Monday, June 10, 2013

Song Meaning & Analysis: Holiday by Green Day

Green Day's third single from American Idiot came in the middle of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The theme of "Holiday," and that of the album as well, perfectly coincide with the antiwar movement started in the US. The also marked Green Day's return to their original punk rock roots.

The first verse of the song describes the neglected veterans retuning home for war6. It's well known that, although US spends nearly half of it's budget on military, little care is given for veterans. 

"Faith and Misery"9 of the second verse refers to the fact George Bush was a bible thumper - he's christian but not christian-like. Even to this day, the Republican party of the US likes to comes across as religious to pander to the church goers, and get votes, but are completely neglecting the fact that Jesus would've opposed blindly invading countries. I'm not 100% sure of my explanation here, so correct me if you think I'm wrong.

In the chorus, Green Day is urging Americans to not buy into the lies of politicians and media12. It's also well known that the Bush Administration lied to the whole world on justifying the need to invade Iraq. The song was released in 2004, a year later the invasion, and at the time, many believed in the actions of the Bush Administration, only to later find out that they were lied to.

Analysis of few other lines:

"The representative from California has the floor"31- Green Day is from California, so this reference is understandable. "The representative" refers to the body of the US Congress, who has power to declare and cease wars.
"Sieg Heil to the president Gasman"33 - reference to Nazi salute and Hitler. Green Day is comparing the Bush Administration to the Nazis. Fair comparison? I dunno....

"Bombs away is your punishment"34- refers to bombing people "you" ( meaning Bush ) don't agree with. What's so true of this statement is that John McCain was asked in 2008 about his plans for Iran, and he said, "bomb, bomb, bomb."

Green Day released a video to promote the song. I don't really understand the content of it. Th color green is prominent in the video; maybe a reference to Green Day... Am I the only one who think that nobody has mastered the art of music videos just yet, maybe with the except of Micheal Jackson?

  1. Say, hey!

  2. Hear the sound of the falling rain
  3. Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
  4. The shame
  5. The ones who died without a name

  6. Hear the dogs howling out of key
  7. To a hymn called "Faith and Misery" (Hey!)
  8. And bleed, the company lost the war today

  9. I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
  10. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
  11. On holiday

  12. Hear the drum pounding out of time
  13. Another protester has crossed the line (Hey!)
  14. To find, the money's on the other side

  15. Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
  16. There's a flag wrapped around a score of men (Hey!)
  17. A gag, a plastic bag on a monument

  18. I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
  19. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
  20. On holiday

  21. (Hey!)
  22. (Say, hey!)

  23. "The representative from California has the floor"

  24. Sieg Heil to the president Gasman
  25. Bombs away is your punishment
  26. Pulverize the Eiffel towers
  27. Who criticize your government
  28. Bang bang goes the broken glass and
  29. Kill all the fags that don't agree
  30. Trials by fire, setting fire
  31. Is not a way that's meant for me
  32. Just cause (hey, hey, hey), just cause, because we're outlaws yeah!

  33. I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
  34. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
  35. I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
  36. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

  37. This is our lives on holiday

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis, with a couple of comments:
    1) I think you're reading a bit too much into the second verse. It seems fairly straightforward -- blind faith in corporatism and nationalism leads to warfare and bloodshed, for no gain.
    2) The title of the song and its integration in the chorus merits some analysis. We can't be sure why GD called this song "Holiday" and used that refrain which seems to be upbeat, but we can guess that it's meant to be ironic for one reason or another. I have two possible interpretations. First, it could build on the theme you propose about the GWB administration and how they urged people to go on with their lives, and carried on their war while the people at home remained largely disconnected from it and unaffected by it, except if they personally knew someone who was deployed. Another explanation is that with all the deceit and plutocracy dominating all corners of the power base, the little guy is left with nothing meaningful to do, and perhaps out of work entirely ... on permanent holiday, either literally or figuratively. This seems to reflect GD's general attitude and so strikes me as the more likely explanation. I've seen another analysis that suggests it implies the end of the world entirely ... that we'll all be on permanent holiday in that great resort in the sky if this continues. For all we know, GD means all three or none of these, but it's interesting to speculate. It's a great protest song for the Millennials and Gen X.


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