You’ve probably not heard of this song, it’s from the year of 1979. Yes, 1979. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December (not the brightest idea the Soviets have had, not as bad as adopting “communism” though), Maggie Thatcher got elected in May and Michael Jackson released one of his best albums in August: Off the Wall. But none of that has ANYTHING to do with the event that inspired this song which hit the top spot on British charts in 1979.
At the moment the only thing you might be feeling is that “I don’t like Mondays either”, but how much do you really dislike Mondays? There’s no real scale, but there was one instance which is the equivalent of a 100/10. In January of 1979, a 16-year-old by the name of Brenda Ann Spencer killed 2 people (the principal and a janitor) and injured 9 others.
So, let’s see how the lyrics relate to this tragic event.
Firstly, let’s develop the song’s main protagonist is describes as “Sweet 16 ain’t that peachy keen”. So we know that the person is 16 years old, and Spencer was also 16, but no gender has been developed yet. Actually, look to the line above, for it says “their own little girl”. A 16-year-old girl, like Brenda Ann Spencer.
Admittedly, that claim is based on two lines, and there’s no correlation between all 16-year-old girls and people that perpetrate shootings at schools. One Christmas, Spencer’s father bought her a .22 caliber rifle and probably thought she would go hunting or down to the firing range to use it. But she decided to use it in the school shooting. The line “And daddy doesn’t understand it, He always said she was as good as gold” refers to this. In the sense that, he didn’t realize she would have done something so tragic as kill two people and injure several others.
There’s a line in the middle which goes, “And school’s out early and soon we be learning, and the lesson today is how to die”. Well, the school day was interrupted by the lone gunwoman and she did kill 2 people. Also, the very first line “The silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload” could refer to the idea that she was mentally imbalanced and had troubles in her mind. That day her mind ( the silicon chip) might’ve just snapped completely and gone into a fit of rage.
There’s a line from the song that refers to when Sir Bob Geldof (of the Boomtown Rats) thought of the idea for this song. The “Telex Machine” (for you too young to remember) is what came before the fax machine and was used to send, essentially, “e-mails” on paper. The story goes that Sir Bob was sitting in a radio station and saw the Telex print out the story and he thought that the idea of not liking Mondays was a strange reason to shoot up a school.
Alright, I’ve got one last card to play. The reason why Brenda Ann spencer committed this crime was apparently (if you haven’t guessed it),”I don’t like Mondays”. Her complete reasoning was,”I don’t like Mondays, this livens up the day”. And then the part of the song that goes “I wanna shoot, the whole day down”, it clearly refers to her shooting people on Monday.
There you have it, if you’ve ever thought you disliked any day of the week, you don’t. At least not as much as Brenda Ann Spencer did. Let’s not take this lightly, as the number of school shootings (any shooting for that matter) has seemed to have increased over the last few years ( especially in the United States, see for yourself ). I leave you with the thought that Brenda Spencer could’ve been any one of the students in that school, she’s more of a representation of people that can’t handle their emotions. Like I wrote in the JFK piece, be weary of the means, motive and opportunity. Many of us may dislike the concept of Mondays, all of us come to school, but very few of us have access to weapons. I guess what I mean by that is, you could be her, but you can handle your feelings because you have people to support you in life, she was reported as a bit of a loner. So make sure you befriend people, if not for yourself, but for their sake (it’s tough being alone in life).
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