Panic! At The Disco
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Album: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out Of
Brendan Urie gets a glimpse of the future with his ex-girlfriend and lets out a sigh of relief in the striking “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
Suspensful synths open the single, setting a cliffhanger tone. He raises his head. He’s glad he found out about her cheating now. Two years later, he can envision himself in the church, ready to get married. There’s a nagging sensation something’s not right. She’s been distant. Then, by accident, he overhears one of his girlfriend’s best friends talking with the server. She’s had a couple drinks already and says it was so romantic. However, it’s a joke. The bride slept with the best man weeks ago. (“Oh, well, imagine/As I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor/And I can't help but to hear/No, I can't help but to hear an exchanging of words "What a beautiful wedding! What a beautiful wedding!”, says a bridesmaid to a waiter/"And yes, but what a shame, what a shame/The poor groom's bride is a whore.")
In the chorus, he would storm in, his humilation plain on his face. He would shout to them to have some decency and let him live in ignorance. But he knows that’s what he wouldn’t do. He would return to the head table and stuff the cake in his now-wife’s face, wondering what his best friend has that he doesn’t. (“I'd chime in with a
"Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?!"/No, it's much better to face these kinds of things/With a sense of poise and rationality/I'd chime in with a
"Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?!"/No, it's much better to face these kinds of things/With a sense of...”)
He would think they would be able to move past it. She’s married to him and sure she’ll be willing to commit him now. It’s all that matters. When his best man makes his speech, he’ll smile and kiss his wonderful wife until they tell him to stop. (“Well, in fact/Well, I'll look at it this way/I mean technically our marriage is saved/Well this calls for a toast, so pour the champagne/Well, in fact/Well, I'll look at it this way/I mean technically our marriage is saved/Well this calls for a toast, so pour the champagne/Pour the champagne.”)
The chorus is sung three times to end the single.
Urie gives a fine performance. As the drama unfurls, he tries to trick his mind into every reason to believe in the best possible scenario. Nonetheless, he’s actually spiraling and once the show is over, the disaster is going to strike. However, it’s a life he escaped and needs a second to process it. His phrasing, especially during the verses, is far more thespian reaching out to the audience in the back than punk rock star. He might as well be handing out popcorn to listeners. Somewhere on Broadway, a musical is missing a character’s fantasy moment because Urie thought of it first.
The spectacular “I Write Sins Not Tragedy” could fit in easily on Broadway as it does on pop radio.