Green Day – When I Come Around

This was my first introduction to Green Day. The more albums they released the more I liked them. American Idiot is probably my favorite album but this song was a good introduction to the band for me.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool are listed as writers of this song.

This song was not released as a single, which was a strategic move by Green Day’s label Reprise to goose sales of the album. Airplay pushed the song to peak at  #6  in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, #33 in New Zealand, and #27 in the UK in 1995.

When performing this song at Woodstock ’94, a fan threw a clump of mud on stage and Billie Joe stuck it in his mouth. This caused the fans to keep throwing mud and started the infamous mud fight. Many fans look back at Woodstock ’94 fondly, calling it “Mudstock ’94” largely because of this incident.


From Songfacts

A track from Green Day’s first major-label album, this is a very personal song lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote about being away from his girlfriend, Adrienne Nesser, and the frustrations they both felt when he was on the road. Billie Joe met Adrienne in 1990 when Green Day performed in Minnesota, where she lived. He was just 18, and found it difficult to maintain a long-distance relationship, especially with his touring schedule. In this song, he affirms his devotion for her, assuring her that when he does get to see her (when he “comes around”) he will make it up to her.

Billie Joe and Adrienne got married in July 1994, a few months after Dookie was released and right in the midst of the band’s rapid ascent to stardom (the band was touring at the time). The marriage endured, and couple had two children together.

MTV aired two different videos for this song. A concept video for the song was directed by Mark Kohr, and MTV also showed a live version from Green Day’s infamous Woodstock ’94 performance (lots of mud was in the air). They used this video to promote the MTV Woodstock ’94 retrospective videotape. 

Jason White, who sometimes played as a second guitarist for Green Day, is in this video. He’s the guy kissing the girl.

The Woodstock ’94 version is included on the festival’s live album, Woodstock 1994.

When I Come Around

I heard you crying loud, all the way across town
Cause you been searching for that someone
And it’s me out on the prowl
As you sit around feeling sorry for yourself

Well, don’t get lonely now, and dry your whining eyes
I’m just roaming for the moment
Sleazin’ my back yard so don’t get
So uptight you been thinking about ditching me

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

Well, I heard it all before, so don’t knock down my door
I’m a loser and a user so I don’t need no accuser
To try and slag me down because I know you’re right

So go do what you like, make sure you do it wise
You may find out that your self-doubt means nothing
Was ever there
You can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

When I come around

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Green Day – When I Come Around”

  1. It was definitely the first song by them that I liked, I think I’d heard maybe two other songs by them prior. American Idiot was good, it was the only full album of theirs I ever owned but I do have a greatest hits, and have played it a fair bit through the years. My lord, wonder what Armstrong thinks about the current US president? Should be about 3 albums worth of material there, I’d think!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know what thats a great opening riff. It’s total ear candy. I bought Dookie like the other 8 million people did and for the most part I dug. I liked the Nimrod release as well.
    They were almost a punk version of Poison but on speed lol. Writing 3 minute Power Pop ditties that were kind of catchy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I’m generally not much into grunge and wouldn’t call myself a Green Day fan, I like a good number of their songs I know, including this tune. I’m also with you regarding “American Idiot.”

    Green Day definitely have an ability to combine grunge-oriented rock with catchy melodies. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” are great examples of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were odd…kinda like power pop punk…some of those melodies really work well.
      I’m with you …. much of that stuff I didn’t like but if the melody is good…I can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In particular, I like their “Love At First Sting” album – the one with “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, “Bad Boys Running Wild” and “Big City Nights” – and, of course “Still Loving You”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well Christian I knew more than I thought by them. I remember 3 of those songs off the bat. The lead singer has some pipes on him also….that is a voice.


      3. Klause Meine, yep. I think there was a time in the late ’70s/early ’80s where the Scorpions were more popular in the U.S. than their native Germany.

        I think in Germany things changed for them with the “Blackout” album from 1982. “Love At First Sting” made them super-stars. I even recall one of the two national public TV channels showing a recorded Scorpions concert from Paris.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. They were all over the radio in the mid eighties. They were huge at that time. My cousin got to meet them a few years ago at a concert in Nashville…hung out on the bus with them…he said they were really nice.

        The two bands I remember from Germany more than any other are them and Golden Earring…oh and Kraftwork right?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You’re right about Kraftwerk. Golden Earring are actually from The Netherlands, a neighboring country to Germany.

        Aren’t or weren’t Kraftwerk also fairly popular in the U.S.? Frankly, I’m not into them.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Kraftwerk was more of a cult band…but highly influential.
        Thanks for the info on Golden Earring…I don’t know why I thought Germany.


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