"Letterbomb" as written by Billie Joe Armstrong, Frank E. Wright and Michael Pritchard....
Nobody likes you
Everyone left you
They're all out without you
Having fun

Where have all the bastards gone?
The underbelly stacks up ten high
The dummy failed the crash test
Collecting unemployment checks
Like a flunkie along for the ride

Where have all the riots gone?
As your city's motto gets pulverized
"What's in love is now in debt"
On your birth certificate
So strike the fucking match to light this fuse

The town bishop is an extortionist
And he don't even know that you exist
Standing still when it's do or die
You better run for your fucking life

It's not over 'till you're underground
It's not over before it's too late
This city's burnin'
"It's not my burden"
It's not over before it's too late

There's nothing left to analyze

Where will all the martyrs go when the virus cures itself?
And where will we all go when it's too late?

And don't look back

You're not the Jesus of Suburbia
The St. Jimmy is a figment of
Your father's rage and your mother's love
Made me the idiot America

It's not over 'till you're underground
It's not over before it's too late
This city's burnin'
"It's not my burden"
It's not over before it's too late

She said "I can't take this place,
I'm leaving it behind"

Well she said "I can't take this town,
I'm leaving you tonight"


Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84

"Letterbomb" as written by Billie Joe Armstrong, Frank E. Wright, Michael Pritchard

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Letterbomb song meanings
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88 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentWhatsername is 19. She lives in her own world of make believe- she's quite popular there. She's unlike any girl in the world. She's a TOTAL dreamer. She represents what our generation is searching for. Whatsername is an answer to the void, she's like the goddess. Take that to mind. If you listen, & are aware and open, you can hear what she's thinking... it's a trip, but she's something to believe in.
    psychochickon January 24, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about Whatsername breaking up with St. Jimmy. I am of the opinion that St.Jimmy/Jesus of Suburbia are one and the same. Whatsername doesn't like Jimmy's attitude, and prefered the Jesus of Suburbia "fight ofr the city" attitude. Whereas St. Jimmy says "It's not my burden".

    Letterbomb could not have opened the album, or the chronology wouldn't add up.

    And Whatsername is a kind of "looking back/what if" song, wrapping up the loose ends (in this case Jesus' feelings for Whatsername).

    The albums a rock-opera. American Idiot set the scene, Jesus of Suburbia introduced the main character, and two songs after Boulevard of Broken Dreams St. Jimmy comes on the scene, stating early on "up on the Boulevard...". The Blvd of Broken Dreams is a problem, Jimmy being the solution, his tougher, in-the-city alter-ego.

    Novacaine is Whatsername's perception of Jimmy/Jesus (or as is on that songs board: Jesus asking Jimmy for help)... and She's a Rebel is his perception of her.

    Extraordinary Girl is both of their views (and I think the song could be reworked as a kick-ass duet). Letterbomb fits in after that.

    September may be put there for you to think it's Jesus coping without her, and maybe it is, but more cprrecly (with the "seven years" and "twenty years" lines) is about Billie Joe's father's death.

    Homecoming is Jesus gathering the Underbelly (the gang to come home with him, and their various responses (as sung by Tré and Mike). They return and Whatsername sums up the ending, as a kind of afterthought.
    Sig V.2on August 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is great. After two songs in a row praising "Whatsername" Jimmy gets smacked in the face with the, "Nobody likes you..." chant. That will fuck you up I guess which leads into "September" and his suicide in "Homecoming: Part I".
    bbzzddon October 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm i dunno, i like the way whatsername ends it, its kinda like thinkin at the end, wat ever happened to...erm...whatsername, i like it.
    rich420on December 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song ties together almost everything. I think that jimmy and Jesus are the same person because all the letters in the cd jacket are addressed to "J" for jimmy or Jesus, and the song states that "st. jimmy is a figment of your father's rage and your mother's love" and "your not the Jesus of suburbia" this explains the "oh therapy can you please fill the void" in part 4 of Jesus of suburbia. his home life made him, "Jesus," lose his Identity so he when to therapy. and I think that in homecoming when jimmy dies its the death of the alter ego. that’s what is meant by "he blew his brains out into the bay in the state of mind in my own private suicide." So with the death of jimmy, the rebellious drug using city punk, Jesus goes to “filling out paperwork”
    whatsernameon December 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou're not the Jesus of Suburbia
    The St. Jimmy's is a figure of
    Your father's rage and your mother's love (-W)
    Made me the idiot America


    Greatest line off of American Idiot, hands down.
    BillieKilledPunkon December 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, its got real green day attitude about it and takes me back to dookie almost
    TheFedman2002on September 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love it. It's kind of like Dookie meets Warning.
    -------------
    freewebs.com/…
    Jakeberton September 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is the keystone song on this album. It ties it all together and explains a few things twoard the meaning of the other songs.

    And when taken with Extraordinary Girl, I think it's a pretty accurate depiction of Rebel Love.
    Stuckon September 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI Luv the tune 2 this 1...dont have a clue about the meaning tho :S
    Minifin4BillieJoeon September 30, 2004   Link

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