"The Judge " as written by and Tyler Joseph....
Na na na na oh oh
Na na na na oh oh
Na na na na oh oh

When the leader of the bad guys sang
Something soft and soaked in pain
I heard the echo from his secret hideaway
He must've forgot to close his door
As he cranked out those dismal chords
And his four walls declared him insane

I found my way
Right time wrong place
As I plead my case

You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
I know my soul's freezing
Hell's hot for good reason
So please, take me

Na na na na oh
Na na na na oh
Na na na na oh

Three lights are lit
But the fourth one's out
I can tell cause it's a bit darker
Than the last night's bout
I forgot about the drought
Of light bulbs in this house
So I head out
Down a route I think is heading south
But I'm not good with directions
And I hide behind my mouth
I'm a pro at imperfections
And I'm best friends with my doubt
And now that my mind's out
And now I hear it clear and loud
I'm thinking, 'Wow
I probably should've stayed inside my house'

I found my way
Right time wrong place
As I plead my case

You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
I know my soul's freezing
Hell's high for good reason
So please

I don't know if this song
Is a surrender or a revel
I don't know if this one
Is about me or the devil

I don't know if this song
Is a surrender or a revel
I don't know if this one
Is about me or the devil

You're the judge, oh no
Set me free, oh no
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free, oh no
I know my soul's freezing
Hell's high for good reason
So please

Na na na na oh, oh
Na na na na oh, oh
Na na na na oh, oh
Na na na na oh, oh

You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free


Lyrics submitted by olivia1578, edited by kickasskatara, vturner19, evanpeters, InDreams, bmxdude124, DerpySelfie

"The Judge" as written by Tyler Joseph

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Judge song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningSo this is my first time writing one of these so if it doesn't make sense then I'm sorry, this is just my interpretation of the song:

    "When the leader of the bad guys sang... his four walls declared him insane"
    I think that this verse is subtly about Tyler himself, and how anyone who is depressed ('soaked in pain') is instantly labelled as 'bad' by people who don't understand, and that is why it's says the leader of the bad guys, because tyler is like the clique's sort of leader and we are all bad guys too because we have depressive thoughts and people who don't understand that just think we are bad people. I also think that the 'four walls' could symbolise just like everyone around him (four walls surround you, so it's like everyone around you) and how he feels as though noone can understand him and he feels as though they all just think he's insane.

    "I found my way... set me free"
    I think that the chorus is him singing to the devil because hell is where he feels he belongs, because of these feelings of being a bad guy, or that everyone thinks he is the bad guy. 'I found my way right time WRONG PLACE' I feel as though this means, he has been trying to get to God for so long but it's not worked, so know he has found his way and where he truly belongs and it is with the devil, and the wrong place means hell instead of heaven. "You're the judge, oh no set me free" Is just saying that he feels as though the devil is his judge, and he feels as though him dying and going to hell would be setting him free (also suicide is thought of as a sin by God apparently, so if he is going to commit suicide he needs to know that the devil will still accept him)

    "I know my souls freezing, hell's hot for hood reason so please take me" is him trying to further justify that he belongs in hell rather than heaven, because only hell can thaw his frozen soul, which has been frozen by modern society and how cold and ignorant we are to what is going on around us, and only hell can make us see what we have been blind of all our lives. He is asking the devil to take him to hell so that he can learn to be less 'cold' and to see what is actually going on all around him. He is trying to justify hell and make it seem link a good place so that he doesn't feel so guilty about giving up on God.

    "Three lights are lit... in this house"
    I feel as though that throughout this verse, the 'house' is a metaphor for his mind, and the 'lightbulbs' represent any remaining hope of even FAITH left in his mind. When he says the 4th light bulb is out, it's showing that he is drifting further away from God or even from sanity/ a happy mind, and he is losing his hope and faith. When he says the 'lasts nights bout' it shows us that he enters this dark part of his mind every single night, and that every night he is losing light and hope.

    "So I head out... should have stayed inside my house"
    He decides to try and leave/ escape his state of depressive thoughts, and find another 'lightbulb' or something that makes him happy that he can hold on to. He is heading 'south' because on a compass south is pointing upwards, so this represents that he is trying to get closer to God OR just trying to get better and to a happier place if you don't like all the religious links. When he says 'he's not good with directions' it shows that, even though he is trying to find something to give him hope, he can't find anything and he is getting 'lost' in his own thoughts again or, he's getting lost in the evilness of the world, and he finds that life outside of his brain is just as bad as life inside his brain, so he can't find anymore lightbulbs to give him hope. When he says 'I hide behind my mouth' I think it could be meaning that he lies to people about how he is feeling, and that is how he hides his depression and anxiety from people.
    "I'm a pro at imperfections and I'm best friends with my doubt" this line is pretty self explanatory, he's saying that he thinks he is professional at being imperfect, and he constantly has doubt, and it has been with him for so long that he has just succumbed to it (accepted it) and it's now his best friend, because he is so used to it being there and it has always been there.

    "I'm thinking wow, I probably should've stayed inside my house" shows that he has finally given up with trying to find something to hold onto (lightbulb), and he thinks it is best to have just stayed inside his mind in his depressive thoughts, and not try to escape it. He has become so used to his anxiety and depression that it is like a routine, and he feels lost ('not good with directions') without it because it is the only thing he has known.

    "I don't know if this song, is a surrender or a revel" I feel that this means he doesn't know if this is about him surrendering to the devil and the evil, depressed part of him, or he's revelling against God and humanity because he doesn't agree with the ignorance of society, and thinks even hell is better. He would be revelling at God, to show that he has been searching for help and rescue from God for so long, but his mental state has only ever gotten worse, so know he has given up with God because he has never helped him.

    "I don't know if this one is about me or the devil" I think this line is definetly linking back to ther first verse of the song, and how he's not sure wether he is talking about the devil as being the bad guy, or himself as being the bad guy (as I explained above.) The devil could also be the bad guy in the first verse, because it shows that Tyler is sympathising with him and trying to make us relate to the devil, to justify his actions of him surpassing himself to the evil and he'll.

    THE END I hope this made some sense and wasn't too long and if you read this far YOU ARE LITERALLY MY BEST FRIEND ILY HMU
    Sodunwithyouon April 30, 2016   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningAs seen before, Tyler (the vocalist of the band) has a constant (but weird) connection with Christianity or more directly, God. As heard before in various songs, specifically "Ode To Sleep", Tyler feels that his purpose in life could be speaking the truth to people through his music. Though he knows what he is seems right in a few instances, there's always that sense of doubt and depression that comes barking back.

    Generally, the purpose of the song is of a person asking god to take them or "set them free" from their freezing soul on Earth. The song starts out with what I think is Tyler indirectly referencing himself. The theme of the album is a self-doubting insecure figure in the mind, "Blurryface". The song's begininng is Tyler seeing the dismal good still left inside, but "dismal" and every now and then he forgets to "close his door" and it rarely shines.

    The part that starts out with "three lights are lit, but the fourth one's out" shows how blind he seems going through life. There's a light somewhere but the light that he can see is the one that's out; left in the darkness. Instead of venturing more through life, he should of stayed inside his house, referring to the end.

    He understands a part of his purpose but is asking God, "why won't you set me free?" To even further convey how desperate he is, he doesn't even care where he goes in the end. "I know my soul's freezing, Hell's hot for good reason." Hell add's to the songs reference to Christianity, but also says that "anything is better then now"

    Generally: The meaning of the song is someone wanting to be set free from their life, asking God to take him.

    (A lot of stuff)
    JCGJONon May 28, 2015   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis is my first comment, so it may be confusing at times, but I will try my best to explain what this song means to ME. Anyway, Tyler says he wants us to interpret songs the way we see it, not what the way he originally wrote. It probably isn't what most people would think, but things in the past have made me interpret a different message than most people.

    This is set in a school setting.
    So, anyway, here it is.


    The first "Na na na na oh oh, Na na na na oh oh, Na na na na oh oh"
    This is when everything was all good and he was happy where he was at in his life.

    "When the leader of the bad guys sang Something soft and soaked in pain I heard the echo from his secret hideaway He must've forgot to close his door As he cranked out those dismal chords And his four walls declared him insane"
    This is where he hears the teen/kid who is considered a "popular" and "mean" kid that pretends to be struggling for attention and at first, he believes that the kid is really having a hard time.

    "I found my way Right time wrong place As I plead my case"
    This is him in the future looking at his past self, realizing that if he hadn't of been there when the person was looking for attention, he would still be happy and living his happy life he had beforehand. He was standing up for this person, that didn't deserve it. He "plead his case", almost like a lawyer, staying on this kid's side when someone said something negative about this kid.

    "You're the judge, oh no Set me free You're the judge, oh no Set me free I know my soul's freezing Hell's hot for good reason So please, take me"
    He continued to be on this kid's side and following what he told him, and now that he is doing that, he is getting worse. This person is the "judge", he tells him what is going to happen and he just does it without a second thought. Then, he feels like he is becoming a bad person after being this kid's puppet for so long and he wants it to stop in any way.

    The second "Na na na na oh Na na na na oh Na na na na oh"
    He is remembering all of his past friends and happiness he had before all of this happened.

    "Three lights are lit But the fourth one's out I can tell cause it's a bit darker Than the last night's bout"
    His 4 lights are his happiness level. He starts to realize that the longer he has been following this guy, his popularity starts to wear off and he's noticing it more and more.

    "I forgot about the drought Of light bulbs in this house So I head out Down a route I think is heading south"
    He tries to shake off any regret and even though he knows it is not what he should be doing, he goes "south", which means he is going to continue being friends with this person.

    "But I'm not good with directions And I hide behind my mouth I'm a pro at imperfections And I'm best friends with my doubt"
    He realizes it that being friends with this guy isn't helping any insecurities he had before like he thought it would at first.

    "And now that my mind's out And now I hear it clear and loud
    I'm thinking, 'Wow I probably should've stayed inside my house'"
    He realizes completely now that he should've stayed in his "house", or his group of friends that he had before and that he was happy with.

    "I don't know if this song Is a surrender or a revel I don't know if this one Is about me or the devil"
    He doesn't know what he can do to go back to how everything was before. He doesn't know if he still has that good person inside of him like before, or if it is too late for him and he has completely turned into a puppet.

    "Na na na na oh, oh Na na na na oh, oh Na na na na oh, oh Na na na na oh, oh
    You're the judge, oh no Set me free You're the judge, oh no Set me free You're the judge, oh no Set me free You're the judge, oh no Set me free"
    He is trying to go back to the happier person he was before, but his past friends have probably "accepted" the new person he has become and has lost trust in him, and no matter how hard he tries, he has to keep coming back to the bad kid because he is now all he has left.

    I hope this made any sense at all. Sorry if it didn't :P
    DerpySelfieon May 25, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just finished reading what "JCGJON" had to say and now, heh, I must say as well. I try not to comment much on songs, and only read interpretations and comments for a song I just cant figure out or completely love. I want to know what the song truly means. What the writer felt when he, or she wrote it. Not everyone else's opinion. Some of the interpretations are just plain silly. A truly saved person has a completely different way of looking at things even when in the exact same situations as someone unsaved. I do not agree with the comment made by "JCGJON" and probably many more, but it doesn't matter because that is what this site is here for. Duh? Gotcha, im just gonna say that I believe that this song is more about once again the battle between spirit and flesh. Tyler's having the desire to surrender to God, but being stuck in the flesh. Btw, I believe its, "Hell's (hot) for good reason". Just sayin.
    ginnyboyon December 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOh how it cracks me up to see how much people read into this song. These two guys are incredibly sarcastic jokers. Sure there might be a little more to it, but at it's heart this is clearly a guy who was tripping and playing some music that he wasn't happy with, and he noticed the house wasn't as bright as he expected, wandered out of the house as a result, and regretted it. Then he was praying for damnation because he was cold and hell isn't cold. Anyone who has tripped much should see what I'm talking about. It's super obvious and absolutely hilarious!
    DangusMCon May 21, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationthis is a song about how the judge (god, christian morality) freezes our souls with the emphasis on moral purity. and how the hell of empathy and compassion (because feeling other's pain can be extremely painful) will thaw out our frozen souls.


    "When the leader of the bad guys sang
    Something soft and soaked in pain
    I heard the echo from his secret hideaway
    He must've forgot to close his door
    As he cranked out those dismal chords
    And his four walls declared him insane"

    the devil is the one who understands our pain and suffering. and those who care are usually dismissed with whatever convenient excuse is available.


    "You're the judge, oh no
    Set me free
    You're the judge, oh no
    Set me free
    I know my soul's freezing
    Hell's hot for good reason
    So please, take me"

    the judge doesn't care about us beyond our adherence to moral purity. and we need to be released from this judgment because it isn't helping. it's freezing our souls.... and Hell is hot for good reason because we need to be thawed out in a warm place.


    "I don't know if this song
    Is a surrender or a revel
    I don't know if this one
    Is about me or the devil"

    they're still lost and confused... they're experiencing empathy and compassion for the same time.... and suddenly all those people you condemned for not living up to your definition of moral purity are starting to look a lot more like you.... the us (the saved) vs. them (the damned) mentality is breaking down.... we're all damned.... we can only be saved through each other and not through fretting over the judgement of an inhuman god.
    sophi10155on June 24, 2017   Link

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