A Perfect Circle recently kicked off their fall 2018 tour and played “Judith” for the first time in 7 years. The last time APC played the song live was at the Rock on the Range festival on May 22, 2011.
The song wasn’t played for years, as Keenan’s feelings on the original subject matter changed.
Songfacts reports that Judith was Maynard James Keenan’s mother’s name. She was a very religious person. One day she had a stroke that left her in a wheelchair partially paralyzed. This stroke only strengthened her belief in God – something that Maynard found to be pretty ironic. The lyrics in this song reflect how he felt about the whole situation – “It’s not like you killed someone, It’s not like you drove a spiteful spear into his side, You praise the one who left you broken down and paralyzed.” He’s saying that his mother was a good person who believed in God and yet this is how she was “thanked.”
In the A Perfect Circle Interview Disc (2000), Maynard said, “It’s ironic that in your childhood there’s things that influence the choices you make, the places you go, what you dislike or what you gravitate towards; and it’s usually those kind of things are determined by the people closest to you. They play a big role in how you turn out, that’s the thing that’s least looked at because you don’t see that as being an influence, you look at the outside sources. Like when I was ten I was in a car accident and so I’ve always had this limp and always felt this way about driving; although it might go beyond that, it might be something that has to do with a relative. It’s just those kind of fear based reactions are how you deal with people, any time you covet those hidden motivations. This particular song brought out those coveted dynamics, exposed them, you can stare at them… letting it go.”