Did Oedipus Write “House of Gold”?

20103-12-12 twenty one pilots

Surely I can’t be the only one that has heard the new song “House of Gold” by twenty one pilots and thought about Oedipus Rex, right?

For those of you who don’t recall, Oedipus the King is the Greek tragedy about the guy who murders his dad, takes his place, and marries his mom. Not on purpose, mind you, and when he finds out he’s more than a little upset.

Later on, Sigmund Freud coined the term “Oedipus complex” based on the play, which “denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrates upon a child’s desire to sexually possess the parent of the opposite sex.” I guess–I’m not an expert on Freud by any means, that this is supposed to be a normal developmental stage for children ages 3-6 and then they resolve it. But I’m not sure the public awareness of the term has retained all of the details.

In any case, the song is squicky. Consider:

She asked me, “Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?
And when your father turns to stone,
Will you take care of me?”

I will make you queen of everything you see,
I’ll put you on the map,
I’ll cure you of disease.

Let’s say we up and left this town,
And turned our future upside down.
We’ll make pretend that you and me,
Lived ever after happily.

That’s not all the lyrics, but it’s most of them. And, just to recap, we’ve got (1) a son singing to his mom (2) about her desire to have take care of her after his dad croaks (e.g. take his dad’s place) and the son is on board to (3) “make [her] the queen of everything you see” so that they can say they “lived ever after happily.”

Weird, right? I just want to know if they wrote the song on purpose to be edgy or if that’s just how it came out.

Kids these days…

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