What does I Write Sins Not Tragedies mean?

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Panic! At The Disco: I Write Sins Not Tragedies Meaning

Song Released: 2006

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I Write Sins Not Tragedies Lyrics

Oh, well imagine;
as I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor,
and I can't help but to hear, no I can't help but to hear an exchanging of words.
(I love you, I love you too)
"What a beautiful wedding!",
"What a beautiful wedding! says a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Dec 30th 2015 report

    This song, if I've even interpreted it correctly, has a rather peculiar meaning behind the lyrics. And the whole wedding thing is just metaphorical, a way to compare to the foundation of the song's lyrics.

    Oh, well imagine;" This simple line could basically be "life or death" right now. So the narrator is just simply sharing this story, but, you all know Panic! well enough to know you should always expect the deepest interpretations possible. So most likely, the narrator is actually just thinking about what might've been.

    "As I'm pacing the pew in a church corrider and I can't help but to hear an exchanging of words. 'What a beautiful wedding,' says a bridesmaids to a waiter. 'Yes, but what a shame the groom's bride is a whore.'" This is pretty self-explanitory, I think. The narrator is about to be married, is nervous and pacing when he overhears 2 people talking about smack his bride.

    "I'd chime in with a 'Haven't you people ever heard of closing the goddamned door?' No, it's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality." So the narrator doesn't exactly like the way they're talking about his betrothed for his own reasons alone. He, instinctively, almost yells at them, telling them to find a private place to talk about that kind of stuff, but decides he'll be an adult about it, especially at his wedding, and speak rationally through this. And that's the part where he's imagining; what would've happened had he not stopped himself from yelling at them.

    Well, this song does correspond to the video so I suppose I'll introduce that now. The reception is already started and yet the groom's side of the family isn't there yet. the bride's family wears loads of make-up, metaphorically saying that they're covering up who they really are. When the groom's family finally makes an appearance, Brendon (who is supposed to be the groom's conscience) is swept into the church, too. The groom's family is acting like they're sideshow performers, metaphorically saying they're being who they really are. Not too corny yet. So Brendon practically crashes the wedding, trying to get the groom to see who he's really taking for his wife. The bride gets upset and storms out. The groom's conscience tells him to go out after her, but is he doing it to try and apologize or to see if his suspicions were valid? Either way, he goes out after her to find her making out with another guy, which proves his suspicions are definately valid. She shoots him a nonchalant, apologetic smile as his side of the family comes out to comfort him. Notice, though that none of the brides family comes out, most lkely because they don't really care. She grew up thinking this kind of behavior was okay, so what makes you think they'll be sorry for her and the way they raised her?

    "Oh, well, in fact, well, I'll look at it this way I mean technically our marriage is saved. Well, this calls for a toast so pour the champagne." This is also quite self-explanitory. The groom's saying the marriage wasn't exactly saved but he was saved from the marriage because it was called off.

    So the overall meaning of this song is one of two meanings, or maybe even both. The narrator, not really a groom, went through a bad relationship where it was almost perfect until he found out how bad his "bride" was to him, or this could be about, drumroll for the corny, the importance of family relationships. If the meaning is the latter, then I have to admit that I envy the way Panic! can take such a naive idea and turn it into such a badass song.

    Well that's my take on the lyrics. Hope it helped :3


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 21st 2006 report

    This song is the last in the story.
    It goes:
    'lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off'
    'but its better if you do'
    'i write sins not tradgedies'

    You'll notice that the end of But It's Better If You Do runs into the start of this pretty smoothly. The narrator [from how I see it] is the groom. He overhears the conversation between the brides maid and the waiter and is pretty upset. I mean. This is the woman he wants to marry and here they are gossiping about her in a pretty vicious manner.

    He considers saying 'havent you people ever heard of closing the god damn door?'. but doesn't say it, notice that the lyrics say 'i'd chime in' as in, I >would< chime in. but he doesnt, because the situation should be handled with poise and rationality.

    To be rational he decides to investigate these allegations. In the booklet that comes with the album there are some lyrics that arent sung. In particular it says "oh no. Her infidelity just spilled all over the floor. can somebody help her?".
    so my guess is he found her out.

    Yhe wedding is called off and the marriage is saved from itself. meaning that it didn't begin so he didn't have to go through the hurt of finding out years from now and ending the marriage badly.

    Yhis is the bright side of the situation and thus 'calls for a toast'.

    And if you want to get technical about the video. The circus folk fill up the side for the brides family. which I think shows that she doesn't come from a 'respectable' background.

    -the end-


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 23rd 2012 report

    This is an interpretation of the music video:
    Either the meaning doesnt go very deep at all in this song or it goes exremely deep. I like to think that it is the latter

    One thing that gets missed is that this song takes place over the duration of the wedding. It starts "Oh, well imagine;as I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor," this is the oblivious husband nervous before the wedding begins. He is pacing because he is about to get married not that he is worried his wife is cheating, then the exchanging of words. The husband overhears what is said and almost freaks out. notice the singers (most likely the grooms inner thoughts/consciousness) finger over his mouth as in saying he almost said to "close the god damn door" but didnt so it could be faced rationally.

    The circus then comes in and it is the GROOMS family not the brides like some people think. The family's always sit on the side that the person they are related to stands and the groom is standing on that side. So, this means possibly a couple things. The groom thinks his family is crazy (doesn't everyone?) or his family is actually turning the wedding into a circus because they are catching on to the infidelity.

    Then the circus settles in for the ceremonies and things are calm again. But here is the grooms family whispering and looking at the brides family knowing what the bride has done, and then someone stands up in objection to the marriage when asked by the priest (id say the father) and brings everything to light (meanwhile the groom is thinking yes do it because the groom knows he doesnt want to go through with the wedding)and thus chaos ensues. And then the argument goes on between the groom and bride with the bride most likely denying everything.

    Things settle back in as the bride storms off and her lover follows after her. Then his conscience has to force him out to see the truth and LEARN the truth for himself. Catching them in the act so all bets are off. BUT one major thing is that the grooms family follows him out but the brides family did not... hmm so this shows that the grooms family cares enough to make sure that he is okay, but the brides did not. This shows the basis in what causes infidelity which is not understanding what it means to be a family and to share everything and just to be loved in general. This is why in an attempt to understand love better the bride cheats, but in the end if she had been taught love by her family she would have known not to cheat.

    As you see the circus family is all upset for the groom but then they go be goofy like families are and try to cheer him up. But! where did they both go in the end?? all you see is the groom smiling in the singers costume? Well he and his conscience are one again because he finally faced the truth and is at peace with himself once more. He is smiling and with his family and the people who love him. It is where he belongs.

    Asides: 1)circus's are generally like families as in they are tight knit even if unrelated which is probably why it was chosen as such. 2)The groom starts off with a split personality (himself and his conscience) so he possibly suspected infidelity pre wedding. 3)You an see the judgement of the brides family on the grooms family, ironic because the bride is the one who deserve judgment 4)you can also see the embarrassment on the brides face at the temperament of the grooms odd family. 5)When the bride is caught kissing the conscience tilts his hat and gives a face like I told you so or I knew it.

    Moral of the story. Your family is important even if they seem odd to you and they are who shows you what love means and how to love someone aka not cheating. Funny how much deeper the video goes than the song itself. Sorry this is a super long explanation but such a good song/video deserves deep thought.

  4. TheReal_fuckermeister
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    Apr 26th 2021 report

    Boi at his weddin and som nibba calls hes bride a whore an hes so pissed an wants dem to shut da fukin door befor they fuk up another wedding.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2020 report

    A groom nervous before a wedding and then the bride cheats on him.

  6. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2019 report

    A young couple about get married maybe family get along and she (bride) cheated I love this song best bit "what a beuifull wedding say bridemaid to victor it a shame the bridegroom is a whore" soo funny.

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 15th 2017 report

    I believe brendon urie is the blame

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. Igotthis1
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    Aug 17th 2016 report

    When you "shut a door closed" you close yourself and your situation from others, and vice versa. If you already got married, should you still invite others to your particular situation,i.e. to be unfaithful / share intimacy with others? How does the singer now the groom's bride is a whore, and why does he feel so resentful at being included, invited through an ajar door to this life event (a wedding, or marriage)? The speaker "writes sins, not tragedies" by deciding not to speak up about the truth (sin, infidelity), thus avoiding tragedy, or the end of a marriage.

  9. anonymous
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    Nov 23rd 2015 report

    Did anyone else notice that every time he said "god damn", he covered up the "god" part, since he's in a church?

  10. ipanicatdifferentdiscos
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    Nov 21st 2015 report

    This song is too good, even if it is pretty old. This is a pretty deep explanation.

    So, first of all, in the first verse, it says "Oh well imagine; as I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor". This means the groom is pacing around nervously (you know, the uzhe). In the second verse, they explain that the groom and bride exchange 'I love you' and such. The groom is oblivious to the fact that the bride is a prostitute and carries on with the wedding.

    The waiter explains to a bridesmaid that the bride is a prostitute. (it's been some time since i saw the video but...) The waiter only knows this because he is the one who is actually with the bride.

    Off to the chorus, the bride and waiter are *getting it on* and want privacy, explaining the chorus. The groom replies that he'd rather been told that she is like this 'with a sense of poise and rationality' and not to be betrayed like this.

    The wedding is saved by the fact that the bride is a prostitute and the groom never liked her anyway. This calls for a toast, blah blah blah.

    So basically, none of them liked each other, so the relationship was a cover story of who they really want to be. Maybe they are both homosexual and wanted to hide it from the people around them, because their family are such religious people, and they are against this kind of thing. Plus, the fact they are having a wedding in a church adds to the religious stuff I just said.

    I have mixed thoughts on this one, so keep in mind, I myself, do not believe this is true. (not completely, anyway)

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 4th 2015 report

    it's simple he almost married a lying cheating whore. Unlike in real life instead of saying i told you so, his family tried to cheer him up. She's a whore they didn't get married. He caught her in the arms of another man out side of where the wedding was to take place not rocket science.

  12. anonymous
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    Oct 28th 2015 report

    Okay Prepare:
    I think the groom does have two sides, in the beginning of the video. Like,a conscience.
    "Pacing across the church corridors. And I can't help but to hear, no I can't help but to hear an exchanging of words."
    Meaning, the groom, is hearing the bride and her lover discuss something, in another room.
    (Of course the bride has a lover, "to bad the bridesmaid is a whore." - Easy to figure out.)
    Now, about the clowns/circus family.
    If you may know, if the bride is standing on the left, her family should be sitting in the seats on the left. The groom is on the right, so his family should be on the right.

    The brides family (which have the make up on their face) use the makeup to cover up there true selves, or their emotions or feelings. (Etc.)
    The circus family seems like the grooms family, but it seems they express themselves, and don't hide anything.

    -This is all I got for now, as I'm still trying to piece this together. So, this is part one.-


  13. anonymous
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    Oct 21st 2014 report

    The song seems fairly simple. But it goes into much deeper depth. The Assistant (Brendon) is a friend of the Groom's. The groom is as well the Ringmaster of the circus. The Groom used to be the Ringmaster until he meets his Fiance, who was part of a rival circus. Love overtakes him, but the Fiance has a plan to take the Circus for herself, with the help of her real Lover. Brendan decides to do something about it. He walks in with his circus to find the rival circus there. When he says, "Technically our marriage is saved.". Once the marriage is final, the wife will have partial control of the Groom's Circus. Then she will take full control and dump the poor Groom. When the one man blows silver dust into the Rival Circus, they realize the truth and team with the Circus and try to pull them together. The Fiance gets mad and walks out, upset that her plans were ruined. The Assistant walks to the Groom and pulls him outside, giving a smug look as he watches the Fiance and the Ringmaster of the Rival Circus making out. Then, the Ringmaster resumes his role, the story ending.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
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    Jun 1st 2013 report

    About the groom's circus family in the video, I think it means that they show their real personalities. Notice how the bride's family has make up on that makes them seem like they're smiling, but thy are actually serious and have their eyes closed. I think this means that the bride's family hide their emotions behind masks while the groom's family just embraces their weird and different personalities.

  15. anonymous
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    Apr 9th 2012 report

    supposedly the bride is a wh**e and the groom doesnt know it. The man with the red suit and top hat is basically the other side of the groom. This part of him leads him to discovering the "little secret" of the bride. In the end the two personalitys merge and they become one. The circus basiclly is all the other personalitys of the guests at the wedding.

  16. anonymous
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    Dec 27th 2011 report

    The whole album really tells a story, not just the trilogy. The first song is self-explanatory… Introduction. The second song, The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage, is a further introduction. The third song, London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines, is the story of how they came to be (kind of). Then you have Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks, which explains some of the background (of Ryan at least) and Camisado, which is more about Ryan’s life. Then there’s Time To Dance… quite some controversy over this one. Yes, I do believe it is a summary of Invisible Monsters, but it may also possibly play into the story. Maybe Ryan’s dad’s alcoholism lead to him to accidentally knocking up some girl, which led him to a shotgun wedding, by chance? Or maybe Ryan is saying he’s lucky it didn’t happen to him… not sure. But it seems to play into the story. Then there’s the infamous trilogy, Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, But It’s Better if You Do, and I Write Sins, Not Tragedies. In the first part of the trilogy, Ryan talks about how his girlfriend cheated on him, and how he’s making her feel guilty about causing their breakup, etc. The second part of the trilogy is him trying to get over his breakup. (If you’ve ever played parts 2 and 3 in a row, there’s probably the smoothest song transition you will ever hear.) The final part of the trilogy is describing how he was saved from this girl, whether he realized it or not. And then there’s the Intermission thrown in there to merge the two different styles of the music on the first and second half. And then there’s I Constantly Thank God For Esteban. It’s really just a metaphorical version of Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off. Yes, if you take it literally, it’s dissing the church, but if you go deeper, it’s part 1 again, from a different point of view. There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet, is like another solution to part 1, and could be considered an extra part 2. He gets back at his ex by planning to murder her. (And I must give them credit, because the song title actually truly relates to the song itself. The reserved table his ex is where he needed to plant the cigarettes.) Build God, Then We’ll Talk is the one that I’m stuck on. Maybe it’s a regression of Time To Dance? Or the cause? Maybe it’s another way to tell part 1. Either way, it can fit into the story somehow!
    Thanks for everyone who actually bothered to read this whole thing! I know its SUPER long and not the most interesting, but I had to do this. I had to figure it out, or I would lose sleep. Haha.
    Also, I got most of the meanings of the song off this site, so thanks to all the “anonymous” I went off of!
    I ABSOLUTEL LOVE Panic! At The Disco, and love that their songs tell stories!! :)

  17. anonymous
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    Dec 27th 2011 report

    Who's to say all the songs on the album don't tell a whole story??

  18. anonymous
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    Oct 30th 2011 report

    Brendon (The Singer) is the grooms conscience, telling the groom that the wife is cheating on him and that she's no good for him.
    The Wife is disgraced when the groom's family trashes the wedding. But the groom only finds that the Wife is trying to hide her love for a certain 'someone' in the audience

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