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Green Day - Hitchin' A Ride - Lyrics Meaning

Critics and fans often consider "Hitchin' A Ride," the lead single from Green Day's 1997 album Nimrod, proof that Nimrod was the most musically diverse of Green Day's albums to date. The song, which chronicles the ordeal of recovering from alcohol addiction, has become a live hit in particular. The band is famous for including audience participation elements during performances of the song.

The meaning of the song is revealed through use of copious alcohol terminology. Words like "cold turkey," "inebriates," and "fermented" appear throughout the song. The narrator of the tune begins by asking a passing traveler "Do you break for distilled spirits?" because he needs "a lift to happy hour." Maintaining sobriety proves to be too difficult for the character ("cold turkey's getting stale") and, though he feels guilty about his failure, he finds himself beginning to drink once more ("I'm off the wagon and I'm hitchin' a ride"). The character wrestles with the desire to succumb to his addiction, and the desire to quit and lead a more productive life. "Hitchin' a Ride" was written at the outset of Green Day's career, when lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong was battling alcohol addiction.

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