Green Day: Good Riddance (Time of your Life) Meaning
Song Released: 1997
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Good Riddance (Time of your Life) Lyrics
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the...
anonymous Sep 11th, 2006 9:53pm report
This song is really easy to figure out and no it isn't about suicide. I'll give it to you piece by piece.
-another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
a turning point is choices and a fork stuck in the road means that it is a dificult decision to make. Like his girl friend moving away
-time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go
time passes by no matter what and you have to go along with it
-so make the best of this test and don't ask why
the test is your life. Don't ask why means just live your ife.
-it's not a question but a lesson learned in time
you learn from the things that happen in your life
-it's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right
you don't know whats going to happen, but things happen for a reason
-i hope you have the time of your life
means what it means
-so take the photographs a still frames in your mind
keep the memories
-hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
keep the memories safe untill you are able to look back at them when you are not hurting any more
-tatoos of memories and dead skin on trail
with tatoos you keep the memories with you and leave them behind
-for what it's worth it was worth all the wild
if it was worth anything at all it was worth doing
and it just repeads after that you know how it goes.
He is trying to look back at the times he had with his girl friend and be happy but it's still really hard.
The song could definitely have different meanings. It applies to just about everything else said, but I feel there's something left out.
After watching the music video, with all of the random people living out their lives, and trudging through their jobs, I figured that there must be some connection to growing up.
It's another turning point, a time of change. You have to decide what you're going to do next, because you'll soon be an adult, and get a job. "time grabs you by the wrist", you're almost forced into it.
It's like he's saying "I hope you had the time of your life" in high school, because you'll never get those years back. "take the photographs/ and still frames in your mind", keep your "tattoos of memories". Treasure your memories of childhood, the good times before adulthood.
I suppose "dead skin on trial" could be like the old scars you keep, both physical and emotional (piercings, too). The scars that you carry may sometime put you on trial, with people judging you based on the high school things like who you dated or how you lost your virginity.
Like the video may imply with the images of people living out their daily lives, you're entering a world apart from your fun-filled adolescence. It's time to grow up, so "I hope you had the time of your life".
Madrox_wicked_clown Oct 14th, 2005 10:21pm report
See, the reason why I love this song so much is because it can have multiple meanings. Even though Billy Joe wrote this for a particular person, you can take these lyrics and apply them to just about any situation. "
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go."
" (breaking up due to moving...ETC)
"It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life." (Death, Breaking up, moving, dipression, or anything that you are going through when you listen to this song)
"I hope you had the time of your life."
Every time I listen to this song, I get a lump in my throat. Thats what I love about songs, it dosent have to mean what it was written about, only what YOU want it to be about.
anonymous Sep 28th, 9:19am report
I think its about moving away from friends.....that you may never get to see again, ' time of your life' their friends are hoping their happy and have the time of your life. 'its something unprictable but in the ends its right.' their friends didn't know till the last minet but they think its right like they know you cann't stay if something is wrong with a family like cancer or something....so yeh thats what I think 'cause i've been through it when I was little and it just chrismas I get to see them or never which is hardly I see them at chrismas...but this yr I wont I don't think
anonymous Mar 23rd, 2013 3:09pm report
I think this song has to do with suicide. "It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life." It sounds like he is singing to one of his friends that he grew up and went to high school with. He talks about photos, photos of the one who killed themselves. "Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial," meaning he remembers his friend, and also the victim of suicide is being criticized for what he had done.
Everyone has their own opinion of songs, and this is mine. This song is really helping me get over the suicide of my half-brother that I never knew. Thank You Green Day for making this song!!
anonymous Mar 4th, 2012 3:07am report
Once you sort through the mindless, mainstream interpretations about a girl moving to Ecuador, you realize the true meaning of the song. The huge success of the "Dookie" album basically turned Green Day into a household name. Anyone who has watched or read any interviews would know that band members were not the most popular people growing up. This song was a giant middle finger to the "popular-most likely to succeed" types. In short: look at me now...I'm famous and you're not; hope high school was great for you, now it's my turn.
anonymous Feb 20th, 2012 2:01pm report
He sang this song about a girl who he really hated but she really, really liked him. "So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind" he's basiclly telling her that no relationship is ever going to happen between them. And (i'm not sure if the rest beyond this point is true. i've just heard it) he had one dance with her. Good Riddance means that hopefully he's never going to she her again. "I hope you had the time of your life" means I hope you like dancing with me. So he's beening nice (in a way) to her but still not saying "let's go out".
anonymous Jan 9th, 2012 1:09pm report
i first heard this at a friend's funeral about 2 years ago, but i never knew exactly what some of the lyrics meant. after listening to it about a million times i think it means in life you lose people who are close to you but life goes on
anonymous Dec 20th, 2011 12:47pm report
i think this song is about graduating and memories
another turning point a fork stuck in the road: (the road is the path of life, the turning point is when you have to chage or move on, the fork stuck in the road is an event like graduation or weddings or somthing like that). time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go: you grow up so fast you have no choice. so make the best of this test and dont ask why: just do you best dont give up or try to go back every thig will be ok. its not a question but a lesson learnd in time: you understand every thing you need to before its too late everything happens for a reason. its something unpredictible but in the end its right: right now its hard but one day everything will be ok, you worry about getting there but when your there your fine. i hope you had the time of you life: these were the days you cant get back so keep them in mind i hope you had a good time that will stay in memory for life and so will all the people that make all the good times so good. so take take the photographs and still frames in your mind hang them on a shelf in good health and good time: dont forget these times cause these are the days youll never get back so take all the memories and good times and keep them in mind and memory. tatoos of memories and dead skin on trial: scars off unforgetable moments that you will never forget and the good times to keep in mind that you could never turn back. for what its worth it was worth all the while: all that time we spent together was worth it all along but we didnt realize.
this song is one of the most inspiratonal songs i know
CLASS OF 2012
anonymous Oct 9th, 2011 10:53pm report
Make the best of things no matter what happens throughout your life. Many situations can be solved with this song.
anonymous Apr 23rd, 2011 4:07am report
No, it is not about a girl at all, whatsoever. That's the song She. No, this was about the choices you made to get where you are now. Were they enjoyable times or hard? He's asking if, on the adventure you call life, you enjoyed yourself, or will make definite improvements? You decide where you go in life, so why not enjoy it while we can? We only live once. Make it count.
anonymous Apr 21st, 2011 4:51am report
i know a lot of people have slated others for saying its about suicide, but for me it sounds as if hes singing about the memory of a friend who has passed on. My friend passed away, he was 18 and i could relate to this song, for example "something unpredictable but in the end its right" no one saw his death coming but its part of the greater plan.
"its not a question but a lesson learnt in time" I've learnt so many lessons from the death and the life of him. Then ofcourse "i hope you had the time of your life" speaks for itself. All the talk about memories etc. I dont know whether this is what the song is about but for me i could relate to it in this way so this was my interpretation.
anonymous Mar 22nd, 2011 3:43am report
This song can be taken in many different perspectives. BUT the real and only meaning of the song to the band and Billie Joe is he was saying good-bye to his past at Gilman St. Bar, where he grew up, spent alot of his time there. He snuck in with a friend one night and saw on the girl's bathroom wall, "Billie Joe MUST DIE" he saying farewell to the punk scene. The most punk thing they could have done is put "Good Riddance" a non-punk song on their Nimrod record.
anonymous Mar 18th, 2011 3:47am report
This song has lots of possible meanings. However, I strongly believe it's about just living your life to the fullest. "I hope you had the time of you life." Cherish the memories that you have.
...And does anybody believe that this song could also be a song played at a funeral? .__.
anonymous Jan 30th, 2011 1:12am report
I think this song is about time moving on and the future is unknown until we get there ("It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right/I hope you had the time of your life").
Blitzkid92 Oct 2nd, 2010 10:16pm report
This song isn't about a person. Billie Joe wrote it about how the punk rock scene at Gilman Street in California turned their backs on them when they signed to a major label in 1994. He explains how he'll miss it, but how he's also moving on, and past it. The song is really a big "fuck you" to the people who turned their backs on Green Day.
anonymous Jul 24th, 2010 7:49pm report
When he says "I hope you had the time of your life," I think he is giving a message to his girlfriend like, it was great, I'll miss you, but I hope the time you had with me was the 'time of your life'
Everyone gets this song wrong. This song is actually about having a real good bowel movement - think about it - "fork stuck in the road"/constipation; "directs you where to go So make the best of this test"/does he have to spell it out for you; "It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life."/he's practically describing my last movement.
gaylierose May 25th, 2010 5:56pm report
I have an interesting spin on this song. Has it occurred to anyone else that this song is VERY similar musically and in spirit to Bob Dylan's bitter break up song, Don't Think Twice It's Alright? I think that Green Day was very aware of this when this song was written and recorded. I'm not saying it is a rip-off, because many songs have origins in or are inspired by other songs.
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