Jesus of Suburbia
Jesus of Suburbia

Jesus of Suburbia album artwork

Name Jesus of Suburbia
Time 9:08
Artist Green Day
Album American Idiot
Release Date October 25, 2005
Genre Punk Rock
Producer Rob Cavallo, Green Day

"Jesus of Suburbia" was the fifth and final single to be released from Green Day's seventh studio album, American Idiot. The single was released on October 25, 2005. The original song ran just over 9 minutes, which was considered to be unfriendly for radio appeal, so it was cut down to around 6½ minutes for the radio edit. The long version was still played on many album rock and alternative rock radio stations.

Track listings

Australian single:

  1. "Jesus of Suburbia" - 9:09
  2. "Are We the Waiting" (Live from VH1 Storytellers) - 2:57
  3. "St. Jimmy" (Live from VH1 Storytellers) - 3:07

10" vinyl:
Side A

  1. "Jesus of Suburbia" - 9:09

Side B

  1. "St. Jimmy" (Live from VH1 Storytellers) - 3:07

Song information

The song was co-written by Green Day (with Billie Joe Armstrong writing the lyrics), and was co-produced by Rob Cavallo. The song is in the key of C sharp major. In this song, Green Day detail the life and times of a so-called Jesus of Suburbia, the fictional protagonist of American Idiot. His real name is Jimmy, which is revealed in the extended music video when a girl calls him that and in the cut version of the video when he writes "Saint Jimmy" on a bathroom stall (later on in the American Idiot album, he officially changed his name in the song "St. Jimmy", although still calls himself Jesus of Suburbia, and is called that by Whatsername in "Letterbomb"). The name "Jesus of Suburbia" may just mean he is the savior of the rebels in suburbia. He is a resident of Jingletown, USA, and the son of a divorced mother. His younger years were spent on a "steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin", watching television, using drugs, and loitering in front of convenience stores. Although everything seems alright at first, Jimmy feels trapped and bored in Jingletown and longs for escape, as he narrates in "City of the Damned".

In a coming of age move, Jimmy leaves Jingletown by the end of the song to explore The City. His exploits in The City are not described in this song, but are described in greater detail in the rest of the album, especially in "Holiday" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". Nevertheless, to describe the essence of the personality of Jimmy, Green Day proclaims, "I'm the son of rage and love. The Jesus of Suburbia, from the bible of none of the above, on a steady diet of soda pop and ritalin..."

"Jesus of Suburbia" has five movements:

  • I. "Jesus of Suburbia"
  • II. "City of the Damned"
  • III. "I Don't Care"
  • IV. "Dearly Beloved"
  • V. "Tales of Another Broken Home"

The song was also featured on their live album, Bullet in a Bible.

Music video

thumb|300px|right|Lyric video The music video of "Jesus of Suburbia" was directed by Samuel Bayer, who also directed the music videos for the first four singles released from the American Idiot album, and had high hopes for the music video. The official music video premiered on October 14, 2005 in the UK and on October 25, 2005 on the MTV network for viewers residing in the U.S. Two official versions exist: One is a twelve-minute edit, complete with dialogue while the other is a six and a half-minute director's cut, inclusive solely of the music itself and devoid of additives. The six-minute version is censored, whereas the twelve-minute version is not. The video starred Lou Taylor Pucci as the main character (an indie actor who has starred in Thumbsucker and The Chumscrubber). Pucci's co-star (Jimmy's love interest) was played by Kelli Garner, who happened to play Pucci's love interest in the film Thumbsucker from that same year (2005). Jimmy's mother was portrayed by Canadian actress Deborah Kara Unger. Although Billie Joe was originally tipped to provide the acting role of the main character, this was altered during pre-filming.

The plot of the video essentially follows that of the song.


  • "Jesus of Suburbia" was featured on MuchMusic's 100 Greatest Music Videos Countdown at #8.
  • Director Samuel Bayer said this was going to be his "swan song" video. But he went on to direct Green Day's "Working Class Hero" music video.
  • The video contains a reference to The Smashing Pumpkins' music video for "1979" in the sense of the "I Don't Care" section of the song's video closely resembling the convenience store part of the "1979" including the "Jesus Of Suburbia" from this song's video getting an Icee and throwing it over his shoulder while a chest-mounted camera follows him.
  • Part II heavily quotes "On With the Show" by Mötley Crüe, "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams, Part IV quotes "Over the Rainbow" and "Come On Eileen". Part V quotes "Ring of Fire" by June Carter and Merle Kilgore and popularized by Johnny Cash.
  • 7-Eleven is the main setting for most of the video.
  • The video for "Jesus of Suburbia" has footage from their live album Bullet in a Bible where they played at Milton Keynes in 2005. The music in Jesus of Suburbia is an edited version of the live one they sang at Milton Keynes.
  • Drummer Tré Cool states that this is one of his favorite songs in "American Idiot" because he gets to do his kind of "Drum Solo"
  • In the version of the song in Bullet in a Bible, Billie Joe changes the lyrics from "Anaheim to the Middle East" to "England to the middle east"

External links