Green Day: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

Essay by dibeshHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2006

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Green Day is a California based pop-punk band consisting of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool. At the age of fourteen, Armstrong and Dirnt decided to form a punk rock band, and at first they called themselves Sweet Children. By early 1989, however, they added drummer Al Sobrante to their band and decided to change their band name to Green Day. After independently releasing their first EP, which was well received by the locals, the group signed with the local independent label Lookout. Later that year, they released their first album 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour. Shortly after its release, the band replaced Al Sobrante with Tre Cool as the band's permanent drummer. They released another album, Kerplunk, which became an instant underground success. This led to their signing with major record label Reprise. Their first major album debut, Dookie, was released in the spring of 1994.

Dookie became a major hit thanks to the support of MTV. Dookie's successor albums were not as successful as it was. Green Day's next major hit album would not be produced until 2004 when they released their eighth album American Idiot. Boulevard of broken dreams, one of the many songs on this album, had the most success as it won six Grammy Awards. In this song, Armstrong uses diction, figurative language, and repetition to reveal his loneliness when his dream failed.

Throughout the song, Billie Joe Armstrong uses diction to show his lonely feelings caused by his crushed dream. His dream is to be with someone who will care about him, but this dream of his is "broken" since he has not found that person. In this song he refers to walking on an "empty" street, and just like that street his heart is devoid of any other human love.