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Green Day - Basket Case - Lyrics Meaning

In 1994, "Basket Case" became the third single to come off of Green Day's Dookie. It spent five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart, making it more successful than both of its predecessors. "Basket case" is a slang term that refers to someone who is mentally or emotionally unstable, or who has trouble functioning. When he was younger, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong suffered from anxiety attacks. Before being diagnosed with a panic disorder, Armstrong feared that he was going insane. Writings songs about the incidents, he once commented, was the only way he was able to deal with it. "Basket Case" depicts the emotional turmoil and paranoia that someone with this condition must endure, and compares it to the experience of being stoned ("Am I just paranoid? / Am I just stoned?"). The lyrics "I went to a whore / He said my life's a bore" also fueled rumors that Armstrong is bisexual, causing a fan frenzy. Armstrong additionally once claimed that the track is about a melodramatic girl he once knew that he describes as insane and sarcastic, though the song is written in first person. In 1995, "Basket Case" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.