Green Day: Jesus Of Suburbia Meaning
Song Released: 2005
Jesus Of Suburbia Lyrics
The Jesus of suburbia
From the bible of none of the above
On a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:
ok, I agree with the last submission in that each song tells a part of the story. american idiot is a concept album, so it's basically telling a story. Here's how I see it:
AMERICAN IDIOT: basically, there's an average kid named jesus of suberbia who grew up in a small town. He gets tired of being an idiot and being controlled by the media.
JESUS OF SUBERBIA: He is at home, but he's getting increasingly fed up with his life there and with the fact that his mom dates a bunch of losers, so he decides at the end to home away from home, and I assume to run to a city.
HOLIDAY: he realizes how messed up life is and how messed up the government is and how it constantly lies to him and gives him lame excuses.
BOULEDVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS: jesus is feeling alone and that there is no one in the world to save him.
ARE WE THE WAITING: he is feeling like something is missing in his life and he is waiting for it, but he doesn't know what it is.
ST JIMMY: jesus "turns into" st. jimmy. This means that jesus is so fed up with his boring life, he begins a rebelious stage and becomes his alter-ego jimmy, who is a drugged-up punk rocker and considers himself to be holy.
GIVE ME NOVACAINE: jimmy gets hooked on drugs to escape from the pain of his life, and he convinces himself that it's good for him.
SHE'S A REBEL: jimmy is introduced to Whatsername and thinks that she's really cool.
EXTRAORDINARY GIRL: jimmy falls in love with Whatsername, and since he didn't have anyone to save him, he wants to save Whatsername, because of knows of her problems.
LETTERBOMB: Whatsername isn't in love with jimmy and she leaves him.
WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS: jimmy is sad that whatsername is gone and wants to hide from the world (this song was written about Billie joe's father dying, so it makes sense that it is about missing someone).
HOMECOMING: jimmy "kills himself", or forces himself to change back to jesus of suberbia. This basically means that j.o.s. Has ended his rebelious stage and wants to go back to a normal life. He gives up drugs and gets a job.
WHATSERNAME: j.o.s. misses whatsername, but can't remember what her name is, and knows that he is over her.
the main difference in my interpretation is that jesus of suberbia and st. jimmy are the same person, but jimmy is just jesus during his rebelious phase. In homecoming, it says that jimmy killed himself: I think this is just a metaphor that jesus realized that the life he had as jimmy was bad for him, so he convinced himself to go back to his old life.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Dec 26th 2005 report
The 'story' in the album starts here, and I see it a little differently than most people so I'll post it here.
JESUS OF SUBURBIA is the introduction to this character and pretty much his life. At the end of this song he leaves home. In BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS he feels lonely and seperate from the rest of the wrold. During WE ARE WAITING, JoS feels he's waiting for something but doesn't know what. Then in ST. JIMMY he meets up with St. Jimmy, who is this tough guy who JoS comes to trust. I get the idea from the lines "Jimmy says it's better than air" and "Jimmy says I won't feel a thing" in the next song, GIVE ME NOVACAINE. Moving on, in SHE'S A REBEL, JoS meets Whatsername. Quite obviously, JoS falls in love with her. EXTRAORDINARY GIRL is more about Whatsername. It seems to be about her more vulnerable side, more from her perspective while SHE'S A REBEL looks like it's JoS's image of her. I don't really understand what happens in LETTERBOMB. I think there's an argument between JoS and St. Jimmy, something to do with Whatsername, as the last lines state, "she said 'I can't take this town I'm leaving you tonight.'" which gives me the idea that it's here that JoS and Whatsername break up, though it doesn't seem they were togeather in the first place. Mostly it sounds like they were friens, though JoS did love her. In THE HOMECOMING St. Jimmy kills himself. JoS is lost without him and wanders around the town, deciding at the end of the song to go back home. Then in WHATSERNAME JoS thinks about Whatsername and how he doesn't want to miss her or think about her but he can't help it.
So there's my interpretation. If you disagree, I don't care. I just thought I'd share it with you. :) Now wasn't that nice of me?
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Dec 26th 2006 report
Frick people, obviously Jesus of Suburbia and Saint Jimmy are the same person! Have you not seen the JoS video? Near the end, JoS comes into that 7/11 bathroom and writes SAINT JIMMY really huge on the clean, newly painted wall, then slashes his hand with a razor and puts a bloody print under the name. A big, fat, bloody signature--what more do you need?
anonymous Jun 10th report
I think this is Green Day's way of saying fk you to christianity. It's kind of an atheist anthem. :) Love each other....xoxoxox--- an atheist....
anonymous Sep 7th 2017 report
This may sound stupid but, I think it's about.....a kid that hates being controlled by the media and he becomes the "Jesus of Suburbia" wich then after a bunch of rubbish he turns into "Saint Jimmy" than then brings back the memory of his father and now I'm here and I want to be woken up when September ends as well....someone help me D:
anonymous Jun 25th 2012 report
Ok this moght be stupid to say this but im gonna explain the whole album. There is this teen named Jesus of Suburbia and hates his life. He is also being controlled by the media, next, Jesus explains his life and then he doesnt really care about his life, i the line "Oh therapy could you please fill a void?" bcauz Jesus is a drug addict and alcholic. He runs away and moves to a place named "Jingletown". He doesnt have any shame, he doesnt care. He knows how hard life it is and goes to the goverment and gives out and the goveners are giving excuses so he could leave. And then Jesus feels bad and knows that no one is there for him. Jesus is waiting for something but doesnt know what it is. Jesus changes his name to St. Jimmy and reclaims that he is holy and still does drugs. St. Jimmy is a drug addict and drugs make him not feel the pain. Jimmy meets Whatsername and falls in love with her, Whatsername is in the same state as Jimmy but Jimmy didnt have anyone to save him so he saves her. Whatsername doesnt like him so she leaves Jimmy. He gets depressed that Whatsername left him, so that is the idea of WMUWSE. Jesus leaves the Jimmy "thing" (aka kills Jimmy) He is back to Jesus and he quits on drugs and gets himself a job. He misses Whatsername, as a line in the song, "I remember the face but I cant recall the name" it explains that Jesus knows what Whatsername looks like, but not the name. Hope it helped! It took awhile...
anonymous Jun 14th 2012 report
I personally think that Jesus of Suburbia is a poor misunderstood teenager that just needs love. He is so hopeless towards his city and his life. He wishes for something better but he cant seem to find that something. He find "pleasure" in using drugs and partying. However in the video they show him reading and adding to the graffiti in the bathroom stall at the 7-11 so i think that this is a way that J.O.S. expresses hisself and i also believe that he enjoys this because he spends a good amount of time there. Over all i think that Jesus of Suburbia is a lonely, sad, teen that just needs someone to tell him its ok before its too late. i doubt most of you feel the same way but its ok we all have different opinions.
anonymous Oct 10th 2011 report
Besides the main story of the song and saint Jimmy and all that...
This song was my life back in November-March. If you've seen the epic video, you've seen Jimmy and how obsessed he is with JoS. The lyrics are on his walls in his room and all. That was me. Back then, Saint Jimmy was my hero, the 'person' I turned to. My friends betrayed me. Everyone seemed like an idiot. I hated my family. I cut myself. And so every line in this song was my life. Every f--king word was my life. 'running away from pain when you've been victimized'.... I'm better now of course, but the song just means a lot to me still.
anonymous Sep 2nd 2011 report
I'm a combat veteran of Iraq with a couple deployments under my belt. This is how this song is interpreted by me.
Part 1: The kid is kind of a f*** up in his parents eyes and thinks the military may be a good route for him. He sees the wars on tv and thinks that is where I belong to prove myself.
Part 2: Many don't know this but many porta-johns, or porta-potties, are etched with all kinds of stuff in Iraq. Some tell stories, some are just for fun. The center of the earth is, in some ways he middle east and some people believe that the end of the world is near due to the signs of all of the conflict in the middle east. At the end of another lost highway? That feeling you get when you roll down an MSR or known IED hot spot. Try getting hit by one and not feel like you're playing Russian roulette with your life everytime youeave the wire. Lost children with dirt faces that no one cares about? Many Iraqi children have lost parents due to the war but who cares? Not the American media.
Part 3: I don't care if you don't care meaning I'm not an evil person for doing what I had to do right?
Part 4: This is where the song gets very relative to combat vets in my opinion. It refers to calling back home and talking with loved ones and realizing you have nothing in common with them anymore. You then try to talk to them about it but they just don't understand. You then discover that you have a taste for war and nothing else compares but you feel guilty about it.
Part 5: Part 5 this individual tries to come to terms with the animal he's become and tries to shut it off but he can't. He refuses to apologize for his actions as he finally understands that he was put in extreme circumstances and did what was asked of him by his country and what was necessary to survive. Finally, he flashes back to when he was naive about the world and wishes he could go back but he will never be able to and is forced to move on while not relating to anyone around him.
So goes the reality of PTSD and so little understanding of sacrifice for your brothers to your left and right.
anonymous Jun 26th 2011 report
JoS is St. Jimmy, the end of the video explains that.
(He cuts and with all the blood writes 'Saint Jimmy' on the wall and leaves a handprint)
I'm in love with St. Jimmy. He's sooo hot and disturbed <3
Just sayin' ..
anonymous Apr 10th 2011 report
I think its about billie shitting on a plate of rice and feeding it to fergie.
anonymous Feb 15th 2011 report
Unfortunately all previous posts fail to recognize Green Day's genre as a whole, since punk rock has a goal to "shake the system". Most posts focus on the stereotypical approach as heard by emotional teenagers who just read the back of the album. Yes, songs are open to personal interpretation, but heres a deeper meaing;
This song bashes religion as a whole. The tone of the song is heavy-guitar riffs playing low chords such as E, the singer has a sense of spite in his voice, drums are upbeat. Once one reads the lyrics there are many hints of religion losing sense. "I lost my faith to this, this town that don't exist." "And there's nothing wrong with me, this is how I'm supposed to be." With so many religions out there, the song seems to portray how it seems pointless to have wars, since religion is, in essence, one's point of view. The song also seems to say how people are becoming lost, and mistreating their fellow man because of religion. That people become lost in the world's natural highs (cocaine, Ritalin) to escape, because even with "direction", people are lost.
anonymous Jan 18th 2011 report
Billy Joe said in an interview that this song is about roaming the streets, finding people to chat with, and you get the feeling you're the ruler of the small city/town.
anonymous Jan 10th 2011 report
Jesus of Suburbia is Jimmy's alter ego they are the same person. Because St Jimmys is constantly surrounded by people and things that are all wrong it makes him feel like he is Jesus of his suburbia and that even though he's not perfect, everyone else proves him right and inadvertently causes him feel better than everyone else he's constantly struggling with him throughout the album. To do whats right and to do whats wrong based on his heart, not what the world and media condition him to believe. Jimmy's whatsername becomes reality when Jesus of Suburbia is right once again. The girl depicted in this story is St Jimmys only hope that despite his shitty environment this girl that he loves is the only real thing he has and it gives him hope in his life and in the rest of the human race, and without here the Jesus of Suburbia within him takes over.
anonymous Dec 18th 2010 report
I thought St. Jimmy was JoS's alter ego???
anonymous Oct 11th 2010 report
Rage and Love-
The first verse of the song seems to be the JOS's views on religion, how he doesn't believe in God or have a religion. (“Bible of none of the above”) Also he doesn't believe Jesus died for his sins in hell, because he just seems to suffer all his sins himself, hence his nickname JOS.
He goes on to tell the world that there’s nothing wrong with him, this is who he is. The world is to accept him as he appears but he still feels ignored, as if he doesn’t exist. "In the land of make believe, that don't believe in me"
JOS talks about how pathetic and pointless his life is. He wastes it in front of the TV while his mum is out with her boyfriend, smokes, gets stoned and drunk and talks about snorting “someone else’s cocaine”. Obviously that someone being a dealer.
City of the dammed-
In here JOS talks about all the lies he has been told as a kid, and how he grew up on the streets and the people hanging about the 7/11 were his teachers because his mum didn’t care. He also talks about how selfish the west world, how we don’t pay attention to all the poverty and street children and how no one seems to care anyway. (“Lost children with dirty faces today”) Also he says he a rocky road not knowing where to go, on a road with signs “leading to nowhere”. His life is going nowhere.
JOS also talks about the lies and pointlessness behind the media and materialism which we all follow and treat like a religion “The holy Scriptures of the shopping mall” but how it is just as pointless as the graffiti in the bathroom to him: He couldn’t care less. This brings us back to JOS rebellion and the punks wanting to be different and not follow trends.
I don’t Care-
This is pretty simple. JOS talks about the theme before and how we all act like, well, if you don’t care, either do I. The world is too afraid to stand out or stand up for what’s right. We simply can’t be bothered. We are all prisoners of our own wars, brought up by hypocrites, meaning our teachers, Politicians and even our own parents, used by them until the day we die “from the cradle to the grave” Our hearts “recycled, but never saved”
JOS questions himself, “What am I to be labelled as? What does the world label ME as? Who am I?” What’s the use of filling this void with therapy, we are all different, and there is no way to be perfect, who wants to be perfect?
Tales of a broken home-
The journey begins. He leaves home, leaves behind the lies and problems to have a new beginning. Sick of his life and himself he begins his journey as a new person: St Jimmy, and so the rest of the album follows.
If there is one thing learnt from this, it’s that Billie Joe Armstrong is a lyrical Genius.
anonymous Jul 27th 2010 report
To fall in love and fall in debt
To alcohol and cigarettes and Mary Jane
To keep me insane and doing someone else's cocaine
it means to have fallen in love with mary jane and alcohal is a great debt, because those things are expense, but make life soooo much better. this stuff keeps him insane which is what he needs to survive in this cruel world
anonymous Jun 17th 2010 report
My interpretation, it might be wrong but oh well.
Since the whole album is just a story about Jesus of Suburbia, I'll interpret all the songs.
AMERICAN IDIOT: The narrator (probably JoS) is saying that he doesn't want to be part of this "IDIOT AMERICA". Hes saying that he doesn't want to follow every other American and he doesn't want to be part of the "REDNECK AGENDA".
JESUS OF SUBURBIA: JoS is just a troubled teenager in the suburbs (hence, Jesus of Suburbia). He's saying how much he hates his home and city (CITY OF THE DAMNED), which is Jingletown. In the line "IT SAYS HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS, BUT WHAT A SHAME, BECAUSE EVERYONES HEART DOESNT BEAT THE SAME", JoS is saying that he's not like everyone and he hates his home. I the part called "I DONT CARE", JoS is just explaining the flaws in his city and that he doesn't care for any of it. In "DEARLY BELOVED", JoS is wondering what is wrong with him, probably questioning the first part of the song. In "TALES OF ANOTHER BROKEN HOME", JoS is running away without any shame (I DONT FEEL ANY SHAME, I WONT APOLOGIZE). He wants to leave behind the "hurricane of fuckin' lies". He hates his home so much, saying it is "BROKEN".
HOLIDAY: This is when JoS is starting his new life, which is like a "HOLIDAY".
BLVD OF BROKEN DREAMS: JoS is feeling lonely and wondering if his old home still remembers and misses him and if what he did was right.
ARE WE THE WAITING: JoS is looking for something to cheer him up, he is sort of "WAITING". He dreams of his old home/city being burnt down (THIS DIRTY TOWN WAS BURNING DOWN IN MY DREAMS). He says that the JESUS OF SUBURBIA is a lie but it is the story of his life.
ST. JIMMY: JoS finds a new "identity", which is a person who goes by the name "Jimmy", which is JoS's real name. St Jimmy is somewhat more "evil" than JoS and completely takes JoS over.
GIVE ME NOVOCAINE: JoS is talking about a migraine in his head, which is being caused by his alter ego, St Jimmy. He is saying that Jimmy is making him go crazy but Jimmy is telling him that he is a good alter ego. JoS is being controlled and mindwashed by himself.
SHES A REBEL: JoS meets the girl of his dreams, WHATSERNAME, a rebel. WHATSERNAME is St Jimmy's opposite/opponent. In LETTERBOMB, you can see this clearly.
EXTRAORDINARY GIRL: JoS is explaining how he and WHATSERNAME are perfect each other, the missing piece of their puzzles.
LETTERBOMB: WHATSERNAME writes a letter to JoS asking him what happened to him. In the line "WHATS IN LOVE IS NOW IN DEBT", WHATSERNAME is quoting JoS, who was saying that all the love is gone. WHATSERNAME tells JoS that he's not the JESUS OF SUBURBIA and that ST JIMMY is a figment of his father's rage and his mother's love. Shes trying to set JoS, or JImmy, straight.
WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS: This song actually had about nothing to do with the story. It was about Billie Joe Armstrong's dad who died in September twenty years before the song. "LIKE MY FATHERS COME TO PASS, TWENTY YEARS HAS GONE SO FAST". He doesn't want to remember the pain of September.
HOMECOMING: In "THE DEATH OF ST JIMMY", St Jimmy "killed himself" or JoS killed his alter ego, probably listening to what WHATSERNAME said in LETTERBOMB. JoS also says that St Jimmy taught him how to live and that St Jimmy was the "spark in the night" in the "city of lust". JoS says that St Jimmy blames mom and dad for everything bad. In EAST 12TH STREET, JoS says that he is done acting like he's been acting. He wants to get out of his new life.In "NOBODY LIKES YOU", JoS is talking about St Jimmy on how nobody liked him and wondering where he went. JoS is moving on from his "St Jimmy" phase. In "ROCK N ROLL GIRLFRIEND", JoS tells the long gone St Jimmy that he has a new life and he is enjoying it. He says that he hasnt drank of smoked anything, so he's moved on and become some kind of "good" person. In "WE'RE COMING HOME AGAIN", JoS returns home to his fellow rebels in the suburbs. Hes completely moved on.
WHATSERNAME: JoS has long since moved on, living a new life when he suddenly remembers his long lost love, WHATSERNAME. He believes that he ran into her down the street and he wanted to burn all the photographs of back then. He doesn't want to miss WHATSERNAME, but she is always in his head, even though the last time he saw her was "forever ago".
And that was my interpretation of Green Day's American Idiot album.
More Green Day song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|She Ain't You||anonymous|
|Boy with a Coin||anonymous|
|Look What You've Done||anonymous|
|Boys Will Be Bugs||anonymous|
|Cry For You||anonymous|
|Like a Stone||anonymous|
|Make You Miss Me||anonymous|
|Let It Go||anonymous|