Green Day lyrics offer richness in imagery, imagination
and rebellion against the status quo. Starting with underground
hit, Kerplunk!, and following with Dookie, Insomniac,
Nimrod, Warning:, and their latest album, American
Idiot, Green Day lyrically, has stayed true to their punk rock
style, though musically they have developed into more of a rock
and even pop band.
Besides Kerplunk!, Dookie was the band's first big
seller at 10 million copies and the Green Day lyrics of more interest
can be found in the hit single "When I Come Around". The
protagonist in these lyrics is being honest and admitting to his
lover that he's only interested in a sexual relationship with her
and that this may not be what she wants.
In the album Insomniac, there are a couple of Green Day
lyrics of interest in their songs, "Geek Stink Breath"
and "Walking Contradiction". In "Geek Stink Breath"
there is an interesting line that tells the theme of the song, "I'm
blowing off steam with methamphetamine" where the singer tells
of the self-destructive path he's taking by using drugs. In "Walking
Contradiction", the protagonist is internally conflicted when
observing the world around him. In this set of Green Day lyrics,
there is a particularly insightful line in "I'm a smart ass
but I'm playing dumb."
The American Idiot album has been billed as a "punk
rock opera" that centers around the character of "Jesus
of Suburbia". The lyrics to "Jesus of Suburbia" are
a particular biting denouncement of the middle class white American
status quo. One of the most cutting of these well-written lyrics
is "While the moms and brads are away / To fall in love and
fall in debt."
The Green Day lyrics in "American Idiot" rage against
the current political machine in Washington D. C. and the media
that supports the less than desirable status quo. The American idiot
referred to in this song are the conservative ones currently in
power and the millions in the supporting 'redneck' base. This song
is a wonderful rebellious romp against idealological opposites.
In Green Day's most successful single to date and the one garnering
them one of their three Grammy Awards, "Boulevard of Broken
Dreams" is also one of the band's most lyrically successful
songs as well. Written by lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, "Boulevard
of Broken Dreams" is a wonderfully depressing letdown in the
travel of Jesus of Suburbia.
In this set of Green Day lyrics, two lines are of particular interest
because of the imagery they invoke and depth of meaning. The first
lyric "My shadow's the only one that walks beside me / My shallow
heart's the only thing that's beating" implies there is another
hear that is not real in the character that is nonetheless supporting
life to the character.
The second line of the lyrics containing exceptional imagery is
"I'm walking down the line / That divides me somewhere in my
mind" reveals a conflict that the protagonist must solve or
else be rescued from in order to survive.
Green Day lyrics are unique in the style in which they are written,
the imagery and the message they get across in a rebellious, yet