"Forest" as written by and Tyler Joseph....
I don't know why I feed on emotion
There's a stomach inside my brain
I don't wanna be heard
I want to be listened to
Does it bother anyone else
That someone else has your name?
Does it bother anyone else
That someone else has your name, your name?

I scream, you scream, we all scream
'Cause we're terrified of what's around the corner
We stay in place
'Cause we don't want to lose our lives
So let's think of something better

Down in the forest
We'll sing a chorus
One that everybody knows
Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire
Singing songs that nobody wrote

My brain has given up
White flags are hoisted
I took some food for thought
It might be poisoned
The stomach in my brain
Throws up onto the page
Does it bother anyone else
That someone else has your name?
Does it bother anyone else
That someone else has your name?

I scream, you scream, we all scream
'Cause we're terrified of what's around the corner
We stay in place
'Cause we don't wanna lose our lives
So let's think of something better

Down in the forest
We'll sing a chorus
One that everybody knows
Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire
Singing songs that nobody wrote

Quickly moving towards a storm
Moving forward, torn
Into pieces over reasons of what these storms are for
I don't understand why everything I adore
Takes a different form when I squint my eyes
Have you ever done that?
When you squint your eyes
And your eyelashes make it look a little not right
And then when just enough light
Comes from just the right side
And you find you're not who you're supposed to be?

This is not what you're supposed to see
Please, remember me I am supposed to be
King of a kingdom or swinging on a swing
Something happened to my imagination
This situation's becoming dire
My tree house is on fire
And for some reason I smell gas on my hands
This is not what I had planned
This is not what I had planned

Down in the forest
We'll sing a chorus
Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire
Singing songs that nobody wrote

Down in the forest
We'll sing a chorus
One that everybody knows
Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire
Singing songs that nobody wrote

Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire

Hands held higher,
We'll be on fire


Lyrics submitted by bookhouseboy23, edited by fr0st2k

"Forest" as written by Tyler Joseph

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Forest song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationI always felt like this song was about worries, fears, and problems that you can never really leave behind and trying to escape from them momentarily even though you know in the back of you mind they are still there. In the first verse it gets into these problems, "wanting to be listened to" not "heard" and being bothered when others have the same name. Then after another verse it ends with "So let's think of something better" and the chorus starts. I think the "forest" represents a place to escape to and "singing" as something to tune out your problems with. When they mention the chorus being one that everybody knows I imagine it's because it's supposed to be "normal" and "expected" which is what he is trying to be by avoiding his problems and putting up a front. The "hands held higher" and "we'll" be on fire" part is the problems catching up to him. Then in the next verse he addresses them:
    "Quickly moving towards the storm
    Moving forward, torn into pieces
    Over reasons of what these storms are for
    I don't understand why everything I adore
    Takes a different form when I squint my eyes

    Have you ever done that, when you squint your eyes
    And your eyelashes make it look a little not right
    And when just enough light comes from just the right side
    And you find that you're not who you're supposed to be?
    This is not what you're supposed to see"

    In these verses he has stepped out of the forest and is slowly coming back to the reality of his situation. That nothing is perfect and the harder he focuses on it, the worse the problems seem. After spending so much time away in his "forest" he has forgotten his own problems and when they suddenly show up again he panics and they seem 10x worse. Hence:

    "Please, remember me, I am supposed to be king of the king
    Devil swinging on the swing, something happened in my imagination
    The situation's becoming dire, my treehouse is on fire
    And for some reason I smell gas on my hands
    This is not what I had planned"

    In fear he runs back to his "forest" and continues to ignore his problems.
    LindRawron November 03, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe chorus:

    Down in the forest we'll sing a chorus
    One that everybody knows
    Hands held higher, we'll be on fire
    Singing songs that nobody wrote

    --- I am one to believe that all people yearn for something more. However, we all get trapped in our own little lives, our problems, and the ways we cope. Breaking out of tradition is scary.

    One of my favorite lines from any song comes from NOFX's the decline:

    "Only moron and genius
    Would fight a losing battle
    Against the super ego
    When giving in is so damn comforting

    And so we go, on with our lives
    We know the truth, but prefer lies
    Lies are simple, simple is bliss
    Why go against tradition when we can
    Admit defeat, live in decline
    Be the victim of our own design
    The status quo, built on suspect
    Why would anyone stick out their neck?"

    Heading to the forest, a place outside of society, we all sing the same song, the underlying will to want something more out of life, but we sing a song no one knew, which means we walk our own path.

    This is a sentiment I truly believe. People have become so content with being a cog that the term 'individual' is slowly disappearing. Hence, "Does it bother anyone else that someone else has your name?"

    I really relate with squinting of your eyes. It might not happen often, and when it does, it doesn't last long, but you see something in from a different perspective.

    Great song.
    fr0st2kon December 19, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree with most of these comments however i feel like i should add one thing. the rap should be reviewed once again.

    "quickly moving towards the storm moving forward torn into pieces over reasons of what these storms are for"
    im not 100% sure but it seems like he is saying that he left his forest, his happy place, and now its harder to get back there. so now he is walking into the storm & he is coming apart. he isnt mainly coming apart because of the storm itself, he is coming apart after trying to fix the storm.

    "i dont understand why everything i adore takes a different form when i squint my eyes"
    i guess you could say his forest is like his car radio was. it distracted him from the bad aspects of life & when it was gone, he had time to think. now that he is outside of the forest, he is thinking. his forest also blinded him (like the effect of rose colored glasses: where you can only see what you want to see aka the good). when he was in the forest he could only see the good aspects & now that he is outside of the forest, he isnt blinded anymore.

    "have you ever done that where you squint your eyes & your eyelashes make it look a little not right & then just enough light comes from just the right side & you find youre not who youre supposed to be?"
    still outside of his forest, he is now seeing everything so clearly now & he finds out that the person that he has been all of his life is not who he is supposed to be

    "this is not what youre supposed to see please remember me i am supposed to he king of a kingdom swinging on a swing"
    he isnt supposed to be the person he thought he was. he is worth more

    "something happened to my imagination this situations becoming dire"
    his imagination was what was blinding him. he is saying now it is gone & the situation is real and clear.

    "my treehouse is on fire & for some reason i smell gas on my hands this is not what i had planned this is not what i had planned"
    he realised that he had caused this storm involuntarily & he wants to go back to his forest where everything was good
    joyyeebobaon April 16, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"I don't know why I feed on emotion
    There's a stomach inside my brain"

    He enjoys other people's feelings so much, that he actually hungers for them. Could be, that he even actively provokes intense feelings in others. Maybe his own emotions are too terrifying so he uses the others' as a distraction. Or maybe he feels numb and uses the others' emotions to feel anything at all.

    "I don't wanna be heard
    I want to be listened to"

    People generally hear what they want to hear. He longs for someone to take the effort of listening to his meaning behind his words rather than just consuming them. By just consuming words the other person ignores the speaker/writer, which can cause a feeling of dispensability and/or invisibility in him.

    "Does it bother anyone else
    That someone else has your name?"

    We are unique, so why should we share our name with someone else who is a completely different person? It is rather sad that we are used to being just another jane or joe and not even realize let alone worry about it. Phrasing this as a question challenges the reader/listener to question this fact.

    "I scream, you scream, we all scream
    'Cause we're terrified of what's around the corner
    We stay in place
    'Cause we don't want to lose our lives
    So let's think of something better"

    Fear of the unknown is very common, which makes us walk the same roads and do the same things as always and as everyone else around us. Even when we get bored or fed up or revolted by our routines we shrink from trying new things, because it frightens us. He challenges us to overcome our fear and find better ways of dealing with it rather than just ignoring it and thereby staying slave to habits induced by culture or upbringing.

    "Down in the forest
    We'll sing a chorus
    One that everybody knows
    Hands held higher,
    We'll be on fire
    Singing songs that nobody wrote"

    I can't help but think that this is about sex which in this context stands for letting out our real self when we are with the right person. True, it could simply mean loud screaming our frustration out in the safe recluse of the forest, but I personally wouldn't call that "singing". Also in this part he talks about "we" not "I". "Hands held higher" implies that we can't help but simply surrender to showing our true self to the one person that matters once we feel unobserved by others.

    "My brain has given up
    White flags are hoisted
    I took some food for thought
    It might be poisoned
    The stomach in my brain
    Throws up onto the page"

    He has fought a battle against surrendering to open up, lost it and as a result he has changed. The brain that used to feed on the emotions of others to hide behind is now coming out of its closet and instead shows its real self in writing about itself.

    "Quickly moving towards a storm
    Moving forward, torn
    Into pieces over reasons of what these storms are for"

    By leaving the safe place of the known (hiding) he moves forward to the unknown (opening up) which feels threatening. He continues forward even if that means great discomfort and uncertainty.

    "I don't understand why everything I adore
    Takes a different form when I squint my eyes
    Have you ever done that?
    When you squint your eyes
    And your eyelashes make it look a little not right
    And then when just enough light
    Comes from just the right side
    And you find you're not who you're supposed to be?"

    By squinting we narrow our field of vision so we can focus on certain things. Focussing and dividing that part into small pieces (eyelashes that cut like lines through the vision) makes us see things more clearly. When we are in the right frame of mind this can lead to insights about ourselves. The role(s) we play in our everyday life start to feel wrong. We realize that we live a life imposed on us and that that the things our ego appreciates are insignificant when facing the bottom line of existence aka our true self.

    "This is not what you're supposed to see
    Please, remember me I am supposed to be
    King of a kingdom or swinging on a swing"

    These are the thoughts of resistance that come up when walking new paths. We realize that others can see the change in us and that frightens us. Our changing is meant to stay a secret at least until we know our new self and feel safe with it, so we implore the world to stay focussed on the image we used to portrait. In this case either a person in control of himself and others or a harmless, happy child.

    "Something happened to my imagination
    This situation's becoming dire
    My tree house is on fire
    And for some reason I smell gas on my hands
    This is not what I had planned"

    Imagination is the first step on the road to self awareness. What if. But sooner or later instead of just being someone else in our minds we sooner or later start acting differently. This feels extremely scary and causes a feeling of chaos and destruction. The tree house resembles a recluse inside a recluse, a safe place in the middle of nowhere. Destroying the tree house means not withholding anything any longer from the one special person who is allowed to see our true self to the very bone of our existence. Being able and willing to do so even surprises ourselves. Opening up was not intended, it just happened out of its own accord.

    That's what I get from these lyrics. Thanks for reading :-)
    jahanaraon April 17, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think its about a general state of mind and how we all feel sometimes. It really captures the desperation and loneliness at those particular moments when we are lost. Its probable Tyler Joseph related it to some personal experience and every quote is a methaphor; I say this cause its written almost as a tale or in a narrative way. I personally think its beautifully written and I find it very surprising it hasn´t become a huge hit.
    Rapiunnon November 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI absolutely lobe this song.
    I think it is about the things that run through our minds and how our thoughts can really be all over the place. Sometimes our thoughts are so random and get distracted.

    "I don't know why I feed on emotion
    There's a stomach inside my brain
    I don't want to be heard, I want to be listened to
    Does it bother anyone else that someone else has your name?"

    He's talking about something pretty deep and then are random casual thought. We all think like this all of the time.
    Stephskitzon February 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like this song is about getting relief from the fears, and doubts in your life. It gives us a way to escape. In the verses it seems to me like Tyler is talking about his life and how he's constantly being defeated by his problems. In the bridge I think he's talking about his childhood. "Remember me I am supposed to be king of a kingdom swinging on a swing," we all have all these great plans for ourselves when we are young. We think we can grow up to be or do anything. But then Tyler says,"my treehouse is on fire and for some reason I smell gas on my hands," he's stating that he burnt down his treehouse. He's the reason why his hopes from being a kid has drastically changed. I think this song really ties in the meaning of Twenty One Pilots name that our choices affect us.
    Hopalongon July 04, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like the "forest" is his escape from reality and when he says "my treehouse is on fire and for some reason I smell gas on my hand" is him burning Down the treehouse or him trying to die
    Bajinganlangiton February 08, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"There's a stomach inside my brain"

    I think Tyler is so insightful and smart and clever and just... amazing, but he doesn't even know it. This lyric caught my attention because there is actually something called the "enteric nervous system" and it is in your stomach. Some scientists refer to it as "The Other Brain". Literally. Something like 50% of your body's serotonin and 90% of your body's dopamine LIVES in your stomach, in that "other brain". These are chemicals often associated with depression and anxiety disorders. I just found that so interesting. I know he was saying there's a stomach inside his brain, not vice versa, but it's still interesting to me, even if he didn't mean for anyone to make that connection at all.
    rachel1114on May 28, 2016   Link
  • -1
    Song MeaningThe whole song is about your childhood.

    The first verse is how you become aware of things that you weren't aware of as a child. Your emotions becomes more important to you as you start to reflect them more. Other words, you try to understand how everything work, including your feelings. You may feel older but in everyone else's eyes you're still a child, which can be frustrating. No one takes what you have to say seriously. Does it bother anyone else that someone else has your name, is you suddenly you realizing that you're just one among many others and you feel pressure to make yourself count, to live up to your name.

    Second verse is about how we are scared to leave our childhood behind, it's all that we know. For some it is more scary than for others. In this case you try to go back to it, to stay a child.

    The chorus is about the childhood we all have gone through,Yet the songs that nobody wrote is about the childhood that's not supposed to happen and which some of us stays in as we refuses to grow up. It shouldn't exist because we need to grow up in order to cope with the challenges that is laid upon us as adults.

    third verse you still feeling pressure to be someone, to succeed in life and when you fail, the emotions becomes to much and it results in them giving up.

    In the rap your world comes crashing down and you suddenly don't know who you are. You don't like how everything has changed. You're not the person you are supposed to be, refers to that you should have grown up by now. Eventually you feel forced to leave your childhood behind and it feels like you are killing everything that you are, that you love. Your save zone.

    Hands held higher, we'll be on fire, is referring to how some of your childhood lives on inside of you even if you accepted the faith of being an adult. You are no longer singing the songs that nobody wrote. because you are not longer a child but your memories of your childhood is still with you.


    This is how i read between the lines of the song, I'm not saying this is the way Tyler mean but still this is what i feel it's about. Sorry for my grammar frends...I am not very good at english.
    WillWilliamon December 11, 2016   Link

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