Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Inspiration from Green Day

THURSDAY, August 5 – We’re on our way to the concert by punk-rock band Green Day.  This is what brought us to Buffalo. It was Eamonn’s idea and I was immediately in favor: a trip to the far west of the state was an opportunity for the three of us to experience new things.

The truth was that I knew little or nothing about Green Day’s music; but, that’s why we have iTunes and Wikipedia. Sander took care of downloading the latest album and their all-time hits. I did some research on the members of the band, and stumbled across an interesting detail.

‘Hey, guys,’ I began casually.  ‘Do you know who the Green Day singer is?

They didn’t.

‘His name is Billie Joe Armstrong,’ I continued.

No bells rang.

‘Did you know that he was ten years old when his father died?

The boys shifted slightly on their chairs.

‘How do you know?’

I revealed my source. And then I told them how as a boy Billie Joe thoroughly disliked the man his mother married shortly afterwards and that he took refuge in music, locking himself in his room and writing songs. The boys listened raptly.

‘Do you remember the number Wake Me Up When September Ends?’  I asked.

Of course.

‘That’s what Mom wrote on her Facebook wall on September 30th last year,’ Sander immediately remembered. Which means that she must have been a big fan of Green Day, but we couldn’t really say for sure.

‘That number also has a special meaning for Billie Joe,’ I added, savoring the boys’ full attention.

Eamonn:  ‘And what was that?’

‘It’s about his father. It’s a tribute.’

On the spot we declared ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ our all-time favorite Green Day song.

            Summer has come and passed                                

            The innocent can never last

            Wake me up when September ends

            Like my father’s come to pass

            Seven years has gone so fast

            Wake me up when September ends

            Here comes the rain again

            Falling from the stars

            Drench in my pain again

            Becoming who we are

            As my memory rests

            But never forgets what I lost

            Wake me up when September ends

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