21 February 2016

Finding the Spiritual in 5 TØP Songs

I hope you won't mind that I'm deviating from the uuz of "what happened this week" posts, and that you will enjoy this introspective post concerning twenty one pilots instead...

Last May, twenty one pilots happened (again), and, thanks to Faith, I caught on to their undefinable music and joined the clique. So, today, I'd like to share five (in honor of the fifth week of my 2nd semester of college) of my favorite twenty one pilots songs, and the underlying, spiritual nuances that make these songs mean so much to me.  I hope you're encouraged by the following words as much as I always am.
1. Addict With a Pen.

Ever since the very first time I heard it, I recognized this song had captured the essence of my soul, the very essence of my relationship with my maker. Failure, realization, recommission. Void, craving, fulfillment. Pain, balm, healing. A cycle that can only truly be completed in death, the ending to our life of struggle and the beginning of our life of peace.

I try desperately to run through the sand
As I hold the water
In the palm of my hand
Cause it's all that I have
And it's all that I need and
The waves of the water
Mean nothing to me

But I try my best
And all that I can to
Hold tightly onto
What's left in my hand
But no matter how
How tightly I will strain
The sand will slow me down
And the water will drain

I'm just being dramatic
In fact,
I'm only at it again
As an addict with a pen
Who's addicted to the wind
As it blows me back and forth
Mindless, spineless, and pretend
Of course I'll be here again
See you tomorrow
But it's the end of today
End of my ways
As a walking denial
My trial was filed as a crazy
Suicidal head case

But you specialize in dying
You hear me screaming
And I'm lying here just crying
So wash me with your water.

2. March to the Sea.

It wasn't until more recently that it spoke to me -- in the context of my morning walks to class. As I join the throngs of students, I always imagine myself as falling in line in that march to the sea. But I also remember that I am not an idle marcher. I've heard the voice inside my head, saying, "follow Me instead." I am in my place, but now I am marching for my maker.

Then out of the corner of my eye
I see a spaceship in the sky
And hear a voice inside my head:
Follow me instead

Then the wages of war will start
Inside my head with my counterpart
And the emotionless marchers will chant the phrase:
This line's the only way

And then I start down the sand
My eyes are focused on the end of land
But again the voice inside my head says,
Follow me instead

Take me up, seal the door
I don't want to march here anymore
I realize that this line is dead
So I'll follow You instead

So then You put me back in my place
So I might start another day
And once again I will be
In a march to the sea.

Bonus Meanings:

No one looks up anymore
'Cause you might get a raindrop in your eye
And Heaven forbid they see you cry
As we fall in line.

3. Semi-Automatic.

I was confused by it at first -- until I realized just how telling of me this song really is. I've been diagnosed with soul schizophrenia, 'cause I'm all twisted up inside. How often I do not do what I want to do, but what I hate. But, again, this condition is inescapable. Every human is born with soul schizophrenia, and we must simply do our best to live on, live on, live on.

I'm never what I like,
I'm double sided,
and I just can't hide,
I kind of like it
when I make you cry,
'Cause I'm twisted up,
I'm twisted up inside
I'm semi-automatic,
my prayer's schizophrenic,
But I'll live on;
I'll live on;
I'll live on.

4. Holding On to You.

Meanings, meanings, it is full of, which I didn't discover until I truly studied and pondered the lyrics of this song.  The part I always appreciated was the "bonus meanings" I added at the end of these lyrics, but really, the heart of this song is the following exposition of the struggle between flesh and soul. But further still than that, between soul and Maker...

I'm taking over my body,
Back in control,
no more shotty,
I bet a lot of me was lost,
T's uncrossed and I's undotted,
I fought it a lot
And it seems a lot
Like flesh is all I got,
Not anymore,
Flesh out the door,

I must've forgot,
you can't trust me,
I'm open a moment and close when you show it,
Before you know it,
I'm lost at sea,
And now that I write and think about it,
And the story unfolds,
You should take my life,
You should take my soul

You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Sounding down the mountain range
of my left-side brain,
You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Twisting the kaleidoscope
behind both of my eyes

And I'll be holding on to you.

Bonus meanings:

When we gonna stop with it,
Lyrics that mean nothing,
We were gifted with thought
Is it time to move our feet
To an introspective beat,
It ain't the speakers that bump hearts,
It's our hearts that make the beat.

5. Doubt.

It struck a chord within me the second time I listened to this song, when I caught the words, "I'm no good without You" -- because isn't that just the truth.  On and on the lyrics go, laying bare insecurity and uncertainty... but in between, the rambling is punctuated by a call for help, an S.O.S. begging for mercy, for strength, for love.  The daily cry of our hearts.

Scared of my own image,
Scared of my own immaturity,
Scared of my own ceiling,
Scared I'll die of uncertainty,
Fear might be the death of me,
Fear leads to anxiety,
Don't know what's inside of me

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Temperature is dropping,
Temperature is dropping,
I'm not sure if I can
See this ever stopping,
Shaking hands with the
Dark parts of my thoughts, no,
You are all that I've got, no

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Gnawing on the bishops,
Claw our way up their system,
Repeating simple phrases,
Someone holy insisted,
I want the markings
Made on my skin,
To mean something to me again,
Hope you haven't left without me
Hope you haven't left without me, please

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

What twenty one pilots song is your favorite/means the most to you??


  1. THIS IS MY FAVORITE! Honestly I love you for this. and Im so happy I was able to share my love for TOP with you. (I was not expecting that shoutout. lol. I love you!) I love all those meanings you derived. it was beautiful.

    twenty one pilots means so much to me and Ive always wanted to do this kind of post but in a way, its so personal to me that sharing it with everyone seems...wrong. what the lyrics mean to me is so personal I decided not to share it unless I was asked.
    so. I'll only talk a bit.
    picking a favorite song is crazy but Addict With A Pen and Car Radio really hit close to home for a lot of reasons. they always make me cry. and Drown, which is technically by Tyler Joseph but its in the same category. Ive always been able to relate to that song no matter what Im going through.

    yikes this comment is long.

    but if you ever wanna talk TOP, message me :)

    you're awesome. best of luck with college!

  2. "Soul schizophrenia"--such a great way to describe it!

  3. AHHHHHH I LOVE TOP. My favorite is Stressed Out, because it literally describes my life rn.

  4. These are deep songs, that's for sure. Semi-automatic is my fav for the music, but I like March to the Sea for the message. . . I find all their messages are deep and meaningful though. Great post!