Working Class Hero

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"Working Class Hero" is a song from John Lennon's first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970). It was covered by Green Day for the American Idol Season 6 finale.

Green Day Cover[edit]

In 2007, Green Day contributed a cover of the song to the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, which was released on June 12, 2007, proceeds from which help support Amnesty International's campaign to focus attention on the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. The song was subsequently released as a single and has an accompanying video for the track with director Samuel Bayer. The single was released to radio on April 30, 2007 and on iTunes on May 1, 2007.

When asked why they chose the song, band leader Billie Joe Armstrong said, "We wanted to do 'Working Class Hero' because of its themes of alienation, class, and social status really resonated with us. It's such a raw, aggressive song -- just that line: 'you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see' -- we felt we could really sink our teeth into it. I hope we've done him justice." The song wasn't all Green Day, though; the John Lennon version of the last song line, "If you want to be a hero, well just follow me" was included at the end.

Green Day performed it live at the American Idol Season 6 finale (dropping the offensive words). In accounts of the show, the Associated Press repeatedly miscalled the song "A Working Class Hero Is Something to Be". Since then, the Green Day cover has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By a Duo/Group w/ Vocals.

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