Meaning of “Neon Gravestones” by Twenty One Pilots

“Neon Gravestones” is a track by the musical duo Twenty One Pilots. The words of this track deal with depression and suicide. They look at our tendency of reverencing people after they have taken their own lives. The narrator doesn’t want society to treat the loss of a life through suicide like “it’s a win”.

“Promise me this
If I lose to myself
You won’t mourn a day
And you’ll move onto someone else”

In the lines above (from the song’s bridge), the narrator tells the listeners to promise they won’t mourn him when he dies (loses to himself). He asks them to forget about him and focus their attention on someone else.

He goes on to talk about “neon gravestones” constantly trying to call for his bones. But what does he mean by the term “neon gravestones”? This term was obviously derived from “neon lights”. Celebrities who have made it big in showbiz often have their names written in elaborate neon lights at various venues. And when such stars die, they go on to exist in the “neon gravestones”.

While it might appear that the singer is glorifying suicide by talking about neon-based gravestones wanting him, it is actually the opposite of that.

“Neon gravestones try to call for my bones but they won’t get them”

The line above tells us that despite the gravestones’ incessant calls for his bones, they will never defeat him. He will keep on battling against his depression and suicidal thoughts. Nothing will ever make him give up. He will never ever lose to himself.

Facts about “Neon Gravestones”

  • Tyler Joseph wrote the song with fellow songwriter and musician Paul Meany of the Mutemath fame. Josh Dun (the other half of Twenty One Pilots) isn’t given songwriting credit because he wasn’t involved in the writing process.
  • The tune’s production was taken care of by its writers (Paul and Tyler).
  • From a first glance, the lyrics of this tune appear to glorify suicide. However, they don’t. They rather encourage listeners to fight tooth and nail to hold onto life.
  • Tyler provides the vocals on this track whereas Josh Dun plays the drums.
  • “Neon Gravestones” came out on October 5, 2018. It is the 7th track from Twenty One Pilots’ album Trench. The album in question is the fifth studio album of the duo.


Did Twenty One Pilots release this song as a single?

No. This tune wasn’t released as a single. Trench produced four singles, including “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners”.

Did Twenty One Pilots use samples use any samples in the song’s production?

No sample was used in the production of this track.

3 Responses

  1. Phil Johnson says:

    This lyric was given pretty positive exposure on “Relevant Radio”‘s Drew Mariani Show today at 12:30 PM PST. I would be interested in the reaction of people to this; pick up the conversation on
    Grace and peace to all,
    Phil Johnson

  2. Taylor says:

    I’d argue they sampled Moonlight Sonata no. 14 in the beginning, though

  3. Tyrone Costa says:

    This song resonates with me in a sense where the appeal of neon (fame and it’s trappings) call for his bones…his life…he admits to the difficulty of giving into that and recognizes that he mourns for child (his own pressures and issues) but won’t cry for a King (eternal perspective for a King that gave His life) and in the end he caps off with the humble admittance that we didn’t get here without those who went before and brought us into existence. He tells maybe his wife or his fans to move on if he ever gives in to the neon grave stones

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