Make It Stop (September's Children)

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"Make It Stop (September's Children)"
Cover art for the single "Make It Stop (September's Children)" by Rise Against.
Single by Rise Against
from the album Endgame
ReleasedMay 30, 2011
RecordedThe Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
GenreAlternative rock
Songwriter(s)Rise Against
Rise Against singles chronology
"Help Is on the Way"
"Make It Stop (September's Children)"
Audio sample
Make It Stop (September's Children)

"Make It Stop (September's Children)" is the second single from rock band Rise Against's sixth studio album, Endgame. The single was released to digital music outlets on May 30, 2011. The song impacted radio the following day.[1] It peaked at number six on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and number eight on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. The song is part of the It Gets Better Project.

Song meaning[edit]

In an article for, lead singer Tim McIlrath revealed that "a number of events were the catalyst for the creation of Make It Stop, everything from the suicides in September 2010, to our own fans voicing their fears and insecurities from time to time. I decided to create the song as a response, and when I discovered the It Gets Better campaign and [It Gets Better Project co-founder] Dan Savage's commitment to such an important and concise message, I was moved." [2]

The song explicitly deals with the bullying and harassment LGBT youth face. According to McIlrath, "The message is: It can get better, it does get better, give it a chance to get better, don't end your life prematurely." [3]

During the middle 8, the first 5 of the 9 names of the September 2010 suicides are read aloud: (Tyler Clementi, age 18; Billy Lucas, age 15; Harrison Chase Brown, age 15; Cody J. Barker, age 17; Seth Walsh, age 13).


"Make It Stop (September's Children)" received positive reviews from critics. Thomas Nassiff of AbsolutePunk wrote that despite its more accessible sound, "[the] song becomes an example of the way that radio-ready rock music should be written".[4] Scott Heisel of Alternative Press noted that the song borrows the guitar opening from "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day, but characterized the lyrics as "more pointed than Billie Joe Armstrong's have ever been".[5] Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic described the children's choir and spoken names during the bridge as "effective devices employed to bring awareness to such a worthwhile issue".[6] Conversely, Jason Heller of The A.V. Club criticized the children's choir, noting that it "sends the song flying into a tear-filled well of self-parody".[7]

Commercially, "Make It Stop (September's Children)" reached several music charts, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart,[8] number seventeen on the Canadian Active Rock Songs chart,[9] number twelve on the Czech Republic Modern Rock chart,[10] and number twenty-nine on the Mexico Ingles Airplay chart.[11]

Music video[edit]

In this scene, a teenage girl finds her locker covered in derogatory gay slurs, such as dyke and fag.

The accompanying music video was directed by Marc Klasfeld and filmed at Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, the same school McIlrath attended as a student. The video was a collaboration with the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent suicide within the LGBT community.[12]

The music video was nominated for the "Best Video with a Message" award at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, but lost to Born This Way by Lady Gaga.[13][14]



  1. ^ " Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. May 24, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  2. ^ "Videos: Rise Against: "Make it Stop (September's Children)"". June 21, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Montgomery, James (June 20, 2011). "Rise Against's 'Make It Stop' Tackles Bullying, Suicide". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Nassiff, Thomas. "Rise Against - Endgame". AbsolutePunk. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Heisel, Scott (February 28, 2011). "Rise Against - Endgame - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Boy, Davey (March 14, 2011). "Review: Rise Against - Endgame | Sputnikmusic". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  7. ^ Heller, Jason (March 15, 2011). "Rise Against: Endgame". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Rise Against – Chart history". Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Rise Against. Archived from the original on January 25, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive - August 16, 2011". America's Music Charts. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "IFPI ČR Hitparáda - Radio - Top 20 Modern Rock Týden - 2011_51,52" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Mexico Ingles Airplay: October 15, 2011 - Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2016. (subscription required)
  12. ^ ""Make It Stop (September's Children) Video Premiere". June 21, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Kavner, Lucas (August 28, 2011). "VMAs 2011: 'Best Video With A Message' Category Premieres Tonight". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  14. ^ Hogan, Marc (August 29, 2011). "Katy Perry Wins Big, Beyonce Shines at VMAs". Spin. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Rock Songs Year End 2011". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2015.

External links[edit]