Green Day fans: “September” memes are not a joke

Well, it’s September, which means Green Day‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ is likely to get a lot of play in the social media universe. But Green Day fans are reminding people who post jokes why it can be bad to do so.

Although the title might lend itself to some humorous ideas for memes, singer Billie Joe Armstrong revealed during a The Howard Stern Show performance in 2019 that the actual inspiration for the song is quite sad and personal for him. The title comes from a phrase he told his mother when he heard of his father’s death. Andrew Armstrong, Billie Joe’s father, died when Billie Joe was only 10 years old from esophageal cancer.

“I think that’s something that just stayed with me; the month of September is that anniversary that’s always just, I don’t know, kind of a bummer,” he said. “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.” The singer admitted that it was difficult for him to write about his father for years, but the song felt like a breakthrough and a way to honor him.

The song itself is about the loss of innocence, something the video portrayed in a different way, while not directly addressing Armstrong’s father.

Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

As Sept. 1 arrived, a number of Green Day fans wrote about why jokes centered around the song title weren’t really “cool.”

Armstrong, apparently aware of the attention on “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” has recycled part of the message in a new Instagram post, turning it into a heartfelt cry to “Wake Up and Register to Vote.” See his post, which includes his endorsement of the Joe Biden / Kamala Harris ticket in November.

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