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Green Day New Year's Rockin Eve courtesy ABC
Green Day New Year's Rockin Eve courtesy ABC
Green Day New Year's Rockin Eve courtesy ABC

Music

Green Day Lights Up Social Media with Fiery Anti-MAGA NYE Lyric Swap

NOTE: This article is 5 months old and may not include the most recent information.

Green Day has always woven social commentary into their music, so it wasn’t surprising when they used Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve as a chance to make a political statement. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong swapped out a lyric in their hit “American Idiot,” changing “redneck agenda” to “MAGA agenda” in front of the live ABC audience. The punk rockers have built a career on albums like “Dookie” and “Insomniac,” but they’ve also consistently incorporated real-world themes, especially on their Grammy-winning 2004 concept album “American Idiot.”

The band has often tweaked that title track to fit the times. In 2016, they stirred up controversy by working an anti-Trump chant into their American Music Awards appearance. And at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2019, they first altered the “redneck agenda” line to take a dig at the Trump administration. So their New Year’s Eve lyrical swap attracted lots of heated online discussion, but for Green Day it was business as usual.

Ever since their 1995 breakthrough, the band has merged social commentary with their music, which helped earn them a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Their New Year’s Eve performance was just the latest example of Green Day using their platform to be provocative. Love it or hate it, mixing politics and punk rock has always been part of the band’s DNA. For every fan outraged by their “MAGA agenda” lyrical stunt, there’s likely another fan who expects nothing less from the band. Controversy kind of comes with the territory for Green Day.

Trevor Decker
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