I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats


An absolute classic, being part of Live Aid in 1985, performed by The Boomtown Rats in front of some of the Royal Family. Well, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!

Right. For starters, let’s have a quick history lesson. ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ was inspired in both subject and name, by Brenda Spencer, who decided to shoot at her school as students were waiting outside, back in 1979. She succeeded in killing the Headteacher and a Janitor. This lead to a siege occurring at her home, lasting 7 hours. She later surrendered to police, explaining that she was trying to commit suicide by police. Her excuse? She didn’t like Mondays.

So, Bob Geldof write a song about it. A great song, might I add.

The backing music, all piano, what I think is a little bit of drums and bodily actions (harmonies and clapping), sounds brilliant. We have the piano growing in ferocity throughout the verses, getting angrier and angrier as we go along, followed by a relaxed moderately pitched section, which really gives the song an amazing sound.

Verbally, Bob Geldof has done perfectly. The verses each help to describe a different section of her crime, as she ‘flips’ and turns the gun on people, when the police find out, and when she surrendered. The chorus takes the form of the police interrogation, using the ‘Tell me why!’ ‘ I don’t like Mondays’ format. Excellent.

Favourite lyrics? Well, here you go.

“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’ll be learning,
And the lesson today is how to die.”

Now, a bit depressing this section, but there’s a reason this is my favourite part. Live Aid, 1985. The Boomtown rats were on stage singing this song to help raise money to fight poverty in Africa. As they got to the end of these lyrics, Bob had to stop singing for a moment, as they were overwhelming him. The way that they were written to apply to a freak incident in America, yet also applied to everyday life in Africa was unexpected. When the lyrics of a song actually manage to affect the writer, you know they must be great. (Mother, by John Lennon had the same effect on him… sort of.)

One downside to this song. The video. It’s shit. No beating about the bush on this site! I admit, it has meaning, with the kids there representing the actual event’s participants, and the cutting from image to image is great in some places. Overall, however, the video is rubbish. Watch it if you don’t believe me, but I know that at least half of you will agree.

Overall, I’d have to give ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ a score of 9/10. Way to go Bob!

That Guy

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4 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats

  1. Music is about the music. MTV bastardised the industry with making “videos” popular…

  2. Oh yeah. MTV really helped to screw music over in the last decade or so. Mid 90’s were great, but as of then, music has gone dramatically downhill. Also, although I’m not complaining, music videos have become very sexualised. I blame MTV for that as well.

  3. Deference to website author , some fantastic entropy. “To have a grievance is to have a purpose in life.” by Alen Coren.

  4. Glad to have read this article, since the beginning of the week I was looking for details on it !

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