One Hit Wonders: The Boomtown Rats

“I Don’t Like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats

by Robert Mishou

I am stretching a bit here and I truly struggled including this song for the main reason that it only reached #73 in the U.S. but lead singer Bob Geldof’s fame here comes from his amazing work with Live Aid. So, out of respect for his humanitarian efforts (and because I love his solo album Deep in the Heart of Nowhere) I decided to include this deceptively haunting song. This song is about the unfortunate, and now all too common, event of a school shooting. Geldof read about a sixteen year old girl who killed two adults and injured eight children while shooting at a school playground. Her reason for this horrible act was simply, “I don’t like Mondays.” The song fictionally recounts the day and tries to put the listener both inside the shooter’s head as well as in the town itself. There is no real good reason for these actions:

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

For reasons known to most of us, the shocking nature of this song is also a prophetic. Over the past two decades, the United States has had more school shootings and students killed in these shootings than the rest of the world combined. It saddens me that we are no longer shocked when these horrible events happen – we should be, but it is all too common of an occurrence. Book recommendation: to get some reliable information about the shooting and how media twists events and information, read Columbine by Dave Cullen. It is a horrific and important account of what happened that day by a man who covered the events and has had access to every piece of evidence.

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3 thoughts on “One Hit Wonders: The Boomtown Rats”

  1. Excellent and poignant post Paul and guess what? I love this song! I always wanted to learn the piano, just so I could play that intro 🙂

  2. Thanks Emma! It was actually Robert who wrote this. He is a high school English teacher, which makes this even more poignant. I wasn’t too familiar with this song, but I listened to it before I published the article, and I love it! They don’t make songs like this anymore!

  3. The Boom Town Rats were an insignificant blip in the 80’s, bandwagon boys who could hold a candle to bands like The Clash, Buzzcocks and The Damned. Bob Geldorf has always been an outspoken self publicist and a second rate band was his ticket to becoming a celebrity. I always remember him swigging back lager at Live Aid telling everyone to forgo the pub for the night and send money to the charity he high jacked from Midge Ure.

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