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Offlineplexus
holding thelight of athousand candles

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1,290
Loc: texas
Last seen: 6 years, 26 days
A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo
    #1915581 - 09/14/03 03:52 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo and the never-ending snake.....
a long read for all tool fans by me
i decided to post this becuase some one said that H is 'undecipherable'

to begin? a few things to point out...
-----------------------------------------------------------------
on the 12/09/96 show He gave H. out to his son, Devo, and said it was about choices.

on the 08/10/97 show, Maynard dedicated H. to his son for his second birthday

in the ?Strobe? December, 1996 in an interview with Maynard:
Who or what is "H."? (Keenan begins to get really annoyed with this
line of questioning.)
My son's name is Devo H. That's all I'll say.?

During the 1997 Lollapooloza tour Maynard spoke something generally like this " This next song is about having children, do any of you have kids? It is amazing how much they change your life isn't it?"

and

another interview said that ?The original name of the song was going to be Half empty but Tool wanted people to form their own view and opinion. So they decided to name the song H. which can stand for Half Empty or Half Full. (Pessimistic or Optimistic) However you choose to look at it.?

-----------------------------------------------------------------

now? I do believe its most obviously about Maynard?s son, Devo H. Keenan. And I do believe it deals very much with the decisions of what to do about his son and whether to be a part of his life or not. He?s looking at the two sides of what his decision could be? hence Half empty and Half full? in my mind the Snake represents the decision that he currently would consider as the wrong thing to do, and that?s why the original title would?ve been Half Empty and not Half Full, because the song focuses on the snake?s voice of reason and overcoming it.

I think that the song also obviously has elements of the fabled ?lachrymology? philosophy, which tool supposedly abides by (the philosophy of using crying as therapeutic release). And whether the philosophy and its origin is real or not is beyond the point? if this philosophy is not real, then I believe that it is part of the band?s (or a member or the band?s) personal philosophy? or at leat that the idea is largely present in this song

One thing that has recently entered into my mind about this song is the figure of the ourobouros, the never ending snake, which is displayed on the song?s video projection when played live.
(If you haven?t seen this live or haven?t even seen the image I?m talking about, I uploaded animations of the live screens that I made from a live video? just look at the links)


63k


326K

It is the image of the snake, in a ring, eating its own tail? a never-ending cycle. it is a variant of the symbol for Mercury - the duplex god. Its symbolic of self-fecundation, or the primitive idea of a self-sufficient Nature - a Nature, that is which, ? la Nietzsche, continually returns, within a cyclic pattern, to its own beginning. Appearing on a page in Kleopatra's book of the 10th century CE. In the space bounded by the snake holding its tail in its mouth was inscribed, "One is the All, and by it, the All, and in it, the All, and if it does not contain the All, then it is Nothing." The image appears also in the Codex Marciannus [Mark's reference is to alchemical procedures such as distillation, condensation, 'sublimation' and transformation.]


In some versions of the Ouroboros, the body is half light and half dark, alluding in this way to the successive counterbalancing of opposing principals as illustrated in the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol for instance. There is a Venetian manuscript on alchemy, which depicts the Ouroboros with its body half-black (symbolizing earth and night) and half-white (denoting heaven and light).

In my mind the symbol represents the two choices that the song talks about? the light side and the dark side? the positive choice and the negative choice? Half full and Half empty. And like the cycles of the ourobouros? once he chooses the one decision? he is tempted again and he returns back to the beginning of the cycle.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

What's coming through is alive.
The child is literally coming into the world, coming through the womb. it is the realization.. its like he?s saying to himself ?this is really a person I created. This is really alive?

What's holding up is a mirror.
The child maybe physically looks like Maynard.

But what's singing songs is a snake
What?s singing songs is obviously Maynard? and this could possibly represent Maynard in the Opiate/Undertow era? noticeably more aggressive in nature and more fueled by anger, maybe a reflection on his self and his life thus far.

Looking to turn my piss to wine.
This line could mean that the snake (Maynard) is looking to turn his life around. Dedicate his life to his child. Or if could mean that he?s looking to make something positive out of his actions, maybe, take responsibility

They're both totally void of hate,
the ?both? in this line refers to the two decisions he could make? the decision to leave his child to the care of the mother and not look back, or the decision to take him into his life. Neither decision has to do with any fact that he hates him or anything about him. He?s saying that either decision he makes, he will be void of hate towards him.

But killing me just the same.
The decision is killing him. Or? even though a decision to leave the child is void of hate, thinking about doing it is killing him.


The snake behind me hisses
He?s starting to leave the idea of leaving the child. But the snake (the personified argument for the decision) is still reminding him...of?

What my damage could have been.
is still reminding him...of?all the negative aspects of the ?positive? decision, which could take a toll on him. (it is in past tense because by the time he wrote the lyrics, he already made the decision)

My blood before me begs me
Seeing his child there in front of him makes him?

Open up my heart again.
open up his heart. Leaving the idea of leaving the child behind further away.

And I feel this coming over like a storm again. Considerately.
and all the emotions of what?s going on in his life is swelling up? swelling up like a storm? but the music swells up emotionally but fades away from what would be the chorus, in my mind, representing holding the feelings back? trying not to cry.

Venomous voice, tempts me,
the decision is still there. Tempting him with the thoughts of all the negative aspects of the ?half full? decision and of all the good things that could come to him if he takes the ?half empty? decision, which is what the snake is arguing for.

Drains me, bleeds me,
all this thought and all this emotion drains him, mentally, emotionally, and maybe physically

Leaves me cracked and empty.
cracked can mean broken here? the imagery is of how ground cracks and buckles under heat while drained of water, as he is drained by the snake? but cracked can also mean a mental or physical breakdown.

Drags me down like some sweet gravity.
the voice is still tempting, reminding him of the situation. Bringing him back down to reality? like some sweet gravity bringing him back down to earth.


The snake behind me hisses
see above
What my damage could have been.
see above
My blood before me begs me
see above
Open up my heart again.
see above

And I feel this coming over like a storm again.
see above

I am too connected to you to
Here the music swells up and is overfilled, pouring with emotion, in my mind, signifying an out burst of emotionally tension? the act of crying? the line says that he is too connected to his child?

Slip away, to fade away.
?to just slip away and fade away from his child?s life and from his responsibilities.

Days away I still feel you
this line is to be taken somewhat laterally, meaning when he?s literally days away, across the country or across the world, touring, he still feels his connection to his son?

Touching me, changing me,
touching him, and ?changing him, possibly, from his old ways of the anger driven self seen in the opiate/undertow era.

And considerately killing me.
like the line sung during the bridge, this could just mean its killing him, emotionally, or possibly mean it is killing his old self? changing him to see a new light
Without the skin,
being exposed?

Beneath the storm,
?under all the swells of emotion?

Under these tears
?from all the tears that were shed?

The walls came down.
The emotional walls he built throughout his years came down

And as the snake is drowned and
as the voice of argument for leaving his son is completely lost. Drowned under the tears.

As I look in his eyes,
as he looks in to his son?s eyes

My fear begins to fade
his fear about what?s going to happen and what might happen fades away

Recalling all of those times.
and he thinks about all the times and all the experiences he has had that could have
touched him, changed him in the way that this one has

I could have cried then.
all those times he could?ve changed the way he has been he could?ve cried

I should have cried then.
and all those times he held back his real emotions and the swells. A product of pressures of society

And as the walls come down and
As these emotional walls come down

As I look in your eyes
And he looks into his sons eyes

My fear begins to fade
his fears fade away

Recalling all of the times
remembering the times that

I have died
he had these feelings. That considerably kills him

and will die.
and thinks about all the experiences that he will have like this

It's all right.
but right now it doesn?t matter at all

I don't mind.
he no longer has fear of these things, and at the moment to him the only thing that matters to him is his son


I am too connected to you to
the dramatic
Slip away, to fade away.
and emotional
Days away I still feel you
conclusion
Touching me, changing me,
of the song
And considerately killing me.
THE END




--------------------
that there, thats not me. :noway:
i go where i please. :yesnod:
im not here.:shake:
this isnt happening.:nonono:


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OfflineDemiurge
creator ofworlds

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 693
Loc: Florida
Last seen: 5 years, 8 months
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1919852 - 09/15/03 11:36 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I always thought it was about heroin. Actually, I still think it is about heroin. Maynard has been know to give out a lot of misinfromation to the public. Do you really think he'd admit to the press that the song is about heroin? Of course not, he'd say it's about his son. IMOA


--------------------
Just another animal embeded in a technological coral reef extruded psychic objects...


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Offlineplexus
holding thelight of athousand candles

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1,290
Loc: texas
Last seen: 6 years, 26 days
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: Demiurge]
    #1919934 - 09/16/03 12:00 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

im sure he would...


--------------------
that there, thats not me. :noway:
i go where i please. :yesnod:
im not here.:shake:
this isnt happening.:nonono:


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Offlinedpc2424
headfull

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 126
Loc: inching towards the light
Last seen: 10 years, 3 months
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1919948 - 09/16/03 12:07 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

hm...i think you read far too much into this song.


--------------------
"What is needed today is a fundamental reexperience of the oneness of all living things, a comprehensive reality consciousness that ever more infrequently develops spontaneously, the more the primordial flora and fauna of our mother earth must yield to a dead technological environment."


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InvisibleMerkin
neep.
 User Gallery

Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 27,537
Loc: Ass Flavoured Pie Factory
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: dpc2424]
    #1920796 - 09/16/03 09:04 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

over thinking over analyzing seperates the body from the mind


--------------------
Wheels of cheese wheeels of cheeeeese!!!


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InvisibleMiddlemanM

Registered: 07/12/99
Posts: 7,590
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half De [Re: plexus]
    #1921646 - 09/16/03 03:22 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

plexus said:

another interview said that ?The original name of the song was going to be Half empty but Tool wanted people to form their own view and opinion. So they decided to name the song H. which can stand for Half Empty or Half Full. (Pessimistic or Optimistic) However you choose to look at it.?




that was sort of a joke.

i enjoyed your interpretations, keep digging deeper. 

oh, and don't trust anything TOOL says in an interview w/ the Media. :smirk:


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OfflineAdamist
ℚṲℰϟ✞ЇѺℵ ℛ∃Åʟḯ†У
Male User Gallery

Registered: 11/24/01
Posts: 10,211
Loc: Bloomington, IN
Last seen: 1 year, 9 months
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1923375 - 09/16/03 11:40 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

My interpretation? Fear and Love.

Also, the Ouroboros is more ancient than anyone imagines. I had an experience with it before i even knew what it was. Must have been coincidence, because I was listening to Aenima at the same time (tripping on mushrooms too of course). I've also had an experience on Lateralus, involving both hemispheres of my brain uniting and forming this field of spinning light around my head...

This stuff is more than just music.


--------------------
:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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OfflineMurex
Reality Hacker

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 3,599
Loc: Traped in a shell.
Last seen: 9 years, 2 months
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1923409 - 09/16/03 11:50 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Very interesting Interpratation of the song, I like it. I also like the song a lot- in fact, it's almost at the top of my chart, even thow I don't know what it really means. It's intensely emotional and beautiful, and that's all I know.

:thumbup: 


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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OfflineAdamist
ℚṲℰϟ✞ЇѺℵ ℛ∃Åʟḯ†У
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Registered: 11/24/01
Posts: 10,211
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Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1923479 - 09/17/03 12:12 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Oh I forgot to add... When I went to a Tool show recently I went up to the right side of the stage and looked down on Maynard singing the song H. on his little stage/platform-thing and there was an animation of a serpent swallowing itself around his feet.

I thought that was fucking awesome, because it wasn't even something that the audience could see. They don't put that stuff up to look pretty or to distract the audience from their playing (like some bands)... they put it up because it means something.


--------------------
:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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Offlineplexus
holding thelight of athousand candles

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1,290
Loc: texas
Last seen: 6 years, 26 days
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: Adamist]
    #1923869 - 09/17/03 02:06 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Adamist said:
I thought that was fucking awesome, because it wasn't even something that the audience could see.



what do you mean it wasnt something the audience can see? theres huge projections of it... didnt you see the animation of it that i made?


--------------------
that there, thats not me. :noway:
i go where i please. :yesnod:
im not here.:shake:
this isnt happening.:nonono:


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OfflineAdamist
ℚṲℰϟ✞ЇѺℵ ℛ∃Åʟḯ†У
Male User Gallery

Registered: 11/24/01
Posts: 10,211
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Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: plexus]
    #1926104 - 09/17/03 07:45 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

No, the one I am referring to is a red animation of a serpent swallowing itself on the ground underneath Maynard. You could only see it from above the ground he was standing on. (I was on the very far corner of the stadium looking down)


--------------------
:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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Offlineplexus
holding thelight of athousand candles

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1,290
Loc: texas
Last seen: 6 years, 26 days
Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half Devo [Re: Adamist]
    #1926946 - 09/18/03 12:21 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

yea... i could see all the projections that were on maynards little pad on second concert i went to (toolahawk)... they were also displayed on the ground below justin and adam on the first concert i saw them at... it wasnt projected under maynard cause on that show he had the screen behind him... that was the lateralus tour... theyre the same animations as were on the big screens... so the red serpent swallowing itself was the same animation that i made in my post


--------------------
that there, thats not me. :noway:
i go where i please. :yesnod:
im not here.:shake:
this isnt happening.:nonono:


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OfflineFaaip_De_Oiad
as above, so below
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Re: A line-by-line interpretation of H.: half empty, half De [Re: Merkin]
    #1928656 - 09/18/03 12:27 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Merkaba said:
over thinking over analyzing seperates the body from the mind




haahhahahah excellent.

oh and plexus, I knew you were a Tool-phile, but JEEEEEEZ.


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