Twenty One Pilots: Heathens Meaning
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Song Released: 2016
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
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jul 30th 2019 report
I first heard this song when i was in prison and it felt like it was describing the exact situation i was in. When you first get to a prison you wait for the ones who have been there to approach you the first things they ask is who you know. Basically friends is referring to the other inmates your locked away with, whether they be murderers or psychopaths. Just because we check our guns at the door doesnt mean our minds will change from hand grenades. Means the street mentality is still very real.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Aug 6th 2017 report
I think the song is about how you can still be friends with someone even if they've done bad things in the past. He's saying that all his friends are heathens, meaning that they're dangerous and will not hesitate to hurt you, but if you take it slow, you can become friends with them and you'll realize that they're still good people. You shouldn't judge them for what they've done because you don't know the half of the abuse that they've been through that made them that way.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous May 5th 2018 report
This song has a deeper meaning than just "criminals" and "bad influences" it's about him looking out for his friends who have been mistreated their whole lives. They have been abused, and he's trying to help them veer away from their "criminal actions", and is trying to help them have a better life.
anonymous Aug 31st report
I believe this song is about the crossover between disabled people inside insane asylums and wild animals inside zoological gardens.
Animals in zoos are kept in captivity throughout their lives and they will never meet the home that all animals call the wild.
People are locked in asylums all because they're different and they will never meet the home that all people call the human society.
Both concepts are a glorification of exploitation, abuse, misery, neglect,
cruelty, mistreatment, intense madness,
They're beaten, thrown, confined, neglected, mutilated, gassed, killed, experimented on, and told their will is the reason of why they're not even worth living.
Animals are often kept in small spaces and sleep huddled together in smaller pens. Open areas are often covered with wet fur and wasted feathers, and with no real stimulation animals are relegated to play with enrichment.
Crude employers roll out insanity on the animals and many of them are also bred during their stay.
Patients are left naked and sleep huddled together in dirty rooms. Freedom areas are normally covered with urine and feces and with no chairs patients are forced to sit on the floor. Cruel employees roll out regular beatings and many patients are also sexually abused during their stay.
anonymous Aug 1st report
I think it means that the problem may actually be you despite your total lack of awareness of how you appear to those you’ve judged.
anonymous Nov 1st 2022 report
I find this song as a reminder that mistakes are there and we may not be able to change them but we can change ourselves those around us make mistakes constantly and there seems to be a stigma towards those that have "transgressed" in this song he sings about how everyone he knows has made mistakes and just because they have done something they are seen as though they are *heathens and errors I know this song as a message to judging a book by Its cover so to speak. those mistakes may not be fixed but we can change ourselves.
anonymous Sep 7th 2021 report
My interpretation of this song is more of a spiritual one if you will? All my friends are heathens: They do not submit to the dogma or rules of mainstream religion.
Take it slow: From experience, Heathens have learned to stay on the down low from mainstream society..don't push them.
What for them to ask you who you know: This could be interpreted as Do not push your religion into my space..Do not expect me to live by your rules.
Please don't make any sudden moves: If you are not one of them, be mindful of what you are doing. Pay attention to the customs and ways of the company that you keep...it can be dangerous. Again, Heathens are not known for following rules or having lots of empathy if you piss them off enough.
You don't know half of the abuse: For centuries...Heathens (people of the hearth) Witches, and Pagans have been hunted down like animals, tortured and killed. The most heinous of crimes committed by the religious individuals of the time...and the misunderstanding of such spirituality continues today...there is NO trust for the mainstream religions.
It would probably take all day to go through the entire song and analyze it, but..this is an awesome song...I love it...I love Twenty One Pilots.
I look at the "You'll never know the psychopath sitting next to you" part and it brings to mind a sort of Joker esque philosophy.
Meaning: you can never tell who will be the next to go.
But the most meaningful part of the song, I think, is the chorus "All my friends are heathens. Take it slow." I think that is showing that everyone around you is crazy. And the "Take it slow" part logically means that you are drifting slowly in.
Then there's the hand grenades being compared to "Our brains" which seems to suggest that "You" have joined your heathen friends and someday, even if people try to "check the guns at the door" you'll blow.
anonymous Mar 15th 2020 report
I feel this is about the under world of Islamic suicide bombers. These people have been beaten into the faithful of Islam. Once you are in with this group They will ask you who you know. This song is very symbolic of Suicide bombers.
anonymous Jan 29th 2020 report
The song is about war veterans that have mental illness and is now uncivilized which is a definition for "Heathens". First off a lot of people who return from war can have some mental issues, flashbacks or night terrors.That could explain the "please don't make any sudden moves, you don't know their half of their abuse" It could be reffering to that. "Welcome to the room of people who have rooms of people that they loved one day, docked away" Maybe it's actually a therapy session or something like that, the people who have lost many friends that they made in the military in war. Like I mentioned before, this might be referring to people who have mental issues from killing people in war "Just because we check for guns at the door, doesn't mean our brains will change for hand granades". Mental illness
anonymous Apr 11th 2018 report
I believe it is more to do h how we judge people by their cover therefore when we eventually attempt to speak to them, they are weary hence the 'take it slow'. Due to their odd appearence they are subjected to abuse too hence the 'you don't know half of the abuse' so you have to slowly gain their trust as they are viewed as outsiders by society. Yet, eventually, it turns out that you and them are similar so you become friends. To conclude, I believe Heathens warns against prejudice towards other people and promotes getting to know people. However, these odd people may be bad people still and can be heavily influencial to your mental stability.
anonymous Dec 9th 2017 report
I believe it describes the rooms and fellowship of 12 step programs.
anonymous Sep 27th 2017 report
It is basically about how his friends are heathens and he's warning someone to be careful of what they say and do around them.
anonymous Sep 26th 2017 report
I just Brainstormed my best ideas an this is what I came up with:
(I skip the chorus after the being cause you don't want me repeating myself.Sorry:C)
"All my friends are Heathens,take it slow."-Meaning the Heathens are the long time fans of Twenty One Pilots."Wait For them to ask you who you know." -Meaning People online asking what songs other people know."Please don't make any sudden moves."-Meaning don't randomly say your a fan after listening to one song."You don't know the half of the abuse..." -Meaning the internet is a dangerous place,so try not to Piss anyone off (Please excuse my language)"Welcome to the room of people who have rooms of people that they loved one day,Docked away."-Meaning people criticizing they're friends and family."Just because we Check the guns at the doors doesn't mean our Brains will change,from hand grenades."-Meaning for the new fans telling the experts to back off."You'll never know the Psychopath sitting next to you,You'll never know the murderer,sitting next to you."-Like I said before,the long time fans are the Heathens(Do psychopaths and murderers count as Heathens?)"You think, 'how'd I get here?',sitting next to you."-Meaning a new fan was at a concert,Not knowing the song,But knowing it was Twenty one pilots." We Don't deal with outsiders very well."-Meaning you better make sure you're ready to commit,but if you aren't, you're in the wrong place."They say newcomers have a certain smell."-Long time fans won't like new fans unless they know a lot for a starter."Yeah,Trust issues,Not to mention."-There is no way in hell they'd immediately trust you."They say they can smell your intentions."-Repeat of my last definition."You'll never know the Freakshow sitting next to you,you'll have some weird people sitting next to you."-[Cough,cough] Heathens..."You think 'How did I get here?'Sitting next to you."-Okay,imma stop repeating stuff now."Why'd you come,you knew you should have stayed." Don't say I didn't warn you."I tried to warn you just to stay away."-Have it your way."And now they're outside ready to bust." Everyone outside is ready for the concert."It looks like You might be one of us..." -Maybe you are a true fan...
Thank you reader,And if you disagree with me,that's alright.We're all different.
Moral of the story:The internet is a rough place,so don't try to make yourself look cool,if there's evidence you aren't cool in the certain way you claim.
Word of advice:Don't just listen to the three most popular.(Ride,Stressed out, and Heathens)That'll trigger everyone.
anonymous Sep 10th 2017 report
When you are a heathen, it's not necessarily about religion. It's more about a faith we believe in. If somebody offers us a faith, we are bound by it, if you are your own faith, you are a heathen. You have your own beliefs this no boundaries. Say a bit narcissistic or to some extent. The kind of damage you can do will have no moral boundaries, and a result are void any emotion. Actions can be a bit gruesome when tempted. If not void of emotions, mental problems such as depression or an OCD
The song tells such people to keep low key, and tells others not be careful around such and not push their minds to the limit.
anonymous Jul 16th 2017 report
This song is about going to jail and that everyone in there is a heathen, meaning, doesn't know God and how they could smell someone new, how you'll never know who is sitting next to, (murderers psycho paths etc) youll wonder hoe you got there etc.
anonymous Jul 15th 2017 report
I think it means... Someone is trying to convince another person not to join their gang either on the streets or in prison.. "I tried to warn you just to stay away. It looks like you might be one of us." I don't know that's how interpreted it
anonymous May 6th 2017 report
I think that this song is about how having bad friends can kind of mess you up . Trust me I know from personal experience that having friends who just care about being bad can mess up your mental state . Even though you still care about them because their your friends . It also is really bad when their doing stuff to hurt you .
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