Perhaps we are all monsters.

by beanalreasa

At first, I hated this song.

Like really *hated* it.

There was something about Tyler Joseph’s sing-song delivery of the lyrics that just annoyed the heck out of me.

And yet, almost from the day that I first heard this song, it would *not* get out of my head.

It became a really insistent earworm, nearly on par in annoyance factor with ‘It’s a Small World.’

Then, a dear friend of mine reminded me of the possibility that it could be another example of pandoramancy.*

So, I did what I always do when I come across an incidence of pandoramancy?

I concentrated on listening to the lyrics the next time the song randomly came up.

I thought about what sort of emotions, thoughts and associations came immediately to mind while listening.   And since I am a person who is rather particular about words, I Googled the lyrics, so I could familiarize myself better with the lyrics as well.

But it all seemed to no avail, since the lyrics seemed, at first, surprisingly much simpler than I ever would have expected, and yet, the main thing seemed to be how annoyingly repetitive they were:

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

Welcome to the room of people
Who have rooms of people that they loved one day
Docked away
Just because we check the guns at the door
Doesn’t mean our brains will change from hand grenades
You’re lovin’ on the psychopath sitting next to you
You’re lovin’ on the murderer sitting next to you
You’ll think, how’d I get here, sitting next to you?
But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

We don’t deal with outsiders very well
They say newcomers have a certain smell
Yeah, I trust issues, not to mention
They say they can smell your intentions
You’re lovin’ on the freakshow sitting next to you
You’ll have some weird people sitting next to you
You’ll think “how did I get here, sitting next to you?”
But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget
(Watch it, watch it)

(Watch it)
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know
(Watch it)
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know

Why’d you come, you knew you should have stayed
I tried to warn you just to stay away
And now they’re outside ready to bust
It looks like you might be one of us

Written by Tyler Joseph • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

Okay.   The first thing that struck me (aside of the 4 (!) repetitions of that rather long chorus) was the repetitive use of the words they and them and the phrases sittin next to you, watch it, and after all I’ve said please don’t forget.

So I immediately grasped the overall message that whoever they are, they are different than you or me.

They are – let’s see –

Psychopaths.

Murderers.

Weird people.

Freakshows.

So the song definitely seems to be a warning.

And there They are sitting next to you (the listener), and yet you don’t know how these dangerous people suddenly got to be sitting next to you.

Maybe you might love them for their differences ( as in loving on[the psychopath/murderer/freakshow]  sitting next to you) but still fear them on some level….because you must watch it.

Because there are possibly valid reasons.

The singer goes on to explain that perhaps you should be nervous, because it’s been established that they are not only dangerous, but abused and distrustful of those who aren’t like themselves.  They are easily triggered (take it slow/ don’t make any sudden moves) aggressive (brains will change from hand grenades ), paranoid  (Wait until they ask you who you know), and perhaps are prone to display distinctly animal traits of perceiving the intangible (newcomers have a certain smell and they can smell your intentions).

But, surprisingly, by the end of the song, there’s quite a strange twist.

Suddenly not only has the singer identified himself as being one of them (We don’t deal with outsiders very well and Yeah, I have trust issues, not to mention) and he is warning you
Why’d you come, you knew you should have stayed
I tried to warn you just to stay away

But you didn’t listen, so…

And now they’re outside ready to bust

Perhaps it is because
It looks like you might be one of us

 

Damn.

So perhaps this is not just a song about the difference between criminals and law-abiding citizens, or even humans versus non-humans but more about how appearances deceive and behavior might not be so telling after all.

Perhaps you never know who is different, who actually is the monster.

Hell, it might even be …you.

Perhaps we are all monsters…it’s just a matter of perception.

~~~

Though on a whole other level, some fans have theorized that the deeper meaning of this song is actually aimed toward the newest fans of the band – as the fans of Twenty One Pilots – the Skeleton Clique – can seem pretty devoted.

And I can attest to their devotion, as I had the pleasure of seeing Twenty One Pilots perform at The Big Ticket in the autumn of last year.

Between the incessant high-pitched prolonged screaming of the pockets of barely post-pubescent females in the crowd, I also noticed that most every fan knew all the lyrics of nearly every song and it would seem that almost every single one of those fans sang those lyrics at the top of their lungs throughout the entire show.  You could really tell who was a fan and who was not, to put it mildly.

~~~~

*Pandoramancy is when a random song seems to be not so random after a while.  A song which is not just an earworm, but a song that suddenly engenders a reaction in the listener that is oddly dramatic or meaningful through either sudden association or several random yet repeated coincidences.  As well, though an incidence of pandoramancy might only occur once, upon listening, there seems to be an over-reaching personal message for the listener inherent in the lyrics, based upon specific situational associations.

Pandoramancy can also refer to a form of divination that uses a playlist (containing a wide variety of music) and music storage software system (such as Pandora or Spotify).  This divination operates wherein the querent will direct a question towards the Gods, and the querent then sets the playlist on shuffle, and the next song that comes up on the playlist is the answer.)

 

Advertisements