Are We The Waiting

Album: American Idiot (2004)
Play Video


  • The main character of American Idiot (Jesus of Suburbia) is finally coming to realize that running away from home was not the best thing to do, and is patiently waiting for death ("Are we, we are. Are we, we are the waiting, unknown"). He doesn't know what to do. The song drifts into "St. Jimmy." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tyler Jones - Goldsboro, NC
  • Billie Joe Armstrong explained the song's origin on VH1 Storytellers: "'Are We the Waiting' sort of started when I was walking around on a misty night in New York City, and I think it's at a point in the record where the character is on the verge of losing his mind a little bit and he's very vulnerable, and it's right before the 'St. Jimmy' comes up."

Comments: 13

  • Stacy from UkThe whole album is about the government's agenda - mainly with war. It all relates back to that. Listen to it closer. Billie Joe Armstrong has strong political views. American idiot is about irag and this is about 911. You need to listen from start to finish to appreciate the meaning
  • Beth from Auckland, New Zealandlearning how to play the drums to this
  • Charlene from San Diego, CaAt their concert in Chula Vista on Sept. 2, 2010, they launched into an extended rendition of this song that seemed to go on for about 10 minutes, with the audience singing to him the whole time. Supposedly they were recording the concert for a live album. I would love to hear the recording, as it was a moving experience.
  • Sc from Anchorage, AkBeautiful song :) John Gallagher, Jr. sings an awesome version in the musical adaptation of American Idiot.
  • Latrey from Belcourt, NdWho cares what people think this band has survived everything and it is the only band i know from the 1990's that still kick's ass
  • Matt from Houston, Txone of the few good songs off ai
  • Peter from -, Brazil"Wrong" was a little too harsh. A broader conclusion usually derives from a narrower one.
  • Peter from -, BrazilI think you are all wrong. Play close attention to the text: "Are *we* the waiting"? Interpreting (contextually) rather than just analyzing, you'll come to the broader conclusion that this is not a question asked by an individual, but by a whole generation.
  • Declan from LiverpoolWaiting for death :S
    I'd say what Bryan put is about right
  • Matthew from New York City, NylEAD singer Billie Jo,also says that the JOS is a lie...creating St.Jimmy
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyhe, he, he. i like the phrasing above. it's like, maybe running away from home wasn't exactly the best thing to do, but oh well, screw that. anyways, this song rocks hard. one of my fave songs by green day
  • Bill from Erie, PaThis song is rather reminiscent of the Clash's "London Calling".
  • Bryan from Medford, Withis song is about JOS waiting for something to come and make things better. Then he creates St. Jimmy.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Gary Lewis

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.