Lateralus (9:24)

Cover of Lateralus

From Lateralus and 31 other releases

Lateralus” is the title track of the 2001 album of the same name by the American band Tool’.

-Mathematical significance-
Counting between pauses, the syllables in Maynard James Keenan’s vocals during the verses form the first few Fibonacci numbers, ascending and descending:
(1) Black,
(1) then,
(2) white are,
(3) all I see,
(5) in my infancy,
(8) red and yellow then came to be,
(5) reaching out to me,
(3) lets me see.
(2) There is,
(1) so,
(1) much,
(2) more and
(3) beckons me,

(5) to look through to these,
(8) infinite possibilities.
(13) As below so above and beyond I imagine,
(8) drawn beyond the lines of reason.
(5) Push the envelope.
(3) Watch it bend.

The Fibonacci sequence shares a relationship with spirals, which are mentioned several times later in the lyrics.
The time signatures of the chorus change from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8; as drummer Danny Carey says, “It was originally titled 9-8-7. For the time signatures. Then it turned out that 987 was the 17th step of the Fibonacci sequence. So that was cool.”

In a 2001 interview, Keenan commented on the lyric mentioning black, white, red and yellow: “I use the archetype stories of North American aboriginals and the themes or colours which appear over and over again in the oral stories handed down through generations. Black, white, red, and yellow play very heavily in aboriginal stories of creation.”

Common Interpretations
You might want to re-listen to the song while reading the line-breaks to make sure you agree that they are legit ahead of time. Otherwise, you may have a hard time believing this…


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Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
Red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
Lets me see.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • jasminder82

    takes me to a higher plane of existence

    8 Feb 6:24pm Reply
  • muerto14


    4 Feb 5:45pm Reply
  • lhlhlh1

    One of my favorite guitar solos of all times. It's not complex nor hard in any sense of the word. Is the way it transitions from Maynard's voice. The layers of effects. The overall feel of, for lack of a better word, "universe" that it gives you. I disconnect from everything for about 36 seconds, and all makes sense. Alex takes me places, and I couldn't be more thankful.

    21 Jan 4:21am Reply
  • Corazondesandia

    swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human....

    20 Jan 4:19am Reply
  • tideghost


    31 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Thonydef

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [15]

    5 Dec 2014 Reply
  • AlEjAnDrO-xHz

    ¡What a perfect design!

    4 Nov 2014 Reply
  • ann5852

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [14]

    30 Oct 2014 Reply
  • toothpick_

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [13]

    16 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Skaddar

    123456789 12345678 1234567

    5 Oct 2014 Reply
  • karolcia_1993

    Endless inspiration.

    27 Sep 2014 Reply
  • gayfuckingfag

    fedora meme

    16 Aug 2014 Reply
  • MartianReaper

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [12] my favorite Tool song. Absolutely genius piece

    5 Aug 2014 Reply
  • zero000000000

    ADAM FUCKING JONES !!!!!!!!!

    21 Jul 2014 Reply
  • psycho-ben

    Geiles Lied!

    10 Jul 2014 Reply
  • weeps22

    1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8... crazy

    7 Jul 2014 Reply
  • PCPDevice

    Black then white are all I see, Red and yellow then came to be

    15 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Ivartist

    Alex Grey, Alex Grey everywhere

    13 May 2014 Reply
  • Tiger1962

    black and white is all I see, in my infancy

    1 May 2014 Reply
  • kyrosmetal

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [11]

    8 Apr 2014 Reply
  • All 845 shouts

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