He stays home from work this time
He never really told his wife
He never really told a lie but this time he decides that it's alright.
It's alright.
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.
He goes to lock the door.

He is falling in love
He knows it's enough
And the world looks down and frowns

Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy,
Get up 'cause the world has left you 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.

Someone said, "Where you going?"
Someone said to you, "Goodbye."
They deflect the disrespect when they say that they blame it on the times
They blame it on the time.
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 falling in love
He knows it's enough
And the world looks down and frowns

Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy
Get up 'cause the world has left you 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

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

Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy
Get up 'cause the world has left you 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.
Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy
Get up 'cause the world has left you 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.


Lyrics submitted by tavman, edited by DuhhhItzsPoppy, ElectricTurtle747

Johnny Boy song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationI think that this song is about a man who's always there to cheer up everyone when they are sad and hides his own misery from them and himself. He lies to himself saying tat everything would be okay. He had to be okay, so he convinces himself of it. Everyone takes him for granted and he is scared to ask for help because they think of him as an infinite person and doesn't want people to get worried. Eventually he gets tired of life and feels that nobody cares and nobody would unless he was gone forever. His reason to live was to help others, but he stops caring one day. So he locks himself to end himself and someone is trying to make him change his mind because they do notice him.
    To me, this is about making someone feel appreciated and loved because they deserve it the most.
    SopheBKon February 04, 2015   Link
  • +5
    General CommentHe's talking about an important person in his life he looks up to who is giving up, and knows if this person is gone he'll be lost. This person is telling a lie by telling everyone they're fine and nobody should worry. This person never got the recognition they deserve "the man deserves a medal but he never really one a prize. I think "he goes to lock the door" can be taken metaphoricly, he's shutting people out, or literally, closing the door so they can off themself. If you take it the second way it's far more dramatic as it now seems as the person telling the story is actually banging down the door and trying to tell them it's ok and they love them
    Kevintranapon July 29, 2014   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationIn my mind, this song speaks to several undertones of Twenty One Pilot songs if not all. As an avid listener and huge fan of this band, and as biased as it may be, I believe this song is about suicide. The character, referred to as Johnny Boy, has decided to commit suicide. This song is basically a dictation of the moment he is found dead by people who seem to have cared about him as they say "you're my pride and joy" (which is most likely just his wife's words). The world/fate (or some other higher force) could not save him in that moment although their was a general sense that he had determined an end to his life. "Johnny Boy" has some sort of "disrespect" for himself leading to his suicidal thoughts, but everyone else responding to the situation blames it on circumstances that happened to him.
    I believe that this song does give the message that he did commit suicide, successfully or not, he was "lying on the floor." The people calling to him give off a distant and fading last call for his life to be saved by letting him know that he is loved, ironically timed as he is no longer mentally present to hear how he is appreciated. Another reference for his lack of appreciation are in the verses "The man deserves a medal, but he's never really won a prize before."
    The overall message to me is that we should appreciate people while they are with us. We may feel love and compassion for someone, but without telling them directly, there is no way to know for sure that they are aware of it themselves. On the other hand, suicidal thoughts should not be acted on with such haste. Johnny may have killed himself for many reasons but solidified by the lack of respect for himself and the lack of attention from others. If he had approached the people in his life about his feelings or stuck through his life he could have had the chance to live to the day that someone told him he was loved. Unfortunately this wasn't the case, and this song is just a memoir of feeling for a man who may never have known how much he was loved before he ended his life for a lack there of.
    edgeofhumanityon October 10, 2015   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationThis song has always painted a picture of a man who's deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. A lot of people think it's something religious and they're probably right but this is how I see it.

    "He stays home from work this time
    He never really told his wife"

    He stays home from work and doesn't tell anybody. Strikes me as something somebody who's made up their mind to take their own life would do if they don't want someone to stop them.

    "He never really told a lie but this time he decides that it's alright.
    It's alright."

    He's never really liked before, but he decides to start now by not telling people he's staying home? Again seems like something somebody who plans to end their life would do. He decides alright, perhaps because of the common thought among the depressed that when he's done the deed "the world will be better off without him?" He thinks by telling this lie and allowing himself to end his life he's doing his loved ones and himself good thus justifying the lie?

    "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."

    The sad truth about many/most depressed people. Others don't understand them, they don't know what happens in their heads. He's done some exceptional things that have gone unrecognized and that's driven him further down this dark path.

    "He goes to lock the door."

    This line gives me chills. He's locking the door and effectively sealing his fate. Nobody can stop him now.

    "He is falling
    And though he knows it's not
    The world looks down and frowns."

    This part might be a bit of a stretch but he is "falling" to the ground after doing it? He knows deep down this is wrong, but depression has taken over his mind and the larger part of him now thinks this is the right decision. Again, he feels he's making the world a better place, but he's actually doing the opposite-"the world looks down and frowns."

    "Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy,
    Get up cause the world has left you lying on the ground."

    In the p.o.v. Of one of his loved ones? They want him to recover, to not make this horrible decision to kill himself because the world has him "lying on the ground." They want him to get up because it does get better.

    "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."

    Again from one of his loved ones, just continuing to explain that he does have value. Another thought that seems to creep into the mind of many depressed-that they have no worth to others. But the truth is that his family and loved ones really need him, he's just consumed by this horrible disease.

    "Someone said where you going
    Someone said to you goodbye"

    People do care about him. They want to know where he's going and what he's doing. Perhaps this person is saying goodbye fully unaware that this could be the very last goodbye between the two of them.

    "They deflect the disrespect when they say that they blame it on the times
    They blame it on the times."

    They're blaming this depression of his on hard times in the world in general? Kind of telling him to get over it because everyone is a little unhappy? Obviously this is the exact wrong thing to tell somebody who's depressed because it's a totally different kind of sadness, which led him to what happened in verse 1.

    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's a fully functioning human being. He can do things everyone else can do. These people who are blaming it "on the times" see that he can still function and assume nothing is really wrong with him.


    So this is what the song means to me. I'd love for others to add thoughts to this. Easily one of my favorite songs right now.
    Mpc1711on December 03, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Comment= Get up, up from your depression up from your sin.
    Because you still have purpose. =

    Don't let the world defeat you. Don't blame it on the times.

    This is your life. Jesus wants to carry your shame and give you a new name.

    You are someone's pride and joy.

    Get up before it's too late.

    I think that sums it up.
    Lastfalconon August 29, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe that song is about a war veteran struggling from PTSD.

    "No one really knows his mind and no one knows behind his eyes."
    This line could mean that nobody knows how he is struggling with the horrors of war.

    "The man deserves a medal, But he's never really won a prize before"
    In my opinion this line indicates that he was an unrecognized war hero.

    "He goes to lock the door."
    Indicates that he is closing himself off to the world.

    "Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy,
    Get up cause the world as left you 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"
    The chorus means to me that he fought for his country but is now struggling from PTSD and not getting the help he needs from his country that he risked his life to keep free.

    "Someone said where you going
    Someone said to you goodbye
    They deflect the disrespect when they say that they blame it on the times
    They blame it on the time."
    This means to me that nobody appreciated what he was doing and they just blamed his new disorder on something that they couldn't control, or "The Times"

    "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."
    Now this shows me that nobody really paid attention to him when he was in the army and now that he has come back he cannot find a good proffesion to help get him and his family through.

    "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"
    This is the final straw for me. It proves to me that the names of the men that fell on the line fire beside him still tuant hm and he knows he will not forget them though many others will.

    Again this is only my opinion but I think the=at the evidence is there.
    rhys108360on October 12, 2016   Link
  • +1
    TranslationI can't help but think of Johnny, from a popular book/movie "The Outsiders". Johnny was abused by his father and was more of a quiet character. *MAJOR SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS BOOK*: He was Ponyboy's (the main character) best friend and died after he tried to rescue children from a burning church (I could elaborate more but it's about the song). The point? Johnny died not in vain and was Pony's only friend "Get up Johnny Boy", his thoughts that he can't live without him; he was his "pride and joy".
    I think the song definitley relates to this. Someone losing a part of them or a physical person and thinking it's the end, but they carry on.
    JCGJONon May 28, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen i hear this song all i think about is johnny boy from the outsiders, like how he never really fit in and he "never told a lie" and "deserves a medal but never won a prize" idk i could be wrong but all i think of is when jonny boy is saving the kids in the burning house. Is it just me?
    gianna1161on March 28, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohnny boy is the third man coming in the Spirit of Elijah. He is the one to make straight the path for The Lord, turning fathers back to their children and children back to their Father lest the land be destroyed completely. This is why we all need him now. John the Baptist was the last man to
    Come in this way. Prophets of The Lord , like Elijah, have been known to have wives and be in conflict with the world/ be in a bad place before being called by The Lord our God to prepare a peøple for His Cøming.
    VoiceintheWildernesson September 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me, this song is about Tyler being looked up to since he's the oldest of four children in his family. This song is talking about how he "will carry all your names and I will carry all your shame," referring to his siblings. He feels pressured to make a good reputation for his family. They look up to him, and he is the parent's "pride and joy." He struggles with internal issues, which makes him think that the world is "looking down and frowning."
    sarahmorrisamon December 30, 2016   Link

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