Coming Home

Green Day

Every journey ends with a homecoming, whether it's a simple trip to the store or an epic modern quasi-religious rock opera.

Punk rock has long been associated with two-minute songs. American alternative punk band Green Day rebelled against the rules of punk with their 2004 concept album, "American Idiot."

The album's lyrics aren't always crystal clear, but they suggest a simple story. The album's hero, Jesus of Suburbia, leaves home and moves to the city, where he encounters, or possibly becomes, a character named St. Jimmy. He also meets the woman of his dreams. When she leaves him, Jesus of Suburbia leaves as well.

His return to the suburbs is told in a nine-minute, five-movement suite called "Homecoming." It tells, in turn, how the self-destructive St. Jimmy finally dies, and how Jesus finally gives up on his life in the city and returns to suburban life. It ends with a simple repeated shout:

We're coming home again.

Jesus of Suburbia ends up back where he started, just as so many heroic journeys, and so many ordinary ones, do. His story also makes 53 travel songs, completing this blog's journey for 2013. In 2014, instead of an all-new project, we'll be featuring some of the great soccer, drinking, and travel songs we didn't have time to cover in the past three years. Look for new posts starting in January, and thanks for reading.

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