Green Day fans call out insensitive Wake Me Up When September Ends memes

2 September 2020, 14:47

By Sam Prance

Billie Joe Armstrong has previously told people making the memes to "get a life".

Green Day fans are taking to Twitter to ask people to stop making 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' memes every year.

As soon as Green Day released their iconic American Idiot album in 2004, 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' became an instant favourite among fans. The band released the song as a single in August 2005 and it went on to become a Top 10 hit in the US, UK and all around the world. Its impact is so long-lasting that people make memes about it every September.

READ MORE: Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong says Ariana Grande isn't a "real" artist like Billie Eilish

However, many people making the memes don't know the context behind the song and now they're being called out for it.

What is the meaning behind 'Wake Me Up When September Ends'?

Green Day fans call out insensitive 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' memes
Green Day fans call out insensitive 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' memes. Picture: Mike Pont/WireImage, Tom Briglia/FilmMagic

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong wrote 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' about the effects that his dad's death had on him. Andrew Armstrong passed away after a battle with oesophagal cancer in September 1982 when Billie was just 10 years old. Speaking to Howard Stern, about the song, Billie said: “I think it’s something that just stayed with me."

Billie continued: "The month of September being that anniversary that always is just, I don’t know, kind of a bummer. I think about him every day. I kind of avoided writing about him for many years and then finally having a breakthrough. It felt good. It wasn’t a negative emotion so much, but just honouring him."

He explained that the title directly quotes words that he said to his mother when his father died.

As for the memes, Billie told Vulture: 'It's like when Jesus was born on December 25 people go 'Hey, it's Christmas time!', when the Easter bunny comes it's like 'Hey, it's Easter' or when September comes people go 'Hey, it's that guy in Green Day'. Have fun but get a life at the same time."

He also joked that he should write a song called: 'Shut the Fuck Up When October Comes'.

Given the personal nature of the song and Billie's comments, fans think it's insensitive that people continue to joke about it every year. One person tweeted: "every september I wake up to green day trending so", alongside a sign saying "wake me up when september ends is about billie joe's father who died and shouldn't be joked about".

Another fan added: "friendly reminder to leave green day alone during the month of september."

While we have no doubt that people posting the memes mean no ill will, this acts as an important reminder that you should find out the context of a meme before taking part in it.

[H/T - Alt Press]