What does Chlorine mean?

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Twenty One Pilots: Chlorine Meaning

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Song Released: 2018


Chlorine Lyrics

(So where are you? It's been a little while...)

Sippin' on straight chlorine, let the vibe slide over me
This beat is a chemical, beat is a chemical
When I leave don't save my seat, I'll be back when it's all complete
The moment is medical,...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 7th 2019 report

    [So where are you? It's been a while...]
    (Tyler's referencing the hiatus)

    Sippin' on straight chlorine
    (Chlorine is a chemical that in large amounts is deadly, but can be helpful in small doses. The chlorine represents the creativity process in how Tyler writes his songs about his problems.)
    Let the vibe slide over me
    Beat is a chemical, beat is a chemical
    (The metaphorical "drinking chlorine" hurts but also helps him)
    When I leave, don't save my seat.
    I'll be back when it's all complete
    (During the hiatus when he left, the "seat" is probably him saying to allow yourself to listen to other bands or something)
    Moment is medical, moment is medical
    (This might not relate to it, but during the hiatus his grandfather was very sick and eventually died [see Legend], so that could be this)
    Sippin' on straight chlorine

    Lovin' what I'm tasting
    Venom on my tongue
    Dependant at times
    Poisonous vibrations
    Help my body run
    (The "chlorine" [creativity process] is good for him as it helps him express his feelings through what he loves. But, the thoughts he has and struggles he has hurt him. Letting go of them via songs "helps his body run")
    I'm running for my life (x2)

    [Chorus]

    Fall out of formation
    I plan my escape from walls they confined
    (The media has made "walls" into what people should and shouldn't sing about. Tyler has fallen out of the formation and sings about his trials instead of mainstream songs.)
    Rebel red carnation grows while I decay
    (Since he doesn't sing or write about things that mainstream songs conform to, there are less fans (sadly), and he is metaphorically "decaying" because of this. The rebel red carnation I think is the fans that have been with him through and through. The blurryface era was red. We "rebelled" by not leaving them through the hiatus.)
    I'm running for my life (x4)

    Had you in my coat pocket where I kept my rebel red
    Felt I was invincible, you wrapped around my head
    (Coat pockets are kept near the heart. Tyler has kept the clique near his heart is my interpretation. Seeing the support from the few fans kept him going through his trials (why he had the hiatus, as said in Leave the City.)
    Now, different lives I lead, my body lives on lead
    (Lives: his private and public life now after ending the hiatus. The lead is parallel to the chlorine as being the creativity process.)
    The last two lines may read incorrect until said

    The lead is terrible in flavour
    But now you double as a papermaker
    (The lead/chlorine is hard to deal with, but the hardships put into song brings him money (hence the "papermaker").)
    I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight
    And you in my life is like
    (He dislikes his problems and struggles, which are fighting against him. The problems he faces in his life are symbolic to the chlorine in the next lines.)

    [Chorus]

    I'm so sorry I forgot you
    Let me catch you up to speed
    I've been tested like the end of
    A weathered flag that's by the sea
    ("Forgetting" the recepient is probably him going away during the hiatus. Throughout it, he had been tested by his problems and trials which left him beaten, which is what the flag represents.)

    Can you build my house with pieces?
    I'm just a chemical (x4)
    (His "house" is symbolising himself. Tyler and Josh both are Christians, and there is a Scripture that says "your body is a temple." This line could have possibly derived from that. It's in pieces because of the battle with whatever problem(s) he faced while gone. The chemical is probably meaning that Tyler feels that he's been overtaken by his problems and is now just in pieces, and is asking the clique to help him "put the pieces back together.")

    [This is just my own interpretation, I don't know exactly if this is what Tyler meant. This is how I saw it as.]

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 17th 2021 report

    “Hide you in my pocket” = what ever it is is small (my guess his phone, see next clue)

    “Poisonous vibrations”= phone vibrating

    “You in my life is like is like sippin’ on strait chlorine” = How the negative side of social media can bring you down, equivalent to sipping on chlorine

  3. anonymous
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    Aug 4th 2020 report

    I believe it's a cloaked discussion of a toxic or failing relationship and the feelings around it.

    "Let the beat slide over me, the moment is medical" trying to drown out unpleasant feelings
    "When I leave...be back when it's all complete." He knows it's not working out, but he wants to hope it can be fixed.

    "Had you in my coat pocket...felt I was invincible you wrapped around my head, now different lives I lead, my body lives on lead..." describes the feeling of initially being exhilarated by the relationship, but eventually being dragged down by it.

    "Now you double as a papermaker" now I'm using the story in the song and making money off of it.

    "I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight, and you in my life is like sipping on straight chlorine...loving what I'm tasting, venom on my tongue, dependant at times, poisonous vibrations help my body run, I'm running for my life. Fall out of formation, I plan my escape from walls that confine..." Again describes how he feels like he's both drawn to the relationship and also knows he's being figuratively poisoned by it.

    "I'm so sorry I forgot you, let me catch you up to speed...I've been tested...can you build my heart with pieces, some days I'm just a chemical" He feels like he's broken and messed up by the relationship and it's aftermath.

    The biggest hint to this is the line "I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight, and you in my life is like sipping on straight chlorine" seeming to clearly reference that he's struggling to accept the fact that keeping this person in his life is toxic. He knows he needs to end the relationship, but he feels "dependent at times" and even though "lead is terrible in flavor", he still "loves to hate the fight" of dealing with his partner.


  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 21st 2019 report

    as an amateur historian, rebel red carnation, refers to the russian and french revolutions that were atheist at heart, and wore red flowers (carnations being the coolest and most prevalent) signifying defiance against those respective hypocritical aristocratic orders/establishments. That "spirit" grows while true christian faith decays... They also put chlorine in our water... hello? also rebel "lead" in his coat pocket, referring to old pencils, (being a songwriter and all) would have been better than identifying with said christian God rejecting revolutions above. ...also the american revolution ushered in luciferian goddess worship not true christian faith. The russian and french revs were mind boggling cruel bloody affairs. "Rebel red carnation grows while I decay..."

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 9th 2019 report

    Flint Michigan.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 27th 2018 report

    A lot of people think that Chlorine is about suicide or that it's about him on drugs or something but that's wrong see the lyrics say "this beat is a chemical" beat as in heartbeat. later he talks about how the moment is medical and his body lives o lead. the song is about music itself. this beat like his heartbeat and the music beat and the lead from a pencil when he's writing a song. also when he says "felt i was invincible you wrapped around my head" he's talking about his headphones, again relating to music not suicide even though that is the related implication.


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