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Wake Me Up When September Ends

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"Wake Me Up When September Ends" is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released as the fourth single from their seventh album, American Idiot.

Song information

There once was much debate about what the song was about, one of the most common initial beliefs being that it is about the events of 9/11. In the liner notes, the song is dated September 10, and it is track 11 on the album. However, Billie Joe Armstrong has confirmed to the public that the song was written as a memorial anthem about his father, a jazz musician and minor league baseball catcher, who died of esophageal cancer when Armstrong was only ten years old. When his mother got home that day and knocked on the door to Billie's room, Billie simply said, "Wake me up when September ends," hence the title.

In this melancholy ballad, Armstrong revisits his painful childhood and thinks about the day he lost his innocence when his father died. Like many faced with such a traumatic event, he never truly recovered, and he can't believe that twenty years have passed since that September day. As Armstrong associates pain with the month September, he would rather not deal with anything related to the month, prompting him to sing, As my memory rests/but never forgets what I lost/Wake me up when September ends


The song eventually became a tribute song to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and sound bytes were added from various news coverages to the song. A live version of the song, recorded on September 3, 2005 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts was released soon after and dedicated to the hurricane's victims.

This is the second time Jason White has appeared in a Green Day video, first appearing in "When I Come Around".

Lyrics

Wake Me Up When September Ends (Music Video)07:13

Wake Me Up When September Ends (Music Video)

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 pass
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 pass
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
Wake me up when September ends

Trivia

  • This song was nominated for favorite song at the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and won along with Green Day winning as favorite music group.
  • Since 2012, in live performances, Billie Joe changed the line "Twenty years has gone so fast" to "Thirty years has gone so fast", as it has been thirty years since the death of his father.

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