Panic! At The Disco, Local God: the lyrics and meaning

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Local God is the 3rd single released by Panic! At The Disco for their new album Viva Las Vengeance, after the self-titled track (we analyzed it here) and Middle of a Breakup. Even the new song has an interesting meaning that sheds light on the context behind the new album. This article will analyze the lyrics and the song’s meaning.

You can find the official video of the song below.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Local God: inside the lyrics and their meaning

As the new album’s first single, Local God is a reflection on fame and success. The American band compares the immediate fame they obtained in their early years with the destiny of many other bands and artists that didn’t have the same luck. They are referring to all “local Gods” of music with vast talent that never got the chance to be stars, remaining at the level of local celebrities.

In 1998, you bought a B.C. Rich
You were a master shredder from the jump
Blew them all away with the Ritalin kids
While I was shedding through my sophomore slump
You had so many chances to become a star
But you never really cared about that

According to these lines, a talented guitarist is in the singer’s childhood hometown, Las Vegas. He had all numbers to become a star, but he wasn’t interested in that. Maybe he didn’t try hard enough, but the final result is that he remained known only at the local level – the local God from the title.

Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
It’s even better than the thing you’re not
Local God
Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
You’ll be remembered for the thing you’re not
Local God

The line “It’s even better than the thing you’re not” can be interpreted from the singer’s point of view: his story was different, he became famous so fast when he was young, and now he’s a star, differently than what the local God is. But is it really better? The next verse explains more about it.

We signed a record deal at seventeen
Hated by every local band
They say we never paid our dues
But what does that mean when money never changes hands?
It’s 2021 and I’m Almost Famous
You never really cared about that

Of course, being the ones handpicked among many, the guys at Panic! At The Disco were hated by everybody. Were they more talented than the others, or were they just lucky? Do they really deserve all that fame and wealth? From this point of view, Brendon Urie sings, “does it really matter if money never changes hands?” hinting that in the beginning, they didn’t receive money for their first ramp-up in their career.

The singer considers fame as a dirty aspect of his position. Probably because of the spontaneity success takes away, Brendon compares success to selling your soul to the devil. And that comes up in the last part of the song.

Are you melting face at the Bellagio?
Woah oh oh
Or are you teaching little kids how to rock ‘n’ roll
Woah oh oh
Did you get weighed-down by your heart of gold?
‘Cos you really only cared about that
Wonder if you had a chance to sell your soul
Did you ever get your money back?
Did you ever kiss the devil?

The song here becomes a virtual conversation between the singer and the local God, still performing at the symbolic venues of Las Vegas (like the Bellagio Hotel). And the singer claims that remaining under the threshold of worldwide success is not bad and allows you to enjoy the music you make genuinely.

That’s, therefore, the real meaning behind the lyrics of Local God: I know, I’m famous, whereas you remained only a local celebrity, but to some extent, I envy you. You are living your dimension with more pride and naturality, while fame is definitely affecting my ability to enjoy what I do.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

In 1998, you bought a B.C. Rich
You were a master shredder from the jump
Blew them all away with the Ritalin kids
While I was shedding through my sophomore slump
You had so many chances to become a star
But you never really cared about that

Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
It’s even better than the thing you’re not
Local God
Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
You’ll be remembered for the thing you’re not
Local God

We signed a record deal at seventeen
Hated by every local band
They say we never paid our dues
But what does that mean when money never changes hands?
It’s 2021 and I’m Almost Famous
You never really cared about that

Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
It’s even better than the thing you’re not
Local God
Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
You’ll be remembered for the thing you’re not
Local God

Are you melting face at the Bellagio?
Woah oh oh
Or are you teaching little kids how to rock ‘n’ roll
Woah oh oh
Did you get weighed-down by your heart of gold?
‘Cos you really only cared about that
Wonder if you had a chance to sell your soul
Did you ever get your money back?
Did you ever kiss the devil?

Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
It’s even better than the thing you’re not
Local God
Local God
You’ll live forever as a local God
You’ll be remembered for the thing you’re not
Local God
Local God
Its even better than the thing you’re not
Local God