Rating: 4.0/5. From 67 votes. Show votes.
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Release Date: May 15, 2009
Length: 69:16
Studio: Studio 880 / Ocean Way Recording / Costa Mesa Studios / Jel Studios
Label: Reprise Records
Producers: Butch Vig & Green Day
Singles: Know Your Enemy, 21 Guns, East Jesus Nowhere, 21st Century Breakdown, Last Of The American Girls
RIAA Certification: Platinum (1 Million) – February 17, 2011
Billboard 200 Peak: #1 (1 week) – 38 weeks on the chart
Top Rock Albums Peak: #1 (3 weeks) – 32 weeks on the chart
Grammy Awards: Best Rock Album (Won). 21 Guns: Best Rock Song (Nominated), Best Rock Performance (Nominated).
Notes: After the longest break between albums of their career, the band returned to the studio with 45 songs to work with along with a new producer in Butch Vig. What emerged from those sessions was another rock opera concept album that once again saw the band hit the top of the charts. In a changing music industry, the album would also mark the last time to date that the band has sold more than 500,000 albums, eventually selling over one million in the US.

LIVE STATS:

SongFirst PlayedLast PlayedTimes Played
Song Of The CenturyN/AN/A0
21st Century BreakdownApril 7, 2009October 29, 2010154
Know Your EnemyApril 7, 2009August 20, 2017350
¡Viva la Gloria!April 7, 2009October 29, 201019
Before The LobotomyApril 7, 2009November 19, 201372
Christian's InfernoApril 7, 2009April 15, 20094
Last Night On EarthApril 7, 2009May 14, 201772
East Jesus NowhereApril 7, 2009March 3, 2014163
PeacemakerApril 7, 2009November 19, 20136
Last Of The American GirlsApril 7, 2009September 13, 201016
Murder CityApril 7, 2009December 18, 201663
¿Viva la Gloria?April 7, 2009June 4, 200913
Restless Heart SyndromeApril 7, 2009April 15, 20094
Horseshoes And HandgrenadesApril 7, 2009April 15, 20094
The Static AgeApril 7, 2009June 26, 2010116
21 GunsApril 7, 2009November 19, 2017190
American EulogyApril 7, 2009October 8, 201072
See The LightApril 7, 2009June 4, 200913

SONG INFO:

1. Song Of The Century

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.1/5. From 55 votes. Show votes.
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The album kicks off with Song Of The Century, somewhat of a prelude to the story of 21st Century Breakdown. The lyrics depict a country going into war (louder than bombs) and losing (losing the fight). Both sides are fighting viciously with no signs of giving up, and the civilians are clearly losing a lot because of their government (era of static and contraband). However, the civilians hold on as government propaganda succeeds to persuade the masses (leading into the promised land). In general, the song can be seen as a popular song played during the war times and remembered greatly for its influence throughout the country (they’re playing the song of the century of panic and promise and prosperity). The song can be seen as a beacon of hope for soldiers and the civilians to sing along to in dark times (tell me a story into that good night, sing us a song for me).

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Sing us the song of the century
That's louder than bombs and eternity
The era of static and contraband
That's leading us into the promised land

Tell us a story that's by candlelight
Waging a war and losing the fight
They're playing the song of the century
Of panic and promise and prosperity

Tell me a story into that good night
Sing us a song for me

2. 21st Century Breakdown

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.5/5. From 68 votes. Show votes.
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It is sort of about growing up in a working-class family, and what that represents in a financial crisis and how everyone feels paralyzed and frightened right now. It's about the collateral damage with it [post-Bush America] but also the hope and optimism a lot of Americans have. It's a really strange time. Exciting, because there's the first African-American president, a smart man who wants to do a good job. A man who's inheriting the biggest pile of shit this country has ever seen since the Depression. People are losing their jobs yet have a smile on their face, so this record is about that and the start of another era.

- Billie Joe Armstrong

Born into Nixon, I was raised in hell
A welfare child where the teamsters dwelled
The last one born and the first one to run
My town was blind from refinery sun

My generation is zero
I never made it as a working class hero

21st century breakdown
I once was lost but never was found
I think I'm losing what's left of my mind
To the 20th century deadline

I was made of poison and blood
Condemnation is what I understood
Video games of the tower's fall
Homeland security could kill us all

My generation is zero
I never made it as a working class hero

21st century breakdown
I once was lost but never was found
I think I'm losing what's left of my mind
To the 20th century deadline

We are the class of, the class of '13
Born in the year of humility
We are the desperate in the decline
Raised by the bastards of 1969

My name is no one, the long lost son
Born on the 4th of July
Raised in the era of heroes and cons
That left me for dead or alive

I am a nation, a worker of pride
My debt to the status quo
The scars on my hands are a means to an end
It's all I have to show

I swallowed my pride and I choked on my faith
I've given my heart and my soul
I've broken my fingers and lied through my teeth
The pillar of damage control
I've been to the edge and I've thrown the bouquet
Of flowers left over the grave
I sat in the waiting room wasting my time
And waiting for judgement day

I praise liberty
"The Freedom to Obey"
It's the song that strangles me
Well don't cross the line

Oh dream, America dream
I can't even sleep from the light's early dawn
Oh scream, America scream
Believe what you see from heroes and cons

3. Know Your Enemy

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.3/5. From 65 votes. Show votes.
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The start of the song is mostly a show of Christian’s internal conflict whilst being transported away from home. This action from the government finally affirms Christian’s thoughts and paranoia, and sets them as facts in his head. He feels only hate as he sees the government as his enemy. In his head, he begins to get angrier as he feels his whole life up to this point has been a complete lie and he just feels used. Finally reaching the prison, Christian and his band of rebels are thrown into an execution field covered by walls.

Christian thinks quick and rallies his men to prepare to fight (overthrow the effigy, burning down the foreman of control). He tells everyone to fight for their lives (bringing on the fury, the choir infantry) and make it an effort to at least leave a mark and impression before dying (rally up the demons of your soul). Christian, relying on adrenaline (well…. violent energy), charges on without a second thought. Guns begin to fire as the rebels fall one by one (blood’s been sacrificed) but thanks to the frontline's sacrifice, the men are able to make it to the executioners.

The executioners not expecting the rebels to fight and charge so viciously are taken aback and quickly beaten down (give me, give me revolution). Eventually, the rebels take over the small section with their newly acquired weapons and make their way towards the rest of the prison to see if there are rebels like them to be freed. The rebels search high and low and fight their way to victory and total control over the prison somehow. Jail after jail is unlocked as the rebels gain a huge number of supporters. This is where Christian first meets Gloria.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Do you know the enemy
Do you know your enemy
Well, gotta know the enemy

Violence is an energy, against the enemy
Well violence is an energy
Bringing on the fury, the choir infantry
Revolt against the honor to obey

Overthrow the effigy, the vast majority
Well, burning down the foreman of control
Silence is an enemy against your urgency
So rally up the demons of your soul

Do you know the enemy
Do you know your enemy
Well, gotta know the enemy

The insurgency will rise
When the blood's been sacrificed
Don't be blinded by the lies in your eyes
Say!

Well, violence is an energy
Well, from here to eternity
Well, violence is an energy
Well, silence is the enemy
So gimme, gimme revolution!

Do you know the enemy
Do you know your enemy
Well, gotta know the enemy

Overthrow the effigy, the vast majority
Well, burning down the foreman of control
Silence is an enemy, against your urgency
So rally up the demons of your soul

Do you know the enemy
Do you know your enemy
Well, gotta know the enemy

4. ¡Viva la Gloria!

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.8/5. From 55 votes. Show votes.
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After settling down, the rebels take some time to rest and set up the prison equipment to track and see if any government militia are coming for them. Christian gets some alone time with Gloria and finds out she’s the rebel leader of another sector in the country. From here on, the scene turns into a flashback, with Gloria recalling her times and reasons for becoming a rebel. She says how she was born into the rebellion and was taught since young that the government is lying (eternal youth is a landscape of the lie). Overtime, she rose in ranks and overtook the position of leader.

She shows her scars from the fights she was in (cracks of my skin, gun for hire) and the main battle that brought her into prison (say your prayers and light a fire, we’re gonna start a war, it’s what we waited for). She still remembers her name being graffitied onto walls and the sleepless days she spent fighting all night (found a home in all your scars and ammunition, made your bed in salad days amongst the ruins) with her loyal rebels (jilted crowd). Eventually, from constant attacks from the government, she lost too many rebels to be able to sustain their fighting (ashes to ashes) and she had to begin her escapade from the military.

From the winter to the end of autumn, the rebels kept running and hiding from the government, with some being caught occasionally (fallen through the cracks). Gloria continues to run and fight instead of giving up as she feels she has the need to avenge and continue the dreams of those who have fallen (don’t put away your burning light, don’t lose your faith, don’t let the bonfires go out). As time goes on, her name and reputation become but a legend to those who lived where she was born (banners burning down) as she gets further and further away from her hometown.

Her promises to bring amnesty to the brokenhearted and a season for everyone to always remember are but stories in the past now. However, for those who remember her, they all wish that she would send out a message as they would be more than willing to help her out. From rebels that have lost their way and made it back home, to the friends she had who didn’t follow her path, they all feel lost without Gloria’s guidance and leadership. Over time, all of Gloria’s followers had either died, been captured, or wandered away from their goals, leaving Gloria a lone runner.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Hey Gloria, are you standing close to the edge
Look out to the setting sun, the brink of your vision
Eternal youth is a landscape of a lie
The cracks of my skin can prove, as the years will testify

Say your prayers and light a fire, we're gonna start a war
Your slogan's a gun for hire, it's what we waited for
Hey Gloria, this is why we're on the edge
The fight of our life's been drawn to this undying love

Gloria! Viva la Gloria!
You blast your name in graffiti on the walls
Falling through broken glass that's slashing through your spirit
I can hear it like a jilted crowd

Gloria! Where are you, Gloria?
You found a home in all your scars and ammunition
You made your bed in salad days amongst the ruins
Ashes to ashes of our youth

She smashed her knuckles into winter (Gloria!)
As autumn's wind fades into black
She is the saint of all the sinners (Gloria!)
The one that's fallen through the cracks

So don't put away your burning light!

Gloria! Where are you, Gloria?
Don't lose your faith to your lost naivety
Weather the storm and don't look back on last November
When your banners were burning down

Gloria! Viva la Gloria!
Send me your amnesty down to the broken hearted
Bring us the season that we always will remember
Don't let the bonfires go out!

So, Gloria, send out your message of
The light that shadows in the night
Gloria, where's your undying love?
Tell me the story of your life
Your life!

5. Before The Lobotomy

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.0/5. From 57 votes. Show votes.
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"Before The Lobotomy was written on a trip to Santa Cruz. Lyrics that is."

- Billie Joe Armstrong

Before the Lobotomy serves as the introductory song on 21st Century Breakdown for the male protagonist, Christian. This song gives an insight on Christian as he documents the collapse of his family and home life and how he now resides "in the underground" of drugs and alcohol to make himself happy and forget his pain.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Dreaming, I was only dreaming
Of another place and time, where my family's from
Singing, I can hear them singing
When the rain had washed away all these scattered dreams

Dying, everyone's reminded
Hearts are washed in misery, drenched in gasoline
Laughter, there is no more laughter
Songs of yesterday now live in the underground

Life before the lobotomy
Christian sang the eulogy
Sign my love a lost memory
From the end of the century

Well it's enough to make you sick
To cast a stone and throw a brick
But when the sky is falling down
It burned your dreams into the ground

Christian's lesson's what he's been sold
We are normal and self-controlled
Remember to learn to forget
Whiskey shots and cheap cigarettes

Well I'm not stoned, I'm just fucked up
I got so high, I can't stand up
Well I'm not cursed 'cause I've been blessed
I'm not in love, 'cause I'm a mess

Like refugees, we're lost like refugees
Like refugees, we're lost like refugees
The brutality of reality
Is the freedom that keeps me from

Dreaming, I was only dreaming
Of another place and time, where my family's from
Singing, I can hear them singing
When the rain had washed away all these scattered dreams

Dying, everyone's reminded
Hearts are washed in misery, drenched in gasoline
Laughter, there is no more laughter
Songs of yesterday now live in the underground

6. Christian's Inferno

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 2.6/5. From 59 votes. Show votes.
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Christian's Inferno immediately follows Before the Lobotomy on 21st Century Breakdown's track listing, serving as the second half of Christian's introduction. While Before the Lobotomy captures a self-loathing and melancholy tone, Christian's Inferno is a song based on pure rage. Seriously, if you don't listen to this song and feel pissed off, you're doing emotions wrong. With that stated, Christian's emotions seem to have shifted to anger as he is not only angry at those who've caused him pain but also himself for creating his own personal Hell.

Honestly, there's not much to say about the lyrics to this song. It's a pretty one-dimensional song about anger, but it also gives us insight to the other half of Christian's demons. Nothing more really becomes revealed about the character except for two lines.

"I got the rejection letter in the mail, and it was already ripped to shreds" - This gives us insight further into what may have caused Christian's mental collapse. Maybe the letter represents rejection from a lover or a major university. We can all relate to this seeing as rejection is one of the worst feelings in the whole world.

"I am the atom bomb, I am your chosen one" - Oh yes, the pressured to succeed feeling. It causes you to snap because you feel like you're not only obligate to achieve your goals in life, but you also feel as if you're paying for the sins of others in the process.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

I got under the grip between this modern hell
I got the rejection letter in the mail
And it was already ripped to shreds
Seasons in ruin and this bitter pill is chased with blood
There's fire in my veins and it's pouring out like a flood

Woah, Christian's inferno
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

This diabolic state is gracing my existence
Like a catastrophic baby
Maybe, maybe you're the chemical reaction
I am the atom bomb, I am your chosen one
Toxin your reservoir and then return man to ape

Woah, Christian's inferno

7. Last Night On Earth

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.6/5. From 54 votes. Show votes.
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"At the end of every text to Adrienne, I would say "all my lovin" like the Beatles song. That's when the lyrics came to mind. The song as subtle hints of technology in it too. Can you hear me now? Trying to reach her."

- Billie Joe Armstrong

A love song. The author is writing this song for a lover that is somewhere far away (I text a postcard sent to you) and wondering about her (Did it go through?). He remarks on how the letter is all his love sent to her, and how she's the moonlight of his life every night. The author continues on with his sappy poetry, stating how his beating heart belongs to her and that he would be willing to walk the miles to find her if she ever got lost or needed his attention.

He then continues on about how she's his everything and how he is willing to give up anything for her (If I lose everything in the fire, I'm sending all my love to you) and reaffirms this by saying his every breath on Earth is for her, and that he will send all his love without question (So if you dare to second guess you can rest assured that all my love's for you).

The song ends with the repetition of the chorus and the author also questions her love and asks if he ever made it through in doubt that his best, may simply not be enough for her.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

I text a postcard sent to you
Did it go through
Sending all my love to you
You are the moonlight of my life
Every night
Giving all my love to you

My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
I'm sending all my love to you

With every breath that I am worth
Here on earth
I'm sending all my love to you
So if you dare to second-guess
You can rest
Assured that all my love's for you

My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
I'm sending all my love to you

My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
Did I ever make it through

8. East Jesus Nowhere

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.3/5. From 61 votes. Show votes.
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A song opposing religion. The song is mainly telling how religion is a form of a tool used by powers to control people. The powers (Raise your hands now to testify, your confession will be crucified, you're a sacrificial suicide like a dog that's been sodomized) only use religion to get what they want from the people and then get rid of them. They then proceed to use religion to extend their grasp on the people to the point where they start controlling (Sit down, stand up) them to enroll into hard jobs as the military (You're the soldiers of the new world).

The churches are used to control people by making them believe their respective religions more by making them believe in 'certain truths' (Put your faith in a miracle, join the choir) even though most of it is easily seen as questionable or false (Wishful thinking). Some revolts begin to happen (A fire burns today of blasphemy and genocide) as the believers begin questioning the authenticity of their religious beliefs (Sirens of decay, will infiltrate the faith fanatics).

The ones that are truly indoctrinated begin to ask their God for forgiveness as their relatives and friends revolt (Oh, bless me Lord for I have sinned, it's been a lifetime since I last confessed). They seem willing to do anything to gain forgiveness, even throw away objects essential to their life (threw my crutches) and buy new and better ones to impress the Lord (dressed up in my Sunday best).

The popes begin to panic and ask the believers for 'donations' (drop a coin for humanity). Their words get less and less believable to the point where they contradict themselves as seen by how they ask and tell the public not to answer (Ain't this uniform so flattering? I never asked you a god damn thing).

The powers begin to get desperate as the revolts get out of hand. They begin threatening the rebels (Don't test me, Second guess me, Protest me, You will disappear) and giving their believer's even harsher restrictions to make sure they never leave (I want to know who's allowed to breed, all the dogs who never learned to read). The government sees this form of control and seizes it for money (Missionary politicians and the cops of a new religion) to control the public. They use their riot police and gain another asset to control the people.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Raise your hands now to testify
Your confession will be crucified
You're a sacrificial suicide
Like a dog that's been sodomized, well

(Stand up!) All the white boys
(Sit down!) And the black girls
(Stand up!) You're the soldiers
(Sit down!) Of the new world

Put your faith in a miracle
And it's non-denominational
Join the choir, we'll be singing
In the church of wishful thinking

A fire burns today
Of blasphemy and genocide
The sirens of decay
Will infiltrate the faith fanatics

Oh bless me, Lord for I have sinned
It's been a lifetime since I last confessed
I threw my crutches in "the river of a shadow of doubt"
And I'll be dressed up in my Sunday best

Say a prayer for the family
Drop a coin for humanity
Ain't this uniform so flattering
I never asked you a goddamn thing

A fire burns today
Of blasphemy and genocide
The sirens of decay
Will infiltrate the faith fanatics

Don't test me
Second guess me
Protest me
You will disappear

I want to know who's allowed to breed
All the dogs who never learned to read
Missionary politicians
And the cops of the new religion

A fire burns, today
Of blasphemy and genocide
The sirens of decay
Will infiltrate the inside

Yeah!

9. Peacemaker

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.8/5. From 58 votes. Show votes.
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This song takes place during Christian and Gloria's rally to rebel against the government. The government decided to take action and send in their peacemakers (soldiers).

Christian gets the urge that he needs to take action now (I've got a fever, a non-believer) and feels the need to start the revolution now (I'm gonna seize the day). He readies himself (I'm in a state of grace) and begins to rally his followers (For I am the Caesar, call of the banshee) to seize the day. On the other hand, the soldiers are also getting ready to serve their political Gods (as God as my witness the infidels are gonna pay) on the government's side.

The government knows that Christian will do anything to protect his girl, Gloria, so the government calls for their SWAT team to search and kill her (call the assassin, death to the girl at the end of the serenade). The lyrics the orgasm, a spasm of love and hate may refer to how Gloria will lead to either the success or the death of the revolution, orgasm referring to Christian and Gloria's love for each other.

Both sides ready at opposite sides (For what will divide us? The righteous and the meek) with their chiefs doing their final negotiations to prevent any conflict. But in the end, the inevitable battle begins. The chiefs walk out of the battleground as the first shots begin (call of the wild, Beretta of the night, shots ringing out on a holy parasite). It is revealed that the battleground would be located in Detroit in the next part of the song, a perfect battleground for the rebels for if they were to win, they would secure a huge chunk of land for themselves to build their base on.

As shots continue ringing out, the battle scene quickly turns more ferocious and almost immediately, withers out all of the weaker soldiers and rebels (I drink from a well of rage, feed off the weakness). The scene shifts to a small tent just outside Detroit where Gloria resides with a few rebels. As the battle rages, people fail to see the government peacemakers make their way to their target. Shots ring out as the SWAT team fires their machine guns into the tents blindly.

Gloria uses her walkie-talkie in all the chaos to contact Christian to tell him her final words as it may be her last (With all my love, call up the captain). Christian hears all of it but can't respond as he is occupied with the battle. The walkie-talkie begins to emit static as Gloria's voice fades out (death of the lover that you were dreaming of). Christian's eyes fill with rage as he commands the Molotov rain to be executed. The government did not see this sudden increase in aggro and begins to back little by little (You thought I was write off you better think again).

One by one, the peacemakers go down and eventually, the rebels destroy the remaining forces (I'm gonna send you back to the place where it all began). All the political leaders are forced to dig their own graves as they commit suicide in fear of the tortures Christian may order (now the caretaker's, the undertaker). Only a handful of government forces escape telling the other neighbouring forces about the rebellion's result (I'm gonna go out and get the peacemaker). The song ends with a picture of Gloria in Christian's hand as the search forces attempt to find Gloria (St. Valentine's massacre, call up the Gaza). As the scene fades to black, a radio in the rubble begins to squeal and come to life.....Death to the ones at the end of the serenade.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Well I've got a fever
A non-believer
I'm in a state of grace
For I am the Caesar
I'm gonna seize the day
Well, call of the banshee, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey
As God as my witness, the infidels are gonna pay

Well call the assassin
The orgasm
A spasm of love and hate
For what will divide us
The righteous and the meek
Well, call of the wild, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey
Well, death to the girl at the end of the serenade

Vendetta, sweet vendetta
This Beretta of the night
This fire and the desire
Well, shots ringing out on the holy parasite

Well I am a killjoy from Detroit
I drink from a well of rage
I feed off the weakness with all my love
Well, call up the captain, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey
Well death to the lover that you were dreaming of

Well this is a stand-off
A Molotov cocktail on the house
You thought I was a write-off
You better think again
Well call the peacemaker, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey
I'm gonna send you back to the place where it all began

Vendetta, sweet vendetta
This Beretta of the night
This fire and the desire
Well shots ringing out on the holy parasite

Well now the caretaker's the undertaker
So I'm gonna go out and get a peacemaker
This is a Neo Saint Valentine's massacre
Well call up the Gaza, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey
Well, death to the ones at the end of the serenade

10. Last Of The American Girls

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.7/5. From 56 votes. Show votes.
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A song describing a punk-rebel girl. The song starts off with how she puts on her makeup (like graffiti on the walls of the heartland), heavy and rather unnecessary, but she deems it beautiful nonetheless. The line, she's got her little book of conspiracies right in her hand, may refer to the people around her, judging her for the clothes she wears, the makeup she uses and the way she carries herself, leaving her feeling paranoid since she's the only one like this (endangered species headed into extinction).

The next verse talks about how she works in a lower class job (makes enough to survive for a holiday of the working class) and how it's affecting her daily life (riding her bike like a fugitive of critical mass,). The line, she's on a hunger strike for the ones who won't make it for dinner, may refer to her only eating dinner when the company provides her and her co-workers with it. This may infer she works in a restaurant or fast food joint. There is also the line, she's a runaway of the establishment incorporated, which means she may have worked in a good company once, but decided to quit and run off/got fired since there were too many rules for her to abide by (she won't cooperate).

The next verse describes how she wished the world would be more like her, different and not trying to fit in, and wishing it would change for the better in her point of view (plays her vinyl records singing songs on the eve of destruction). She hopes the current cultures will end and end up following her lifestyle (come in first for the end of western civilization) and supports all the other 'rebels' who want the world to change in their own ways (she's a sucker for all the criminals breaking the laws). She is also described as willing to support her cause of a 'new world' to the end (she's an endless war) but clearly this will never happen (she's a hero for the lost cause). Because of her demented and over the top views, people think she's crazy (a hurricane in the heart of the devastation, she's a natural disaster)

The song ends with a repetition of the first verse with a bit of mix from the previous verse to show how she is firm in her views, and won't change anytime soon.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

She puts her makeup on
Like graffiti on the walls of the heartland
She's got her little book of conspiracies
Right in her hand
She is paranoid
Endangered species headed into extinction

She is one of a kind
Well she's the last of the American girls

She wears her overcoat
For the coming of the nuclear winter
She is riding her bike
Like a fugitive of Critical Mass
She's on a hunger strike
For the ones who won't make it for dinner
She makes enough to survive
For a holiday of working class

She's a runaway of the establishment incorporated
She won't cooperate
Well she's the last of the American girls

She plays her vinyl records
Singing songs on the eve of destruction
She's a sucker for
All the criminals breaking the laws
She will come in first
For the end of western civilization
She's an endless war
She's a hero for the lost cause

Like a hurricane in the heart of the devastation
She's a natural disaster
She's the last of the American girls

She puts her makeup on
Like graffiti on the walls of the heartland
She's got her little book of conspiracies
Right in her hand
She will come in first
For the end of western civilization

She's a natural disaster
She's the last of the American girls

Oh, yeah
Alright
Oh, yeah

11. Murder City

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.9/5. From 59 votes. Show votes.
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This song is the tenth installment of the 21st Century Breakdown story. It is written in Gloria's perspective. There has been a riot, a demonstration of their ideas and beliefs. Its midnight and Gloria is lying awake while Christian is in the bathroom, trying to hide the fact that he's crying.

They both feel hopeless because they are beginning to think their efforts are wasted and there is no point in their lives. She knows they aren't finished yet, but she still feels desperate, like its their last chance, and she wants it to be worth it.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Desperate
But not hopeless
I feel so useless
In the murder city

Desperate
But not helpless
The clock strikes midnight
In the murder city

I'm wide awake after the riots
This demonstration of our anguish
This empty laughter has no reason
Like a bottle of your favorite poison

We are the last call
And we're so pathetic

Desperate
But not hopeless
I feel so useless
In the murder city

Desperate
But not helpless
The clock strikes midnight
In the murder city

Christian's crying in the bathroom
And I just want to bum a cigarette
We've come so far, we've been so wasted
It's written all over our faces

We are the last call
And we're so pathetic

Desperate
But not hopeless
I feel so useless
In the murder city

Desperate
But not helpless
The clock strikes midnight
In the murder city

12. ¿Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl)

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Rating: 4.1/5. From 56 votes. Show votes.
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The song begins with the question, little girl, little girl, why are you crying? Inside your restless soul your heart is dying?referring to when the author first met the drug addict. He sees the emptiness in her eyes and the razor blades that surround her in her attempt to relieve herself of this addiction via suicide (soul is purging).

The lyrics shift to her flashbacks in her final moments. How she had to run away from the river (which may refer to her home), to the drug-ridden streets. She gets addicted and soon finds herself from a happy home to the gutter. She feels alone and tired and begins to regret her decision to move to the city from her home as she has nowhere to go as a penniless drug addict.

She can begin feeling her life slip away second by second, (Little girl, little girl, your life is calling, the charlatans and saints of your abandon) as her vision begins to fade (the sky is falling). She passes away with the remaining memories of her life being wasted on deceiving for drugs, flashing before her eyes. The author does a small prayer for her although he doesn't know much about her life (in the wake, all the way no rhyme or reason) before closing her bloodshot eyes and laying her to rest forever.

The rest of the lyrics narrate her life and how she lied and preached to her friends and family (the choir) to get the money needed for her drugs. She even used violence to squeeze the money from them after running from the cops several times (the traces of blood always follow you home like the mascara tears from your getaway) In the end, she ended up killing them when they refused her money (You're walking with blisters and running with shears, so unholy sister of grace!)

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Little girl, little girl, why are you crying?
Inside your restless soul, your heart is dying
Little one, little one, your soul is purging
Of love and razor blades, your blood is surging

Run away from the river to the street
And find yourself with your face in the gutter
You're a stray for the Salvation Army
There is no place like home when you got no place to go

Little girl, little girl, your life is calling
The charlatans and saints of your abandon
Little one, little one, the sky is falling
Your lifeboat of deception is now sailing

In the wake, all the way, no rhyme or reason
Your bloodshot eyes will show your heart of treason
Little girl, little girl, you dirty liar
You're just a junkie preaching to the choir

Run away from the river to the street
And find yourself with your face in the gutter
You're a stray for the Salvation Army
There is no place like home when you got no place to go

The traces of blood always follow you home
Like the mascara tears from your getaway (Gloria!)
You're walking with blisters and running with shears
So unholy, sister of grace

Run away from the river to the street
And find yourself with your face in the gutter
You're a stray for the salvation army
There is no place like home...

13. Restless Heart Syndrome

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Rating: 4.0/5. From 58 votes. Show votes.
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A song about a disease that has been haunting the author for a while (something like cancer). The disease is slowly killing the author as he begs for mercy from the pain (I've got a really bad disease, it's got me begging on my hands and knees). Then comes the day the disease gets him so bad he is sent to the emergency room for an operation (Take me to emergency, cause something seems to be missing). The way the author says something is missing indicates how his disease has taken something valuable away from him. Perhaps his family member had the same disease or he lost an organ in the operation.

After the operation, the author begins to get suicidal thoughts in his condition (Somebody take the pain away, ulcer bleeding in my brain). He feels like he's trapped in an asylum, all alone and not allowed to run away (I'm elated, medicated, Lord knows I tried to find a way to run away). Day by day, he realizes he's turning into a test subject for the doctors to find a cure for his disease (I think they found another cure for broken hearts and feeling insecure, you'd be surprised what I endure. What makes you feel so self-assured). The patient becomes so paranoid, he hides from just about anything (I need to find a place to hide, You never know what could be waiting outside, the accidents that you could find. It's like some kind of suicide).

He eventually becomes a test subject, unable to feel pain or emotion anymore, all because of his disease (I'm a victim of my symptom, I am my own worst enemy). He begins to find ways to kill himself, and he realizes he turned into his worst enemy by enduring these medications (I'm elated, medicated, I am my own worst enemy, you're a victim of the system).

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

I've got a really bad disease
It's got me begging on my hands and knees
So, take me to emergency
'Cause something seems to be missing

Somebody take the pain away
It's like an ulcer bleeding in my brain
So send me to the pharmacy
So I can lose my memory

I'm elated, medicated
Lord knows I tried to find a way
To run away

I think they found another cure
For broken hearts and feeling insecure
You'd be surprised what I endure
What makes you feel so self-assured

I need to find a place to hide
You never know what could be waiting outside
The accidents that you could find
It's like some kind of suicide

So what ails you is what impales you
I feel like I've been crucified
To be satisfied

I'm a victim of my symptom
I am my own worst enemy
You're a victim of your symptom
You are your own worst enemy
Know your enemy

I'm elated, medicated
I am my own worst enemy
So, what ails you is what impales you
You are your own worst enemy

You're a victim of the system
You are your own worst enemy
You're a victim of the system
You are your own worst enemy

14. Horseshoes And Handgrenades

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Rating: 3.9/5. From 54 votes. Show votes.
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The lyrics depict the aftermath of a break up due to cheaters. The author begins by saying how this time it's real and that he's not fucking around and he's going to come out at her for real this time. He states how she has been cheating on him and how she's been so careless as to bleed out this info.

He continues on how it's better for her to just slapknock him out and kick him down than to continue on these lies (missed me, kissed me). He then says how she's the runner up in the relationship, but she'll be the first one to lose something genuine (love as the race). Her almost only really counts in horseshoes and handgrenades which may reference how her love is only excuses that make little to no sense at times.

After the breakup, the author burns and rips all the things she gave him (everything you employ was meant for me to destroy) and threatens to kill her if she ever shows up again. The author goes into an alcoholic state and gets mixed up in bar brawls and prostitutes.

The author recognizes that the old relationship (age-old contradiction) was destroying him (self-destruction) and annihilates it by eventually forgetting about it. In the end, after all the petty acts of revenge, he comes about to find out he has become the hater and traitor he has hated so much.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

I'm not fucking around
I think I'm coming out
All the deceivers and cheaters
I think we've got a bleeder right now

Want you to slap me around
Want you to knock me out
Well you missed me, kissed me
Now you better kick me down

Maybe you're the runner-up
But the first one to lose the race
Almost only really counts in
Horseshoes and handgrenades

I'm gonna burn it all down
I'm gonna rip it out
Well everything you employ
Was meant for me to destroy to the ground now
So don't you fuck me around
Because I'll shoot you down
I'm gonna drink, fight and fuck
And I'm pushing my luck all the time now

Maybe you're the runner-up
But the first one to lose the race
Almost only really counts in
Horseshoes and handgrenades

Demolition, self-destruction
Want to annihilate this age-old contradiction

Demolition, self-destruction
Want to annihilate this age-old contradiction
Demolition, self-destruction
Want to annihilate this old age

I'm not fucking around
I think I'm coming out
Well I'm a hater, a traitor
In a pair of Chuck Taylors right now
I'm not fucking around
G-L-O-R-I-A!

15. The Static Age

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Rating: 4.0/5. From 56 votes. Show votes.
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As the riots intensify, the radios eventually go silent as the military leaves them to aid in the uprising. The sound of static fills the on radios (can you hear the sound of the static noise blasting out in stereo?) getting rid of the lies of the government that used to be broadcasted (slogans on the brink of corruption). Love refers to nationalism and speeches from the governor, religion being the cult of personality and murder referring to the propaganda of rebels and other countries being bloodthirsty troublemakers. Memories of the past war which led to the corrupt government flow through the nation as they realize who was their real enemy the whole time (visions of blasphemy, war and peace screaming at you).

Bigger companies begin to withdraw from the country with their remaining goods and money as it descends further into chaos (Coca Cola execution). Billboards are being vandalized and everyone’s true desires are finally being shown after being locked up for so long (conscious on a cross and your hearts in a vice, all I want to do is I want to live batteries not included). Everyone is sick of high prices and low pays, having sometimes only their minds to keep them sane (your state of mind are what you own that you cannot buy, what's the latest way that a man can die, screaming hallelujah?).

The rebels proclaim their victory (this is how the west has won, silence of the rotten/forgotten screaming at you) as everyone now has the truth shown to them.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Can you hear the sound of the static noise
Blasting out in stereo?
Cater to the class and the paranoid
Music to my nervous system
Advertising love and religion
Murder on the airwaves
Slogans on the brink of corruption
Visions of blasphemy, war and peace
Oh, screaming at you

I can't see a thing in the video
I can't hear a sound on the radio
In stereo in the static age

Billboard on the rise in the dawn's landscape
Working your insanity
Tragic à la madness and concrete
Coca-Cola execution
Conscience on a cross and your heart's in a vice
Squeezing out your state of mind
Are what you own that you cannot buy?
What a fucking tragedy, strategy
Oh, screaming at you

I can't see a thing in the video
I can't hear a sound on the radio
In stereo in the static age
I can't see a thing in the video
I can't hear a sound on the radio
In stereo in the static age

Hey it's the static age
Well, this is how the west was won
Hey it's the static age millennium

All I want to know is a god-damned thing
Not what's in the medicine
All I want to do is I want to breathe
Batteries are not included
What's the latest way that a man can die
Screaming 'Hallelujah'?
Singing out "the dawn's early light"
The silence of the rotten, forgotten
Oh, screaming at you

I can't see a thing in the video
I can't hear a sound on the radio

The static age

16. 21 Guns

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Rating: 3.8/5. From 60 votes. Show votes.
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This song is about love, prejudice, and change, a different perspective and portraying that's all. You fight for things you believe are right and just, but when you have to give up, it doesn't mean that you are weak. Rather, it means that you have to take a step back to observe how things are going and find a new approach to tackle the problem. When you lose faith (your faith walks on broken glass) or are hurt (did someone break your heart inside), you should actually accept the change.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Do you know what's worth fighting for
When it's not worth dying for
Does it take your breath away
And you feel yourself suffocating

Does the pain weigh out the pride
And you look for a place to hide
Did someone break your heart inside
You're in ruins

One, twenty-one guns
Lay down your arms - give up the fight
One, twenty-one guns
Throw up your arms - into the sky
You and I

When you're at the end of the road
And you lost all sense of control
And your thoughts have taken their toll
When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul

Your faith walks on broken glass
And the hangover doesn't pass
Nothing's ever built to last
You're in ruins

One, twenty-one guns
Lay down your arms - give up the fight
One, twenty-one guns
Throw up your arms - into the sky
You and I

Did you try to live on your own
When you burned down the house and home
Did you stand too close to the fire
Like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone

When it's time to live and let die
And you can't get another try
Something inside this heart has died
You're in ruins

One, twenty-one guns
Lay down your arms - give up the fight
One, twenty-one guns
Throw up your arms - into the sky

One, twenty-one guns
Lay down your arms - give up the fight
One, twenty-one guns
Throw up your arms - into the sky
You and I

17. American Eulogy

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Rating: 4.5/5. From 58 votes. Show votes.
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Mass Hysteria

The first verse after the repetitive chorus describes a state of panic. How everyone is on red alert and are on the brink of breaking down. Friendly neighbourhoods have turned into war zones (And the neighborhood's a loaded gun) and even welfare homes are in a total cluster-fuck (And the welfare is asphyxiating). This sense of hysteria is spreading through the city like a virus and turning everyone into a 'bottom feeder of hysteria', only relying on judgements made from pure panic. More chants of mass hysteria are heard again as the song continues...

Now, the song moves to the people going insane and starting riots (True sounds of maniacal laughter, Fight fire with a riot). Rebels take this to their advantage and use the public to attack the city and cause more chaos. They cheat and lie through the weak minded public and the city is beginning to crumble under pure destruction. (The class war is hanging on a wire because the martyr is a compulsive liar when he said "it's just a bunch of niggers throwing gas into the ....")

Soon, the public arrives at the oceanside where they begin stealing water supplies from the government. (They tapped into the reserve) They destroy all radio towers in the vicinity and causes communications to topple. (The static response is so unclear now) The president issues for the soldiers to attack without any warning. As the soldiers march in, we find out that the leaders of the rebels are Christian and Gloria as their names are chanted through the city.

Modern World

This goes to the perspective of the rebels. They've been seen as over-taxed workers (On a strike to pay the rent) and have made their way underground. With their lighters and a little bit of methane in the sewers, a few of the rebels effectively kamikaze the underground, killing a large fraction of the military. As the rebels march on with their belief the government is bullshit, (Deny the allegation as it's written, fucking lies!) as they begin dreaming of a better world in the last verse.....

The song fades out to a barely visible sound as the remaining surveillance cameras are taken out.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Sing us the song of the century
It sings like American eulogy
The dawn of my love and conspiracy
Of forgotten hope and the class of 13
Tell me a story into that goodnight
Sing us a song for me

Part I: Mass Hysteria

Hysteria
Mass hysteria

Red alert is the color of panic
Elevated to the point of static
Beating into the hearts of the fanatics
And the neighborhood's a loaded gun

Idle thought leads to full-throttle screaming
And the welfare's asphyxiating
Mass confusion is all the new rage
And it's creating a feeding ground
For the bottom feeders of hysteria

Mass hysteria

True sounds of maniacal laughter
And the deaf-mute's misleading the choir
The punch-line is a natural disaster
And it's sung by the unemployed

Fight fire with a riot
The class war is hanging on a wire
Because the martyr is a compulsive liar
When he said, "It's just a bunch of niggers
Throwing gas into the hysteria"

Mass hysteria

There's a disturbance on the oceanside
They tapped into the reserve
The static response is so unclear, now

Mayday, this is not a test!
As the neighborhood burns, America is falling
Vigilantes warning you
Calling Christian and Gloria!

Part II: Modern World

I don't want to live in the modern world

Well I'm the class of '13 in the era of dissent
A hostage of the soul on a strike to pay the rent
The last of the rebels without a common ground
I'm gonna light a fire into the underground, well

I don't want to live in the modern world

I am a nation without bureaucratic ties
Deny the allegation, as it's written fucking lies

Well I want to take a ride to the great divide
Beyond the "up to date" and the neo-gentrified
The high definition for the low resident
Where the value of your mind is not held in contempt

I can hear the sound of a beating heart
That bleeds beyond a system that is falling apart
With money to burn on a minimum wage
Well, I don't give a shit about the modern age

I don't want to live in the modern world

(Mass hysteria) I don't want to live in the modern world

18. See The Light

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Rating: 3.4/5. From 53 votes. Show votes.
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The scene cuts back to Christian and Gloria, shown driving around America (crossed the river, fell into the sea) to see the state of the country while recalling their wild journey (scratched the surface, in the mouth of hell) and the things they did to get here (running out of service, in the blood I fell). Now, they just want to enjoy their lives in their new world (I just want to see the light) and not waste their lives on fighting anymore (I don’t want to lose my sight).

Christian’s had enough of pills and alcohol and Gloria has had enough of being chased down pool halls. They just want to be free and experience the beauty of life as it is (drank the water from a hurricane, set a fire just to see the flame). The lyrics can also be seen as Christian and Gloria trying out things for the first time that they were too scared to do under the old government.

They eventually make it to a desert where they made their home on higher ground, far away from everyone else. The old government is gone forever, but it's never too late to make a new and better one. But that job, is not up to Christian and Gloria. Instead, they’ll leave it to the hands of fate to deal with the rest as they’ve already set the pavement taking the liars down, and leaving the country in the hands of the people.

- song meaning written by u/potlah on r/GreenDay

Well I crossed the river
Fell into the sea
Where the non-believers
Go beyond belief
Then I scratched the surface
In the mouth of hell
Running out of service
In the blood I fell

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don't want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what's worth the fight

I've been wasted
Pills and alcohol
And I've been chasing
Down the pool halls
Then I drank the water
From a hurricane
And I set a fire
Just to see the flame

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don't want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what's worth the fight

Well I crossed the desert
Reaching higher ground
Then I pound the pavement
To take the liars down
But it's gone forever
But never too late
Where the ever after
Is in the hands of fate

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don't want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what's worth the fight

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