Miss Jackson

Album: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013)
Charted: 61 68
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  • The lead single from Panic! At The Disco's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! album was written by the band's Spencer Smith, Brendon Urie and Dallon Weekes and produced by Butch Walker. It was released on July 15, 2013 on iTunes.
  • The Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! album title is taken from Hunter S. Thompson's ode to excess, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  • Lyrically, the song finds Urie telling the story of being compulsively in love with an elusive woman. It references Janet Jackson's classic hit "Nasty." Urie told MTV News it's a true tale from his personal life. "'Miss Jackson' is about something that actually happened to me when I was younger. I hadn't really talked about it, and I felt that if I didn't, I would keep thinking about it, it would drive me crazy," he explained. "When I was younger, I would mess around; I'd sleep with one girl one night, sleep with her friend the next night, and not care about how they felt, or how I made them feel. And then it happened to me and I realized 'Wow, that's what that feels like? I feel really sh---y.'"

    "I knew I had to change, because I didn't want to feel that way again, or make other people feel that way," Urie continued. "So I wrote the song. It's based off someone who is real, though I don't think they would know it. They might suspect it, and if they figure it out, I'd love to talk to them about it."
  • The darkly anthemic track features guest vocals from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Lauren Pritchard who performs under the name of Lolo.
  • The accompanying video was directed by Jordan Bahat (Grouplove, Fitz and The Tantrums) and features Urie and actress Katrina Bowden who is best known for her role as Cerie in 30 Rock. Drummer Spencer Smith and bassist Dallon Weekes only make fleeting cameos. "I love being the center of attention, I'm shameless about it. And being the lead singer, everyone thought it made sense, for me to be front and center," Urie told MTV News.
  • This was the first Hot 100 hit for Lolo, though she has featured on the Billboard 200 before. The singer was part of the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award winning rock musical, Spring Awakening, which saw its cast album peak at #96 in 2007.
  • The word "hey" is repeated a couple of times as part of the hook. Urie commented to American Songwriter magazine: "It's kind of funny – it can be seen as cheating to be like 'woah' and not using real words to write a hook. But for the most part, I do say that a lot. I'm saying like 'woo-hoo' and 'hey' a lot. Sometimes it's just right for the melody, for the part. It just amps up the part a little bit more. Yeah, I love it."
  • Brendon Urie told Radio.com how Hip-Hop was an influence on this song: "The way hip-hop has gone from 'look at all the stuff I have' — which it still does, it has its moments in its roots in doing that — to getting just raw and confessional: that's something that we started doing a little bit more," explained the singer. "The lyrics for 'Miss Jackson' were inspired by something that I actually went through, that I experienced and had something done to me as well that made me see myself in a new light."
  • This originally borrowed some vocals from Fiona Apple's "Every Single Night," the opening track from her album The Idler Wheel.... However, the singer-songwriter refused to allow the sample to be used. "She was not having it, man, she was so bummed on us," Urie told Revolt TV.

    Speaking with Vulture, Apple explained the reason she wouldn't let Panic! use "Every Single Night" was her labelmate Gilbere Forté had recently sampled the same song. He'd already "made a big video" with her track in the background, so she didn't want to ruin his chances by letting someone else use the same sample.
  • The song was at one time titled "Bad Apple" before Panic! ended up reworking the track into "Miss Jackson."

Comments: 4

  • Shari from Princeton, NjI went to a Panic! concert last night (7/24/18) and before I did I happened to search the meaning to this song and saw Brendan's comment, "If the person knows who they are, I'd love to talk to them about it".
    I thought that was sort of romantic and an invitation, so to speak. I didn't think he was married until the cameras focused on his fingers (at concert) playing the piano and caught his wedding band.
    I searched and see he was married in 2013 , the same year that song was released. This means his comment was made after the song was released which means after he was married. Granted he wrote it way before but why the need to talk to someone who you were in love with and couldn't have, if you are married? Am I reading too much into this?
  • Michelle from Plainfield, InI was at the PaTD concert last night. He said that this song is a girl he used to sleep with, then she started sleeping with all his friends... at first he wasn't sure what to do about it and then decided it was pretty cool.
  • Michael from St. Louis, MoIf we're looking at the video... This might show my Christian background a bit much, but
    The video shows Brendan freaking out over this picture and he washes blood (off his hands, I think; it's hard to tell, but one can safely assume that). The picture is like a prophecy; it was foretold. The washing of blood, a reference to Pilate, "This is not my fault!"
    Then we go to the people in the circle. Brendan gives his "breath" to this girl, and we can assume the people in the circle did the same, but he gets a sword. Woohoo! right? No, actually he HAS to kill her with it. He saw the painting, so it must come true. He offs her head, and all the gas is released and dissipates. Moral of the story: the girl died for the sins of the people in the circle, as it was foretold, and it was never Brendan's fault. So this is a video about Jesus' execution from the perspective of Pilate. This interpretation of the event is common nowadays, but the facts are still debated. It gets you thinking about looking at the world from other people's perspectives. This idea seems present throughout the video, but
    What in the living and dying f*ck does any of this have to do with the song? Well, someone probably has the answers, but that someone just isn't me.
  • Elliot from New York, NyThe song is catchy, and it begins the fourth transition that Panic has had. First they had a punk, electronic phase that rocked the 2005 age called 'A Fever You Can't Sweat Out'. Then they made what is considered one of the most daring moves in Rock History (not kidding I read it in Rolling Stones), and went for a loose and relaxing hippy theme for 'Pretty. Odd.' After the departure of songwriter, lead guitarist Ryan Ross and Bassist John Walker they went for a move serious but lighter rock compared to their first album in the album 'Vices and Virtues.' And here comes 'Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die.'
    This song is about an allusive woman, almost playing hard to get. Brendon Urie talks about how he was a Miss Jackson character, sleeping around with girls and then messing with them by leaving them and sleeping with their friends. In a sense, this song portrays Miss Jackson as a criminal, like a serial adulterer.
    ""Climbing out the back door, didn't leave a mark, No one knows it's you Miss Jackson"" ------ Being sneaky, the back door is usual where you send your boyfriend or girlfriend when your parents get home early from date night. Not leaving a mark suggests being careful, and clever as to make sure that nobody knows that it was her.
    ""Found another victim, But no one's gonna find Miss Jackson, Jackson, Jackson"" --------- Another victim, somebody was had their rights violated in a way, maybe not in the literal sense but they were hurt. And if nobody is able to find Miss Jackson then it suggests that she is the perpetrator.
    ""You put a sour little flavor in my mouth now,"" A bittersweet taste. Like if you eat a candy that is sweet then turns sour. Something that makes you feel wronged, guilty, or you realize something that you wish you hadn't.
    ""You move in circles hoping no one's gonna find out, But we're so lucky, Kiss the ring and let 'em bow down, Looking for the time of your life (ain't always gonna find out)""------ If you move in circles you are never moving forward, repeating or a cycle of events. If they are lucky nobody does figure this cycle she is moving in. If you kiss a ring and bow down that is acting as if you are royalty, and nobody is going to thin otherwise.
    ""A pretty picture but the scenery is so loud, A face like heaven catching lighting in your nightgown, But back away from the water, babe, you might drown-"--- If the scenery is loud it is destracting, normally the scenery in a picture is the past or something behind them. A pretty picture (or person) but their past is too hard to ignore. A beautiful face, a perfect look to them. Catching lightning in your nightgown resembles power, the ability to control nature. Then a caution to falling into water and drowning. Maybe the water resembles their past and if they fall into it then they will drown in their own guilt or dismay.
    ""The party isn't over tonight (lighting in your nightgown)""-------- This is just the beginning.
    ""Heyy Where will you be waking up tomorrow morning?, He-eyy, Out the back door, Goddamn, But I love her anyway,"" ------- Revealing the slutty nature of this character, asking in whose bed will she be waking up in the next morning. Again she is sneaking out back door (on a deeper level nobody wants to admit that they slept with her so they send her away in disgrace) But still the narrator loves her no matter what she had done wrong.

    ""Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson Are you nasty?""" ----------- Repeating of name, almost calling out in desperation, plus a reference to Janet Jackson's song 'Nasty.'
    ""Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down there's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout, Let me say it one more time (Tragic in the fall out)"" -------------- So way down maybe saying that is keeping a low profile until everything calms down or blows over. Having someone wrapped around your finger means that they are completely enamored with you and you can make them believe anything you say.

    And that's about it, they repeat the chorus again a couple of times and then the bridge is that same as the beginning. I hope it made sense...
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