Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thoughts on Morph by Twenty-One Pilots

I love Twenty-One Pilots but sometimes I feel like to get the full effect of their songs, you have to read the lyrics along-side listening to them. But I love poetry and song lyrics so let's talk about the most lyrically deep song off of Trench!

When I first heard this song, I didn't think much of it. It's not as musically catchy like the others. In my first listen, I couldn't make out everything Tyler was saying. But after reading the lyrics - this song has climbed it's way up top in my favorites.
Can't stop thinking about if and when I die
For now I see that "if" and "when" are truly different cries
For "if" is purely panic and "when" is solemn sorrow
And one invades today while the other spies tomorrow
"If I die," is different from, "when I die." This is an interesting thought. This has never occurred to me before. For example, let's say I am driving somewhere scary and think to myself, "if I die," I am just truly panicking at that moment. I probably won't die - I am just scared of the unknown. By letting the panic into my life, I am ruining the experience of today - and the experience of whatever I was doing, in my example, driving.

"When I die," is different because everyone dies! Using my example above, when I am panicking and thinking "if I die," I am forgetting that everyone dies eventually. I want to stop death so bad in that moment. It may behoove me to think "hey, everyone is going to die, so I shouldn't stop myself from doing things that are scary. I should let that panic go." Maybe this is how Tyler climbs scary ledges at concerts. He really has a grasp on fear and death.

I like the words, "solemn sorrow," because it's the perfect way to describe the concept of death. We need to accept the solemn sorrow that is death.
We're surrounded and we're hounded
There's no above, or under, or around it
For "above" is blind belief and "under" is sword to sleeve
And "around" is scientific miracle, let's pick "above" and see
I love this so much. "Let's pick above and see." He is saying we should trust God (or if you are an atheist - trust the universe). It's beautiful really. When we are faced with tough times, we can either a) give up (sword to sleeve) or b) have hope. Going "around" death, or cheating death, is not possible unless there is a scientific miracle. So while we live on Earth, we have to keep on having hope. Even though death is always lurking in the corner, you have to have hope in the future and hope that your situation can improve.

I like the words, "blind belief." When we have hope, when we are trusting in God or the universe, it seems like we are going in blind. We don't really know if things will get better. But we still gotta pick above...we still have to have hope.

This reminds me of lyrics from Car Radio. "And there's faith and there's sleep, we/Need to pick one please because Faith is to be awake/And to be awake is for us to think/And for us to think is to be alive." The choice between above or under parallels faith and sleep.
For if and when we go above, the question still remains
Are we still in love and is it possible we feel the same?
And that's when goin' under starts to take my wonder
But until that time, I'll try to sing this
I am not too familiar with Christianity but I believe "Are we still in love" refers to loving Jesus or God? I think he is saying as you try to trust God, you may start having doubts, and when that happens you think of giving up again.

If I keep moving, they won't know
I'll morph to someone else
What they throw at me's too slow
I'll morph to someone else
I'm just a ghost
I'll morph to someone else
A defense mechanism mode
My personal opinion is that his "keep moving" is similar to the "moving" that depressed people are advised to do. When you are depressed, your body doesn't want you to do anything. It just wants you to lay in bed. Instead, it is advised that you should just start doing things even if you don't feel like it. Eventually, you may feel better after doing activities. Here, Tyler may have doubts, he may feel hopeless at times, but he is going to keep on going through life, i.e moving. Eventually, maybe he'll become someone who is not scared or doubtful.

Describing it as a defense mechanism gives a negative connotation. I think that's just in Tyler's mind. He has all these scary thoughts but he is just supposed to ignore them in order to live life? It feels like he is giving up a part of himself. It feels like a defense mechanism to him. Tyler's true self is battling these tough questions - by ignoring them he feels like he isn't being his true self and instead morphing into someone else. However, I believe that defense mechanism is important for his to be alive and keep on moving and actively doing good work with his life.

He'll always try to stop me, that Nicolas Bourbaki
He's got no friends close but those who know him most know
He goes by Nico, he told me I'm a copy

The rapping flow of this song is amazing! I just think it's cute how Tyler says "I'm close to him so I call him Nico." So would I. I would also definitely be addressing him as Nico.

There's no above or a secret door
What are we here for
If not to run straight through all our tormentors?
There is no deus ex machina. There is no easy solution to our questions. "What are we here for?" translates to "Why are we here on Earth - alive?" It's to face our problems head on. It's to battle with these tough questions and find our own answers. Similar to Kitchen Sink's lyrics "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning. Maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend."

Lights, they blink to me, transmitting things to me
Ones and zeroes, ergo this symphony
Anybody listening? Ones and zeroes
Count to infinity, ones and zeroes
These lyrics don't really mean anything to me. These lyrics don't touch my soul like the rest of the ones I analyzed. Mostly, because I don't understand what Tyler is trying to say. My wild guess is that the "lights" and "ones and zeroes" represent how the world is obsessed with the internet, smart phones, television. Tyler is asking: are you listening to him despite these silly distractions? Are you asking the same, tough questions as him? "Anyone listening?"
Not done, not done
Not done, Josh Dun
JOSH DUN. I love how Tyler can still infuse these songs with a sense of humor.

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