Wake Me Up When September Ends song meaning
In this song Armstrong reveals his feelings about his father who died in September of 1982 when Armstrong was 10 years old. However this is not the only meaning that this song bears. For most Americans the month of September is associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. A lot of people have lost their loved ones to that tragedy and September (which comes on the album as track 11) is connected not only to the death of the author's father, but also to the families of the victims of 9/11, and the pain of losing loved ones in general. This is a song of wisdom and acceptance. "Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are" - the realization of the fact that everything we go through, all the pain and losses, all the hardships we meet along the way are meant to make us stronger and shape our personalities.
In the video for this song we see a young couple that gets separated by the circumstances. This shows the director's view of the song: we should treasure our loved ones and never take them for granted, because they can be taken away from us any moment.
Wake Me Up When September Ends is believed to be the most detached song of the album because it mostly portrays the author's personal feelings and is barely linked to the story of the album. However, the song could be perceived as a part of the plot if we assume that the words of the song come from Jesus of Suburbia and this is him looking back on his childhood, his family and maybe his own father's death. He's recalling the better times he had in his past and realizing that his life in the City is really bringing him down. This gradually leads him to his decision to go back home.
Also the song portrays Jesus' loss of innocence. He entered the City with excitement, but after everything that's happened to him, he sees that the freedom that he longed for is now hurting him. It all seemed so new to him at first, he thought he was discovering the world, his perception was enthusiastic and bright ("Hear the sound of the falling rain - coming down like an Armageddon flame"), and now everything lost its color ("Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars - drenched in my pain again..."). Complete loss of innocence - Jesus is growing up, Jimmy is dying.