Saturday, May 25, 2013

Song Meaning & Facts: American Idiot by Green Day


American Idiot made Green Day relevant again! The title track of the album brought them back to the mainstream radio. They weren't afraid to explore their old-school punk rock roots when it wasn't the hip music in 2004. However due its massive appeal in the pop and rock radio alike, the album was a massive commercial success, selling in excess of 15 million copies worldwide. The song was recognized as one of the best 500 songs ever by the Rolling Stone magazine in 2009.

American Idiot is a anti-establishment song that outlines most of the things wrong with the US: guns, racism, bigotry, sexism, general stupidity, and, of course, wars. In fact, the album was released following the year of Iraq War, and months before the 2004 US presidential election. Nevertheless the album did not manage to prevent Pres. Bush from reelecting back to the White House.


Following is a line-by-line analysis of the lyrics:

"Don't want a nation under new media"  - Though the right wing in the US loves the paint the mainstream media as liberal, that's imply not the case.  Case in point, Pres. Bush didn't win the statistically win the 2000 presidential election, but Fox News called the race him prematurely. And other "liberal" networks followed suit. Furthermore, all mainstream networks supported Iraq War when the Bush Administration didn't properly justified the invasion. Later it was discovered that Iraq wasn't involved with 9/11 whatsoever.

"Television dreams of tomorrow." - probably another reference to wars. When the wars weren't going well in 2004, the "television" kept on saying everything is going to be OK.

"We're not the ones who're meant to follow." - Green Day is asking not to take news for face value. Do your own research to find out the truth - but doing own research isn't something Americans are good, because if they were, they wound not have put Bush/Cheney back in power.

"All across the idiot nation." - it's a well known fact that most Americans are just DUMB! This seems contradictory for country that put a man on the Moon. But the fact of the matter is, in a country with 330 million people, America is really run by a few smart people, consisting of ~15% of the total population. Rest of the ~85% is, as I said, DUMB!

"Another part of a redneck agenda." - refers to rednecks aka southern racists. Part of the ~85% ha!

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new media
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
Another part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the idiot nation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

Don't want to be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
Going out to idiot America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the idiot nation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

3 comments:

  1. id just like to point out that you got several of the lyrics incorrect in your analysis
    Eg. the line isnt "all across the idiot nation" its "all across the alienation"
    and also this song isnt anti-establishment
    its actually patriotic and is asking people not to take things at face value (as you stated)
    not to be rude or offensive but it may be a smart idea to check the lyrics of the song from official sources before just claiming that you are right
    and also you dont sound that confident in the way that you wrote this, making it hard to see this as a reliable source of information
    no offence was meant by this
    just some things to consider

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