"Know Your Enemy" (CD Single)

Music review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
"Know Your Enemy" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Clean, power-packed political anthem with punk appeal.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 26 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The concept of questioning authority is the backbone of this song.


Metaphoricalreferences to burning down the foreman of control, as well as some lyricsthat could be construed as violent in tone: "revolt against the honor to obey."Also, a pronouncement that "violence is an energy" and a reference to bloodbeing sacrificed.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this high-powered, highly political tune rallies against apathy, the media, and war, without resorting to some of the morecolorful language of Green Day's past songs. While this song is clean, the upcoming album does have a parental advisory warning.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWallaceofspades November 30, 2009
Good stuff. Kids should question authority. Always. not disobey it, just examine it.
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byjsharpe September 11, 2009

for kids elerven and up

Teen, 14 years old Written byMindlessLipMovement June 10, 2013

Another good punk rock song (and clean) from Green Day.

The song "Know Your Enemy" from Green Day is catchy and clean for kids. The only to take in mind is its few violent lyrics, but it would clearly go ov... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 10, 2012

Great Song

This is a great song. I am Green Day's biggest fan but there is practically nothing to worry about if your kid is 9+ they know what violence is but green d... Continue reading

What's the story?

KNOW YOUR ENEMY is Green Day's first release since the trio's Grammy-winning rock opera American Idiot took the music world by storm. That politically impassioned album showed that the band had matured (literally and musically) to become more than a bunch of young punks making punk-inspired music. Their new album, 21st Century Breakdown has been years in the making, and this single is a hard-hitting anthem that rages against apathy and blindly following leadership.

Is it any good?

Green Day knows how to craft a power-packed song, and "Know Your Enemy" has all the angry guitars, pounding drums, and passionate vocals they've become known for. Lyrically, it may seem like a simple song that asks again and again: "Do you know the enemy? Do you know your enemy?" And its repetitive chorus will definitely stick in your head long after the last note. A closer listen, however, reveals more literate, articulate -- and political -- commands and demands such as "Don't be blinded by the lies" and "Rally up the demons of your soul." The boys are back in full force. And even though they cry "Gimme gimme revolution," you'll quickly find that they're not looking for a call to arms, but rather, a call to action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the song is asking people to do. What do the lyrics mean by “silence is the enemy?” Why is it important to speak up either for or against things in society? What historical events have been changed because of people speaking up?

Music details

  • Artist: Green Day
  • Release date: April 16, 2009
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Reprise
  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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