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What does "Don't Throw Out My Legos" by AJR mean?

What does "Don't Throw Out My Legos" by AJR mean?

“Don’t Throw Out My Legos” Lyrics Meaning

“That was like, one of the first songs that we wrote for the album. We had just moved out of our parent’s house and we realized… we have to write a song about moving out. We made it about throwing away our Legos.” Jack Met of AJR said about the song in an Instagram livestream. (The song is autobiographical, but is written from the perspective of a single person, despite the lyrics being written by all three brothers. To simplify things, the person whose perspective the song is written from will be called “the singer.”)

“I wanna move out, I don’t wanna move on”

This line underscores the conflict the singer of “Don’t Throw Out My Legos” faces. He is preparing to enter the adult stage of his life, but is not prepared to leave behind his childhood when he moves out. Though he says he doesn’t want his Legos to be thrown out, it’s only a symbol for what he really fears losing: the comfort of his parent’s emotional support.

Verse 1

My new address is hard to remember

So I wrote it on the back of my hand

'Cause I leave the nest this coming December

To make it as a grown man

I’m 'bout to lose my only defenders

I'm packing up whatever I can

The singer’s address is “hard to remember” because it’s so new that he doesn’t even move in until “this coming December.” This will be his first time living apart from his parents to “make it as a grown man.” As he is “packing up whatever [he] can,” he realizes that he is about “to lose [his] only defenders.” His parents have always been there to protect and guide him, and it occurs to him what a loss there lack of presence will be.


Been waiting for today, but

All I can think to say is

Oh no, don’t throw out my Legos

What if I can't let go?

What if I come back home, back home?

Oh no, don't throw out my Legos

What if I can't let go?

What if I come back home, back home?

Can we keep my Legos at home?

'Cause I wanna move out

I don't wanna move on

The singer has been waiting for the day when he would be old enough to begin his life of adulthood and move away from home. Now that the day is here, all he “can think to say is / oh no, don’t throw out my Legos.” The Legos are a symbol of the last gasp of childhood that remains in his home. In reality, he isn’t panicked because he won’t have Legos when he comes back home, he is afraid that all he loved of his childhood will be gone after today. He isn’t sure if he can “let go,” and asks his parents to “keep [his] Legos” (his childhood) safe “at home.” He wants to “move out,” but he isn’t ready to “move on.”

Verse 2

People want shirts with the band name on it

And suddenly, we ain't so bad

Saved up enough to rent an apartment

Far away from mom and dad

My Christmas card looks like a mugshot

'Cause suddenly I’m getting sad

In verse 2, the reality of the distance between himself and his childhood begins to sink in. He is pursuing his career in music and succeeding. Now “people want shirts with the band name on it” and with the money he has “saved up enough to rent an apartment.” The apartment, he adds, is “far away from mom and dad,” an addition to the statement that sucks all of the joy out of it for him.


It's cold out there, you're standing there

You're trying to face your greatest fear

You're shivering, you're trembling

It's warm in here, so come back in

Despite the abstractness of the bridge, it would appear to take place after the singer has moved away from home and stepped into his adult life. The singer (being the person who is telling the story) perspective changes from the college-age kid who is scared to lose his childhood, to the parents of that frightened young adult. Their child has experienced pain after moving away and is visiting home to seek comfort as he is “trying to face [his] greatest fear.” They invite him inside his childhood home as an assurance that however old he may grow, he never needs to worry about losing their support as his caring parents.

Deeper Meaning of “Don’t Throw Out My Legos” by AJR

The heartwarming bridge of “Don’t Throw Out My Legos” answers the question of the song. The question being: After I grow up, will I lose what I loved about my childhood? The bridge tells us no. Even though we may grow up, and grow out of things like Legos, the love of a parent, or a supportive figure doesn’t fade with the move. People who love us in our infancy, are not only proud of us when we step into adulthood, but they understand that we will need to be supported unconditionally like when we were children. We don’t have it all figured out. They know that. So even though those Legos might have gotten thrown out a long time ago, the kid they belonged to will still have the same shoulder to cry on according to AJR’s “Don’t Throw Out My Legos.”

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