Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meaning of 21st Century Breakdown by GREEN DAY

I love all the messages Billie Joe Armstrong is shooting at us, I'm really glad that Green Day have escalated to these heights where they're making all this meaningful, powerful, and extremely moving music. They are my most favorite band in the whole of time and space and I'm just really happy, well, more than happy with the direction they're headed in. Don't get me wrong, their older albums we fantastic but they were a little empty, lacking real meaning, like, you can really tell that, as a writer and musician, Billie Joe Armstrong has improved a great deal and is able to come up with these sweeping melodies and catchy but still powerful phrases and messages all intertwined in a story we can all relate to. I've been listening to the six songs that have been posted up on Green Day Authority for the past two hours, and I'm just really pleased with what Armstrong is standing up for. I know some of you probably hate the "new" Green Day, but I love it. It goes with everything Armstrong is trying to tell us. I love their older, more punk stuff and I love their new, innovative stuff, but we have to understand that people change, everything changes, and it's just something we have to accept and adapt to-- that is what we do. We all complain about changes, things that make us uncomfortable and insecure-- complaining and ditching Green Day's new style and what not is going to further prove Armstrong's point: that every single one of us sits around, watches the television: watching depressing news about the next epidemic or the latest deaths and you flip the channel and you get a mindless television show or sitcom that gets you living in this false reality that "oh, none of that other stuff effects me" or "oh my god, that's horrible. I'm glad that's not me". We sit there and absorb all this shit and then mope around about how bad the world and we're just sitting there. Now, what Armstrong is saying is that we have to get the fuck off our asses and DO something, to fight for something we really believe in, and be open to change. Even the fucking second rule of thermodynamics states that the world is always leaning towards entropy. The whole universe is constantly changing at every moment and we're sitting here-- in front of our televisions, computers, talking on the phone-- not doing a damn thing about it. We all say, "oh, yeah, I'm going to do my work... tomorrow" and "I'm going to start recycling... if only I could remember". If we want things to change, then why don't we changed them ourselves. Nothing will ever happen if people don't move to do it. This is the message of 21st Century Breakdown. We have to be proactive and break away from our monotonous lifestyles and actually put into action our ideas and dreams. America elected President Obama because they wanted change. Now America is complaining that nothing is happening. Well DUH! nothing is going to fucking happen if Americans don't take the initiative to DO something about. To help Obama make his promises come true. But anyway, I'm ranting a little bit. I think that the American Dream has become something that we all wish for, but has never existed. We have become so stagnant that we're living in our own private lies and I don't know if any of you have realized this, but I certainly have. With homophobia, racism, and sexism-- it just shows that we are afraid of change. We aren't willing to feel uncomfortable for just the short amount of time it takes for humans to adapt. We're living in a 21st Century Breakdown and I REALLY hope, the general public can climb out of the hole we've dug ourselves into.

My interpetation of Viva La Vida by Coldplay, with Biblical and Historical references

It is a very literal interpretational ballad of Napoleon in the moments before his death in exile. I believe it is on Napoleon because of the Heavy French Classical influence coursing through the song as well as the Album cover, being a French Revolutionary Painting. Who else in France had a shot at ruling the world?

The first three verses are where he recounts his former glory ("Old king is dead, long live the king") when he was going to rule the world, and how he held such power over his enemy. ("I used to rule the world/ Roll the dice") And then he tells of his downfall, when he sees that he cannot rule the world, and how he has become the lowest.("Now in the morning/ sweep the streets I used to own/ the walls were closed on me") Sweeping is a nobody job, so He is saying that he is now a nobody.

The chorus, which varies progressively, is a realization that he sees his own death. (Bells and Choirs would ring and sing, respectively, during a Funeral Procession, in some cases) "Mirror Sword and Shield" could mean that he is awaiting heaven, since the three are very Christian symbols. "Missionaries" is another Christian allusion, but appears to be useless, unless referring to that he is asking that a room in Heaven be prepared for him. "For Some Reason I can't explain, once you go..." appears to be a filler line, since it takes a different meaning later on. "That was when I ruled the world" is just a reprising line that sounds good. It restates that he no longer is glorious, and will die soon.

All the way from "Wicked and Wild wind" to "Oh who would ever want to be king" is a remembrance of his own rise to power and use of it. Also, because the French would Execute using the Guillotine, the "head on a silver plate" line also is an Allusion to Napoleonic France, as well as John the Baptist's death.

The second Chorus is the same, save for the line, "I know saint peter won't call my name". this is Napoleon saying he won't go to heaven since he was a tyrant. Saint Peter calling a name is symbolic of dying and going to Heaven.

There is an instrumental bridge where I suppose you could say Napoleon realizes death is inevitable, and accepts it, while the music becomes stronger.

The final Chorus has the change of "I know Saint peter won't call my name" to "I know Saint Peter WILL call my name" Saying that Napoleon accepts his death. You can imagine Napoleon Closing his eyes at the words "When I ruled the world"

The song ends with a choir singing the main chords in harmony, in a sad, thoughtful fadeout, suggesting Napoleon is dead.