Meaning of “Death Of A Bachelor” by Panic! At The Disco
In an era of little to no substance behind mainstream music, we keep reaching far into history for fulfillment. This time, we don’t have to go too far back as we make a stop at Panic! At The Disco and their infamous single “Death Of A Bachelor.” This song, lyrics, video, delivery, and meaning encapsulates a lot. In this article, we attempt to dissect all of this.
“Death Of A Bachelor” was released as the fourth and final single on December 9, 2015, from Panic! At The Disco’s fifth studio album of the same name. Panic!’s frontman Brendon Urie explained that this album was going to be different from their previous work; “It’s going to be a little bit different, it’s this mix between Sinatra and Queen, if that makes any sense.” And they delivered on this promise.
Brendon Urie wrote the lyrics to the song along with Lauren Pritchard, Jake Sinclair. On the music of the song, Brendon Urie performs the keyboards, bass, drums, guitar, and does the lead vocals as well.
The track “Death Of A Bachelor” takes the flavor of Frank Sinatra. On the day of the song’s premiere, Brendon Urie shared the influence Frank Sinatra had on his life.
“Frank Sinatra turns 100 this year. I attach his music to so many memories: Opening presents on Christmas day, my grandparents teaching the rest of the family to swing dance, watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” with my siblings (Sinatra makes a cameo in the form of a cartoon sword singing “Witchcraft”). His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward.
I wrote a new album this year and even in the few songs that don’t sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song. “Death Of A Bachelor” is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An “It’s A Wonderful Life”-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present.”
The lyrics, the music, the theme, the vocals, the delivery, and the black-and-white music video together compliments the work of Frank Sinatra. Watch below.
Watch “Death Of A Bachelor” Music Video by Panic! At The Disco
Panic! At The Disco “Death Of A Bachelor” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
This song gives us a puzzle to solve. And we love when a song does that.
The meaning of “Death Of A Bachelor” takes a wild swing between two contrasting ends of a spectrum. Some fans see the song as a bachelor losing his freedom after he is getting married to the person he loves the most in the world. That doesn’t sound too bad. Some other fans see an entirely different story hidden beneath the lyrics — an actual death or even suicide.
Let us dive into the lyrics and find out what goes on in this song.
In the first verse of the song, the singer finds a stranger when he looks at the mirror. He seems to have lost weight, maybe a few dark circles around his eyes, and maybe the usual energetic smile on his face wiped away. He knows that he is not just imagining things because his friends have asked him similar questions.
People have told me I don’t look the same
The singer is unsure now. Is there really something bothering him?
He says that he is “playing hooky with the best of the best.” This has a two-fold meaning as well. ‘Playing hooky’ is a reference to ditching something. The singer could be saying that he is trying his best to ignore these feelings he feels of late, because he does not understand where they are stemming from. On the other hand, he could be saying that he has ditched his bachelor lifestyle to be with the best of the best — his wife.
In the final line, he says that his heart is pulled out of his chest so that a certain “you” can see it too. He could very well be talking about his relationship — married life and what it takes to be in a married relationship.
Right from the first verse, the listeners are sent into a world of doubt as to what exactly is Brendon Urie singing about. These lyrics can very well be associated with a bachelor ending his bachelor-run after getting married. No more late-night binge-drinking sessions with his friends and jaded nights. It might feel as if some part of the energy has been lost in his life thus it starts to show in his physique as well.
On the other hand, these lyrics resonate very well with someone who suffers from depression. The singer seems to have lost his ‘appetite’ for all things recently. His darkened face, not going out as much, losing weight, looking lonely, and the feeling of his heart being ripped out. All of these point to signs of depression.
On a more personal note, Brendon Urie did get married to Sarah Orzechowski in 2013. So, the songwriting period of this song coincides with the end of his bachelor life.
In these lyrics, the singer realizes that he is doing a long walk. A walk only feels long if they do it alone or do it with the wrong person. A falling sky also speaks trouble. It is symbolic of the end of the world. In the context of the song, it symbolizes the end of his glory days as a bachelor.
The lace in your dress tangles my neck, how do I live?
This line is hauntingly beautiful. To one end, this line shows how intimate he gets with the love of his life after getting married to them. In another perspective, the lace tangling around his neck feels like a lace holding him back — a neck collar almost. He certainly lost some degree of freedom after his marriage. A traditional marriage will be bound by some limitations and restrictions.
From a third perspective, this line could also reference his suicide. A lace or a thread around his neck because he questions the purpose of his life anymore. This interpretation is more in tune with the secondary theme of depression running throughout the song.
If you are going through any similar feeling, just know that help is just a call away. Do reach out to someone you trust or a professional.
In the hook of the song, Brendon Urie brings out the Queen-esque flamboyancy he promised. The notes pitch higher and the energy intensifies.
Happily ever after, whooo, how could I ask for more?
Lifetime of laughter, at the expense of the death of a bachelor
These lyrics seem pretty straightforward. The singer is talking about the death of the bachelor lifestyle after getting married. The mood is not completely grim, though. He knows that he chose the right person to be married to — he only foresees a happily ever after and a lifetime of laughter. But he knows that he will miss the bachelor days.
The second verse of the song, Panic! At The Disco pulls back the meanings into a jumble.
The singer talks about how his mind is at a loss, which is a clear sign of depression. He then talks about how he feels alone at a table for two. It is not that the other person has not arrived at the table yet — after all, they are married and should be arriving together. But he feels alone no matter who he is with.
He wonders if his partner feels the same way. Is he the best she ever had, he asks? Maybe he wants to know if she feels alone and misses her bachelorette life.
Marriage is a two-way street. There is little chance for it to work when one person is not all in. In this song, the guy clearly has some reservations about this commitment he has gotten himself into. He is not looking for an out. He is just contemplating. But in marriage, if you are looking back, it means you are not looking forward.
So what is “Death Of a Bachelor” about? It is safe to say that the song is about the singer getting married and the world of commitments that it brings.
After all, Brendon Urie did talk about what this song means to him in an interview; “The real answer is I wanted to talk about, you know, who I’ve become now and that’s what these songs are on the album and it’s kind of a look back into the past at who I used to be and being grateful that I’m not that person anymore, and that I’m able to move forward.”
Is a lifetime of smiles and warmth worth the sacrifice of laughter and heat?
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.