"Car Radio" as written by Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph....
I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today

I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence

Sometimes quiet is violent
I find it hard to hide it
My pride is no longer inside
It's on my sleeve
My skin will scream reminding me of
Who I killed inside my dream
I hate this car that I'm driving
There's no hiding for me
I'm forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real
I could pull the steering wheel

I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence

I ponder of something terrifying
'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
I find over the course of our human existence
One thing consists of consistence
And it's that we're all battling fear
Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking
I liked it better when my car had sound

There are things we can do
But from the things that work there are only two
And from the two that we choose to do
Peace will win and fear will lose
It is faith and there's sleep
We need to pick one please because
Faith is to be awake
And to be awake is for us to think
And for us to think is to be alive
And I will try with every rhyme
To come across like I am dying
To let you know you need to try to think

I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence

And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit

I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today

I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence


Lyrics submitted by tavman, edited by raveman001, Whetever, chloehasalife, thinge123, kirstenv

"Car Radio" as written by Tyler Joseph

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Car Radio song meanings
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81 Comments

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  • +56
    My InterpretationI read through the comments, and I really don't think this song is about him getting his car radio stolen. I think it's about him running out of distractions and having to actually deal with his problems and emotions. I think it's about him learning how to be alive. But that's just me.
    CaptiveLon May 23, 2013   Link
  • +17
    Link(s)kroq.cbslocal.com/twenty-one-pilots-discuss-their-rising-popularity-and-grassroots-approach-to-music/

    "Joseph said that while he was going to college to major in Communications (or in his words, a fancy way of saying undecided), he pulled his “horribly beat up car to the place” where he’s “supposed to learn for thousands of dollars” and because he was late, didn’t lock the door. As one might suspect, when Joseph left class his car was gutted with his CD Player, GPS, and car radio stolen.
    “And because I’m super emo and all about looking for inspiration, I wrote a song about that moment.”
    Joseph said that sans car radio, he had more time to be introspective. “That song kind of just documents where you let your mind go when you don’t have a distraction to keep it in its box.”
    Moonbeam86on April 30, 2013   Link
  • +16
    General Commenti like this song because its easy for me to relate -

    "I ponder of something great
    My lungs will fill and then deflate
    They fill with fire
    Exhale desire
    I know it's dire
    My time today"

    basically explains how i feel, i feel like i have limited time on this planet which equates to a finite time inwhich i have to conquer all of what i want to accomplsh with my life. "i ponder of something great" i have all these great ideas and the ambition to conquer them, but i have to keep in mind that time waits for no man, no matter how great he. or his ideas are

    "I have these thoughts
    So often I ought
    To replace that slot
    With what I once bought
    'Cause somebody stole
    My car radio
    And now I just sit in silence"

    basically explains how he suffers from "racing thoughts", he can't turn his brain off because he's constantly thinking about anything and everything in every scenario possible. he can escape this feeling by sleeping, but when he's not sleeping the only way to preoccupy his mind is with music. with no radio he has no way to block out his thoughts

    "Sometimes quiet is violent
    I find it hard to hide it
    My pride is no longer inside
    It's on my sleeve
    My skin will scream
    Reminding me of
    Who I killed inside my dream
    I hate this car that I'm driving
    There's no hiding for me
    I'm forced to deal with what I feel
    There is no distraction to mask what is real
    I could pull the steering wheel"

    now he hints that even though some of his thoughts are pleasant and hopeful, he also has negative feelings in the same, quiet, thoughtful manner. this verse is further explaining the point that without music, he is forced to deal with his thoughts. serving as a constant reminder for everything. he feels so lost and helpless that he even goes as far as saying "i could pull the steering wheel" hinting that he could run himself off the road (suicide) and end this constant feeling of not being able to escape the monsters in your head

    "I ponder of something terrifying
    'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
    I find over the course of our human existence
    One thing consists of consistence
    And it's that we're all battling fear
    Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
    Oh my,
    Too deep
    Please stop thinking
    I liked it better when my car had sound"

    further explaining the negative side of his constantly racing thoughts

    i think this song is basically about how when someone stole his car radio, his thoughts drove him to have suicidal ideation, because he has an overactive imagination
    herestolife1000on May 07, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI feel like this song is pretty self-explanatory. When you are just alone in silence, your thoughts can consume you. Especially, when you have dark thoughts, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by them. Tyler (the singer and writer) can't find anymore distractions, and he is left alone with his thoughts.
    sydneyd6338on December 14, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI ponder of something great
    My lungs will fill and then deflate
    They fill with fire
    Exhale desire
    I know it's dire
    My time today

    Think about something better than reality. Breathe and breathe while taking misery and still hoping to end up with something incredible. Everyday is important.

    I have these thoughts
    So often I ought
    To replace that slot
    With what I once bought
    'Cause somebody stole
    My car radio
    And now I just sit in silence

    He keeps thinking and thinking about the bad things but knows he should be thinking about happy memories he holds. His distractions have left him, which causes silence, which causes overthinking and depression.
    Sometimes quiet is violent
    I find it hard to hide it
    My pride is no longer inside
    It's on my sleeve
    My skin will scream
    Reminding me of
    Who I killed inside my dream
    I hate this car that I'm driving
    There's no hiding for me
    I'm forced to deal with what I feel
    There is no distraction to mask what is real
    I could pull the steering wheel

    Quiet leads to thinking which leads to bad thoughts which can inflict emotion. His pride can be destroyed by other people, rather than before when he could stay proud no matter who tried to bring him down. His looks remind him of something not beautiful, screaming at him that he isn’t perfect. His appearance reminds him of people who insult him, which is who he wishes to die. He hates his life and the road he is taking with it. There is nothing to stop his train of terrible thoughts. He realizes he can take a sharp turn with his life and change.

    I ponder of something terrifying
    'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
    I find over the course of our human existence
    One thing consists of consistence
    And it's that we're all battling fear
    Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
    Oh my,
    Too deep
    Please stop thinking
    I liked it better when my car had sound

    He thinks of terrible things because there are no distractions. He finds that the one thing that connects to everyone is that everyone battles with the idea that they don’t control their fate. His thoughts are becoming deeper and deeper, as he struggles with the thought of why he was ever born. He realizes that his thoughts are inducing a kind of sadness, which is why he wishes for his train to be cut off.

    There are things we can do
    But from the things that work there are only two
    And from the two that we choose to do
    Peace will win
    And fear will lose
    There's faith and there's sleep
    We need to pick one please because
    Faith is to be awake
    And to be awake is for us to think
    And for us to think is to be alive
    And I will try with every rhyme
    To come across like I am dying
    To let you know you need to try to think

    There are only two basic things in life, peace and fear. In the end, death is peace, so peace conquers. Peace is made up of faith that life will get better. Fear is made of sleep because sleeping is more like hiding from life. You must choose one or the other, because to have faith you must be awake to believe. Once awake, a human thinks. Once thinking, you are alive in the simplest terms. He speaks as though he is dying for people to really believe him.

    Just what I think.
    SophiaK1on August 04, 2014   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningMy pride is no longer inside
    It's on my sleeve
    My skin will scream
    Reminding me of
    Who I killed inside my dream
    I hate this car that I'm driving

    I feel like this is one of the most significant parts that all the comments I've read are missing. Basically what I think is that he's using the word pride as more negative as in depression and his sleeve is his wrists where (sorry I couldn't think of a nicer way to say this) he cuts himself which is why his skin is screaming and in this case, his "car" is his body.
    PATDPhanon February 02, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about him losing the radio and music (a distraction) from his suicidal thoughts, and how he gets worse without it, "I hate this car that I'm driving" shows that driving is a pain without music.

    "I hate this car that I'm driving
    There's no hiding for me (distraction)
    I'm forced to deal with what I feel (suicidal thoughts)
    There is no distraction to mask what is real
    I could pull the steering wheel (could kill myself)"
    lovelylieson June 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTrust me, this song is literally about someone stealing his car radio. If you've ever lived through this, you know the unbearable silence that comes when you lose the distraction of the radio. There's nothing that will let you escape the screaming silence other than pulling the steering wheel (killing yourself) and you debate it for the entire time you're driving. It feels like hours driving, even if it's only 10 minutes. I know the 15-20 minute drives home every night used to scare my boyfriend to death because he didn't know if I would make it home or not. He gave me his iPod every night if mine was dead so I would have a distraction. The music saved my life. That's why he's going insane, someone stole his car radio and he's just sitting in silence. Silence is violent.
    k4love1on September 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti believe that thing song is about how he now has nothing to distract him from his problems. he used to have the car radio, which has songs, to take him to a different place and save him from what is really happening but now that it is stolen, he now has to deal with those problems because without the music to distract him, it makes him think about what is really happening to him. and his thoughts are taken over.

    'I'm forced to deal with what I feel
    There is no distraction to mask what is real
    I could pull the steering wheel'

    this line indicates that because he doesn't have the music to distract him, he feels like his mind is taking over and the only way to make it stop is to just end it; crashing the car (pulling the steering wheel).

    'Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking
    I liked it better when my car had sound'

    in this part of the song, he begins to think too deeply causing his to panic. he then wants his car radio back to put the distraction back so he doesn't need to think like this.
    devonbarkson June 17, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think why he is trying to say is someone said something and "stole" his confidence or will to live and so he sits there thinking and it makes him realize that he doesn't like his life so he needs to replace those thoughts
    gracie1128on February 26, 2016   Link

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