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Amy

Song of the Week

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#1
pasalaska

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This week’s song of the Week is Amy, because it really is the Green Day song of the week (or two). This thread is all about discussing your thoughts, feelings and initial reactions on Amy.

Amy is one of sixteen new Green Day songs debuted last Thursday (August 11th) at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, California, at the very end of the new song set. Billie told the crowd that he’d only just written the song in the previous week, and had the lyrics written down on a piece of paper on a stand next to him when he performed the song solo on guitar.

While it’s not been confirmed by the band, the overwhelming consensus amongst fans and the media is that the Amy in the song is the late British jazz and soul singer Amy Winehouse, who died in July of this year at the age of 27, after a long and very public battle with substance addiction. The lyrics to the song, which were posted by greenday.com on August 14th, certainly leave no doubt in my mind as to which Amy Billie is singing to. The most obvious references to Amy Winhouse are the lines “tattoo a lucky charm” (Amy’s horseshoe tattoo on her left shoulder), “Some blood stains on your shoes” (paparazzi photos of Amy with blood-stained shoes after having a fight with her ex-husband), and of course “27 gone without a trace, And you walked away from your drink” (Amy died at the age of 27, despite reportedly having sobered up in the weeks before her death).

The song, in my opinion, is one of the saddest songs Green Day have ever written, musically and lyrically. The guitar is subdued and poignant, almost tentative in that it never overpowers the lyrics; instead it’s just there to provide rhythm and to piece each line to the next. As for the lyrics, they’re very direct, and their meaning isn’t hidden behind metaphors - it’s an honest and simple lament to the loss of a young, talented life. For me, the most powerful and also the saddest parts are the chorus, where Billie is pleading for Amy not to go, and the last verse, where Billie sings that last ‘so we can sing you to sleep’ so gently, as if to a child, maybe in a kind of reference to Amy being “too young for the golden age”.

Due to the strict no-camera policy at the Tiki Bar show, there’s no (known) footage of Amy, however, thanks to the ever-present Beth (**nobodylikesyou** on GDC), we have a mobile phone recording of the song:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eu4e1iHP1k

EDIT:
here's a video! (thanks to billwhite93 on youtube)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6nrWqyhnAg

Lyrics:
Is your heart singing out of tune,
Are your eyes just singing the blues?
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes

No one really knows about your soul
And I barely even know your name
Burning rhythms and posting lies
For a bunch of fools drown in shame

Amy don't you go
I want you around
Singin' woah please don't go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?

Did you tattoo a lucky charm,
To keep you out of harm’s way?
Warding off all evil signs
But it never really kept you safe

You're too young for the golden age
Cause the record bin's been replaced
27 gone without a trace
And you walked away from your drink

Amy don't you go
I want you around
Singin' woah please don't go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Do you wanna be a friend of…

Amy please don’t go
Amy please don’t go

Is your heart singing out of tune,
Are your eyes just singing the blues?
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes

May I have this last dance
By chance if we should meet?
Can you write me a lullaby?
So we can sing you to sleep

Amy don't you go
I want you around
Singin' woah please don't go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?

*********************************************************************************************************

You can nominate songs for discussion as Song of the Week in the SotW Nominations and Archive thread, which contains links to each previous Song of the Week in its first post.
  • Hermione likes this

#2
KarlyLovesGD

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I remember trying to figure out the lyrics to this song before GreenDay.com posted them. The lyrics are pure brilliance. I know it's been said a million times, but Billie Joe is a fucking poet. When I watch the recording, I can feel my eyes start to get teary. I never was a huge Amy Winehouse fan, but Billie's lyrics gave me a different perspective.
  • Hermione, Bastard of 1967 and Cat C like this

#3
Marius Pontmercy

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The melody reminds me so much of Walking Alone/Shoplifter. Which is not a bad thing lol.

I absolutely adore this song, even though I only just heard it a couple of days ago. The lyrics are so sad. I was shocked/sad when Amy Winehouse died, but these lyrics make me even sadder. I do agree that these are one of the saddest (if not the saddest) lyrics Billie has ever written. The song's overwhelming. Not in a MIA (the singer) kind of way, but overwhelming because it's so simple, yet... it grabs your heart.

I feel like Billie keeps evolving as a song writer and this song proves it.

#4
WestboundSign!

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Even though I don't know this song as long as all the others, (which is just logical :lol:) I love it as much as every Green Day song.
They lyrics are so beautiful.. and utterly sad at the same time. They are so in depth that it's nearly impossible.. Amazing song for the song of the week thing!

#5
AwesomeAsFudge

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i dunno who's Amy but i love this song it's really nice and sad little bit.
its really hard to sing this song. i personally can't sing it. :happy:
billie is really amazing singer and song writer

#6
-Billiejoezee-

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I cried when I heard this song. Then I hugged my computer and wondered if I could love Billie's talent even more.

#7
Matt.

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#8
Green Jay

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It was really sad news to hear of her death, I wonder why he wrote this and if he'd really want to be friends with her? Not sure I feel the deepness with this one. But the melody is great enough
Love that people still managed to use cameras even though they weren't allowed any ;P


i dunno who's Amy but i love this song it's really nice and sad little bit.
its really hard to sing this song. i personally can't sing it. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/p...
billie is really amazing singer and song writer

He wrote it about Amy Whinehouse

#9
Hedwig

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Wow. Just... Wow. I dunno what else to say. It's just so amazing, but so sad. I never was a big Amy Winehouse fan, but I did get chocked over her death. And this made me even more.. Dunno, sad?

#10
Daughter.of.Rage.and.Love

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When I first heard the song I wasn't that impressed. Though it was a nice song, but nothing more. After listening to it a couple of times more (partly because I wanted to also be all "wooow <3" like the rest of GDC seemed to be, partly because of trying to figure out the lyrics) I warmed up to it, I just love it now. It's a very simple song, but it just works and it needs nothing more. It's a bare song, but it doesn't need a fancy dress-up. I don't know where that came from.
I love the emotion in Billie's voice during the chorus. It really is, like Aska said in the OP, pleading.

#11
Amanda

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I won't lie, I haven't warmed to it yet.

#12
Rita

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Just listened to it for the first time. Not bad I suppose. Might like the studio version a bit better.

#13
mechanicalman

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It's not that great.

#14
Laly

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We only know about it from 10 days ago and it's already song of the week? Wow :mellow: Like I said before, it causes a great impact, to me it was great what I felt the first time I heard it. It's a really beautiful song, and it reminds me of Walking Alone too... :happy:
Good choice.

#15
Emilie.

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I haven't actually had a proper chance to listen to this song. I listened once and wasn't too into the song itself. But I love the lyrics. Don't know if that makes sense :lol:

I wanna give the song another go though.

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#16
Bastard of 1967

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*
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This week’s song of the Week is Amy, because it really is the Green Day song of the week (or two). This thread is all about discussing your thoughts, feelings and initial reactions on Amy.

Do you wanna be a friend of mine?

Such short, simple words pack a literal lifetime of experience and emotion. Billie knows all too well, much too personally, what it's like to struggle with addiction -- and what his own path to managing it was, where it's led him, and what he has to do for himself to stay (um, mostly) sober. (We of course will never know it like he does, all we see are the results.) There are similarities in his road and Amy's, of course -- and in that, there are lessons in there that Billie learned but Amy seemingly never did. Either that or her own struggles were just too great for her to overcome. "Do you wanna be a friend of mine" is something that maybe Billie wishes he could have asked her: "is there anything my own experience could help teach you?" -- before it became too late.

Edit: Holy shit....I just turned this lyric on its head, thinking about it not from the perspective of what Amy might have learned from BJ's experience if she were still alive, but from the perspective of what Billie Joe might see of himself in Amy's short life. And here's what I get: There but for the grace of somethingorother, this could have been me. :pinch:
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#17
Whatsernamy

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This song is so beautiful. It's just so different from their stuff, and so not my style, but of course they turn it into something I end up having on repeat. It's so just melodic and when I found out Green Day had a song named Amy, because that's my name, I just cried so much. It's just like a sad little lullaby and it shows how genuine Billie's lyrics are. Ever since the very first time I heard it, I just want to hear it live so I can pour my heart out into the moment. This song means so much to me already though.

#18
Malleus

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Not a huuuuge fan of the song, but I do like it a lot. I really like the lyrics.

#19
Marius Pontmercy

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Do you wanna be a friend of mine?

Such short, simple words pack a literal lifetime of experience and emotion. Billie knows all too well, much too personally, what it's like to struggle with addiction -- and what his own path to managing it was, where it's led him, and what he has to do for himself to stay (um, mostly) sober. (We of course will never know it like he does, all we see are the results.) There are similarities in his road and Amy's, of course -- and in that, there are lessons in there that Billie learned but Amy seemingly never did. Either that or her own struggles were just too great for her to overcome. "Do you wanna be a friend of mine" is something that maybe Billie wishes he could have asked her: "is there anything my own experience could help teach you?" -- before it became too late.

Edit: Holy shit....I just turned this lyric on its head, thinking about it not from the perspective of what Amy might have learned from BJ's experience if she were still alive, but from the perspective of what Billie Joe might see of himself in Amy's short life. And here's what I get: There but for the grace of somethingorother, this could have been me. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/p...


And THIS is why I love SotW so much. You can really get different messages that the songs conveys. And now that you've said that, I can't help listening to it that way, and the song becomes sadder, more desperate and even better.

#20
justcause

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The song's overwhelming.


Yes. I'd been working on stuff and I hadn't been online in about a week, but I decided to check the forum this one day and there's, whoah, all the news about the Tiki show and the new songs - that was pretty overwhelming in itself. Then I'm listening to this blurry song - I can hardly catch any of the words except for the 'Amy's of the chorus, but the song just communicates itself regardless, and I'm just knocked off my feet. The warm and tender tone of it, the lonely of the guitar, that something in the edge of the vocal - I wanna cry, and somewhere in me, I do.
The lyrics are wonderful - gritty little word-pictures of damage and stumbling, imbued with the warmth of empathy and sympathy and knowing. All of the stuff that the media took so ruthlessly as their fodder are here reclaimed, turned over in loving hands. There's no reproach in any of it.
'You walked away from your drink' - really simple words, and such a vivid image. The drink's on the table, unfinished, and she gets up and walks away from the party, alone, already a ghost before anyone even notices. This is a beautiful song, and more than a tribute - its creation is an act of love, sending a flare up to the heavens for a kindred soul. That someone would do that seems like a rare thing now, and all the more shining for it.
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#21
KarlyLovesGD

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I just wanted to tell you guys that I combined the good quality audio of Amy with the bad quality audio of Amy. I made it a Youtube video and avaible for download. It's posted in the orginial suprise show thread and the the Tiki Bar audio thread. Just thought I would tell you guys since it's the song of the week. :blush:

Everytime I listen to Amy, I start to like it alittle bit more. I hope it makes the album!

#22
Kristen M

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This song is so beautiful, and true, and really fucking sad. It really shines a light on Amy's very troubled life. I don't think Green Day has a more vunerable or honest song, even compared to Wake Me Up When September Ends simply because as Bastard of 1967 said Billie Joe has lived Amy's struggle, and this song seems to be him wondering if he could've helped her, or been her friend.

#23
Webb_2011

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Beautiful song! Even though Billie only wrote and performed it in a matter of days, it turned out amazing. Beautiful lyrics and I hope they release it someday!

#24
Emilie.

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I just literally listened to this song repeatedly in maths class for the whole period while reading the lyrics. I think I'm really starting to warm up to it.

#25
norcalgreendayfan

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From the bits and pieces i've heard it sounds like a really emotional song and it has grown on me

#26
Marlee

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It's like reading beautiful poetry.

"No one really knows about your soul
And I barely even know your name
Burning rhythms and posting lies
For a bunch of fools drown in shame
"

Posted Image

#27
Heather.

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There were so many people wondering/bitching about the fact that he would write a song so personal about someone he didn't know (as far as we can tell). And Billie has said in the past that every song he writes is autobiographical in some way (yes, we have disputed this elsewhere)... but my initial impression of Amy, and his reason for writing it, was exactly as Bastard of 1967 and others have said... her death struck a chord with him because she was a musician (a damn good one, even though I'm not really a fan), a young person who did too many drugs. I'm sure he identified with her, and also, I'm sure he is a music historian as much as any music fan and the long history of 27-year-old talents dying young... it's just something he would respond to.

What I would want to ask, because I'm OCD like that and pretty detail-oriented, is whether he was actually familiar enough beforehand with her story and path to already know about the blood-stained shoes and the horseshoe tattoo, or if he did a little research to personalize the song a bit? I understand that the blood stains were well publicized, although I personally had no idea, and I DO keep up relatively well with pop culture (but admittedly ignored a lot of stuff about Amy Winehouse cuz ya know... it felt like an overload and a trainwreck situation with the media before she died), and obviously a shoulder tattoo is easy to spot... still... it does make me wonder if Billie, when he's writing a song, starts thinking about a concept and then goes and googles it to get some more info to throw into his songs. I've wondered that for a while and with other songs, if there is 'research' involved in his song writing or if it all just comes naturally. Now I'm digressing totally, but I want to know if he uses a thesaurus a lot :P
  • Yussef and Bastard of 1967 like this

#28
Disapperingirl

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I'm glad that we have that video, we can heard the song in a soo much better quality! :happy:
So, the first time I listened to the song, I noticed the similarity with Walking Alone (Is your heart singing out of tune? - Come togheter like a foot in a shoe)...the second time, I realized the chorus sounds like Shoplifter (Amy don't you go, I want you around - It's not considered stealing unless you're getting caught)...the hird time, oh well, I fell in love with Amy :wub:
While Billie's guitar gently weeps ( it suits the song, right? ;) ) he sings so sweetly, that it really seems that those poetic words flow straight from his heart, seing that he wrote the lyrics in a few days too...I don't know if they are honest lyrics, if he really wanted to be friend of Amy Whinehouse, but for sure her death touched him a lot, maybe not as person, but as an artist...and anyway, it seems that they had a lot in common, a youth spent on drugs and alcohol, but she couldn't overcome that like Billie did...
When Billie sings "singing woah please don't go", is so touching, his voice is just perfect for that!

Spoiler

  • Bastard of 1967 likes this

#29
Hermione

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Just saw the good quailty video, how wonderful :wub:. I really love this song. It's a sad and beautiful tribute, and the simplicity of it makes it all the more touching. Such a treat that we've been able to hear it.

#30
pisquano

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Probably I'm the only one, but I don't think this song was necessary.



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