Rating: 4.6/5. From 87 votes. Show votes.
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Release Date: September 20, 2004
Length: 57:12
Studio: Studio 880 / Ocean Way Recording
Label: Reprise Records
Producers: Rob Cavallo & Green Day
Singles: American Idiot, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Holiday, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Jesus Of Suburbia
RIAA Certification: 6x Platinum (6 Million) – January 24, 2013
Billboard 200 Peak: #1 (3 weeks) – 143 weeks on the chart
Grammy Awards: American Idiot (2005 – Album): Best Rock Album (Won), Album of the Year (Nominated). American Idiot (2005 – Song): Record of the Year (Nominated), Best Rock Performance (Nominated), Best Rock Song (Nominated), Best Music Video (Nominated). Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (2006): Record of the Year (Won). 
Notes: Starting over after the band deemed work on an album called ‘Cigarettes And Valentines’ to be not up to standard, Green Day recorded a punk rock opera that would project them back to the top of the charts. Taking 10 months to record and costing $650,000, ‘American Idiot’ was a massive undertaking for the band but would go on to sell over 6 million copies in the US alone.

LIVE STATS:

SongFirst PlayedLast PlayedTimes Played
American IdiotJuly 29, 2004June 20, 2018540
Jesus Of SuburbiaJuly 29, 2004November 19, 2017474
HolidayAugust 24, 2004November 19, 2017510
Boulevard Of Broken DreamsSeptember 16, 2004November 19, 2017490
Are We The WaitingSeptember 16, 2004November 19, 2017423
St. JimmySeptember 16, 2004November 19, 2017511
Give Me NovacaineSeptember 16, 2004July 24, 201799
She's A RebelSeptember 16, 2004August 7, 201014
Extraordinary GirlSeptember 16, 2004October 29, 201022
LetterbombSeptember 16, 2004November 19, 2017239
Wake Me Up When September EndsSeptember 16, 2004November 17, 2017274
HomecomingSeptember 16, 2004August 20, 201039
WhatsernameSeptember 16, 2004October 29, 201024

SONG INFO:

1. American Idiot

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.6/5. From 79 votes. Show votes.
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This song was strongly opposed by some people in the US because of its controversial lyrics that express the author's attitude towards the George W. Bush administration, as well as certain relevant political and social issues. Some people believe that this song is anti-American, because of its title and harsh sarcastic comments. However, if you pay attention to the lyrics you may see that in many ways the song is highly patriotic.

The title of the song is referring to the author's opinion that these days politicians and the media are telling us what to do, what to buy, what to believe in. We are constantly being subliminally mind-fucked by commercials, campaigns and reality TV. They turn us into idiots with no individuality. In this song, the narrator is saying that he doesn't want his nation to be turned into complete idiots, he doesn't want his country to be led by a redneck president ("I'm not a part of a redneck agenda"), doesn't want people to be convinced that it's right to hate someone because of their sexual preferences ("maybe I'm the faggot America"), doesn't want the nation to be isolated and detested because of stupid decisions that the government makes ("Welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alienation").

This song is an overview of the album's most important ideas, as well as a sort of a warning calling out to the people across the country: don't let them take away your personality, don't let them turn you into Idiot America.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Don't wanna be an American idiot
Don't want a nation under the new mania
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind-fuck America

Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn't meant to be okay
Television dreams of tomorrow
We're not the ones who're meant to follow
For that's enough to argue

Well maybe I'm the faggot America
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda
Now everybody do the propaganda
And sing along to the age of paranoia

Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn't meant to be okay
Television dreams of tomorrow
We're not the ones who're meant to follow
For that's enough to argue

Don't wanna be an American idiot
One nation controlled by the media
Information age of hysteria
It's calling out to idiot America

Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn't meant to be okay
Television dreams of tomorrow
We're not the ones who're meant to follow
For that's enough to argue

2. Jesus Of Suburbia

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  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.8/5. From 96 votes. Show votes.
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Jesus of Suburbia

This is the introduction of the album's leading character. He describes himself as "the son of rage and love", living on a "steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin" and "doing someone else's cocaine". He sarcastically mentions that this messed up life he's living is completely normal for him: "there's nothing wrong with me, this is how I'm supposed to be", and goes on with his story about the "land of make-believe" that he lives in.

City of the Damned

The motto says "Home is where your heart is", but it doesn't mean that this works for everyone; some people just don't fit in. Jesus points out that people don't really care about anyone but themselves these days ("Lost children with dirty faces today no one really seems to care"), and surrounded by this indifference he states that now he doesn't care either.

I Don't Care

Jesus gives his opinion on the world - "everyone is so full of shit, born and raised by hypocrites". He says that if no one cares about him, there is no reason for him to care about anyone else ("I don't care if you don't"). He's tired of this "land of make-believe" that doesn't believe in him.

Dearly Beloved

This part shows the softer side of Jesus' personality. His disguise of sarcasm covers his cry for help ("Oh therapy, can you please fill the void?"). He's tired of being alone and rejected, of not fitting in. He wants to break free.

Tales of Another Broken Home

Jesus states that he's not living, he's just existing - "to live and not to breathe is to die in tragedy". And he decided to run away and try to find something worth living for. He doesn't want to walk that same line anymore, doesn't want to keep living a life that he has no faith in. He feels no shame for leaving - "running away from pain when you've been victimized". He doesn't know what's waiting for him, he just wants to start a new life.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Part 1: Jesus Of Suburbia

I'm the son of rage and love
The Jesus of Suburbia
From the bible of
None of the above
On a steady diet of...

Soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with

And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In the land of make-believe
That don't believe in me

Get my television fix
Sitting on my crucifix
The living room in my private womb
While the moms and Brads are away

To fall in love and fall in debt
To alcohol and cigarettes
And Mary Jane to keep me insane
And doing someone else's cocaine

And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don't believe in me

Part 2: City of the Damned

At the center of the Earth in the parking lot
Of the 7-11 where I was taught
The motto was just a lie

It says "home is where your heart is"
But what a shame
'Cause everyone's heart doesn't beat the same
It's beating out of time

City of the dead
At the end of another lost highway
Signs misleading to nowhere
City of the damned
Lost children with dirty faces today
No one really seems to care

I read the graffiti in the bathroom stall
Like the holy scriptures of the shopping mall
And so it seemed to confess

It didn't say much, but it only confirmed
That the center of the earth is the end of the world
And I could really care less

City of the dead
At the end of another lost highway
Signs misleading to nowhere
City of the damned
Lost children with dirty faces today
No one really seems to care

Part 3: I Don't Care

I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't
I don't care if you don't care
I don't care

Everyone is so full of shit
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave

We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the Middle East
We are the stories and disciples of
The Jesus of Suburbia

Land of make believe
And it don't believe in me
Land of make believe
And it don't believe in me

And I don't care!
I don't care!

Part 4: Dearly Beloved

Dearly beloved, are you listening?
I can't remember a word that you were saying
Are we demented or am I disturbed?
The space that's in between insane and insecure

Oh therapy, can you please fill the void
Am I retarded or am I just overjoyed
Nobody's perfect and I stand accused
For lack of a better word, and that's my best excuse

Part 5: Tales of Another Broken Home

To live and not to breathe
Is to die in tragedy
To run, to run away
To find what you believe

And I
Leave behind
This hurricane of fucking lies

I lost my faith to this
This town that don't exist
So I run, I run away

And I
Leave behind
This hurricane of fucking lies

And I
Walked this line
A million and one fucking times
But not this time

I don't feel any shame, I won't apologize
When there ain't nowhere you can go
Running away from pain when you've been victimized
Tales from another broken home

You're leaving
You're leaving
You're leaving
Ah, you're leaving home

3. Holiday

  • Song Rating
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  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.4/5. From 79 votes. Show votes.
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Many famous seers have suggested a prediction that the end of the world will come after or during World War III. So, the line "Hear the sound of the falling rain, coming down like an Armageddon flame" could mean that the war Bush has started might cause unfixable damage to the world. "The shame, the ones who died without a name" is referring to everyone who's fallen victim of the political battles that the power-hungry country leaders pull us into. All the soldiers, all the victims of the terrorist attacks - they all "died without a name". Starting a war is never the right answer ("Trials by fire setting fire...").

Holiday could be considered an anti-Bush song to a certain extent. The author shows his disgust towards the power-hungry president who will destroy anything that confronts him "Pulverize the Eiffel towers who criticize your government. Bang, bang! goes the broken glass, kill all the fags that don't agree"). Another issue might be the number of vacations the president is taking - the current state of international politics is "the dawning of the rest of our lives", and the president is always on holiday.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame
The shame, the ones who died without a name

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called "Faith and Misery"
And bleed, the company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ
From the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protester has crossed the line
To find the money's on the other side

Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument

I beg to dream and differ
From the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

The representative from California has the floor

Sieg Heil to the President Gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government

Bang bang goes the broken glass
And kill all the fags that don't agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that's meant for me

Just ‘cause, just ‘cause
Because we're outlaws, yeah

I beg to dream and differ
From the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

This is our lives on holiday

4. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.2/5. From 78 votes. Show votes.
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Coming after Holiday this song describes the feeling of loneliness that Jesus of Suburbia has to face after the party is over. After finally breaking free and entering the City, Jesus was excited and filled with expectations. But now the holiday is over, the confetti landed on the floor and the intoxication is wearing off - he looks around and finds himself alone on the street of the heartless city, empty in the morning darkness. Everything around him seems lifeless and only his vital signs prove that he's not dead as well. He's all alone...The phrase "I'm walking down the line that divides me somewhere in my mind" could be considered the beginning of St. Jimmy's appearance - Jesus doesn't want to be weak and vulnerable anymore, he wants to change.

Of course, there is more to this song than just Jesus' emotional hangover. Walking a lonely road is not only a one-time realization of your loneliness. Going through life on your own you get so used to the solitude that this lonely road becomes your home and your actual life. Most songs about loneliness are a scream for help, an expression of despair and fear of being alone. Boulevard is different - the narrator accepts his life the way it is, he's used to it, no matter how horrible it might get or seem, this loneliness is his way. Only sometimes does he dream of someone finding him and saving him from his aloneness, but so far he doesn't know any better and is patiently waiting for a change.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one, and I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk a-

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the borderline
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What's fucked up and everything's all right
Check my vital signs
To know I'm still alive, and I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk a-

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk a-

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one, and I walk a-

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

5. Are We The Waiting

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  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.9/5. From 70 votes. Show votes.
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Are We the Waiting continues expressing the feelings that began during the hangover in Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Jesus hated his hometown and was dreaming of life in the city, of the skyscrapers and neon lights - something he considered to be the real life. But now he's finally in the City, and he doesn't fit it, doesn't belong. Is that what he was waiting for? But it's too late now, he's made his choice and second thoughts will do nothing but cause regrets and insecurity. Jesus decides that all his Jingletown philosophy is a lie and he needs a drastic change in himself to be accepted by the City. That's when St. Jimmy comes into the scene.

The song is also believed to have certain political overtones. It is quite possible that the frustration in Are We the Waiting is related not only to Jesus' feelings but also to the author's attitude towards the current situation in world politics. When the president started the war a lot of countries turned their backs on the US and the nation was isolated. And now second thoughts and doubts about what should have been done and what shouldn't have are not going to change anything. Now, all we can do is wait and see what happens. What are we waiting for? Unknown.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Starry nights, city lights coming down over me
Skyscrapers and stargazers in my head
Are we we are, are we we are the waiting unknown
This dirty town was burning down in my dreams
Lost and found, city bound in my dreams

And screaming
Are we we are
Are we we are the waiting
And screaming
Are we we are
Are we we are the waiting

[Verse 2]
Forget me nots and second thoughts live in isolation
Heads or tails and fairytales in my mind
Are we we are, are we we are the waiting unknown
The rage and love, the story of my life
The Jesus of suburbia is a lie

And screaming
Are we we are
Are we we are the waiting
And screaming
Are we we are
Are we we are the waiting unknown

6. St. Jimmy

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  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.3/5. From 75 votes. Show votes.
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Have you ever noticed how a shy little boy suddenly starts acting all cool and dangerous after changing schools? When you come to some new place where no one knows you, you get a chance to put on an act so everyone thinks you're cooler than you actually are...So, after entering the City and realizing his own loneliness and vulnerability, Jesus decides to create a new self, a whole new person, a true rebel, a cold-blooded city resident - one that Jesus has never been.

From the first words of the introduction of Jimmy, he's being described as this awesome son of a bitch shining with coolness - the kind of guy easily impressible teenage boys would want to be. Confident as hell and self-sufficient, Jimmy claims to be the "patron saint of the denial" and therefore refers to himself as "St. Jimmy". In his attempts to be accepted by the new environment, Jesus suppresses all kinds of love in himself and turns into a reflection of rage that's been brewing inside of him. There's no more "son of rage and love" - now there's a product of the victimized society, the martyr of war and fear, St. Jimmy.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

St. Jimmy's comin' down across the alleyway
Up on the boulevard like a zip gun on parade
Light of a silhouette
He's insubordinate
Coming at you on the count of 1,2 - 1,2,3,4

My name is Jimmy and you better not wear it out
Suicide commando that your momma talked about
King of the forty thieves, and I'm here to represent
The needle in the vein of the establishment

I'm the patron saint of the denial
With an angel face and a taste for suicidal

Cigarettes and ramen and a little bag of dope
I am the son of a bitch and Edgar Allan Poe
Raised in the city under a halo of lights
The product of war and fear that we've been victimized

I'm the patron saint of the denial
With an angel face and a taste for suicidal

Are you talking to me?
I'll give you something to cry about
St. Jimmy

My name is St. Jimmy I'm a son of a gun
I'm the one that's from the way outside, old boy
I'm a teenage assassin executing some fun
In the cult of the life of crime

I'd really hate to say it but I told you so
So shut your mouth before I shoot you down, ol' boy
Welcome to the club and give me some blood
I'm the resident leader of the lost and found

It's comedy and tragedy
It's St. Jimmy
And that's my name
And don't wear it out!

7. Give Me Novacaine

  • Song Rating
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  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.3/5. From 79 votes. Show votes.
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There are two meanings to the song. One is the song's significance in the story line, and the other one is some message that the author expresses through the words of the song.

So, as a part of the plot Give Me Novacaine is describing the insecurity and fear that Jesus of Suburbia is experiencing when he enters his new life. He's tired of being weak, and so he fully surrenders to his alter ego, St. Jimmy. Now he's doing what Jimmy tells him to.

If you look at this song apart from the album, it has a meaning of its own. In simple words, it's about feeling shitty and not wanting to feel shitty. When the weight of emotional baggage is bringing you down and natural intelligence makes you realize things you might not really want to know that gives you a "bittersweet migraine" - you can't take it anymore and just want to numb yourself and make the pain go away. Basically, Novacaine is not an intoxicant, it's more of a pain-killer. So, the song is not as much about experiments with drugs, as just about the desire to get rid of the pain.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Take away the sensation inside
Bitter sweet migraine in my head
It's like a throbbing toothache of the mind
I can't take this feeling anymore

Drain the pressure from the swelling
This sensation's overwhelming
Give me a long kiss goodnight
And everything will be alright
Tell me that I won't feel a thing
So give me Novacaine

Out of body and out of mind
Kiss the demons out of my dreams
I get the funny feeling, that's alright
Jimmy says it's better than here
I'll tell you why

Drain the pressure from the swelling
This sensation's overwhelming
Give me a long kiss goodnight
And everything will be alright
Tell me that I won't feel a thing
So give me Novacaine

Oh Novacaine

Drain the pressure from the swelling
This sensation's overwhelming
Give me a long kiss goodnight
And everything will be alright
Tell me Jimmy I won't feel a thing
So give me Novacaine

8. She's A Rebel

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.9/5. From 72 votes. Show votes.
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The idea of the album cover is based on a line from this song ("she's holding on my heart like a hand grenade"). The song is an introduction of Whatsername. After the despair and loneliness in Give Me Novacaine, She's a Rebel reflects the infatuation that Jesus/Jimmy experiences when he meets Whatsername. He describes her as a rebel, vigilante, everything he's ever dreamed of. "She sings the revolution, the dawning of our lives" is obviously connected to a line in Holiday ("This is the dawning of the rest of our lives"), which shows that everything Jesus expected from his life in the City is now in front of him, reflected in his new addiction - Whatsername. She gives him hope of a life he's always wanted.

Since the album is highly political, there is an opinion that She's a Rebel is a song about America. In certain ways, the country is considered to be a rebel, has always been the one able to start a revolution and bring liberty. However, as the album flows, we'll see that this rebel isn't always completely successful or happy and sometimes has to go through some hard times.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

She's a rebel, she's a saint
She's the salt of the earth and she's dangerous
She's a rebel, vigilante
Missing link on the brink of destruction

From Chicago to Toronto
She's the one that they call ol' Whatsername
She's the symbol of resistance
And she's holding on my heart like a hand grenade

Is she dreaming what I'm thinking
Is she the mother of all bombs, gonna detonate
Is she trouble like I'm trouble
Make it a double twist of fate or a melody

She sings the revolution
The dawning of our lives
She brings this liberation
That I just can't define
Nothing comes to mind

She's a rebel, she's a saint
She's the salt of the earth and she's dangerous
She's a rebel, vigilante
Missing link on the brink of destruction

She's a rebel
And she's dangerous

9. Extraordinary Girl

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 3.8/5. From 70 votes. Show votes.
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This song describes the difficulties that a romantic relationship is going through after the infatuation subsides and partners face the day-to-day routine of each other's lives. They realize that love is not just enjoying the good sides of each other, but also compromising and accepting everything in your loved one. Alas, that doesn't always work out the way it should.

Coming after the wildness of falling in love in She's a Rebel, Extraordinary Girl is a calm and sad story of the next stage of the relationship between Jimmy and Whatsername - dating. This song gives a deeper introduction of Whatsername's character and why the relationship between her and Jesus/Jimmy is doomed to fall apart. She is a true rebel - she doesn't rebel just for the sake of being cool or to attract attention. This is her true nature and she's not faking anything. Whereas Jesus is only pretending to be a rebel, and the war inside of him, the insecurities caused by living someone else's life eventually lead to his inability to satisfy Whatsername's needs in their relationship. He realizes that he's failing, but no matter how he tries - he is not Jimmy. This whole relationship is based on lies and it crumbles leaving Jesus all alone again.

Another theory about this song says that "she" in this song is not only Whatsername but also America. Her lonely tears symbolize the political isolation that the US had to endure because of the war that the president started. In this case the line "She sees a mirror of herself, an image she wants to sell to anyone willing to buy" could be interpreted as a reference to the fact that the American culture is spread all around the world.

Then there is a theory that the song represents the world's attitude to women and how they are supposed to be perfect and match the standards of beauty ("She sees a mirror of herself, an image she wants to sell to anyone willing to buy") - some women would do anything to look like a cover girl, overlooking their inner beauty - the one thing that truly makes them extraordinary.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

She's an extraordinary girl
In an ordinary world
And she can't seem to get away

He lacks the courage in his mind
Like a child left behind
Like a pet left in the rain

She's all alone again
Wiping the tears from her eyes
Some days he feels like dying
She gets so sick of crying

She sees the mirror of herself
An image she wants to sell
To anyone willing to buy

He steals the image in her kiss
From her heart's apocalypse
From the one called Whatsername

She's all alone again
Wiping the tears from her eyes
Some days he feels like dying
She gets so sick of crying

She's all alone again
Wiping the tears from her eyes
Some days he feels like dying
Some days it's not worth trying
Now that they both are finding
She gets so sick of crying

She's an extraordinary girl
An extraordinary girl

10. Letterbomb

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.8/5. From 77 votes. Show votes.
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Opinions about the meaning of this song range from a call for revolution ("Where have all the riots gone?") to the nearing end of the world ("Where will we all go when it's too late?"), and probably there is a little bit of everything in this song, going along one of the most important turns in the story of the album.

The song begins with a female voice singing the lines that will later recur: "nobody likes you, everyone left you..." This might be Whatsername pointing out Jesus' failure to have a decent social life, but it just as well might be his subconsciousness playing a cruel joke on him and making him feel worthless and insecure. Everything around him seems so fake - nothing is stable, nothing is forever. No one wants to fight for their beliefs anymore ("Where have all the riots gone? As your city's motto gets pulverized"). Jesus failed to be a rebel, his life in the city was a sand castle built on lies and pretence - and it fell apart. He didn't want to be Jesus of Suburbia, but he couldn't handle being Jimmy - and now he's neither ("You're not the Jesus of Suburbia. The St. Jimmy is a figment of your father's rage and your mother's love..."). His war with himself led to a crash of his relationship with Whatsername. His fake personality wasn't enough to keep her by his side and she leaves the City and Jesus behind. "It's not over till you're underground" ‒ she still has a chance to try and start a new life somewhere else. Which she does.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Nobody likes you
Everyone left you
They're all out without you
Having fun

Where have all the bastards gone
The underbelly stacks up ten high
The dummy failed the crash test
Collecting unemployment checks
Like a flunkie only along for the ride

Where have all the riots gone
As the city's motto gets pulverized
What's in love is now in debt
On your birth certificate
So strike the fucking match to light this fuse

The town bishop's an extortionist
And he don't even know that you exist
Standing still when it's do or die
You better run for your fucking life

It's not over 'till you're underground
It's not over before it's too late
This city's burnin'
It's not my burden
It's not over before it's too late

There's nothing left to analyze

Where will all the martyrs go when the virus cures itself?
And where will we all go when it's too late?

And don't look back

You're not the Jesus of Suburbia
The St. Jimmy is a figment of
Your father's rage and your mother's love
Made me the idiot America

It's not over 'till you're underground
It's not over before it's too late
This city's burnin'
It's not my burden
It's not over before it's too late

She said "I can't take this place, I'm leaving it behind"
Well she said "I can't take this town, I'm leaving you tonight"

11. Wake Me Up When September Ends

  • Song Rating
  • Meaning
  • Lyrics

Rating: 4.2/5. From 75 votes. Show votes.
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In this song, Armstrong reveals his feelings about his father who died in September of 1982 when Armstrong was 10 years old. However, this is not the only meaning that this song bears. For most Americans, the month of September is associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. A lot of people have lost their loved ones to that tragedy and September (which comes on the album as track 11) is connected not only to the death of the author's father, but also to the families of the victims of 9/11, and the pain of losing loved ones in general. This is a song of wisdom and acceptance. "Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are" - the realization of the fact that everything we go through, all the pain and losses, all the hardships we meet along the way are meant to make us stronger and shape our personalities. In the video for this song, we see a young couple that gets separated by the circumstances. This shows the director's view of the song: we should treasure our loved ones and never take them for granted because they can be taken away from us at any moment.

Wake Me Up When September Ends is believed to be the most detached song of the album because it mostly portrays the author's personal feelings and is barely linked to the story of the album. However, the song could be perceived as a part of the plot if we assume that the words of the song come from Jesus of Suburbia and this is him looking back on his childhood, his family and maybe his own father's death. He's recalling the better times he had in his past and realizing that his life in the City is really bringing him down. This gradually leads him to his decision to go back home.

Also, the song portrays Jesus' loss of innocence. He entered the City with excitement, but after everything that's happened to him, he sees that the freedom that he longed for is now hurting him. It all seemed so new to him at first, he thought he was discovering the world, his perception was enthusiastic and bright ("Hear the sound of the falling rain - coming down like an Armageddon flame"), and now everything lost its color ("Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars - drenched in my pain again..."). Complete loss of innocence - Jesus is growing up, Jimmy is dying.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when Spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Wake me up when September ends

12. Homecoming

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Rating: 4.5/5. From 76 votes. Show votes.
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East 12th Street

Supposedly, East 12th Street is where Armstrong was filling out his papers after getting arrested for DUI. So, the line "Jesus filling out paperwork now, at the facility on East 12th Street" probably means that he's either planning to do community service for whatever crime he got caught for, or he got himself a desk job and is trying to have a "normal" life. But it all makes no sense to him, he wants to go back to his usual activities with "the underbelly", nothing works out - he just wants to be free, wants to get out of this life-like dream. Anxiety fills his mind and he realizes that everything he's doing is wrong.

Nobody Likes You

This song is a little abstract. Jesus is talking to himself, realizing he's lost so much time waiting for something to happen and now he's left with nothing. Whatsername left him, everyone left him, and he shouldn't have come here in the first place.

Rock and Roll Girlfriend

This is a postcard from Tunny, one of the members of the underbelly. He describes his rock'n'roll life and says he's pretty much doing great. Now while Tunny is living his dream, Jesus is stuck with his dead-end job, because Tunny is a true rebel like everyone else in the underbelly, while Jesus was only acting like a rebel. Therefore, his fake rebellion gets him nowhere...

We're Coming Home Again

...and he decides to go home. Jesus calms down, takes a sober look at the world and realizes that there isn't much he can do to change it, nor does he want to. Running away from his boring Jingletown life he's made a full circle and is now coming back home. Home is a safety net that's always there for you if your independent life goes haywire. Jesus leaves the ruins of his life-like dream behind and goes back home.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

 

Part 1: The Death of St. Jimmy

My heart is beating from me
I am standing all alone
Please call me only if you are coming home

Waste another year flies by
Waste a night or two
You taught me how to live

In the streets of shame
Where you've lost your dreams in the rain
There's no signs of hope
The stems and seeds of the last of the dope

There's a glow of light
The St. Jimmy is the spark in the night
Bearing gifts and trust
The fixture in the city of lust

What the hell's your name?
What's your pleasure and what is your pain?
Do you dream too much?
Do you think what you need is a crutch?

In the crowd of pain
St. Jimmy comes without any shame
He says “We're fucked up, but we're not the same
And Mom and Dad are the ones you can blame"

Jimmy died, today
He blew his brains out into the bay
In the state of mind
It's my own private suicide

Part 2: East 12th St

Well nobody cares, well nobody cares
Does anyone care if nobody cares?
Well nobody cares, well nobody cares
Does anyone care if nobody cares?

Jesus filling out paperwork now
At the facility on East 12th St
He's not listening to a word now
He's in his own world and he's daydreaming

He'd rather be doing something else now
Like cigarettes and coffee with the underbelly
His life's on the line with anxiety now
And she had enough and he had plenty

Somebody get me out of here
Anybody get me out of here
Somebody get me out of here
Get me the fuck right out of here

So far away, I don't want to stay
Get me out of here, right now
I just wanna be free, is there a possibility?
Get me out of here, right now
This lifelike dream ain't for me

Part 3: Nobody Likes You

I fell asleep while watching Spike TV
After ten cups of coffee and you're still not here
Dreaming of a song, but something went wrong
But I can't tell anyone, 'cause you're not here
Left me here alone when I should have stayed home
After ten cups of coffee, I'm thinking (Where'd you go?)

Nobody likes you, everyone left you (Where'd you go?)
They're all out without you, havin' fun (Where'd you go?)
Everyone left you, nobody likes you (Where'd you go?)
They're all out without you, having fun
(Where'd you go... go... go... go...)

Part 4: Rock and Roll Girlfriend

I got a rock and roll band
I got a rock and roll life
I got a rock and roll girlfriend
And another ex-wife

I got a rock and roll house
I got a rock and roll car
I play the shit out the drums
And I can play the guitar

I got a kid in New York
I got a kid in the Bay
I haven't drank or smoked nothing in over 22 days
So get off my case, off of my case
Off of my case!

Part 5: We're Coming Home Again

Here they come marching down the street
Like a desperation murmur of a heartbeat
Coming back from the edge of town
Underneath their feet

The time has come and it's going nowhere
Nobody ever said that life was fair now
Go-carts and guns are treasures they will bear
In the summer heat

The world is spinning 'round
And 'round out of control again
From the 7-11
To the fear of breaking down

So send my love a letterbomb
And visit me in hell
We're the ones going

Home, we're coming home again
Home, we're coming home again

I started fuckin' running
Just as soon as my feet touch ground
We're back in the barrio
But to you and me, that's Jingle Town, that's...

Home, we're coming home again

Nobody likes you
Everyone left you
They're all out without you
Having fun

13. Whatsername

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Rating: 4.6/5. From 78 votes. Show votes.
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This song reflects the narrator's feelings about a long lost love, a relationship that has ended a long time ago leaving only regretful memories in his mind. He was obviously hurt by the break-up and "made a point to burn all of the photographs", however, he still remembers her face even though the name's been erased by the time that passed.

Whatsername comes as the last track on the album but doesn't give us a clear answer about what exactly the ending of the album is. We don't know whether Jesus came back home or went to jail, or wound up somewhere else. It might be anything and the listeners can make up their own ending. But whatever happened to Jesus and however long it's been since Whatsername left him - he still remembers her, and wonders how she's been. "Forgetting you but not the time" - he's already forgotten her name, one day he will forget her face, but the memory of the past will always dwell, no matter what.

Listening to the story of Jesus' adventures in the City, we believe that Whatsername is the name of his girlfriend that he met on the streets and fell in love with. But when the story comes to its conclusion in the final song, we suddenly realize that the told story is Jesus' memories about what happened. And since it was all a long time ago, he can't remember the actual name of the girl he was in love with, and so he calls her "Whatsername", while her real name remains unknown.

- song meaning courtesy of GreekStinkBreath.net

Thought I ran into you down on the street
Then it turned out to only be a dream

I made a point to burn all of the photographs
She went away and then I took a different path
I remember the face but I can't recall the name
Now I wonder how Whatsername has been

Seems that she disappeared without a trace
Did she ever marry old Whatshisface?

I made a point to burn all of the photographs
She went away and then I took a different path
I remember the face but I can't recall the name
Now I wonder how Whatsername has been

Remember, whatever
It seems like forever ago
Remember, whatever
It seems like forever ago
The regrets are useless in my mind
She's in my head, I must confess
The regrets are useless in my mind
She's in my head from so long ago
Go, Go, Go, Go

And in the darkest night
If my memory serves me right
I'll never turn back time
Forgetting you, but not the time

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