Homecoming

Album: American Idiot (2004)

Songfacts®:

  • This song has five parts, so they're like chapters:

    Jesus of Suburbia has nothing left to do. He's been on the streets. He stands alone again. So where else to go? Home.

    Part 1, the Death of St. Jimmy.
    He's leaving the streets, he's going back, he's leaving Jimmy behind. He realizes that turning away wasn't the answer, and he's gained nothing from it except knowledge that life is no better in a different atmosphere. He hoped for too much, and got nothing in return. St. Jimmy kills himself, in a sense, in Jesus of Suburbia's mind, he's gone. Still, there's no one who cares, and nobody cares.

    Part 2, East 12th St.
    It tells us that Jesus of Suburbia met and accepted conformity, got a job, and is just in his own world as people move around him. He'd rather be out and around with 'the underbelly', his friends. He feels trapped. Alone, and again, must get away. "This lifelike dream ain't for me"...

    Part 3, Nobody Likes You.
    He's still depressed about losing Whatsername, as he waits for her to return, but no luck. All of his dreams at this point are shot to hell, as her voice still pounds in his head "NOBODY LIKES YOU, EVERYONE LEFT YOU..."

    Part 4, Rock 'N Roll Girlfriend.
    In the inlay, is shown as a postcard from "Tunny," who seems to be another person Jesus of Suburbia met while on the streets. Tunny explains that he's living it up where he is, and the rebel life he leads, while Jesus Of Suburbia is rotting with his dead end job, in his dead end life.

    Part 5, We're Coming Home Again.
    It is Jesus of Suburbia accepting things. He's coming to the realization of everything and everyone, and is just accepting it. He comes home. It's left on a confusing note. He's not sure if he's happy or sad, he's just home, living, and he just... is. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Salinda - Portland, ME
  • Part 5 of this song could be about having kids. After the main character matures he gets a girl pregnant (not whatsername) then his friends come out of the wood work to see him and bring gifts for the baby. The lyrics are:

    "Here they come marching down the street Like a desperation murmur of a heart beat Coming back from the edge of town Underneath their feet The time has come and it's going nowhere Nobody ever said that life was fair now Go-carts and guns are treasures they will bear In the summer heat The world is spinning Around and around Out of control again From the 7-11 to the fear of breaking down."

    The line, "the time has come and it's going no where" means that now that he has a child who is going to be in his life forever he has to become a man finally and act like one. Then after this point he feels the need to tell whatsername, his ex, out of the blue that he's going to be a dad "So send my love a letterbomb and visit me in hell." He calls where he's living hell because he feels trapped and maybe even punished for his past lifestyle. When he says "I started fn' running As soon as my feet touched the ground" In other words he hit the ground running. As soon as he found out he was going to be a dad he pulled up his socks and gave 110% to parenthood. The idea of "coming home" could come from the fact that he lived in a lot of places after leaving his home but none of them felt like a home and now that he has a family he has what feels like a home again (even if it was forced on him). The name "homecoming" could even suggest that 'home' came to him instead of him going out and finding it on his own. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adam - North Bay, ON
  • On VH1 Storytellers, Billie Joe Armstrong explained the song could be about returning home and finding everything has changed, or even finding a home in an unlikely place like a mental institution or a prison. Mike Dirnt added that the band wanted to keep it open-ended. "It's a reflective ending. It's open-ended, and we wanted it like that for a reason because I think as individuals or as the characters in the book, people just... they don't know until it's over."

Comments: 29

  • Jolene from FloridaHe sounds sick, like he has a stuffy nose, like through the whole song XD
  • Victor from Hartsdale, NyI think that the part of Rock and Roll Girlfriend where Tre sings "I've got a kid in NY/I've got a kid in the bay" refers to Jesus of Suburbia getting rid of St. Jimmy.

    In Death of St. Jimmy there's the line "He blew his brains out into the bay", and in Rock and Roll Girlfriend he might be saying that part of his past is in the Bay where St. Jimmy is, and that he's now moved on somewhere else (not specifically NY).
    That's how I interpret it.
  • Stacey from Glasgow, United Kingdomi love this song so much and this album is the best album ever made. Billie joe Armstrong is a really clever song writer and i must say, he is so hot. i know he's like 39 but he's hot for an old guy. love green day so much and anyone who says they are crap really don't know music.
  • Sean from Chicago, IlThere is a sixth part: The Death of St. Jimmy. Where exactly does that come into play.
  • Miles from West Linn, OrMy favorite songon the album. Epic :D
  • Sc from Anchorage, AkOh and I read somewhere that Mike wrote the "Nobody Likes You" part while waiting for Billie, who was late to band practice. :)
  • Sc from Anchorage, AkThe part where Tre' sings "I got a kid in New York / I got a kid in the Bay" refers to Tre's two kids.
  • Ian from Ragama, Sri Lanka (ceylon)Listening to this is like watching the ending of a movie. Awesome stuff.....
  • Jesús from Champaign, Ilthey keep using 7-11 b/c in Jesus of Suburbia they talked about 7-1 as "the 7-11 where i was taught"
  • Elizabeth from Ithaca, Nyhe sings in the rock n' roll girlfriend part
  • Marie from Budapest, Hungarytre sings in this one? which part? i kno he wrote the rock n roll girlfriend
  • Mike Fuentes from Melvindale, MiThis song is good. My favorite part is "Here they come marching down the street
    Like a desperation murmur of a heart beat
    Coming back from the edge of town
    Underneath their feet
    The time has come and it's going nowhere
    Nobody ever said that life was fair now
    Go-carts and guns are treasures they will bear
    In the summer heat
    The world is spinning
    Around and around
    Out of control again
    From the 7-11 to the fear of breaking down"
    Though I still cant understand why they keep using 7-11.
  • Adam from North Bay, OnI think part 5 is about having kids. I'm not sure at this point but what I'm thinking is after JOS matures he gets a girl pregnant (not whatsername) then his friends come out of the wood work to see him and bring gifts for the baby

    Here they come marching down the street
    Like a desperation murmur of a heart beat
    Coming back from the edge of town
    Underneath their feet

    The time has come and it's going nowhere
    Nobody ever said that life was fair now
    Go-carts and guns are treasures they will bear
    In the summer heat

    The world is spinning
    Around and around
    Out of control again
    From the 7-11 to the fear of breaking down

    The line "the time has come and it's going no where" could mean that now that he has a child who is going to be in his life forever he has to become a man finally and act like one.

    Then after this point he feels the need to tell whatsername, his ex, out of the blue that he's going to be a dad

    "So send my love a letterbomb
    And visit me in hell"

    and when he says

    "I started fn' running
    As soon as my feet touched the ground"

    In other words he hit the ground running. As soon as he found out he was going to be a dad he pulled up his socks and gave 110% to parenthood.

    The idea of "coming home" could come from the fact that he lived in a lot of places after leaving his home but none of them felt like a home and now that he has a family he has what feels like a home again. The name "homecoming" could even suggest that 'home' came to him instead of him going out and finding it on his own.
  • Morgan from Storrs, CtI don't think that "I got a kid in the bay" refers to the beginning. I think it just means that he's got kids across the country (New York (East Coast) to the Bay (West Coast))
  • Ollie from London, Englandsuch a good song. reminds me of my brother's best friend ... shes kinda psycotic. dont ask.
  • Tara from Somewhere, Flreminds me of me again...
  • Greendayfan16 from Calgary, Canadathe song gives me a video in my mind that uses the character in the video of jesus of suburbia.I think that Jos went to try to find Whatshername in the last part of the song, but he didn't findher.
  • Sam from Portsmouth, United StatesThis the only good song on the album, American Idiot
  • Ro~jo from Unknown, CaThe intro to this song before the melody of "The Death of St. Jimmy" kicks in has a timeless, classic feel. Just that opening riff and the following lines are just amazing...
  • Jeff from Sothington, Cto and "i got a kid in the bay" is a reference to St. Jimmy, because "Jimmy died today, he blew his brains out into the bay"
  • Jeff from Sothington, CtThe "Nobody Likes you" was written my Mike Dirnt (sp?) and "Rock N' Roll GF" was written and preformed by Tre Cool the drummer
  • Maranda from Houston, TxThis song is the best song on the cd.I love it.
  • Joe from Chicago, Arthis is defintly the best song on the album sure it's long but it is still great!
  • Kathryn from Portland , OrThis is my favorite song on this awesome album! Big crecendo finish.
  • Benny from Melbourne, AustraliaI love the whole story idea in American Idiot, it's a great idea and the way all the songs interlink makes the whole album better. It is also a reason to buy the entire album and not just download the songs they released on radio because this album must be listened to in it's entirety to be fully appreciated.
  • Tanya from London, United StatesMike wrote 'Nobody Likes You' when Billie Joe and Tre were late for band practice. Apparently the 'where'd you go?' is partly relating to Billie Joe at that time, like saying 'what happened to you?' At that time, Billie Joe was very depressed and was on drugs and drink etc which resulted to arguments and fights in the band. During one, Tre apparently told Billie Joe that him and his music (Cigarettes and Valentines) was sh*t and told him that 'Welcome to Paradise' was a sh*tty song. So there's some background info for you there
  • Tanya from London, EnglandI used to think it dragged alot but once I listened to it alot and saw it live, I love the ending now. The build up is great
  • Paul Taylor from Castalia, NcThis is my favorite song on the album. The part where he goes "Well nobody cares" is pretty cool. Even tough it drags alot twoards the end. Its also one of the only songs Tre sings in.
  • Tanya from London, EnglandApparently East 12th Street is the place Billie Joe had to go to when he got arrested for DUI
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Janis Ian

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Rick Springfield

Rick SpringfieldSongwriter Interviews

Rick has a surprising dark side, a strong feminine side and, in a certain TV show, a naked backside. But he still hasn't found Jessie's Girl.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

The Police

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.