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Tool - Sober - Lyrics Meaning

This song is the second single from the band's first full length album, Undertow, which was released in 2003. The song is about addiction and drug abuse. The first verse describes the creeping, uncomfortable urges that follow an addict through his daily life. The drugs make you lie and view the world through paranoid eyes. The lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, refers to the addiction as a "stalking butler" to indicate that the drugs are always a constant presence just waiting for you to reach out for their help to maintain your high or relieve some pain.

Keenan whines that he wants to be under the influence, and almost in the same breath, that he wants to start over. This is the back-and-forth internal struggle he has with the elation of being high and the deep regret over his ruined life from the addiction. He goes on to give the drug a voice, calling itself "a worthless liar" and an "imbecile". The drug will get under your skin and "find the center in you", then build you up just enough to bring you down. The song ends with Keenan repeating the lyric, "I want what I want". He is referring to when the addiction takes hold and no amount of reasoning or rational thinking can get between an addict and their drug of choice.

Meanings of other songs by Tool:
Forty Six & 2