♫ I Don’t Like Mondays ♫

My music posts are almost always just for fun, songs that I like or once liked, music that brings back memories, mostly fond, and that we can all remember from … way back when … a time we still had our teeth, our hair, and our eyesight!  Every now and then, though, a song crosses my radar that just begs to be played, that has a message too strong to be ignored, whether I actually like the song or not.  Today’s is one such song.

Our friend Clive from ‘cross the pond sent me this a few weeks ago, saying he thought this might be right up my alley.  He’s right … it is.  One of my pet peeves … probably my strongest pet peeve … is the gun culture in the U.S.  There are more guns in the hands of civilians in this country than there are … civilians!  It’s crazy, it’s insane, and every day … EVERY DAMN DAY … people die because some fool had a gun.  I hate guns, hate the gun culture, and were it in my power, I would erase the 2nd Amendment from the U.S. Constitution.  Were it in my power, I would take every gun in this country and place it on Elon Musk’s next flight into nowhere!

This song is about Brenda Spencer, a 16-year-old high school student who lived across the street from Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California. On Monday, January 29, 1979, she opened fire on the school with a rifle her father had given her for Christmas, killing two adults (including the principal) and injuring nine children before going back to her home. Police surrounded her home and waited for seven hours until she gave herself up. In that time, she spoke with a reporter on the phone. When asked why she did it, she replied …

“I just started shooting, that’s it. I just did it for the fun of it. I just don’t like Mondays. I just did it because it’s a way to cheer the day up. Nobody likes Mondays.”

This was a #1 hit in 32 different countries, but it flopped in the U.S., probably because the subject matter hit too close to home. Gun violence is a big problem in America.

Bob Geldof, the leader of the Boomtown Rats, was in Atlanta touring when he heard the news story about Brenda Spencer.  Geldof composed the song on the spot, originally as a reggae number. Back in Los Angeles after the tour, a studio demo was recorded with grand piano and vocals. By the time I Don’t Like Mondays was introduced onstage in Loch Lomond, Scotland, the song had been transformed dramatically.  Brenda Spencer’s parents tried to have the single banned in the US, without success.  Says Geldof …

“I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Johnnie Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel and I just said ‘silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload’. I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, ‘Tell me why?’ It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn’t an attempt to exploit tragedy.”

In 2019 Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers reached an agreement in their dispute over who wrote the song, until then credited solely to Geldof. Fingers received a financial settlement and co-credit.

Now, on a personal note, the song itself, the tune, the singing, does not appeal to me.  I do love the piano, but the rest … I could easily leave it.  But … there is something bigger here … the United States has a gun problem.  The Founding Fathers never intended the 2nd Amendment to mean that we could all carry a gun and shoot people at random.  Think Brenda Spencer, think Sandy Hook, think Trayvon Martin and so many more just in the past few years.  This song … it speaks volumes about what is wrong with America.

My thanks to Clive for turning me onto this song, the story which, if I ever knew it I had long since forgotten.  See, that’s part of the problem … we in the U.S. have become so inured to gun violence that … we forget.  We forget.

I Don’t Like Mondays
The Boomtown Rats

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody’s gonna go to school today
She’s gonna make them stay at home
And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down

The Telex machine is kept so clean
And it types to a waiting world
Her mother feels so shocked, father’s world is rocked
And their thoughts turn to their own little girl
Sweet sixteen, ain’t that peachy keen
Now it ain’t so neat to admit defeat
They can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reasons do you need, oh oh oh oh?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down
Down, down, shoot it all down

And all the playing’s stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with the toys a while
And school’s out early and soon we be learning
And the lesson today is how to die
And then the bullhorn crackles and the captain tackles
With the problems and the hows and whys
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die, die, oh oh oh?

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody’s gonna go to school today
She’s gonna make them stay at home
And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
‘Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like
I don’t like
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like
I don’t like
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
(Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoot the whole day down

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Geldof Bob / Geldof Robert / Geldof Robert Frederick Zenon
I Don’t Like Mondays lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Ltd.

41 thoughts on “♫ I Don’t Like Mondays ♫

  1. I’ve just revisited to see what others have said in the comments. An interesting thread, and the connection with what we thought of some American views on the Northern Irish situation is well made. Worth pointing out, I think, that the Boomtown Rats aren’t a British band – they’re from Eire.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed, there was some interesting commentary! Ahhhh … I didn’t realize they were an Irish band! And, I have long since forgotten the Ulster situation … probably never understood it completely … my history readings have failed me! I’m glad I played this song … I’ve enjoyed the comments immensely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Britain’s history with Ireland is pretty shameful, going back to the days when we treated it as a kind of colony. The ‘Troubles’ were the ongoing result of the separation of Northern Ireland (1921) and didn’t really come to a resolution until the Good Friday Agreement (1998). Unfortunately, Brexit has opened up some of the issues again, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a reunited Ireland, within the EU, was the result. Whilst the U.K. as a whole voted to leave the EU, NI and Scotland voted to stay. There isn’t much ‘U’ about the U.K. at present!

        The comments are a good set, aren’t they.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Clive! As a lover of history, I should know more about it than I do, but my focus is usually the WWII era, American history, and the Middle-East. I’ve heard many opine that both Northern Ireland and Scotland might leave the UK, though I certainly hope not. When you say there isn’t much ‘U’ about the UK, I can relate, for there is almost no U about the US, either.

          They definitely are!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hope they don’t leave too, but fear it may happen: it would a just reward for the jingoistic, narrow minded insularity and arrogance of too many of my countryfolk, tendencies that can be seen every day in our government.

            Liked by 1 person

            • The economic impact on the UK would be crippling, would it not? I have an idea! If they leave, how ’bout you guys taking us back over, for we’ve proven that we cannot self-govern with any degree of humanity! But please, get rid of BoJo first?

              Like

  2. I’ve heard the song before. The tune and chorus are catchy. But I’d never heard of this Brenda Spencer chick, or what she had done. Especially, I’d not heard why she did it. The thing is, while I can remember the 60s like they were yesterday, the late 70s and early 80s are just a blur. I have no idea what I was doing or where I was doing it. I do think I was no longer listening to top ten radio, and I had no television to watch. I had thrown it away with the bathwater.
    I honest-to-goodness thought it was a song about depression, and I never listened to the words, which is very unlike me.
    But today, reading the story, knowing the background, this is a game-changer. I’m not surprised it did so well around the world, and disappointed it only hit no. 4 in Canada. But 73 on Billboard? and 84 on CashBox? That was certainly a mythical ostrich-like thing to do. Oh, you didn’t know ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand when they feel endangered. Obviously, if they did, they would have been extinct eons ago. But what they do do is bury their eggs in the sand, then dig their heads into the sand to turn the eggs so they are heated evenly. This is actually how the species survives.
    So, today I learned about I Don’t Like Mondays, and hopefully you learned about ostriches. Fair trade? Lol. And thanks Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The official video is very unsettling.
    There was a theme of grim satisfaction about this song in the UK when it came out, a lot of the population were getting fed up of ill-informed sections of the USA (looking at you Nor-Aid) telling us what we were doing wrong in Ulster and the response with this song was ‘Yeah USA clean up your own backyard’. It was about this time the reputations of The Kennedys was to declining in the UK, thanks to Teddy Kennedy’s comments .
    Timely reminder of gun control Jill

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wasn’t able to see the official video via Clive’s link, so will have to go in search of. The UK’s response is fair and accurate … we DO need to clean up our own house … needed to then, and still need to. The gun culture in this country is insane … worse yet, it is not likely to change in our lifetime. What were Ted Kennedy’s comments?

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Ted Kennedy episodes are a bit of a minefield because he did evolve, but initially he was all for the UK simply withdrawing from Ulster without considering that there were two communities there not just one and they were at each others’ throats. This game rise to an American domestic policy of playing the Ulster Card to garner a section of votes.
        His views did mollify over the years and eventually he did play a part in the Peace Process, although there are those sections of the UK for various reasons who do not think kindly.
        The Urban war from 1966- arguably hasn’t stopped just got got very low level- left a lot of scars not just in Ulster. My adopted city Birmingham was target of an IRA bombing which left 20+ dead and many more injured and has not been forgotten.
        It’s complex. Ulster does things differently to the rest of the UK when it comes to politics.
        Beware USA it could happen to you.

        Like

    • I had never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago when Clive sent it and suggested I take a look. I also did not remember that young girl’s killing spree, though surely I did hear about it at the time.

      Like

    • Just a few short months you’ve been reading my blog, and already you know me so well! That official video won’t play here, so I’ll go in search of it in a different venue. In truth, I took a shortcut and just used the one you had sent me, not looking for a different version. Thank you, though, for the message did indeed resonate with me … the singing I probably could have lived without 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe that’s why I sent you that one! The official one is pretty hard hitting so I guess it may not be deemed suitable for viewing there. Geldof’s vocals aren’t to everyone’s taste, I’ll give you that 😊

        Liked by 1 person

          • Stranger things have happened! I had some of their albums back in the day, and Geldof is legendary here for his charity efforts: the driving force behind Band Aid and Live Aid. You can probably find a clip of him on YouTube in one of the studio breaks in the concert, live on the BBC, saying ‘give us your f*****g money.’ I rolled on the floor laughing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I did find, as I went in search of the original video, that he had participated in Band Aid, but didn’t realize he was one of the main organizers. My daughter, who is a musical encyclopedia, however, knew all about it! Oh, that is royal! Short, sweet, and to the point!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, he and Midge Ure (Ultravox) wrote the song and he used his unique brand of persuasion to assemble the cream of British pop music at the time and get the single recorded – also to get a much bigger share of the royalties than record companies were used to giving. The Live Aid show was the natural follow up, by which time you guys were involved too.

                It was one of the best live tv moments ever in this country!

                Liked by 1 person

                  • There have been quite a few charity records here since then, and I guess over there too. But big events like Live Aid need a driving force, and I guess no one has taken on that mantle. I know you have Farm Aid, which I think is annual – we don’t even have that!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I think he did. I also associate John Mellencamp and Neil Young with it – possibly incorrectly! Willy Nelson is a consummate songwriter, whatever box you put him in, and is a big champion of the less fortunate. He could do with a haircut though 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • What a memory!!! I had to check out Wikipedia, but you are exactly right! Started in 1985 by Nelson, Mellencamp, and Young, and it is still going today, though last year’s (and likely this years) was a virtual event with the artists performing from their own homes. Um yes, he could certainly use a haircut and a trimming of the beard.

                      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s