The Story behind Holiday by Green Day

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Holiday is the 3rd track from the album “American Idiot” released by Green Day in 2004. The song did fairly well in terms of commercial success and appeared on different media like the comedy film ‘Accepted’ in 2006, an episode of CSI:NY, soundtrack for the game ‘Tony Hawks American Wasteland’ etc.

Song Meaning

The album follows the story of Jesus of Suburbia who is a lower middle class American adolescent who leaves his home and is living on the streets. The song is played as a prelude for Boulevard of Broken Dreams, although Holiday was released after Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Holiday like the title song American Idiot is again taking digs at the American government and politics. It was written under the presidency of George W. Bush and the song is criticizing the Republican government of several things while also taking digs at the liberals or the Democrats who aim to take advantage of the wrong doings by the Republicans rather than rectify it when he sings ‘another protester has crossed the line to find the money on the other side’.

I am anti-war, so a lot of [the album] has to do with that, and there’s different sides of it too. Like, there’s one line that sort of messes with liberals a little too, where it says, ‘Hear the drum pounding out of time/ Another protester has crossed the line/ To find the money’s on the other side.

Billie Joe Armstrong

The song talks about how several soldiers die while fighting wars and their names are forgotten most likely referring to the tension between America and Iraq that had reached high levels with several combat operations taking place as America invaded Iraq around that time. Republican government was conservative and their base was probably mostly the Christian community. The song mentions how the Christian right wingers justify the reasons for indulging in war through the lyrics ‘Can I get another Amen?’. The song suggests that war is only complicating problems further as there is no point in battling countries like Iraq and Afghanistan which results in more casualties on both sides.

The tyranny of the government is emphasized through the lyrics ‘pulverize the Eiffel towers that criticize your government’ conveying that that the power hungry politicians will do anything and destroy whatever stands in their path and those who criticize the government will be silenced. Some people follow what the government tells them blindly without using their common sense. Through the chorus ‘I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies’, it is implied that people need to be awakened to the fact that what is being done by the government is not always for the benefit of the countrymen but rather to fulfil their selfish interests.

Holiday signifies escape and probably through this the singer is referring to how people runaway from the reality that is staring them when he says this is our lives on holiday. A lot of people are ignorant and are probably so busy in their own affairs that they don’t see the bigger picture. The point is probably that masses need to recognize the importance of what is happening and do something about it.

This is my interpretation of the song. I could be wrong on certain things but this is what I understood from the song.

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