Twenty One Pilots just released their latest album TRENCH and it's packed with songs that really make you think about a variety of tough-to-discuss issues, including mental health awareness and suicide.
Just taking a look at some of the lyrics, I think that most of 'Neon Gravestones' is a criticism of the massive amount of media coverage surrounding celebrity suicides. Notice the ".." in the first line. While it could be left up to the imagination, the context of the lyrics around it (treating a loss like it is a win) point toward suicide as the topic.
"We glorify those even more when they.. My opinion, our culture can treat a loss, Like it’s a win and right before we turn on them, We give them the highest of praise, And hang their banner from a ceiling, Communicating, further engraving, An earlier grave is an optional way. No."
The closing lyrics really resonated with me because they bring up something I never would have considered on my own. If I'm understanding them correctly, the lyrics seem to encourage us to remember and mourn the deaths of older people in our lives instead of just focusing on those (famous or not) who died at far younger ages.
"I’m not disrespecting what was left behind, Just pleading that it does not get glorified, Maybe we swap out what it is that we hold so high. Find your grandparents or someone of age, Pay some respects for the path that they paved, To life they were dedicated. Now that should be celebrated."
My now-deceased grandfather was a World War II vet who was on the beaches of Normandy and was shot in the helmet on D-Day, miraculously without any permanent physical impact. He went on to become a talented salesman, especially in the forklift industry, upon returning to the United States. He built a family he loved dearly and never failed to support.
Why am I telling you this? Because, frankly, I think the life he dedicated, decisions he made putting the family and country over his own well-being, and love he had for his family are all aspects of his life that should absolutely be celebrated. I think Twenty One Pilots nailed that message in this track.
Feel free to share your thoughts on 'Neon Gravestones' and your interpretation of the lyrics in the comments below!