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Song of the Week In The End

28 posts in this topic

Posted

Song of the Week this week is the cynical In The End, the penultimate track off Green Day’s 1994 major-label debut, Dookie.

Billie Joe wrote In The End “about my mother’s husband”, rather than about a girl he was interested in, and can almost be taken as a follow-up to the song Why Do You Want Him off 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. The lyrics are a pretty scathing barrage of questions (“is this what you really want?) and observations (“all brawn and no brains”) about his mother’s relationship with his step-father. Musically, In The End is one of the fastest tracks off Dookie, and it is also one of the shortest, although it still manages to fit two verses, three choruses and a bridge into less than two minutes of song.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any live recordings of In The End out there, which is a real shame because I’d imagine it’s super energetic when performed live. Here’s the studio version:

Lyrics:

All brawn and no brains

And all those nice things

You finally got what you want

Someone to look good with

And light your cigarette

Is this what you really want?

I figured out what you're all about

And I don't think I like what I see

So...

I Hope I won't be there in the end

If you come around.

How long will he last

Before he's a creep in the past

And you're alone once again?

Will you pop up again and be my

"special friend" 'till the end?

And when will that be?

I figured out what you're all about

And I don't think I like what I see

So...

I hope I won't be there in the end

If you come around.

I figured out what you're all about

And I don't think I like what I see

So...

I hope I won't be there in the end

If you come around.

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

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.

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Posted

Well now BeachBum can learn the lyrics. :lol:

I really do like this song though. It's fast and catchy. :happy:

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Posted

not one of the standouts on dookie, but still a fun song. i like it^^

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Posted

I like this one. I like the bit where you can really hear the bass in the middle.

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Posted

not my fav from dookie but still great and it's fun to sing it :D

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Posted

I'm not a big fan of this song (I don't dislike it, but it's one of the ones I skip a decent amount), but it's one of those songs that seems to get stuck in my head after I listen to it, which is usually the sign of a catchy song!

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Posted

I absolutely adore this song. It's definitely one of the most underrated GD songs, in my opinion. I've always wanted to see it live, I hope I will someday.

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Posted

any live performances... SHAME ON YOU, GREEN DAY!! i love that song :wub:

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Posted

All brawn and no brains

And all those nice things

You finally got what you want

Someone to look good with

And light your cigarette

Is this what you really want?

Now, these are awesome lyrics.

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Posted

I like this song :) especially the "SOOOOO..." part, I think it gives a funny touch that makes of the unhappy situation something more bearable. It also has the fun melody that reminds me of the carnival music :lol:

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Posted

I really love this song. It's up there in the top three of my favorites off Dookie, which is one of my least favorite Green Day albums. It's so acidic and snarky and straight-forward, and I just love it when Green Day does that with their songs. Great song choice!

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Posted

I love that song. I have an own stepfather and... it fits. It totally fits.

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Posted

I love this song. I didn't really notice it for a pretty long time, but about a year ago, I actually realized how awesome it is and that it perfectly fits in a situation I was and am still living through. The fast and catchy melody totally backs up the angry lyrics. Every time I get steamed up about this one special person, I listen to this song and it makes me feel better, especially understood. It describes everything so perfectly, I'm lost for words.

Will you pop up again and be my "special friend" 'till the end? And when will that be?

This part has to be my favorite, by far. :thumbsup:

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Posted

Not my favorite off of dookie but still a kick ass song.

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Posted

This is a great song. I love how fast it is! You can really feel the anger and frustration in this track.

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Posted

My favorite off of Dookie. :wub:

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Posted

For being such a short song, it does say a lot about the frustration he was feeling at the time. I've always dug the harmonies during the chorus too. Great choice! :)

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Posted

The bridge is one of Tre's best drum parts ever. A rare moment of him really showing his technical skill. Rolling at different speeds and also managing to accent Billie Joe's guitar part and Mike's bass is truly a masterful bit of work. Awesome song :)

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Posted

I love this song!! It's fast, catchy and I love Tre's drumming on it!!

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Posted (edited)

Great song ! Its just like BillieJoe1972 said

I love this song!! It's fast, catchy and I love Tre's drumming on it!!

:lol:

Edited by DissapearingGirl_182

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Posted

This is one of my favourite songs on Dookie (even though i love all of them XD) I love the chorus on it, it's really catchy!

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Posted

In typical Green Day style, the melody's catchiness is a not-so-effective disguise for how scathing a piece this is. It's a child's perspective on the divorced or widowed parent's new S.O., AND I DON'T LIKE HIM AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!!!. I hear an echo of the more recent "Wonderful" by Everclear, which covered a similar subject ("I don't want to hear you say that I will understand someday...I don't want to meet your friends and I don't want to start over again...Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now"), where In The End pushes the similar anger and emotions to a "fuck all of you" punk level -- far harsher, much more cynical, much more "I don't like you and I'm never going to like you so just leave me the hell alone".

I'm confused as to whether it's autobiographical or not. Billie Joe never had a stepfather after his dad passed, did he? I'm thinking this may have been written more from an empathetic perspective for a friend (Mike, perhaps?) who was struggling with his/her own feelings about a parent's choice of mate following a death, divorce, abandonment, or other separation from his/her other parent.

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Posted

In typical Green Day style, the melody's catchiness is a not-so-effective disguise for how scathing a piece this is. It's a child's perspective on the divorced or widowed parent's new S.O., AND I DON'T LIKE HIM AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!!!. I hear an echo of the more recent "Wonderful" by Everclear, which covered a similar subject ("I don't want to hear you say that I will understand someday...I don't want to meet your friends and I don't want to start over again...Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now"), where In The End pushes the similar anger and emotions to a "fuck all of you" punk level -- far harsher, much more cynical, much more "I don't like you and I'm never going to like you so just leave me the hell alone".

I'm confused as to whether it's autobiographical or not. Billie Joe never had a stepfather after his dad passed, did he?

Yes, he had/has a stepfather. In earlier interviews, he talks about how "Why do you want him?" is about his stepfather and how he and his siblings didn't like the guy. In later interviews, years later, he said it wasn't about his stepfather at all and was really about a girl he liked. Not sure which one is the real truth, but "In The End" seems to be an extension of the same story.

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Posted

Yes, he had/has a stepfather. In earlier interviews, he talks about how "Why do you want him?" is about his stepfather and how he and his siblings didn't like the guy. In later interviews, years later, he said it wasn't about his stepfather at all and was really about a girl he liked. Not sure which one is the real truth, but "In The End" seems to be an extension of the same story.

You could certainly read In The End in a more conventional way -- as a "kiss off" song by someone who's been unceremoniously dumped, and the rage-fueled jealousy that can arise when the dumper suddenly starts going out with someone else. "You finally got what you want" and "what will you do when he throws you out on your ass like you know he will -- will you show up out of nowhere telling me that you want to be my "special friend" again"? These are all questions that can come out of that sort of situation -- as is the thought that "I don't want to be still sitting around waiting for you to come back." -- "I hope I won't be there in the end if you come around."

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Posted

You could certainly read In The End in a more conventional way -- as a "kiss off" song by someone who's been unceremoniously dumped, and the rage-fueled jealousy that can arise when the dumper suddenly starts going out with someone else. "You finally got what you want" and "what will you do when he throws you out on your ass like you know he will -- will you show up out of nowhere telling me that you want to be my "special friend" again"? These are all questions that can come out of that sort of situation -- as is the thought that "I don't want to be still sitting around waiting for you to come back." -- "I hope I won't be there in the end if you come around."

That's actually exactly how I interpreted the song when I heard it the first time, and up until I read Aska's post in this forum. I didn't associate it with "Why Do You Want Him" at all. But it's funny because when I wrote Slappy Hours, I had both songs in it during arguments between Adam and Nora because of Remy. So I unintentionally put the two songs together as part of the same story: Adam's anger and anguish over being in love with a woman who was in love with and involved with someone else who wasn't good for her. Eventually, I had to choose between the songs and kept "Why Do You Want Him" and got rid of "In The End" because two different scenes of them arguing about the same thing was superfluous and unnecessary.

It was a hard choice because I love both of the songs and they both fit so completely, and I questioned it constantly, going back and forth on it. I'm still not sure if I made the right decision.

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