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Jesus of Suburbia
Jesus of Suburbia}}} artwork

Jesus of Suburbia album artwork

Name Jesus of Suburbia
Composer Green Day
Time 9:08 (album version)
6:26 (radio edit)
Artist Green Day
Album Artist Green Day
Album American Idiot
Release Date October 25, 2005
Track Number 2
Genre Alternative
Alternative Rock
Emo
Punk Rock
Pop-Punk
Rock
Producer Rob Cavallo, Green Day
Last Song
American Idiot (song)
Next Song
Holiday

"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

Background

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

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.

Live

The song made its debut at the same show as American Idiot, but was not played publicly until the album launch show in September 2004.

Jesus of Suburbia was a fixture of the American Idiot tour, appearing as the second song at every show. It featured on the Bullet in a Bible live album.

Since that tour it has been played at almost every show as the second (and last) song of the full-band encore. It was absent from a few shows on the 21st Century Breakdown tour, but was still played at the majority, including the Tokyo show that the Awesome as Fuck DVD was filmed at.

Jesus of Suburbia was played at every show on the 99 Revolutions Tour.

It was still a staple on the Revolution Radio tour, appearing at all but two shows.

In September 2019, Jesus of Suburbia closed the set at the preview for the Hella Mega Tour. It would also appear at several other Father of All Motherfuckers promo shows.

Lyrics

[Part I: Jesus of Suburbia]

[Verse 1]
I'm the son of rage and love
The Jesus of Suburbia
The bible of "None of the above"
On a steady diet of
Soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my
Sins in Hell, as far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with

[Chorus]
And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In the land of make-believe
That don't believe in me

[Verse 2]
Get my television fix
Sitting on my crucifix
The living room on my private womb
While the moms and Brads are away
To fall in love and fall in debt
To alcohol and cigarettes
And Mary Jane to keep me insane
Doing someone else's cocaine

[Chorus]
And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In a land of make-believe
That don't believe in me

[Part II: City of the Damned]

[Verse 1]
At the center of the Earth in the parking lot
Of the 7-Eleven where I was taught
The motto was just a lie
It says "home is where your heart is" but what a shame
'Cause everyone's heart doesn't beat the same
It's beating out of time

[Chorus]
City of the dead (Hey! Hey!)
At the end of another lost highway (Hey! Hey!)
Signs misleading to nowhere
City of the damned (Hey! Hey!)
Lost children with dirty faces today (Hey! Hey!)
No one really seems to care

[Verse 2]
I read the graffiti in the bathroom stall
Like the holy scriptures of the shopping mall
And so it seemed to confess
It didn't say much, but it only confirmed
That the center of the Earth is the end of the world
And I could really care less

[Chorus]
City of the dead (Hey! Hey!)
At the end of another lost highway (Hey! Hey!)
Signs misleading to nowhere
City of the damned (Hey! Hey!)
Lost children with dirty faces today (Hey! Hey!)
No one really seems to care (Hey!)

[Part III: I Don't Care]

[Chorus]
I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't
I don't care if you don't care
I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't
I don't care if you don't care
I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't
I don't care if you don't care
I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't
I don't care if you don't care
I don't care!

[Verse]
Everyone's so full of shit
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave
We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the Middle East
We are the stories and disciples of
The Jesus of Suburbia

[Bridge]
Land of make-believe
And it don't believe in me
Land of make-believe (Said it's, it's another lie!)
And I don't believe
And I don't care (Woo, woo, woo)
I don't care (Woo, woo, woo)
I don't care (Woo, woo, woo)
I don't care (Woo, woo, woo)
I don't care

[Part IV: Dearly Beloved]

[Verse 1]
Dearly beloved, are you listening?
I can't remember a word that you were saying
Are we demented or am I disturbed?
The space that's in between insane and insecure

[Verse 2]
Oh, therapy, can you please fill the void?
Am I retarded or am I just overjoyed?
Nobody's perfect and I stand accused
For lack of a better word, and that's my best excuse

[Part V: Tales of Another Broken Home]

[Verse 1]
To live and not to breathe
Is to die in tragedy
To run, to run away
To find what you believe

[Chorus]
And I leave behind
This hurricane of fucking lies

[Verse 2]
I lost my faith to this
This town that don't exist
So I run, I run away
The lights of masochists

[Chorus]
And I leave behind
This hurricane of fucking lies
And I walked this line
A million and one fucking times
But not this time

[Instrumental Break]

[Outro]
I don't feel any shame, I won't apologize
When there ain't nowhere you can go
Running away from pain when you've been victimized
Tales from another broken home
You're leaving
You're leaving
You're leaving
Ah, you're leaving home

Trivia

  • "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"

Video gallery

References