Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt wrote the lyrics to this song about a slum in Oakland where they lived together for a while as teenagers - they had a band at the time called Sweet Children. Armstrong explained: "It's about West Oakland, living in a warehouse with a lot of people, a bunch of artists and musicians, punks and whatever just lived all up and down, bums and junkies and thugs and gang members and stuff that just lived in that area. It's no place you want to walk around at night, but it's a neat warehouse where you can play basketball and stuff."
Suggestion credit: Jade - London, England
The video was compiled from footage shot when Green Day performed the song at the San Francisco club Slim's on February 1, 1994 - the same day Dookie was released. As shown in the video, the crowd of about 500 went absolutely nuts. Green Day would soon be playing to much larger crowds that showed a similar enthusiasm.
This was first released on Green Day's 1992 Kerplunk LP on Lookout! Records. When the band signed to the major label Reprise Records and cut the album Dookie, they re-recorded the song and included it on the album. It was one of 2 old Green Day songs they recorded during the Dookie sessions - they also re-recorded "409 In Your Coffeemaker" which originally appeared on their first EP, 39 Smooth. That song did not make it onto Dookie but was released on the international "Basket Case" single.
Suggestion credit: George - Islip Terrace, NY
Green Day's drummer Tre Cool wrote the guitar riff for this song, and Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the drums. In their early days, Green Day would often swap positions in the band.
Suggestion credit: Tubby - Hexham, England
The forebear to this song is a track called "Sweet Children," which Green Day released in 1990 on an EP issued by Skene! Records (Sweet Children is also the name of the band Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt were in before they called it Green Day). This EP was sold at the band's early shows; if you listen to the melody, you'll hear how it was repurposed into "Welcome To Paradise."
Tre Cool said of this song: "It's like, 'Everything sucks but we're having fun anyway.' We'll look you in the eye and still smile, even if horrible things are happening."
Sc from Anchorage, AkI think the chorus of the Foxboro Hot Tubs song "Dark Side of Night" sounds exactly like the chorus of "Welcome to Paradise"...Billie could've done that to hint at the fact that FBHT is a pseudonym for Green Day.
Layton from Paris, Txi heard this song on kerplunk an just bought it this weekend on Dookie. i really like it its creative
Joaquin from San Francisco, Cathis is an amazing song!!!! it reminds me of the year I lived in Vermont. I went to a school there which i was forced to make my home it all fell apart and felt like prison
Bob from Dumbsville, BelarusMike Dirnt's bass solo on this song is second only to John Entwistle's on My Generation.
Steph from Socal, Caif you play the intro riff backwards, it's basically the main riff to "blitzkrieg bop" by the ramones
Michael from Tucson, AzAh, classic Green Day... the way things used to be. Except for the whole drug phase that they went through. Welcome to paradise is a perfect example of good Green Day.
Sarah from Sandiego, CaThis song is so cool I love it it's one of my favorite songs ever mde i luv this its the best older song to me behind waiting and she.
Eileen from San Diego, Cai love the way this song starts out. right in the beginning. this is a.........pretty old song. but it is so cool. and i never get tired of it. thank you very much
Bob from Rio Vista, CaActually, it wasn't about a "slum" in Oakland. They made several friends in that part of Oakland and had a great time there.
Tanya from London, EnglandYeah, I've got videos of jesus of suburbia and he always smiles after he says unemployed. It could also be to put a deeper meaning to the song. Like, jesus is unemployed then he gets a job in east 12th street. Or east 12th street could be jesus getting arrested for drink driving. coz apparently Billie Joe had to go to some place in oakland called east 12th street to fill out paper work when he got arrested for DUI. And also ofcourse "she had enough and he had plenty" with a glass of wine next to it in the inlay, suggests he was out on the piss lol
Paul from Castalia, NcMary, Philadelphia, he only changes the lyrics to unemployed during a live show to mix things up. You know kina like a joke.Example. A band named Creedence Clearwater sings this song called "theres a bad moon on the rise" but during a live show they say "theres a bathroom on the right".
Michael from Monroe, MiSome of you people need to stop flooding the comments. You are making stupid ones.
Tanya from London, Englandthis is about him n mike livin in the dumps. mike rented a room out at billie joes for a while then moved out to a squat. then billie joe joined him n had a pretty good time gettin high. thats what i read anyway. FIRST PLAYING OF GREEN DAYS NEW VIDEO, JESUS OF SUBURBIA (which is out oct 24th i think), CHANNEL 4, 10.30pm, FRIDAY 14TH OCTOBER!!!!!! tape it coz it probs wont get played in full alot as its over 9 mins long. THEN, MILTON KEYNES DVD/CD (BULLET IN A BIBLE) OUT 14TH NOVEMBER. woooooooohooooooooooooo
Josh from BrisbaneI have an interview on cd where Billie describes this song as being about the first place he lived after moving out of home. It was a warehouse full of musicians and whatnot.
Tanya from London, Englandwhich do u guys prefer? the welcome 2 paradise on kerplunk or dookie? i'm no too sure. Atfirst i prefered the one on kerplunk coz it was different to what i was used to (i heard the dookie one first) but now i dont know. anway, amazin song. green day never fail to please. and they f*ckin rock live!!!!!
Christa from Makati, OtherSarcastic song??? I don't think so...They loved that place, as far as I know...
Biggestgreendayfan from Los Angeles, Cathis is the most sarcastic green day song ever it mean he lives in a crap shack
Aaron Hetherington from Bradford, EnglandThis Song Is About Just Telling The World About Living On The Street And That It Becomes Your Home Etc. It's Possible That They Have Been Chucked Out Too....' Dear Mother Can You hear me Whining'.....but im 99.99% sure they havent.
And On The Basket case Thing , How Are Them Lyrics Confusing, Iit just like telling a story...The song is more personal to billie joe and mike because they both have panic attacks .....and the song is about HAVING panic attacks....
Katie from Ont., CaOk!I honestly dont think you get the meaninmgs of green dya and there lyrics? When they talk about the CRACKED streets, there giivivng a discription of how they remember the place?NOT giving a discription on how the cracks look?If you dont beleive me, look at the lyrics.And the reason why they say "I went to a whore, HE said my lifes a bore, so quit complaning casue its bringing HER down? They probably said it because the whore is suppose ot be giving advise to the guy, saying stop complaining! notice i little before it says he went to a whore, the other perosne told him its LACK of sex? that probably happens when your complaining to much? im mshure that would get annoying fast. Dont ask silly questions like that if your on a site that explains all the songs? haha
Jim from Pittsburgh, PaOr like in basket case where it says, "I went to a whore, HE said my lifes a bore, and quit my whining cause its bringing HER down"
Mary from Philadelphia, PaI think it could be both. They seem to like confusing people with there lyrics, like in "Dearly Beloved" on the American Idiot CD, sometimes they'll say "Am I retarded or am I just overjoyed" and sometimes they'll say "Am I retarded or am I just unemployed."
Eric from Springfield, MoI've always wondered...are the lyrics in this song 'cracked streets' or 'crack streets'? Most lyrics places I've looked at say cracked but I watched this thing on like MTV and they were talkin bout this song, and also bout like living on the crack streets. but they never said this is what they said in the song.