SONG REVIEW Wake me when September ends By Raaisa Tariq


The song ‘Wake me up when September ends’ is the fourth single from the American band Green Day’s seventh studio album ’American Idiot’. It was released on June 13, 2005 and became a hit single achieving the sixth position on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was certified platinum by Recording Industry Association of America. It was also a top ten single in the United Kingdom, Belgium, New Zealand, and was a number one single in the Czech Republic. Later in 2005, the song ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ became frequently tied to the nightmare of hurricane Katrina which struck the US on August 31, 2005. The lead vocal Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song in memory of his father, who died of cancer in September 1982 when Billie Joe was only ten. He was not able to overcome the intense loss until five years after his father died. The strong lyrics and passionate voice proves that Billie Joe had a lot of emotion going on behind this song. The song starts off with a slow and melodic acoustic guitar and later on rises to a slightly heavier section. Even though Billie Joe wrote this sing in the loving memory of his father, the music video heads on to a different direction. The music director decided to portrait Iraq-war in this video, which was far from the song’s literal meaning. The music video focuses on a couple who promises never to leave each other but later on reveals that the boy joins army to enter Iraq. The video shows the conflicting emotions among Americans about the Iraq-war. Armstrong said once: ‘If there’s a song on there that veers away from the story for the album, it’s that one. It’s a personal thing. I’ve never tackled an issue about that — singing about my father. It’s hard to sing, but definitely therapeutic, because it deals with the passing of someone that you love.’ Personally, I think the concept of this video fits pretty nicely with the song. In my opinion, one can relate this song with r own pain or loss. The song is touching in the deepest way. By the end of the song we are left with the thought that some wounds are never fully healed. Green Day performed the song in September as part of a benefit concert for the victims of the hurricane. A live version of the song was released in this concert. ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ is considered to be a landmark for the band.

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