This song reached number 6 in the US and made it to number 8 in the UK. An undeniably slow, sad song. Anyone who has ever lost someone (in any way) in September has a strong opinion about this song. Some seem to like it very much, others try to avoid it at all costs because of memories it brings up. It is sung with great emotion which amplifies the feelings even more. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote and performs the song for the group. Like many pieces here on Song Sense the title was thought of first and was something that was taken straight from real life. I'll get to that in a moment. Many people believe this song was written about the terrorist attacks that occurred in America on September 11th, 2001 that killed over 3000 people. The song certainly fits and the band acknowledges the paralells. However the song is actually about an event that occured 19 years prior to 9/11/01. The song was written about Armstrongs father who died of cancer on September 1st, 1982. Billie was 10 years old at the time. His dads funeral was too much for the young boy and he broke down in tears. He left the funeral early, ran home and locked himself in his room. When his mother arrived back at the house she went up and knocked on his door. He blurted out "Wake me up when September ends." That stuck in his head and he finally put his feelings to music over 20 years later in 2003. Thats why he includes the line "Like my father's come to pass, 20 years has gone so fast". At the beginning when he mentions 7 years he is talking about the 7 years between his fathers death and the forming of Green Day. The rest is just Billie expressing the pain of losing his father. Feel free to leave a comment.