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Good Riddance
Green Day Lyrics


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Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth, it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Green Day's "Good Riddance" appear on the surface to be about a relationship that has ended or is in the process of ending. However, upon closer examination, the lyrics appear to be about the passage of time and the choices we make in life. The first verse introduces the idea of a "turning point" - a moment where we must make a decision that will determine our course in life. The metaphorical use of a "fork stuck in the road" gives the sense that there are only two choices, and the urgency of "time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go" implies that we need to make a decision quickly. The second and third lines of the verse encourage us to make the best of the situation and not to worry about the reasons behind the choices we make - "don't ask why, it's not a question but a lesson learned in time."


The second and third verses expand upon the idea that we need to cherish the time we have, even if it is unpredictable. We are encouraged to take photographs and "still frames in your mind" to remember the good times, and to cherish the memories we have made. The line "tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial" is a powerful metaphor for how our memories stay with us, even as our physical selves change over time. The final verse, which repeats the refrain "it's something unpredictable, but in the end is right, I hope you had the time of your life," reminds us that life is unpredictable, but if we live it to the fullest, we will have no regrets.


Overall, the lyrics to "Good Riddance" are a poignant reminder that life is short, and we should make the most of the time we have.


Line by Line Meaning

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
A moment of decision where there are two options to choose from


Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
Time passes quickly and can have a significant impact on your life


So make the best of this test and don't ask why
Do your best and don't question the challenges that come your way


It's not a question but a lesson learned in time
The challenges you face are opportunities to learn and grow


So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Remember the good times and hold them close


Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Keep your memories safe and cherish them


Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
Memories can be powerful and last a lifetime


For what it's worth, it was worth all the while
Despite challenges and obstacles, the experience was worthwhile


It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
Life can be unpredictable, but it will all make sense in the end


I hope you had the time of your life
I hope you lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Michael Pritchard, Frank Wright III, Billie Joe Armstrong

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@94oGs

Personal Story Time:
I was 17 when I was introduced to Green Day by my girlfriend at the time who was obsessed with them. So, to impress her before we started dating, I binge listened to all their music and slowly but surely I realized why she was so crazy about this band. I could relate to her on a whole new level because I eventually just loved all their songs and we would cruise throughout the late nights just listening to Green Day in my car. "When It's Time" was our song by them. I was definitely head over heels for this girl and when I went to the military, she waited for me. It all sounds like a movie now that I look back on it. Another song that always stood out to me was " Good Riddance". It wasn't necessarily a happy song when I read the lyrics so I couldn't really associate happy feelings with it. Anyways, fast forward, we both start our freshman year of college together. Life's good... until life and school start to get in between us and we were no longer those young kids that fell in love in high school... We slowly became different people. As months go on, we argued more and more and I came to the realization that maybe, it's better if we went our separate ways. I ended it but I knew it was for the best. My heart was broken because as much as I wanted "us" to work, it didn't. I loved that green eyed red haired girl. Fast forward a week later, I find out she rebounded and let me tell you, even though we weren't together, I suffered knowing something so precious to me was easily snatched up by a guy she barely knew. I don't think I've ever cried so hard ever in my life because folks, a broken heart tears you apart from the inside out. So, after months of trying to recover, I revisited Green Day again because I really loved their music, but I associated their music with her. One song stood out more than the others... " Good Riddance".. because each single lyric has meaning behind it for me. It will forever be associated with her now because it matches so much what we went through for 2 years. " It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life" As she was the best thing for me in the beginning, she ended up being the worst for me in the end, but I loved every second with her.

Update: I didn't realize this comment would blow up the way it did! Really I was just in my feelings one night and wrote about this personal story to get it out of my system 😅 I didn't realize how many people actually cared to read it and I'm grateful for that. Anyways, if you're wondering what happened after this story took place, life went on as usual. Everything healed with time really. It's never the end of the world when break-ups occur even though it may seem like it at the time. These types of things are just little bumps In the road of life that may slow you down, but ultimately it's your choice to pick up the pace once again, even if it is just baby steps. It's still progression!

P.s. life's too short to be worrying about one person you've been with for however long. Especially if you're a Marine and a sophomore in college 😅
Much love!

07/25/2021: I saw Green Day for the first time last night for their Hella Mega tour with Weezer and Fallout boy in Dallas ♥️ at the end of their set, they played this song in the most tranquil, peaceful way possible!! 😭😭 It was so beautiful and It felt like everything in the past has led to this moment, as weird as that sounds. I just feel at peace ATM ♥️ Much love guys!!



@martinamarty1859

So, I'm a 16 yo italian girl.
Since I'm 10 I've always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but my parents didn't let me.(but i learned piano)
This year was one of the worst in my life(I'm not joking) and Green Day (and also music in general) helped me a lot.
Finally three weeks ago I started my guitar lessons and yesterday my guitar teacher said "now I wanna teach you this very beautiful song" and he started playing"Good riddance".
Now i learned it (only the chords ofc)
and I don't know how to describe how I feel...finally I'm happy, not bc of the fact that I kinda learned this song, but bc I reflected a lot these months and I stopped hating on myself.

So thank you guys, thank you so so much.
Also I was supposed to see Green Day this june in Milan, but next year will be great! Stay safe.

Edit: thank you for the likes, wasn't expecting this many! Also I finally bought an electric guitar a month ago!



@coralime2298

Ronaldo Oliveira hi!
When I’m Gone by Andy Hovis
“For when I die, who would cry?

Thy shall not shed a tear,
instead have a beer

When I’m gone don’t be sad,
rejoice the days that we had

Laugh at the times we shared,
not for the ones that were lost and not shared

Though I may no longer be a being,
I’ll be here, believing isn’t always seeing

Look into the sky,
and wave hello not goodbye

I will not rest,
though I shall make laughs, what I do best

When the winds take your hair a blow,
my fingers running through thy hair you will know

Don’t be sad, not for a while,
look into the stars and crack a smile...”



All comments from YouTube:

@GreenDay

We just announced a MASSIVE tour 🌏 All the details you need for The Saviors Tour are on greenday.com/tour

New album ‘Saviors' out January 19th, 2024, pre-order it now https://greenday.lnk.to/saviors

@patty2074

🥳❤

@chipmunk3k

you kids going to come to Australia?

@eveapple4928

Booked it - 29th June wembley. Absolutely cannot wait ❤

@roksanabrzezinska4842

Me too ❤

@jovaniaribeirodejesus5338

​@@chipmunk3k6tu

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@maniamraja5543

The saddest part of life is when the person who gave you the best memories becomes a memory

@davidwest2645

Wow ❤️

@robgilbert3855

I’ll never forget this.

@koentogt1053

This is the reason why I listen to this every day.

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