Tool – “Ænima” Meaning – Title & Song Lyrics Explained

Tool is an American band known for their songs. They became popular for producing songs with idiomatic meanings. In reality, the band accidentally broke in the alt-rock mainstream.

They won platinum, performed at the main stage of Lollapalooza. Also, their music videos for the songs “Prison Sex” and “Sober” became a regular play on MTV. It’s all because of Adam Jones and his expertise in film special effects.

The band took a more significant leap. It happened by the time they released the song titled Ænima.

The Truth Behind the Song “Ænima”

Ænima is all about cleaning one’s inner-self. The song says one should start getting rid of egotism and being superficial. The lead singer of Tool, Maynard, tries to say that society or people became fake. Through this song, he says it’s time for washing away all of those fakes.

The “learn to swim” line means one should strive to become better. Maynard prays for the tidal waves. It means hoping for the change. Seemingly, the song is also trying to point where the heart of corruption is.

In this song, Tool mentions the city of Los Angeles. However, the song remains subtle to that matter.

The song “Ænima” expresses the urge to people to start changing themselves for the better. It seems to encourage the nation to cleanse and people to do the same for their minds.

The album and the song got a strong emotional tie to Bill Hicks. They both referred to the sketch titled “Arizona Bay” created by Hick. Bill Hicks is also criticizing LA. Bill said he dedicates his art to Maynard as they got ideas that pushed them to create and pursue to the album “Ænima.”

Title Interpretation

The title of this song consists of two words. The album’s title gave a meaning about the song’s meaning. It pertains to the Latin word “Anima,” which means “soul,” and the other word, “enema,” which is a medical term.

Enema refers to the process that involves flushing out the waste from a person’s intestines. It begins with injecting the saline solution in the patient’s anus.

Ænima aims for spiritual awakening and soulful inspiration. It also retains the band’s sense of humor.

The word “Anima” pertains to 2 definitions. The 1st one is taking the inner look at a person’s soul. The 2nd meaning is a psychological thought that says every person has both the male and female sides.

In a man, his male side suppresses the female side as he grows up. The same is the case for a woman. Her female side will suppress the male side while she grows.

Therefore, the word Ænima means:

One should cleanse his or her soul.

Encourages a person to beat his or her alter-gender.

The 1st meaning of Ænima pertains to soul cleansing. It simply pertains to the City of Los Angeles that falls into the sea. It sinks to the water along with the problems associated with this city.

For the 2nd meaning of Ænima, Maynard might be talking about the members of the LGBT.

Lyrics Interpretation

The song “Ænima” goes like this:

“Some say the end is near.

Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon.

I certainly hope we will.

I sure could use a vacation from this

Bull-shit three-ring circus sideshow of…

Freaks here in this

Hopeless fucking

hole we call LA.

The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.

Any fucking time.

Any fucking day.

Learn to swim, see you down in Arizona Bay. “

The line “Bull-shit three-ring circus sideshow of freaks” refers to junkies, gangsters, celebrities, and marketers. Perhaps, it may also be pertaining to people of the LGBT community.

When Maynard says, “flush it all away,” he points to the term “Enema.” This is where some sort of fun enters the song.

The line “Learn to swim, see you down in Arizona Bay” can be puzzling. It can be so difficult to figure out what Maynard means in that line. If you’re from Arizona, you can say and prove that Arizona does not have a bay. In short, Arizona Bay does not exist.

Maybe, this line of the song will come true only when the fault lines move and crack. If that happens, a part of the earth will crash and fall into the sea. It, therefore, creates a bay in Arizona.

Verse 2

Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones.

Fuck all these gun-toting hip-gangster wannabes.

Fuck retro anything, fuck your tattoos.

Fuck all you junkies and fuck your short memory.

Fuck smiley glad-hands with hidden agendas.

Fuck these dysfunctional, insecure actresses.

Verse 2 of the song shows what Maynard wants to happen if the LA sinks down. He mentioned “L Ron Hubbard,” the Religion Scientology’s creator. Maynard hates him, which is obvious in the song. He wants him and all his followers to sink down along the LA’s downfall.

Maynard also talked about everybody else; he likes to see death as the city goes down the water. They are junkies, actresses, and marketers.

If you read the entire lyrics of Ænima over and over again, you will likely get what the song means. You will get what each line is trying to say.

Verse 3

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your Prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car

For this verse, Maynard is trying to say people should start worrying about what will happen to them if Los Angeles falls to the sea. All those people who do not turn their backs from their wicked ways are sure to suffer when the city goes down the ocean.

Verse 4

Some say a comet will fall from the sky
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
Followed by fault lines that cannot sit still
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits

One great big festering neon distraction,
I’ve a suggestion to keep you all occupied

Learn to swim, learn to swim, learn to swim

Mom’s gonna fix it all soon
Mom’s comin’ ’round to put it back the way it ought to be

Learn to swim

This particular verse might be talking about the prophecy in the bible – the second coming of Christ. And, if you are familiar with the theory about Planet X or Nibiru, you’ll know what it means.

It will be a big worldwide event that no one will ever wish to happen. When this mysterious planet touches the Earth, the Big One occurs, the Earth will crash. Massive earthquakes will happen all over the world. This will bring an end to everything. The sky will be full of comets. Giant tidal waves are there.

From that, what Maynard is trying to say about the city of Los Angeles is more likely to happen. Everything unclean will fall into the ocean and never get a chance to come back.

“Learn to swim” means be ready for this unexpected event. Everyone still has the chance to “flush away the impurities” in your heart, mind, and soul.

If this song pertains to the prophecy, then Jesus will be there to rescue the good and judge the wicked. He will fix the Earth, removing all the wicked and unclean.

Maynard does not want to scare you. Instead, he wants you to understand what he tries to say.

Verse 5

‘Cause I’m praying for rain
And I’m praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way
I wanna watch it all go down
Mom please flush it all away
I wanna see it go right in and down
I wanna watch it go right in
Watch you flush it all away

Time to bring it down again
Don’t just call me pessimist
Try and read between the lines

I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t
Welcome any change, my friend

I wanna see it come down
Burn it down
Suck it down
Flush it down

All these things are part of the prophecy. No one will ever have the chance to escape. He will judge every person and accept only those who know and accept Him. Everyone else will fall into the water, flushing away all these to cleanse and bring the Earth back to how it used to be.

Again, this song is not trying to scare you. Instead, it serves as advice or even a warning.


If you read between the lines, you will understand the real message at the back of the lyrics of Ænima. Everybody still has enough time to get everything back to normal. Everyone still has the chance to change themselves for the better.

If everyone changes and returns to His loving arms, it will help save LA. Everyone should realize this and their role today. Get started in changing yourself if you do not want to fall into the ocean.

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