"Before the Lobotomy" as written by and Billie Joe/wright Iii Armstrong....
Dreaming
I was only dreaming
Of another place and time
Where my family's from.

Singing
I can hear them singing.
When the rain had washed away
All these scattered dreams

Dying
Everyone's reminding
Hearts are washed in misery
Drenched in gasoline

Laughter
There is no more laughter
Songs of yesterday
Now live in the underground

Life before the lobotomy
Christian sang the eulogy
Sign my love a lost memory
From the end of the century

Well, it's enough to make you sick
To cast a stone and throw a brick
When the sky is falling down
It burned your dreams into the ground

Christian's lesson is what he's been sold
We are normal and self-controlled
Remember to learn to forget
Whiskey shots and cheap cigarettes

Well I'm not stoned
I'm just fucked up
I got so high I can't stand up
I'm not cursed 'cause I've been blessed
I'm not in love 'cause I'm a mess

Like refugees
We're lost like refugees
Like refugees
We're lost like refugees
The brutality of reality
Is the freedom that keeps me from

Dreaming
I was only dreaming
Of another place and time
Where my family's from.

Singing
I can hear them singing.
When the rain had washed away
All these scattered dreams

Dying
Everyone's reminding
Hearts are washed in misery
Drenched in gasoline

Laughter
There is no more laughter
Songs of yesterday
Now live in the underground


Lyrics submitted by bfg1024

"Before the Lobotomy" as written by Frank E. Billie Joe Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Before the Lobotomy song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentIn my opinion: This is the first song from Gloria's point of view. Remember, the song before this, Viva la Gloria, when we were introduced to this character who completely changed midway through the song? That was quite obviously in Christian's point of view and the last line was "Tell me the story of your life." Well here it is, this is Gloria's story that he asked for, much like 21st Century Breakdown was Christians story. Problem is, she can't remember much. She didn't get a literal "lobotomy" but joining life with Christian, the extremist revolutionary leader, has wiped away most of her fond dreams and memories. The brutal sadness of reality has washed away the time with her family, even laughter and a more fulfilling life.

    The negativity and pain has tarnished her innocence and without her faith she compares herself to a "lost refugee." Also I think "Christian sang the eulogy" is, in a way, referring back to "Viva la Gloria" but also Christian basically killed the person who was Gloria, as she has morphed into a completely different person since initially meeting him. In her mind, she's not any worse though, because she found out the "truth" about the cons of America from Christian - yet she's not in love with him either, because she's too drugged out and disgusted with the world.

    I've listened to quite a few concept albums and this is right up there. Great stuff Green Day.
    bostonceltzon May 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGreen Day playing with time signatures! What?!

    Ha ha, I love it. My favorite off the new album so far. Incredible energy bookended by the emotional "dreaming, singing, dying, laughter" sections. Two great characters are being developed here: Gloria and Christian (patriotism and faith personified, respectively). Gloria got a lobotomy after 9/11. Christian tried to offer comfort and reasurrance because of the ordeal.

    What sticks out to me is the "to cast a stone and throw a brick" line, which connects a gospel reading to the Dookie song "She" in a very interesting way. The whole Jesus and Mary Magdalene thing, yes.

    "I got so high, I can't stand up." is also a stand out. There is a lot of irony in this song, and it almost demands an explanation.
    davidecoyoteon May 17, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentgreenday2012vp: i get more out of these songs then i would with books (not that i dont LOVE to read)...but i think they're more meaningful in songs form.
    billie has said that 21st century breakdown is the continuation of american idiot and i can really see that right here. This song always gives you something more the more times you listen to it.
    my favorite line is probably remember to learn to forget...it reminds me of 1984 by george orwell
    gdfan12345on February 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsomeone explain something to me. this album seems to take a lot of stabs at Christianity and seems to be saying that Christians are hypocrites, but isn't Billie Joe a tad bit religious himself?
    deliiroaron May 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll of his songs have this theme because he's passionate about what he does. I can greatly respect that.
    He's a truth seeker and beacon, it's the only thing that brings him peace.
    spicyfloon May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFrom what i can see, Christian has been reminiscing [sp?] and relizes the best of the past ("Songs of yesterday/Now live in the underground") and his dreams ("I can hear them singing/When the rain had washed away/All these scattered dreams") have been shattered by the end of the century and he's given up on love ("I'm not in love 'cause I'm a mess"). I think it also has to do w/ how the leaders try to make everything seem ok and not to worry 'bout the past ("We are normal and self-controlled/Remember to learn to forget/Whiskey shots and cheap cigarettes"). That's all i've noticed so far, and i can't wait to see what other people turn out on the meaning and how this fits in to the full album's storyline.
    SouthernPunk777on May 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat a sad song.

    I love it.
    autophobeon May 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat about the fact that towards the end, it is realized that "We're Lost like Refugees, the brutality of the reality is the freedom that keeps me from.." and the music cuts back into the dreaming section. But this time he states "I WAS only dreaming" as if he is contradicting himself. He says he finds the "reality" of things but then thinks: "I was only dreaming" as if to say the thoughts he was having were wrong to have, no one is lost- even though they are. Especially since it says "Christian's lesson is what he's been sold" as if he was talked out of these thoughts by society.

    I just thought that was interesting. And the fact that he says "The freedom that keeps me from.. Dreaming" is also a complete contradiction of freedom itself- much like our country perhaps? "Lost like refugees" I think might also suggest that once, our country had purpose to create freedom and refuge for all, and was symbolized by this, but now we've lost that purpose and are unsure where to turn for true refuge.

    Does any of that make sense? Feedback please.
    nicolewasherexxon May 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentscreaming, you will hear me scraming, when the fog will make you see my lost memories.

    thank you, Kinus
    daraki93on May 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song's about Christian getting the lobotomy, with him singing his own eulogy and the eulogy being the "dreaming, singing, dying, laughter" part. Of course its not a literal lobotomy, but I think it describes him becoming more apathetic toward the world around him.
    garamrion May 21, 2009   Link

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