This is probably my favourite Rock song of the 21st century. It is often associated with 9/11 and it became symbolic after Hurricane Katrina, where it was dedicated to victims of the disaster.
It was released on June 13, 2005, as the fourth single from Green Day’s seventh studio album, “American Idiot”. The song was written by front man Billie Joe Armstrong about his father Andrew, who passed away in 1982 when Billie Joe was 10 years old.
I think the song resonates with many people, who have lost a father or a loved one. The song’s music video, directed by Samuel Bayer, depicts a couple broken apart by the Iraq War, which was intended to convey the song’s central theme of loss. I understand what they tried to do with that, but I think the story line of the video distracts from the lyrics and actual meaning of the song.
In 2019, Billie Joe spoke to Howard Stern about the song’s title and phrase, explaining, “I think it’s something that just stayed with me; the month of September being that anniversary that always is just, I don’t know, kind of a bummer. But it’s weird: when things happen like that when you’re that young, it’s almost like life starts at year zero, or something like that.”
When asked if he still thought about his late dad when performing Wake Me Up When September Ends, Billie Joe replied, “Yeah. I think about him every day, really. I kinda avoided writing about him for many years, and then finally having a breakthrough like that felt good. It wasn’t like a negative emotion so much, but it was just kind of like honouring him.”
So this Rocktober blog is not only dedicated to the music I love so much but also to my dad, who died 10 years and 2 weeks after this song was released. 16 years has gone so fast