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I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

What does "My Blood" by Twenty One Pilots mean?

What does "My Blood" by Twenty One Pilots mean?

“My Blood” Lyrics Meaning

Today, we’ll be talking about “My Blood”, the forth song in the record Trench by twenty one pilots. It’s a super interesting song, and it’s kind of related to other songs from previous albums, like Migraine, where we had suicidal crazed lions; I also want to say that this song is unique with twenty one pilots songs, because often at times it feels like their songs aren’t meant to be songs, but are meant to be poems; but with what we’ve been hearing with this song, it feels like twenty one pilots and Tyler Joseph are trying to write more and more songs that are tried and true songs; he’s got a lot more repetition in this song, and it works really well. So, in the first verse, we have

 

Verse One

When everyone you thought you knew
Deserts your fight, I'll go with you
You're facing down a dark hall
I'll grab my light, and go with you

 

we will see Tyler singing this whole song to somebody, the indefinite ‘you’; and so, this person he’s singing to seems to have a fight, they are struggling, and other people help them only sometimes, but they do desert them, so he is saying that he will be there for this person when everyone else is gone. And this person facing a dark hall could mean depression, because just like in the song “Mansion” by NF, he uses this home as a metaphor for his mind, and all of the things that he has to struggle with, and so a dark hall can be a significant to a lot of things, like depression, family problems, anything really, and it’s not actually said in here, but regardless of what this dark hall actually is, Tyler says that he will use his light to help go down this hall with this person, and we can see that Tyler is insuring them that he will be there for them in the refrain,

 

Refrain

I'll go with you, I'll go with you
I'll go with you, I'll go with you
I'll go with you, I'll go with you
I'll go with you

 

Then we have the second verse

 

Verse Two

Surrounded and up against a wall
I'll shred 'em all and go with you

 

so when the fight is here, when it comes to this person, he will be there for them, as he will fight those people, defending his loved ones.

When choices end, you must defend
I'll grab my bat
And go with you

 

Tyler is talking about when they can’t choose what they want anymore, when they have to choose the hard option, and when they just have to fight this fight; he says that he’ll grab his bat and go with them, which is most probably a baseball bat, and it’s interesting because we can kind of see a connection here, between this line and Regional At Best album cover, where Tyler’s brother Zack Joseph was standing there and playing in Little League Baseball game; so clearly baseball and bats were a big part of his life growing up.

 

Chorus

Stay with me, no, you don't need to run
Stay with me, my blood, you don't need to run
Stay with me, no, you don't need to run
Stay with me, my blood, you don't need to run

 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, this song has a lot of repetition, but it works well, as we can see that Tyler is saying that he will be there for whoever he’s singing to, this person does not need to run, he will be there for them, will stay, will fight, and together they’ll figure it out.

We also can hear that he’s calling this person “my blood”, and a quick note, just like “Tear In My Heart”, where Tyler was talking about his wife, Jenna, he said that she’s like a tear in his heart, and that she was like a carver, or that she’s a butcher with a smile, all of which that hurt him, but it makes him feel alive; and in the music video, everyone around him looks creepy and weird, when their eyes gets distorted, but she’s the only one who hits him, but she doesn’t get distorted, she is somebody who he can trust, he loves her, and in the end it turns good for him; and so, my initial thought was that this song was meant to be for her, a lot of people thought it was about Josh, or about the banditos, and some even went for a darker interpretation and thought that he was talking about his actual blood; but if you listened to the song, you won’t get friendship, skeleton clique, or love vibes, especially with the phrase “My Blood”; it just feels like he’s talking about family, his family; Usually people use the word my blood as a representation to one’s family and close relatives, and that can be even more easy to pick up in the third verse,

 

Verse Three

If there comes a day
People posted up at the end of your driveway
They're callin' for your head and they're callin' for your name
I'll bomb down on 'em, I'm comin' through
Did they know I was grown with you?
If they're here to smoke, know I'll go with you
Just keep it outside, keep it outside, yeah

 

and here he comes back to this idea of “I’ll be there when everyone else leaves”; so if and when this person will need to defend themselves. A quick and fun note, Clifford has actually tweeted that this song is about Tyler’s brothers, and he said that “If they’re here to smoke” probably means something along the lines of “If they’re here to fight”, and the band themselves actually liked this tweet, so Tyler is saying that he’ll be there to help, and he is being serious and sincere, he’ll even “bomb down on 'em”.

 

Bridge

If you find yourself in a lion's den
I'll jump right in and pull my pin

 

A lion’s den seems like a Biblical reference, and it also seems like a reference to “Migraine”; and talking about him pulling his pin kind of gives us a suicide bomber vibes, which of course isn’t a thing that he says is okay, but I believe that he means he’ll risk it all, he will metaphorically take his own life, or like, risk his own life, and give up his own life to save them, to save his family.

Earlier this year, Tyler Joseph has given us a live performance of few songs at SiriusXM Alt Nation, and he had few things to say about this song: “This is called “My Blood” and I wanna explain one of the verses that means a lot to me. I guess you can wrap this song up and say it’s about family. When I was younger I had some older cousins that lived in Michigan, and I always looked up to them because they were older and cooler. There was a story where the younger brother of my cousins was kind of a loud mouth, got into a lot of trouble, very cocky, and his older brother who also played football with him was much quieter, didn’t talk a lot; And it got to the point where the younger cousin was running his mouth so much that the rival high school football team showed up to his house. So in this song I talk about people at the end of your driveway calling out your name, it’s in reference to this story, because what happened is, the older cousin who was always very quiet, kept to himself, no one knew that he was a black belt, and he went out to the end of the driveway and he took care of business. That story was stuck with me, you know, defending your family, sticking up for them; and as I was writing this song, I was thinking about if I were in that position, if I had to go defend my family, I realized I would probably need a weapon, so I thought I’d introduce a bat into the story, because my soft hands probably wouldn’t be able to punch anyone square in the face”

It is worth mentioning that I believe that it fits well in the theme of the new album; because Vessel was more about mental struggles, personal darkness, and depressive thoughts, and it was trying to help people, the skeleton clique, and Tyler and Josh themselves; Blurryface was about struggling with that within himself, Tyler was trying to fight it, he gave those thought a name and a face, he also talked a lot about and to God, in both of the albums actually; but it seems with Trench, that he is relying on other people more, he’s asking for help, you can see it with “Jumpsuit”, Jumpsuit jumpsuit cover me, the music video, where Josh, Jenna, and the banditos throw yellow petals at him and at the bishop to scare him away; in “Nico and The Niners”, where he’s being rescued by the banditos with Josh in the lead, and now in My Blood, he’s helping his family, and they are helping him. That’s quite a beautiful thing, for him to be able to see that there are others who are there for him, and that’s he is also there for them.

And that was “My Blood” by twenty one pilots, it’s a beautiful catchy song, and ending on that note, Trench will be a record where he addresses family, friends, the banditos, the skeleton clique, and maybe even God; so stay tuned for more Trench songs explanations.

You can also watch Cliff’s videos on the lyrics and the music video by clicking on the links below.

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