Music Memories – This Week – Wake Me Up When September Ends

The one thing I love about music is that everyone has their own story to tell – the musician, the lyrics, the way the fans decipher them and also the way a song can also create a memory or a meaning to someone. That is what this new article is all about. Each fortnight, we will take a look at a different song and I will take you as a trip down memory lane as to what it means to me. Welcome to Music Memories.

Track: Wake Me Up When September Ends
Artist: Green Day
Original Release Date: 13th June 2005

I have always been a fan of Green Day and have listened to their music for years, I am a huge fan of Dookie and when the album American Idiot was released in 2004, it was the first album of theirs that I felt lived up to the same impact the original album had on me. American Idiot is a phenomenal album and I spent a lot of time with it on repeat in my CD player. The one thing that I have Green Day to thank for is learning tabs on the guitar. I bought a guitar around 2005 and it took me a good year before I became serious about learning how to play it.

When I was in college, I started to meet more people who were interested in playing musical instruments and I started to learn the best way to find music for songs that you liked and the easiest ways to learn the guitar. I would spend some lunch times printing off sheet music off of Ultimate Guitar ( I didn’t have internet at home) so that I could play the guitar.

One of the first songs I learnt to play solely via tabs is Wake Me Up When September Ends. Learning the tabs of a guitar and not the chords can be very tricky and difficult to do and I found that learning this song made it so easy as it was a very simple melody that made it easy to understand.

I have played this songs so much on the guitar that I cannot actually listen to it normally very much anymore as it is a song that I associate with learning.

Facts About Wake Me Up When September Ends

  • The fourth single from the group’s seventh studio album, American Idiot (2004).
  • The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends” was written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about his father, who died from esophageal cancer in September 1982 when Armstrong was 10 years old.
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends had sold 1,652,000 copies as of May 2010
  • Every year, between the dates of September 30 and October 1, internet memes circulate on social media, featuring captions ordering Armstrong to wake up because September has ended, a literal interpretation of the song’s title. 

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