January 4, 2007

T00l's "Prison Sex"

It took so long to remember just what happened.
I was so young and vestal then,
you know it hurt me.
But I'm breathing so I guess I'm still alive
even if signs seem to tell me otherwise.
I've got my hands bound,
my head down, my eyes closed,
and my throat wide open.

Do unto others what has been done to you x2

I'm treading water,
I need to sleep a while.
My lamb and martyr, you look so precious.
Won't you come a bit closer,
close enough so I can smell you.
I need you to feel this,
I can't stand to burn too long.
Released in this sodomy.
For one sweet moment I am whole.

Do unto you now what has been done to me x2

You're breathing so I guess you're still alive
even if signs seem to tell me otherwise.
Won't you come just a bit closer,
close enough so I can smell you.
I need you to feel this.
I need this to make me whole.
There's release in this sodomy.
For I am your witness that
blood and flesh can be trusted.
And only this one holy medium brings me piece of mind.

Got your hands bound, your head down,
your eyes closed.
You look so precious now.

I have found some kind of temporary sanity in this
shit, blood and cum on my hands.

I've come round full circle.
My lamb and martyr, this will be over soon.
You look so precious.

Just let it sink in. Pretty ugly song, huh? From what I've read around the 'net, most folks seem to think Maynard James Keenan (henceforth to be referred to as 'MJK') wrote it about his own experiences with sexual child abuse. That may or may not be (MJK's apparently never really said that), but I believe that to take the lyrics as being literally about child abuse is a mistake. MJK seems to be a pretty deep guy. There's probably way more to this song than I'm getting but, personally, I think it's a really fascinating psychological portrayal of somebody who's pretty f'd up.

On the surface of it, yeah, it's about a guy who's been abused and grew up to be an abuser. But if you look beyond the act described, what MJK's really presenting here is what's going on in the guy's mind. This dude knows that what he's doing is disgustingly heinous, he loathes himself for it, yet at the same time he's compelled to do it. He needs the release that comes from this warped act. He finds a bizarre sense of peace in debasing another child/himself/his abuser in this way. The "prison" of the song title is his own mind, thanks to this perpetual cycle from which he can't break free.

What's really freaky and makes the song so much more powerful is that T00L set these awfully disturbing lyrics to one of the most toe-tapping, finger-snapping, downright perky tunes you could ever want to hear. Pure genius.

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