concludes that since he sees sin in everyone including God, then there is no way he can tolerate any talk about any of it, including from himself.

This is the ultimate death metal song.

Destructive Relationships: Intolerance | Reviewer: LateralusD | 8/23/11

I perceive the meaning of Intolerance to reference the destructiveness of certain relationships, whether they be in relation to work, family, romance or friendship, and the compulsion to stay and maintain them through mechanisms of guilt, masochism, poor self-esteem, martyrdom, etc. Of particular interest to me is wanting to put away the dagger (drop defenses and become unguarded, without fear), and the need to feel optimistic and connected without fear of being broken. The veil of virtue, and reference to singing praises of the abuser indicates to me a need to defend the abuser, to cast them in the best light to yourself and others in order to deny the reality of pain and suffering one endures at their hands, both from yourself and others in order to defend and maintain the fragile illusion of "wholeness" of a healthy relationship. The need to go down beside someone may either indicate a need to suffer alongside (believing it is deserved, a sense of guilt-fuelled responsibility), and that no one is innocent may be a rationalization that you are broken too (guilt, masochism, martyrdom). Tool have an unreal ability to put psychological problems in such a way as to be interpreted endlessly, and as Maynard says, the attribution of meaning are entirely in the hands (or minds) of the listener. We can learn alot from these songs.

:) | Reviewer: pelon | 8/6/11

West Point Academy Motto
Official motto: duty, honor, country.
West Point training: punctual, and law-abiding strictly, integrity and strength.
Students honor criteria:

Not lying, deception, burglary, and must not tolerate such acts of others.
Not to shirk responsibility.
Selfless devotion.

this song is about blindly following

His past | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/6/11

Maynard was born with the name James Herbert Keenan. He was abused by his stepfather who was a priest after his mother had a stroke paralyzingly her for 27 years (10,000 days) when he was 11. His nickname was Jimmy. His son devo's middle name is h. The serpent in h is his stepfather and him getting the "snake" out of him. All that explained, Maynard was and is Wiccan and his father really didn't like that.

Trae | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/26/11

Song is about a person he's had a relationship with.

He wants to be close to the person, group, friend, girlfriend or whatever. He doesn't want too be lonely, alone and without aspirations for love or companionship, but the entity lies cheats and steals so how can he?

"I want to put away the dagger", in other words he wants to embrace the person and lower his defenses, but he's not so nieve as to let himself be wounded.

Usually the mentality of people that habitually lie cheat and steal, especially in relationships is "who are you, you're not innocent, you're not so perfect yourself". I think he just included the habitual liar's response to persecution in the song.

Almost feels like be a response to the character in the Rollin's Band song "Liar".

Religious bashing | Reviewer: Jordan | 5/25/11

I believe this is about how Christians often go against all the teachings in the bible. No one should tolerate junk like that. But in the end, after all these acts, no one is innocent. Soo all are "going down" 'cause in the end, none can be saved.

background about Maynard. | Reviewer: | 4/16/11

Maynard's father was a priest. He struggles with issues with his father and with religion. He is definitely anti-religious or at least Christian and many of his songs are poking fun at the Christian religion and religious folk who refuse to question. Knowing that background, I believe this song, he is talking to God.

Hmm | Reviewer: Jonathan | 2/11/11

I think Maynard is singing to the Devil. The Dagger is a symbol of the Cross, whom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins to save us and reconcile us to God, which is the will of God that the prophet's spoke of in the Old Testament. It's in our nature to search for a higher power, God created us that way and the devil uses that to instill fear and obsession in us with other things, we can develop addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, all destructive and painful to experience short term and long term. Jesus plainly states in the Gospels that Satan came to "Kill, Steal and Destroy." - John 10:10. Jesus came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. I agree with this song except the last part, we don't have to go down beside the devil since he is already standing condemned John 16:11. And God has granted us Salvation through Jesus Christ - Romans 10:13 - "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Doesn't matter what you've done or how you did it, when you ask Jesus to forgive you and to come into your heart you'll begin a 1 on 1 personal journey with God that will last for all Eternity. It's real, tangible and beautiful. He blesses tenfold, loves a hundredfold and grace that has no end. He's there through the pain, blood, sweat and tears, through the joy, peace and sunshine. Through the flood, through the fire and through the storm. God is Faithful and will be with you, guiding you every step of the way.

Honor code | Reviewer: Knower | 12/9/10

This song has to do with Maynard's short time at the USMA Prep School. The Honor Code of "A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do". You can read the meaning pretty easily after knowing that.

WTF people | Reviewer: jeremy | 9/5/10

Maynard singing about religiong? Honestly people get real. Maynard isw Wiccan not cristian and definately does not question his religion. Tool songs mean something different to everyone that listens to them.

Religion | Reviewer: brown | 8/22/10

This song like a good many of tool's songs i believe is about religion. Especially on the album Lateralus, the writer seems to be struggling violently with religion and meaning to life. Perhaps he once sought God and didnt find what he was looking for.. which seems to be the message of this song.. he didnt find anything he could understand or trust in.

Beautiful U S and A | Reviewer: Bill Leary or Dennis hicks | 7/25/10

I think this song could be about a great many things, which is to be expected from Maynard. I really hope I didn't come off as a snob just then. Anyway I think this song is about the US government and army and how Maynard cannot tolerate the U.S military but still does for sone inexplicable reason. The cadet honor code of the military is " A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do" which seems to be a major theme in the song. I think Maynard is talking about the hypocrisy of the U.S military and how he doesn't understand how he can tolerate them even though they lie cheat and steal. And he's right. The U.S military does lie, cheat, and steal and no one should tolerate them.

Jesus | Reviewer: teh lulz | 6/25/10

I don't wanna' be hostile.
I don't wanna' be dismal.
And I don't wanna' rot in an apathetic existence.
See I wanna' believe you,
And I wanted to trust you,
And I wanna' have faith to put away the dagger.

But you lie, cheat, and steal.(x3)
And yet I tolerate you?

this part makes me think especially he means he want's to trust a God or religion because life without anything to believe in is empty - "And I don't wanna' rot in an apathetic existence."

he wanted God to save him, yet somehow God didn't or doesn't pull through for him or live up to his promises - "See I wanna' believe you,
And I wanted to trust you,
And I wanna' have faith to put away the dagger.

But you lie, cheat, and steal.(x3)
And yet I tolerate you?"

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------ 11/24/2014

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