This analysis aims to show how Green Day’s lyrics have become more complex and sophisticated.
I will focus on the use of poetic devices in these lyrics to demonstrate that although they are using fairly simple language, the writing is not as simple as it seems. Most of the verses use both end-rhyme and internal rhyme: I’m walking down the line That divides me somewhere in my mind All of the verses use a lot of alliteration, for example:My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me This verse has the repetition of the “sh” in “shadow” and “shallow” (which also rhyme with each other); the “th” sound (5 times); and the “s” ( a total of 8 times in the verse). Assonance, where the same vowel sound is repeated, is also used, perhaps most strikingly in the first verse: I walk a lonely road The only one that I have ever known Don’t know where it goesBut it’s home to me and I walk alone This has a total of nine times when the “o” sound is repeated, giving it the feeling of an echo.
The same effect of an echo is in the repeating of the words “I walk alone” throughout the song, at the end of every verse and as a kind of chorus. The sound of the letter “l” is repeated frequently through the song, which makes it seem more musical. While not exactly a “lullaby”, this song is slower and more acoustic musically than many of their others.