Single Review: Green Day “Holiday”

Album: American Idiot
Year: 2005

A recap of the story in the album “American Idiot – Jesus of Suburbia (JoS) has condemned the Fox News and the Republican agenda (“American Idiot”). He then introduced himself as JoS, criticizes his town for being nondescript, and finally gives up on caring about anything at all. (“Jesus of Suburbia.”)

In the biting “Holiday,” JoS has become interested in politics, seeing hypocriscy from both protesters and politicians.

As he watches the news, hearing the newscasters report about collateral damage and friendly fire. He sees the terror level go up as he’s told that Americans are in danger again. He believes Christianity is based on its grief and companies profiting from the Iraq War. (“Hear the sound of the falling rain/Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)/The shame/The ones who died without a name/Hear the dogs howling out of key/To a hymn called “Faith and Misery” (Hey!)/And bleed, the company lost the war today.”)

In the chorus, he wishes for a side he can believe in and questions the politicians and people commenting on news stories. He stresses people in America aren’t paying attention, vacationing from involvement with the political system. Meanwhile, the damaging decisions are being made which only hinder an American’s way of life. (“I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies/This is the dawning of the rest of our lives/On holiday.”)

A former protestor is now working for the system she once railed against. However, she realizes the group she associated with has its own agenda. An agenda, she finds, which is not in the best interests of what they were fighting for. Blind patriotism has silenced the United States, suffocating the very ideas it was based upon. (“Hear the drum pounding out of time/Another protestor has crossed the line (Hey!)/To find, the money’s on the other side/Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)/There’s a flag wrapped around a score of men (Hey!)/A gag, A plastic bag on a monument.”)

In the bridge, JoS imagines himself as a senator from the California, speaking on C-Span. According to Billie Joe Armstrong, he says everything a politician is probably thinking but doesn’t say out loud.

A pensive, analytical guitar has a solo.

For instance, President Bush would be addressed as a member of the oil company, not the United States. Instead of “Hail to the Chief,” he would be given the Nazi salute.People would be killed and landmarks destroyed if someone expresses an opposing opinion. They have their criticisms but feel they are above normal citizens, ( i.e. “don’t throw rocks at glass houses.”)(“Homosexuals would be shot for not going along with measures which limit their liberties. Politicans aren’t there to change the country. They intend to keep up the status quo. They likely have some crimes they have committed or have things covered up for them. They are not the take-charge people speaking for the residents in their district. (“The representative from California has the floor”/Zieg Heil to the president gasman/Bombs away is your punishment/Pulverize the Eiffel towers/Who criticize your government/Bang bang goes the broken glass and/Kill all the fags that don’t agree/Trials by fire, setting fire/Is not a way that’s meant for me/Just cause, just cause, because we’re outlaws yeah!”)

After the chorus, Armstrong says “this is our lives on holiday.” It’s worth noting here that the title works two ways: chiding Americans for going along with whatever is being said by President Bush. It second use is to jab at British Prime Minister Tony Blair for doing the same thing. In Britian, “holiday” is their word for “vacation.”

The polarizing “Holiday” is provocative in displaying its feelings about the United States’ current Republican government. For people who are consider themselves Republican, “Holiday” is likely to be discredited as extreme liberalism. For Democrats, it’s challenging way to convey their alienation. However, it should be listened by anyone who aligns themselves passionately with any political party.


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