This was originally meant for Green Day’s Shenanigans album, but Billie Joe didn’t feel that he was in enough of an emotional state to record it, so the song was held back and used on American Idiot
The video stared Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood and was directed by Samuel Bayer, who directed Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. he says it’s “hands down the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”
The line “seven years has gone so fast” is a reference to how Billie Joe’s first band band Sweet Children (which became Green Day), was formed seven years after Billie’s father’s death. “20 years has gone so fast” represents the time from his father’s death to when Billie Joe wrote the song.
Billie wrote this song about his father, who died of cancer on September 1, 1982. Billie was just 10 years old, after the funeral, Billie cried, ran home and locked himself in his room. When his mother got home and knocked on the door of his room Billie said, “Wake me up when September ends,”
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