A gambler about to lose his last dime, a single mother barely keeping together and a soldier dodging death on the front lines are three of several struggling characters Billie Joe Armstrong references on this track. "That was a very heavy song," he told Rolling Stone. "Sometimes I run away from being too heavy. But sometimes it just comes out that way."
Despite all the hard times these characters have been through, they're all still here. Armstrong sings in the chorus:
Cause I'm still breathing
Cause I'm still breathing on my own
My head's above the rain and roses
Making my way, my way
Armstrong explained the hook isn't about overcoming adversity. Instead, it alludes to the fact that "at some point, we're all going to have to be on life support. As time goes on, your thoughts get darker."
Billie Joe Armstrong has been through his own personal issues, including struggling with substance abuse, but the lyrics for this song are more universal than just his own story. He said: "I'd rather write something where my eyes are forward, not so much internal. I hope it makes people happy and creates a difference in some way, just by people recognizing themselves in the song."
The lyrics find Armstrong expressing a fragile gratitude at having survived his recent problems. "It's a song about how life can be very humbling," he told Q magazine. "Not every day do you feel like a rock star, especially when you get to be 44 years old."