Emperor's New Clothes

Album: Death of a Bachelor (2015)
Charted: 68


  • The Emperor's New Clothes is a children's fable written in 1835 by Hans Christian Andersen. In the tale, two weavers hoodwink the Emperor into wearing a new suit of clothes supposedly magnificent, but invisible to underlings. In fact they do not exist at all. When the Emperor parades naked down the street, his subjects pretend to marvel at his clothes until an innocent child points out that he is unclothed.
  • In this song, Brendon Urie, unlike the emperor, is aware of his foolishness yet still wants the glory. The Panic frontman explained to Kerrang! "It's actually is a lot about that Hans Christian Andersen story. The Emperor's New Clothes, but instead of being the dumbfounded, gullible emperor, I actually know what's going down, and I just choose to be naked. There is a lot of that arrogance behind it, and that was a song that I felt I hadn't written in the past."
  • Asked by Kerrang how much this song represents the mind set of Death of a Bachelor, Urie replied: "I wanted a song that says, 'This is mine. I do what I do because I feel that it's my right. I own this, and I've earned it, and I deserve every bit that I put into this work."

    He added: "It's about my life as a producer, songwriter and as band leader. I'm taking back the crown."
  • The song is 100 percent autobiographical. Brendon Urie explained to Genius: "Over the past ten years I've been this one person, as I saw myself in Panic! At The Disco. But now I am Panic! At The Disco, and that's what I wanted to come across. Now it's all changed, and I'm taking it back."

    "I feel like I've deserved this for a long time," he added. "I've sat on the sidelines for a while. Now is my chance, so I'm going to step up and take what's mine."
  • Urie recalled the recording of the track: "I spent a lot of time stacking my own vocals. I stacked myself multiple times - 38 times, I think. I stacked myself doing different voices, so the bridge has this operatic evil feel. And it's all over the place - a little Queen, but a little darker, like if the devil recorded an answering machine message and you gave it to Skrillex, then remixed the recording, slowed it down and chopped it up."
  • Urie and Panic! producer Jake Sinclair wrote this with the songwriters Lolo, Sam Hollander and Dan Wilson.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.