"Nico and the Niners" as written by and Tyler Joseph Josh Dun....
East is up, I'm fearless when I hear this on the low
East is up, I'm careless when I wear my rebel clothes
East is up, when Bishops come together they will know that
Dema don't control us, Dema don't control
East is up

They want to make you forget
They want to make you forget
Save your razorblades now, not yet
Save your razorblades now, not yet

I'm heavy, my jumpsuit is on steady
I'm lighter when I'm lower, I'm higher when I'm heavy, oh ooh
I'm so high, my Jumpsuit takes me so high
I'm flying from a fire, from Nico and the Niners, oh ooh

East is up, I'm fearless when I hear this on the low
East is up, I'm careless when I wear my rebel clothes
East is up, when Bishops come together they will know that
Dema don't control us, Dema don't control

I'm heavy, my jumpsuit is on steady
I'm lighter when I'm lower, I'm higher when I'm heavy, oh
I'm so high, my jumpsuit takes me so high
I'm flying from a fire, from Nico and the Niners, oh ooh

I'm heavy, jumpsuit is on steady
Lighter when I'm lower, higher when I'm heavy, oh
I'm so high, I'm so high
I'm so high, I'm so high
Fire, Nico and the Niners

What I say when I want to be enough
What a beautiful day for making a break for it
We'll find a way to pay for it
Maybe from all the money we made razorblade stores
Rent a race horse and force a sponsor
And start a concert, a complete diversion
Start a mob and you can be quite certain
We'll win but not everyone will get out
No, no
We'll win but not everyone will get out
No, no
We'll win but not everyone will get out

East is up, I'm fearless when I hear this on the low
East is up, I'm careless when I wear my rebel clothes
East is up, when Bishops come together they will know that
Dema don't control us, Dema don't control
East is up

I'm so high, so high
Fire, Nico and the Niners
I'm so high, so high
(So did they bury you?)
Fire, Nico and the Niners


Lyrics submitted by juliabug21

"Nico and the Niners" as written by Tyler Joseph

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Nico and the Niners song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe song, overall, is an allegory about escaping the DARK/DEATH/"DEMA"/DOWN and finding LIGHT/SUN/LIFE/GOD/UP.

    This song is FILLED with stuff, so I'm going to try to break down just ONE of the concepts right now:

    EAST IS UP!

    WHAT DOES "EAST IS UP" MEAN?

    This lyric refers to the rising sun being your way toward LIFE -- it means that when you are mentally in the "dark/night," head toward the "light/new day/life."

    If you've listened to twenty one pilots music, you know that they are REALLY big on the symbols of the morning and the sun being good, and the night and the dark being bad.

    They also use the SUN to be a thinly veiled reference to the SON of God, Jesus Christ. But in a more secular interpretation, it means "that which brings abundant LIFE."

    Some examples of what I'm talking about:

    Taxi Cab: "We're driving toward the morning sun, Where all your blood is washed away and all you did will be undone."

    Ride: "I just wanna stay in the sun where I find, Pieces of peace in sun's peace of mind"

    Hometown: "Where we're from, there's no sun" and "Be the one, be the one, To take me home and show me the sun"

    There are others -- Truce, Semi-Automatic, Ode to Sleep, Clear -- several more have "sun' references.

    There is also a cyclical meaning to the morning versus the evening. Tyler says in several songs that the sun "will rise again" in the morning and he will "try again," but at night he falls back into the dark: "It happens at night, right?" ... "Cause when the sun sets, it upsets what's left of my invested interest, Interested in putting my fingers to my head."

    (And this is also a biblical thing -- many references to a new day and a new start and a new morning in the Bible.)

    So EAST IS UP represents both these ideas.
    1) When you are in the DARK/NIGHT (DEMA/DEATH) go EAST toward the SUN/SON/LIGHT to find LIFE.
    2) But you might fall back into the dark (whether in your mind or falling away from God) so you will have to start again (morning/new day) -- just keep heading EAST, heading toward the new day.

    (Note: This is also represented in the videos for Heavy Dirty Soul, Jumpsuit and Nico and the Niners. In HDSoul, Tyler is being driven by a demon/blurryface/bishop AWAY from the rising sun -- the video makes that VERY clear at the beginning. In Jumpsuit, at the end of the video, Tyler has escaped the car and is now choosing to walk TOWARD the morning sun -- again, the video makes it obvious with the pink sky in front of him as the sun rises. And at the end of Nico and the Niners, Tyler and the Banditos are walking into a tunnel that features sunlight at the end of a dark tunnel.)

    The "UP" part just means "higher" -- not physically, but mentally. It means rising above the dark ... getting out of the path toward death ... rising up to a higher power, a higher meaning, a better, fuller life.

    The song is FILLED with references to "low" and "high." The low is bad. The high is good. Rising up allows you to "fly" (rise above) from the "fire" (which represents hell, death, the burning of what you were before and the journey you were on before).

    We first saw this twenty one pilots concept of "low" in their video for "Lane Boy." Tyler talks at the end about how worshipping things like success and fame keeps you "low." What he's saying is that fame and success are meaningless. Worshipping accomplishment will keep you LOW -- in the DARK/DEATH/DEMA.

    Now, in Nico and the Niners, he's saying the goal is to be HIGHER.

    I think it's a good goal :)

    I'll leave the reference to "bishops" to someone else, although I just want to point out that in the video for Nico, the bishops are worshipping human accomplishment (there are statues of humans reaching higher) and they are worshipping a false light (the neon is constructed in the shape of the Japanese kanji for bright/light). So the bishops are people who try to get you to worship fame and success (which does NOT provide true light), while the Banditos are people who worship something higher (true light, music, creation, sun/son -- there's a reason Josh wears a big cross on his chest in the video)
    Moonbeam86on August 28, 2018   Link

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