"21st Century Breakdown" as written by and Billie Joe/wright Iii Armstrong....
Born into Nixon, I was raised in hell
A welfare child where the teamsters dwelled
The last one born and the first one to run,
My town was blind from refinery sun

My generation is zero
I never made it as a working class hero
21st century breakdown
I once was lost but never was found
I think I'm losing what's left of my mind
To the 20th century deadline

I was made of poison and blood
Condemnation is what I understood
Video games of the Tower's fall
Homeland security could kill us all

My generation is zero
I never made it as a working class hero
21st century breakdown
I once was lost but never was found
I think I'm losing what's left of my mind
To the 20th century deadline

We are the class of the class of thirteen
Born in the era of humility
We are the desperate in the decline
Raised by the bastards of 1969

My name is no one, your long lost son
Born on the fourth of July
Raised in the era of heroes and cons
That left me for dead or alive

I am a nation, a worker of pride
My debt to the status quo
The scars on my hands there a means to an end
Is all that I have to show

I swallowed my pride and choked on my faith
I've given my heart and my soul
I've broken my fingers and I've lied through my teeth
The pillar of damage control

I've been to the edge
And I've thrown the bouquet of flowers left over the grave
I sat in the waiting room, wasting my time
And waiting for Judgment Day

I praise liberty
The freedom to obey
Is the song that strangles me
Well don't cross the line

Oh, dream, America, dream
I can't even sleep
From the light's early dawn
Oh, scream, America, scream
Believe what you see
From heroes and cons


Lyrics submitted by bfg1024

"21st Century Breakdown" as written by Frank E. Billie Joe Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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21st Century Breakdown song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment"Juliet's crying, well now she's realizing love can be filled with pain and distrust"

    Say it ain't so, TheTuxedo! This is from one boy who makes a plan to take a stand and doesn't end up quitting. Yes, this is a band that has transformed over the years, but middle-finger up smile on your face apathy only takes you so far. Yes, they are anti-war (not the same as anti-American), but at least they made a choice. I understand the dilemma: now they face a paradox, serving as the American icon of counterculture, a popular symbol and an outsider all at once?

    But I have to agree that this song is epic. It has three parts, each with its own energy and emotion.

    The first segment is by the narrator, and it sounds like Billie-Joe himself. "I never made it as a working-class hero" could be a rare moment of humility, in comparison to John Lennon (a reference to the cover song, of course). The second part is an introduction of the new generation, "The class of '13" which logically is 4 years from now but sounds an awful lot like bad luck. And finally, the dream vs. scream section is truly a conflicted mind being taxed, the catalyst of a revolution to come.

    I really like the line, "I once was lost but was never found," which I believe to be a reference to Amazing Grace with an inverted result. Faith and politics are definitely called into question in the meat of this album, and giving them thought doesn't negate American ideals or their influence in the world. It's blind patriotism and blind faith that are taken to trial by fire in this epic.

    If you have a problem with that, we'll always have Christie Road...
    davidecoyoteon May 17, 2009   Link

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