Green Day's 20 most-played songs of all time

Is the most-played song Know Your Enemy? Basket Case? I thought it might be Holiday, but I was wrong. These are Green Day's most-played songs of all time.

20. Know Your Enemy

At 404 plays, it does make an appearance, but I'm surprised the infamous opener is this far down the list.

"Know Your Enemy is about empowering yourself, like within yourself. There’s no specific enemy out there. It’s just trying to stay engaged and educated to the world - being able to read between the lines and figure out what the bullshit is, but also trying to find the truth."

— Billie Joe Armstrong (MTV Germany)

Unpopular opinion – I love this song!

19. Are We the Waiting

This has been played more than Know Your Enemy?! 10 times more, in fact, at 414 plays.

18. Jesus of Suburbia

At 522 plays, this one doesn't come as a surprise, since it's such an iconic song.

"I started thinking, who would be an example of an American idiot? And I came up with Jesus of Suburbia. I wrote the first two lines and it just fit, especially because I was crossing that line between government and religion, and fucking with that a little bit. I don’t know shit about the Bible either. So I wrote my own."

— Billie Joe Armstrong (Guitar Legends, 2005)

17. 2000 Light Years Away

This one beats Jesus of Suburbia by eight plays at 530. It's always fun live!

16. Boulevard of Broken Dreams

No surprise that one of Green Day's most popular songs makes it onto the list with 539 plays, but again, I'm surprised it's not higher up.

"It’s about feeling alone and trying to take power from it."

— Billie Joe Armstrong (Kerrang)

15. St. Jimmy

St. Jimmy has actually been played nine more times than Boulevard of Broken Dreams – 548 in total.

"He’s a totally charismatic, totally psychotic instigator - the kind of person that someone who’s young and questioning their own beliefs would totally be attracted to."

— Mike Dirnt (Revolver Magazine, 2005)

14. Holiday

Holiday makes it onto the list with 560 plays. Now, it really surprises me that this one is as low as 14, because it's the only song that Green Day have played every single time I've seen them live.

"[The Holiday bridge] is kind of politicians saying what they really want to say, using all this language that gets people up in arms. Like ‘kill the f*gs.’"

— Billie Joe Armstrong (Guitar Legends, 2005)

13. Jaded

Jaded actually beats Holiday by 15 with 575 plays.

12. American Idiot

American Idiot comes in at 12 with 588 plays.

"When I say something like ‘f*ggot America,’ I’m describing me and other disenfranchised people, because maybe I feel like I’m not being fairly represented."

— Billie Joe Armstrong (Guitar Legends, 2005)

11. Brain Stew

And Brain Stew beats American Idiot by a whopping 75 plays at 663!

10. King for a Day

This one's a bit controversial since so many fans feel it should be dropped from the setlist, but you can't deny it's a lot of fun for people seeing it for the first time. I definitely wanted to see it after watching Bullet in a Bible. It beats Brain Stew by 14 plays at 677.

"During King For A Day one night I stripped down to [the thong] and it was a big hit, so I started doing it. I did it at a Hell’s Angels festival one night and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die!’"

— Billie Joe Armstrong

9. Minority

Minority has been played 24 times more than King for a Day – 701 in total.

8. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Good Riddance beats Minority by just four plays at 705.

"I was scared for that song to come out… because it was such a vulnerable song, to put that song out and it was like, which way will it end up going? It was really exciting and it kind of sparked more in us as songwriters to expand on that."

— Billie Joe Armstrong (Nobody Likes You, p.132)

7. Welcome to Paradise

This classic has been played 710 times.

"I’m out on my own for the first time, thrown out of my house, 17 years old, living in West Oakland - cracked streets, rats all over the place, living in an abandoned warehouse with 15 other people that have a similar story that I do. It was really empowering to be on my own and find this sort of beauty in what’s considered by authority, or adults, ugly. You can find beauty out of ugliness."

— Billie Joe Armstrong

6. When I Come Around

Another classic that's especially fun live, played 734 times.

5. Knowledge

The song that's synonymous with a fan getting a guitar: Green Day's cover of Knowledge, originally by Operation Ivy. It's been played 743 times.

4. Hitchin' a Ride

Heeeeeeeeeeey-ooooooh! Hitchin' a Ride has been played 765 times.

3. She

This fan favourite has been played 52 times more than Hitchin' a Ride at 817 plays. The title came from a feminist poem that Billie Joe's ex-girlfriend Amanda shared with him.

2. Basket Case

It definitely comes as no surprise that Basket Case is in Green Day's top three most-played songs with 940 plays.

"Basket Case was just about depersonalization. I’ve suffered from anxiety my entire life - y'know, panic disorders. But I had no idea what it was. I thought I was just losing my mind. The only way I could know what the hell was going on was to write a song about it. It was years later I figured out that I had a panic disorder."

— Billie Joe Armstrong

1. Longview

I thought it might be Basket Case if it wasn't Holiday, but no, it's a clear win for Longview! At 988 plays, Green Day's most-played song of all time beats Basket Case by 48. That's 584 times more than the lowest song on this list, Know Your Enemy.

"I like to play a lot of jazz. In fact, that’s how I came up with Longview, playing a jazz thing one day."

— Mike Dirnt

Do any of these surprise you? Not surprised at all? What would you like to hear more – or less – of? I'd love to hear more trilogy songs, personally. Discuss it with other fans on the Green Day Community forum!