Holiday (Green Day song)

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"Holiday"
Single by Green Day
from the album American Idiot
ReleasedMarch 14, 2005 (2005-03-14)
Genre
Length3:52
Label
Composer(s)Green Day
Lyricist(s)Billie Joe Armstrong
Producer(s)
Green Day singles chronology
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
(2004)
"Holiday"
(2005)
"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
(2005)
Music video
"Holiday" on YouTube
Audio sample

"Holiday" is an anti-war protest song[4] by American rock band Green Day. It was released as the third single from the group's seventh studio album American Idiot, and is also the third track. The song is in the key of F minor. Though the song is a prelude to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", "Holiday" was released as a single later on, on March 14, 2005.

The song achieved considerable popularity across the world and performed moderately well on the charts. In the US, it reached number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. It debuted at number 11 in the United Kingdom and reached the top 20 in Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway.

Background[edit]

One of two explicitly political songs on the album (the other being fellow single "American Idiot"),[5] "Holiday" took two months to finish writing, because Armstrong continually felt his lyrics were not good enough. Aided by the encouragement of Cavallo, he completed the song.[6] "Holiday" was inspired by the music of Bob Dylan.[7] Armstrong wanted to write something stronger than "American Idiot", with harsh language to illustrate his points. The song takes aim at American conservatism. Armstrong felt that Republican politicians were "strategic" in alienating one group of people—for example, the gay community—in order to buy the votes of another.[8] He later characterized the song as an outspoken "fuck you" to then-President George W. Bush.[9] Armstrong for the first time imagined how he would perform the songs he was writing, and envisioned an audience responding to his lyric "Can I get another Amen?"[10] The song's bridge, which Armstrong hoped to be as "twisted as possible," was designed as a "politician's worst nightmare."[7]

The chorus's refrain—"This is our lives on holiday"—was intended to reflect the average American's apathy on the issues of the day.[11] Armstrong characterized the song as "not anti-American, it’s anti-war."[12]

Live performances[edit]

In live performances, video screens would display footage of helicopters dropping bombs.[12] In New Jersey, at the Revolution Radio Tour, the lyrics "Pulverize the Eiffel Towers" were changed to "Pulverize the Donald Trump Towers".[13]

Depending on the location of the performance, the lyric "the representative from California now has the floor" will be changed to reference the country or state where the song is being performed (e.g. "the representative from the United Kingdom now has the floor").

Music video[edit]

The first half of the video takes place in a car (a 1968 Mercury Monterey convertible), where Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool are partying around in Las Vegas. In the second half, they are cavorting in a bar where each of the band members portrays several different characters. Billie Joe Armstrong plays the mentioned Representative of California, two fighting clients, a punk rocker and a nerd. Tré Cool plays a drunken priest, an arrested patron, and a female prostitute. Mike Dirnt plays the barman, another punk, and a policeman. There are also scenes featuring seemingly worn-down can-can dancers. At the end of the video, the car smokes to a halt in the field that "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" begins in. Like the video for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", this video was directed by Samuel Bayer.

The band arrived at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in the same car, this time "pimped out" by James Washburn, a friend of the band.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD1 and European CD single[14][15]
No.TitleLength
1."Holiday"3:52
2."Minority" (live)6:01
UK CD2 and Australian CD single[16][17]
No.TitleLength
1."Holiday"3:52
2."Holiday" (live)4:06
3."Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (live)4:24

UK 7-inch picture disc[18]

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Holiday"3:53
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Minority" (live)6:01
  • All live tracks were recorded on September 21, 2004, at the Irving Plaza in New York City.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel are adapted from the UK-European CD1 liner notes.[14]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[47] 3× Platinum 240,000
Italy (FIMI)[48] Platinum 100,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[49] Silver 200,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[50]
"Holiday" / "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
Gold 400,000
United States (RIAA)[51] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom March 14, 2005 CD Reprise [52]
Digital download [53]
Australia March 28, 2005 CD [54]
United States May 16, 2005 Contemporary hit radio [55]

Notable covers[edit]

"Holiday"
Single by Scuba Dice
ReleasedMarch 13, 2006 (2006-03-13)
Recorded2006
Genre
Length3:44
LabelIndependent
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Scuba Dice singles chronology
"Holiday"
(2006)
"Made"
(2006)

The song was first covered by the Irish pop punk band Scuba Dice in 2006 and charted at number eight on the Irish Singles Chart, number two on the download chart that week, and went on to be the 42nd-best-selling single of 2008 by an Irish artist.[56]

Hayseed Dixie also performed a bluegrass cover of the song on the band's album A Hot Piece of Grass.

The song "Dr. Who on Holiday", from the mash-up album American Edit, combines "Holiday", The KLF single "Doctorin' the Tardis", and the original theme from the television show Doctor Who, while the intro juxtaposes George W. Bush with the Daleks, a race of monsters from the aforementioned British television series.

In popular culture[edit]

"Holiday" was used as the goal song of the Vancouver Canucks during their run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals; the Canucks also reused it for Henrik Sedin's personal goal song in 2016–17 and for the team as a whole during the 2018–19 NHL season.[57] The song was also included on the soundtrack of the video game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.[58]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carter, Emily (July 22, 2020). "Green Day: Every album ranked from worst to best". Kerrang!. Archived from the original on May 6, 2022. Retrieved July 31, 2022. It resulted in songs like the epic Jesus Of Suburbia and Homecoming, fired-up punk rock classics like Holiday, St. Jimmy and Letterbomb, and heart-wrenching emotion of Wake Me Up When September Ends and Whatsername.
  2. ^ Connick, Tom (May 16, 2018). "Green Day: their 15 best songs - ranked". NME. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022. Retrieved January 30, 2022. A flawless fusion of angst, anger and a massive fuck-you to the political establishment, with a ripping solo and chant-along middle-eight to boot, 'Holiday' is punk-rock perfection.
  3. ^ Pauker, Lance (January 22, 2014). "49 Phenomenally Angsty Pop-Punk Songs From The 2000s You Forgot Existed". Thought Catalog. The Thought & Expression Co. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  4. ^ Smith, Troy (May 23, 2016). "The 25 most powerful protest songs of all time". Cleveland.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  5. ^ Ian Winwood (May 9, 2012). "The Secrets Behind The Songs: "American Idiot"". Kerrang!. London: Bauer Media Group (1414). ISSN 0262-6624.
  6. ^ Steve Baltin (January 1, 2005). "Green Day". AMP. pp. 62–66.
  7. ^ a b Victoria Durham (March 1, 2005). "Green Day: Let The Good Times Roll". Rock Sound. London: Freeway Press Inc. (70): 50–55. ISSN 1465-0185.
  8. ^ "International Superhits". Kerrang!. London: Bauer Media Group (1061): 52–53. June 18, 2005. ISSN 0262-6624.
  9. ^ Sinclair, Tom (February 5, 2014). "How Green Day saved rock -- and their own career". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 24, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Winwood 2010, p. 50.
  11. ^ John Colapinto (November 17, 2005). "Green Day: Working Class Heroes". Rolling Stone. New York City (987): 50–56. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Matt Hendrickson (February 24, 2005). "Green Day and the Palace of Wisdom". Rolling Stone. New York City (968). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  13. ^ Angermiller, Michele (September 29, 2016). "Green Day Slams Donald Trump, Swaps 'Trump Towers' Into 'Holiday' Lyrics at New Jersey Show: Watch". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Holiday (UK CD1 liner notes). Green Day. Reprise Records, WEA International. 2005. W664CD1, 5439 16097 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  15. ^ Holiday (European CD single liner notes). Green Day. Reprise Records, WEA International. 2005. 5439 16096 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ Holiday (UK CD2 liner notes). Green Day. Reprise Records, WEA International. 2005. W664CD2, 9362 42786 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ Holiday (Australian CD single liner notes). Green Day. Reprise Records, WEA International. 2005. 9362427862.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  18. ^ Holiday (UK 7-inch picture disc sleeve). Green Day. Reprise Records, WEA International. 2005. W664, 54391-6097-7.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
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  26. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
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  46. ^ "2005 The Year in Music & Touring: Hot Modern Rock Songs". Billboard. Vol. 117, no. 52. December 24, 2005. p. YE-70.
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  48. ^ "Italian single certifications – Green Day – Holiday" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  49. ^ "British single certifications – Green Day – Holiday". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  50. ^ "British single certifications – Green Day – Holiday Boulevard of Broken Dreams". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  51. ^ "American single certifications – Green Day – Holiday". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  52. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. March 12, 2005. p. 29.
  53. ^ "Holiday – Single". Apple Music. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
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  55. ^ "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1606. May 13, 2005. p. 23. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  56. ^ "About RTÉ: RTÉ's You're A Star Storms The Charts". Rte.ie. March 16, 2007. Archived from the original on September 4, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  57. ^ Wagner, Daniel (October 15, 2019). "Fans want "Holiday" back as the Canucks' goal song, but here's what it should be". Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  58. ^ "Activision Announces Complete Song Line-Up For Tony Hawk's American Wasteland". GameZone. October 7, 2005. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2020.