Wake Me Up When September Ends

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Music

This is the last day of September, and I already lost my count on the number of entries I already posted since starting this domain this month. There’s no fitting Monthly Finale (i really don’t have a plan of posting this by last night) by unplugging a very popular song, Wake Me Up When September Ends. Oh there’s my literal reason for posting this!

Suddenly when I wake up tomorrow..  it’s already October! Yeah some beers today and no money for Christmas, again.

Wake Me Up When September Ends s a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released as the fourth single from their seventh album, American Idiot. Perhaps this is the most popular Green Day song, well at least for me. The group has been around for decades, and I only took notice/interest on them after hearing this song.  It almost made me cry after first watching the video. The lyrics is so intimate that uncovered depths by touching nerves of fans throughout the world. Indeed September is month every Americans would like to forget, like they want to go on hybernation period until October comes.

Seeing the video always reminds me of my freshman year in college when it was topping the charts. My other boardmates almost worship this song. Yeah those were the happy days, I was young then, very passionate and wild. An anime character once claimed that memories are sometimes stored in our senses. Days from a certain past comes back vividly whenever we can hear, smell, or touch a sensation related to that point of time, like memories stored in a vessel. And whenever I hear Wake Me Up When September Ends, it never fails to make me smile and feel nostalgic.

The video is not your average MTV, c’mon it is a short film! I am even starting to believe author Nicolas Sparks got his idea of his novel-turned-cheesy film Dear John from this the video. Well that’s a theory, the video came 2005 and the book  was published a year later. Hmm Dear John really got some elements similar to Wake Me; hot guy, slim girlfriend, some kissing and Iraq War.  Ok enough of this nonsense, let’s talk seriously. The video is longer for an ordinary MTV, about 7.5 minutes, and there’s a lot of drama going you know two lovebirds madly in-love bows never to leave each other. The guy played by Jamie Bell (the youngest brother in Defiance) enlist on the military to fight in Iraq, during the aftermathe of the 9/11 attack. His girlfriend went berserk on him. The boyfriend interprets his actions as a way to show her that he loves her so much that he would put his life on the line to keep her safe; the girlfriend, however, is heartbroken, as he broke his vow to never leave her, and terrified at the thought of him being killed in war. The video then shows the boyfriend in battle in Iraq being ambushed by insurgents. This scene is inter-cut with scenes of the girlfriend tearfully mourning in a quiet field. The video ends on this juxtaposition, emphasizing the pain and heartache of losing loved ones due to the war. Let’s just say the guy died in Iraq to save some mystery. And it made a great test movie we will never see.

There was once much debate regarding the meaning of this song, one of the most common initial beliefs being that it was 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 (the band’s lead vocalist) has confirmed that the song was written as a memorial to his father, a jazz musician and truck driver, who died of esophageal cancer in 1982 when Armstrong was only ten years old.


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