"The Story I Heard" as written by and Ryan Dobrowski Aaron Nebeker....
Hey you, JoJo
Yeah, I know your name
I thought I saw you
Jump a Utah train
But I could not say

I heard you tried to
Put your hat on a shelf
Married a woman
Went off and loved someone else
It could be as well
I cannot tell

Hey you JoJo
Don't you forget your name
They might try to keep you
From the man you have been
So don't go that way

The story I heard
Is that people are bored
And the measures you take
To wrestle with your lord
All the money you take
All the memories you spill
Will He measure your time?
Will He measure your will?

One of these mornings
Will be the loudest you hear
You'll write your story on firecracker paper
And disappear

The story I heard
Is that people are bored
And the measures you take
Just to wrestle your lord
Are the measures you fake
Whether you’re dead or just still
Will He measure your time?
Will He measure your will?

One of these mornings
We'll be home

Lyrics submitted by rockerbabe99, edited by magnum8

"The Story I Heard" as written by Ryan Dobrowski Aaron Nebeker

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Story I Heard song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI was actually at a Blind Pilot concert back in November and Israel told us about this song. He said that he was waiting at the bus stop one morning and there was a homeless guy there named Jojo. Israel started talking to him and he wrote this song about him. It is basically about how people judge others before they even know anything about them. That is what I got out of the story anyway.
    mmg2243on February 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti really am not sure but,
    i feel like it's about someone who is running from his life...from his past...he's a changed man and is trading things in for a so-called better life. risking things he had, knowing and feeling guilty about going against things he once believed in. so "jojo don't you forget your name." remember who you were.
    cakehoeon October 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think I remember reading somewhere that Jojo was indeed a homeless man that Israel met. He said that they talked once, and the man told Israel his name was Jojo. Sometime later, Israel saw him again, and said "Hello Jojo". Jojo became ecstatic because someone knew his name. He didn't remember that he had talked to Israel before. Israel was amazed that this man was so thankful that just one simple thing had been remembered about him. Sort of like Jojo expects to be forgotten and be a ghost wherever he goes.
    Tamekichion July 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's very cool that there's this tie in to a homeless person - a guy that is drifting and trying to find himself and is clearly going nowhere - and then there is this religious theme that fits very well into the story line of joseph smith - who heard a story and led people to believe it. it's like he's meeting joseph smith in a day gone by much like he met jojo the homeless guy and he wants to talk to him. israel says that he's heard a story too, and the story that he heard is that people are bored, etc.and you should be careful about the path you lead people down. we're all discontent. we're all messed up. so we try to write our own story. but you're kind of going too far here. he's just saying that the god he believes in treats everyone the same. but he is not sure exactly how - what you say, what your will was. but the truth will come out in the end - he says, one of these mornings will be the loudest you'll here - we'll know the truth and we'll all be home. i really love this song. thanks for all the insight previously.
    steviedlyricson December 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think the main focus of this song is that your name and past don't quite define you as a person. It's possible to be 'reborn'.

    Like other commenters have said, this song was about a homeless man named JoJo that Israel met. Israel listened to his story about a failed marriage because of JoJo's mistakes, and JoJo let that hang over his head.

    Israel is saying you shouldn't let your name (your past and memories) keep you from becoming something bigger than yourself. Being bored and wrestling with your lord (i.e. morals, beliefs; doesn't have to be religious) is something everyone does. 'Am I a good person?', 'Have I used my life wisely?' But it's these questions that steer you down the wrong path. It's easy to get sucked into that hole, but really, the only time is right now.

    "One of these mornings will be the loudest you hear."

    I just want to say I love this line. If you are having an issue in your life, one that stays with you for days, weeks, months, or years, someday you will wake up and the solution to that issue is going to smack you in the face.

    "You'll write your story from firecracker paper, and disappear, near disappear."

    He is saying that once you realize the solution, you'll write your story off. Put it in the past. And your old self will disappear, but not quite. You'll still have your name. But you are reborn, and life seems fresh and new, and your name has a new meaning.

    Happy listening,

    RiceTongson November 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti am wildly in love with every blind pilot song.
    i love blind pilot.
    movenon July 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song too!
    but does anyone what they're trying to say..
    zebikeron September 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is really a man named Jojo. Nebeker met him twice at the same bus stop. -least that's the story I heard

    "because the story I heard,
    is that people are born
    and the measures you take
    to wrestle with your lord."

    (Israel's back handed biblical reference to himself - Jacob becomes Israel, or vise-versa, maybe the angels name was Isreal I forget it's been a long time since I've studied any of that history. Somebody wrestled with an angel and got a new name Aaron, Jakob, Israel- two of 'ems.)

    "All the money to take,
    All the memories you spill.
    Will HE measure your time?
    Will HE measure your will?

    Oh, now."
    (might actually be "oh, no" - depends on whether or not you choose to wrestle with your lord or not)

    I like, "Hell No." but I drink real heavy.

    MickTon January 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak...Then the man said, "you shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed."" -Genesis 32:24-28

    The man of course was God. A short and random story in Genesis. washingtonubf.org/BibleMaterials/Genesis/…
    In case you want to know more about it.

    Israel Nebeker is a genius.

    scammaj12on March 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningCakehoe, I think you're on the right track. Taking your interpretation a bit further, I suggest that "JoJo" is probably Joseph Smith. Jumping the Utah train, wrestling with the lord, taking people's money, and most importantly "tried to keep your hat on a shelf." Since Joseph Smith supposedly covered his face with his hat in order to see the magic stones and thus decipher the golden tablets. The song's pretty cryptic but I think the song's perspective is from that of a non-Mormon, wondering how God will judge the Mormon leader's actions in the end.
    bodrumon August 27, 2009   Link

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