Twenty One Pilots: Johnny Boy Meaning
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Johnny Boy Lyrics
He never really told his wife
He never really told a lie but this time he decides that it's alright.
No one really knows his mind and no one knows behind his eyes.
The man deserves a medal
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Dec 13th 2016 report
I feel as if this is about a man that is not appreciated enough for everything he's done and is pushed around and stepped all over and labeled maybe "weak".
"He stays home from work this time, he never really told his wife..."
I feel this is him beginning to not care about showing up to work or to anything for that matter and not being honest with his wife about it.
"He never really told a lie but this time he decides that it's alright.
It's alright." I feel this one is about him feeling somewhat almost alive for telling a lie for the first time in his life, and that maybe it's okay that he lies this time.
"No one really knows his mind and no one knows behind his eyes" I can say maybe he hides his real emotions and can't be read by someone else
"The man deserves a medal
But he's never really won a prize before.
He goes to lock the door."
This means that he feels unappreciated and can't ever get anything in return for what good he has done.
"He is falling in love
He knows it's enough
And the world looks down and frowns"
Means he is in love with what he has and feels it could be enough for him to stay, but he still feels too alone to stay.
"Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy,
Get up 'cause the world has left you lying on the ground"
I feel this means Johnny has just committed suicide by something like drugs, pills, alcohol, etc. implying "the world has left turn lying on the ground".
"You're my pride and joy, you're my pride and joy.
Get up Johnny boy because we all need you now.
We all need you now."
The people who ignored his acts of kindness and stepped all over him and drove him to kill himself realize that he made the proud and are crying for him to come back because they REALLY need him now.
Someone said, "Where you going?"
Someone said to you, "Goodbye."
He left work and they fired him for not showing up so they said "goodbye."
"They deflect the disrespect when they say that they blame it on the times
They blame it on the time."
They blamed their own issues for disrespecting Johnny, blinded to what he was actually feeling.
"We all know you're qualified to fix a chair and love your wife
They all know you're qualified but they lie when they blame it on the times.
And we blame it on the times."
He is qualified for pretty much anything, and so people take advantage of his talents and blame it on their own issues, once again, but Johnny knows they're lying about their problems, and he knows it's just a human thing but he still feels alone.
"I will carry all your names and I will carry all your shame
And I will carry all your names and I will carry all your shame
And I will carry all your names and I will carry all your shame"
That one person will stand up for Johnny and hold him through all the names he's called and all the shame he feels. Johnny is needed but people think of him as weak and gullible so they push him around to his limit. Now everybody wants him back, but it's too late.
I hope you all enjoyed my perspective on this song, there may be some things I missed or got wrong, but I hope yo liked it. Thanks!!!:3
anonymous Aug 23rd report
"No one really knows his mind, and no one knows behind his eyes the man deserves a medal but he's never really won a prize before.". I think this song is about someone trapped in his own mundane-ness. No one thinks about your average Joe, Bill, or John or what he may be feel. He may be an outstanding worker, an outstanding and extraordinary husband, but since he's never won a prize for it like employee of the month in the eyes of everyone else it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how much time and effort he putts into something because people will always see him as average. "He never really told a lie" He follows the rules, but never gets anything for it. No one notices he sticks to the rules because it's safer, or because it goes against his morals. That doesn't matter when others out there take risks and cheat their way through life and still succeed.
anonymous Mar 22nd 2021 report
Basically this song in a nutshell:
A man (let's call him Johnny... duh) who feels underappreciated and deserves more than he has and has slipped into depression because of it "The world has left you lying on the ground"
"Get up Johnny boy x2
get up cause the world has left you lying on the ground.
You're my pride and joy x2 get up Johnny boy, cuz we all need you now."
I think this can also be Tyler's message to anyone with depression who has given up, or is close to, telling them that people care "You're my pride and joy"
Idk, just a thought...
anonymous Dec 7th 2018 report
I've always thought of it as being about a trans man. it just seems to fit really well
Someone said, "Where you going?"
Someone said to you, "Goodbye."
this cold be taken as people seeing him as having become a different person or no longer wanting him in their lives
"We all know you're qualified to fix a chair and love your wife
They all know you're qualified but they lie when they blame it on the times."
people know that he can do what ay cis man can do .
"They deflect the disrespect when they say that they blame it on the times" they won't accept him because of personal doubts that they brush off as just being society
(lmao this is probably a shit analysis but idc i just wanted to share my thoughts as an illiterate child)
anonymous Dec 1st 2018 report
One of the beauties of interpretation, is that if the song is written containing major themes it can be applied to much more specific scenarios.
The song can easily be applied to anything dealing with depression.
More specific, “Johnny Boy” can reference many things.
1) soldiers, 2) Boy Scout as a negative (non lying naive person) 3) the man’s man(Bond). 4) there are more
It’s interesting because this song could also be the complaint of men in general at this point in time. As the perspective world says more about how bad men in general are and if the competent ones(say electricians, plumbers, other primarily blue collar jobs) stopped or got depressed people would realize how much each person actually matters.
It’s a stretch but If you’ve read Atlas shrugged it could be more specific to industry leaders leaving and “who is John Gault” because we all need you now as the world crumbles.
The most general idea is that we don’t really know what’s in someone’s head(even our own sometimes) and we don’t show enough appreciation to those around us or ourselves for what is done right. Only once it’s gone do we realize how much the person actually impacts everyone else, but there is typically 1 person who does recognize and appreciate that person even though that person may not be enough for Johnny boy to continue to hold up his world.
anonymous Nov 27th 2018 report
I think it is about him being suicidal. He always goes on in life and people know and like him but they don't know what is really going on. He mostly feels alone through this whole process. One day he decides to stay home from work, because he needs to be alone, to think. He didn't tell his wife because even she doesn't know. He was just this normal guy that everyone knew without really knowing him. Eventually, he goes to lock the door because he made a decision. He knows his wife loved him and he was liked and that's enough for him to survive on. No one truly cared about and he was judged by many. He had one true person in his life that loved him deeply before he decides to attempt suicide. He takes pills or something and he lays there waiting to die, but his friend calls about why he wasn't at work today. Jhonny starts telling him and he ends up coughing out the pills and surviving because his friend saved his life. This doesn't stop him from being frowned on in society and he hates being so much more treated differently than before.
This is my conclusion and maybe he survives his pain but maybe he didn't. Stay alive, stay street friends l-/
anonymous Nov 9th 2018 report
A gay man who has to hide his sexuality from the world. I got the idea from 'he needs never really told his wife,' and 'he is falling in love and he knows it's enough'. He never told his wife he was gay, so he could marry her and seem straight to the world and be 'normal'. And he could be having an affair with a man and falling in love with him.
anonymous Aug 5th 2018 report
My first interpretation (which is the stronger one)
So I feel like this is about a man who may have been forced to live a life he doesn't want to live. It's about a man who feels like he's doing what everyone wants but not what's best for him. Im sure he loves his wife but I think he felt pushed by everyone to love her. It's almost like it's that family friend that everyone loves and expects you to be with. It's almost as if he's not living his life to the fullest. He feels as if all he's for is loving his wife and doing the generic man things. He wants more experiences but he feels like if he changes the way things are and the way he's living his life his family and friends will look down on him and he's finally shut down. He's trying to figure out what he really wants.
My second interpretation (kind of a stretch)
This is about a man who is cheating on his wife. A man who felt like he was pushed into the relationship (like I stated in the previous interpretation) but he's fallen in love with another woman ("He has fallen in love; he knows it's enough.")
and then he states that the world now looks down on him and frowns at him for being in love with another woman instead of his wife. He feels trapped and doesn't know how to tell his wife so he keeps living a life that he doesn't want to live. It kinda ties in with the first interpretation with more drama.
anonymous Apr 30th 2018 report
When I listen to this song I can't help but think it's about a Gay man who feels as though no one understands him, and is suicidal for this reason. "He never really told his wife," I interpret this as him not being honest with his wife about his sexuality."He has fallen in love. He knows it's enough. But the world looks down and frowns." I interpret this as him falling in love, and finally feeling accepted, but not being open about his feelings because society at this time frowns upon people with same sex attractions. Finally he locks himself in his own mind and kills it. This idea comes from another one of their songs, "Migraine," Tyler sings: "sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind"
This is simply my interpretation of this song, however your opinion is your opinion, and I respect it, as I hope you respect mine
anonymous Feb 16th 2018 report
It kinda reminds me of Jonny from the outsiders
anonymous Dec 24th 2017 report
I think this song is about a guy who always puts on a smile and everybody thinks he is all fine and dandy, but deep down he’s feeling like everything could come crashing down at any moment and referring to his wife he won’t tell anyone about his problems. So, he keeps it to himself and knowing that people want to help if something might be wrong and he doesn’t want people to worry about him and he doesn’t want to be judged. Then, carrying on with that he shuts himself out from the world thinking nothing could go wrong with him in there but as Tyler sings, “I will carry all your names and I will carry all your shames.” He is saying that I will try to help you get through this.
anonymous Oct 8th 2017 report
Suicide. The song is about an under appreciated man, committing suicide. Whether it's an internal suicide or real life suicide.
anonymous Sep 14th 2017 report
For some reason when I hear this song, I think of a man whose been in the army or military and has come home from war. Every one puts these men on pedestals and think they are the strongest in the world both mentally and physically. However, when he comes home, like many others, struggles with ptsd and is in a constant battle of trying to go back to living his normal life at home and return to being with his family. He can never forget the hurt and those he's lost or the horrors he's seen and the world has just taken him down. He's supposed to be strong and be the pride and joy of his family, but they have no idea what he's going through and struggling with every day. He's in a battle of trying to be strong and be there for his family but can't because of his constant battle with ptsd.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Jul 23rd 2017 report
I see it being about a person who never gets recognized for all of the good things he has done and when people ask him how he is doing he just tells them he's fine, but he's not fine, so one day he shuts himself in and tries to prove to himself that Noone would notice he is gone and the person singing the song is the one person that realizes he needs him.
anonymous Dec 2nd 2016 report
i just listened to the song for the second time and i don't know why but i feel like the song is about suicide; this guy lets call him 'johnny' (possibly a play on the name of an unidentifiable dead man; John Doe??)stays home from work one day and has had enough, he locks the door so no one can come in and hangs himself (i got to this conclusion from one of the lyrics: 'he is falling/ and though he know it's not/ the world looks down and frowns' - possibly signally to how someone hangs themself, standing on a chair and jump/fall) and the rest of the song is like someone telling him to get up, to keep fighting, to live. it's almost like a plea, the artist is (possibly) trying to convey the importance of getting up when life shoves you down, of living even though you feel like you want to die...
i don't know though... this is just my interpretation, take it with a pinch of salt or not at all... it's up to you.
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