"Macy's Day Parade" as written by and Billie Joe/wright Iii Armstrong....
Today's the Macy's Day parade
The night of the living dead is on its way
With a credit report for duty call
It's a lifetime guarantee
Stuffed in a coffin ten percent more free
Red-light special at the mausoleum

Give me something that I need
Satisfaction guaranteed to you
What's the consolation prize?
Economy sized dreams of hope

When I was a kid I thought
I wanted all the things that I haven't got
Oh, I learned the hardest way
Then I realized what it took
To tell the difference between
Thieves and crooks
Lesson learned to me and you

Give me something that I need
Satisfaction guaranteed
'Cause I'm thinking 'bout
A brand new hope
The one I've never known
'Cause now I know
It's all that I wanted

What's the consolation prize?
Economy sized dreams of hope
Give me something that I need
Satisfaction guaranteed
Because I'm thinking 'bout
A brand new hope
The one I've never known
And where it goes
And I'm thinking 'bout
The only road
The one I've never known
And where it goes

And I'm thinking 'bout
A brand new hope
The one I've never known
'Cause now I know
It's all that I wanted


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Macy's Day Parade" as written by Frank E. Billie Joe Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Macy's Day Parade song meanings
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100 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think it's pretty obvious and (like most people here have already pointed out) the moral is that you can't buy happiness.

    As far as a less generalized interpretation, here's my two cents: (and yes, it being Thanksgiving did make me think of this song)

    Today's the Macy's Day Parade - obviously the biggest advertising scheme in history
    The night of the living dead is on its way - Black Friday Sales start at midnight, turning most people into consumer zombies.
    With a credit report for duty call - nameless, faceless credit cards. You're nothing but your credit limit.
    It's a lifetime guarantee, Stuffed in a coffin "10% more free", Red light special at the mausoleum - People plan their funerals ahead of time and pay for them to ensure they get the best prices. It's a pathetic (not mention morbid as fuck) attempt at feeling like you have some control over everything in your life--even your own death and what happens after you're dead.

    Give me something that I need
    Satisfaction guaranteed to you
    What's the consolation prize?
    Economy sized dreams of hope - I think this is pretty self explanatory. Consumer: Give me something that I need. Corporate America: Satisfaction's guaranteed! Consumer: What's the consolation prize? Corporate America: Dreams of all the shit you'll never have!

    When I was a kid I thought
    I wanted all the things that I haven't got
    Oh, I learned the hardest way
    Then I realized what it took
    To tell the difference between
    Thieves and crooks
    a lesson learned to me and you

    When he was a kid he probably thought he wanted to be a bad ass rock star, money, women, drugs, booze, houses, cars--the whole nine yards. But he had to acquire all of that garbage to realize that he didn't want any of it--none of it made him happy none of it made him anything. That's when he realized thieves may break into your house and still your shit, but a crook will cheat you into dreaming of a life that's supposed to be everything everyone wants and if you get it--you'll realize it only adds to the misery.

    Give me something that I need
    Satisfaction guaranteed
    Because I'm thinking about
    a brand new hope
    The one I've never known
    cause now I know
    its all that I wanted

    He's thinking about a brand new hope--and honestly, I assume this is where the song gets really personal. At this point in his life he had a 5 year old and a 2 year old and a wife. I'm pretty sure he probably figured out that they were way more important than anything he could ever buy. That's his reason for existing--and that's the only means that he's going to find anything slightly resembling true happiness. He's a husband and a father, he's responsible for a family which I'm guessing he probably didn't dream of as a kid.

    I think the rest of the song is just reiteration of everything already stated. He's thinking about a brand knew road, one he's never know and where it goes because now he knows it's all that he wanted. He wanted (as hippyish as it sounds) to be loved for no more reason than he's him. He wanted acceptance. He wanted to belong somewhere and he has it. So, instead of being a consumer or a publicity whore, he's going to be a father and a husband. He's going to be the kind of man he would want his sons to grow up to be. He's going to take the high road, so to speak.


    Well...that's my 75 cents. lol.
    DaisyD137on November 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my favorite song from Warning too...I'm surprised it hasn't become a favorite of Green Day fans. I think it's kind of beautiful.
    goodbyeskyharboron May 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of the best things i've seen live was when billiejoe played this acoustic on his own at the end of the reading festival last year, his backdrop being tre's burning drum kit. everyone in the crowd just stood and listened and it was the loudest applause i've ever heard when he was finished. it was fucking amazing, and what an amazing song. anyways, that's what i think...
    xpankfrisston May 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    Lyric Correctionoh, and where it has the lyrics "when all along it was me and you" it says "a lesson learned for me and you"
    MrsBillieJoe95on March 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the best song on the 'Warning' LP, it carrie son where Good Ridance(Time of your Life) left off.It is a truly great song on an otherwise plain album.
    iamtheoneon April 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'm surprised a lot of ppl haven't commented on this, i like this song alot, and its also my fav song off of Warning. I think it has something to do with his childhood, obviously, and his friends and not really realizing who they are for awhile. That or i'm completely wrong, but every song means different things to every person
    Devo2234on May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalthough i like all green day songs, this one is specially good because it makes you think, and i think it talks about realizing what really matters in life - people, not things
    marky_limoneon May 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really like this song i think its my favorite greenday..yeah well i agree with devo2234 because i think its about like childhood and stuff...but i dont understand what he says when he says "cuz im thinkin bout a brand new hope...the one ive never known...cuz now i know its all that i wanted.." i would just like to know what this song means so ppl help me thanks :)
    star_9on May 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about rememberin what you were like as a kid and what you wanted back then but you could never ever have it... and you are trying to find somethin to replace it... like erm.. (hard to explain what im thinkin) say you were a kid being brought up in a broken home... and all that you want is a normal happy life with a good home.. but you cant have it.... i buggered that up... lol i knew what i was trying to say tho.... AMAAAAAAAZZZZZZZING SONG!!!! :P
    Raemaon June 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song has a mild political view of society; how we are surrounded by things we don’t really need or are just irrelevant to life - (but we want it any way)
    We are persuaded into thinking that we want these things (when he was a kid he thought he wanted everything, but when he grew up - he realised that possession isn’t that important)
    I think there is a reference to retailers being "crooks" (cheating us with ‘sales’)
    The ‘economy sized hope’ is no longer adequate because he sees through it, so he’s looking for a new hope.
    Anyway, I think he’s trying to say what is important in life.
    I think it’s a sad song because he realises that he can’t gain anything this way. (if you know what I mean)
    Escape The Cycleon June 18, 2002   Link

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