“I Don’t Like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats (1979)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music, 26 May 2019
Sunrise at Lake Tiberias, 03 May 2019.

It’s a lovely day but before thoughts of the work load waiting for you tomorrow distract you, here’s The Boomtown Rats’ 1979 hit “I Don’t Like Mondays” for our last Lord My Chef Sunday Music this month of May.

Written by Sir Bob Geldof and his fellow Irish Johnnie Fingers, I Don’t Like Mondays is a song about the 1979 Cleveland Elementary School Shooting in San Diego, California that killed two adults and injured eight children and a police officer.

According to Geldof, he wrote the song after reading a telex report of the shooting incident while being interviewed at Georgia State University’s campus radio station WRAS. In that report, he learned how 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer fired at children in a school playground in San Diego because she said, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”

Geldof found Spencer strange who also showed no remorse for her crime. She gave no other answers except “I don’t like Mondays” when journalists asked her to “tell me why” the shooting spree. On his way to his hotel, Geldof kept thinking about Spencer’s “senseless reason for the senseless act” that he told himself the “silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload.” He then wrote the song “to illustrate the perfect senseless reason for doing the perfect senseless act.”

Geldof clarified he never intended to exploit the tragedy though, after many years later, he admitted he regretted writing the song that made “Spencer famous.” The song hit the number spot in the UK charts after its release but reached only the 73rd spot in the US where the Spencers tried unsuccessfully to prevent the single from being released there.

In our reflection for this Sunday’s gospel, we said the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus and sent by his Father acts as the “memory” of the Church. Jesus told his disciples during their Last Supper that the “Advocate, the Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (Jn.14:26).

Like the “silicon chip” of a computer, the Holy Spirit “processes” in us the meaning of the words of the Sacred Scriptures so that we can respond accordingly to the many issues presented to us by the modern world. In that way, we continue to become the presence of Jesus Christ today where some people have become not only senseless but also loveless, causing so many pains and miseries among us.

I Don’t Like Mondays reminds us that despite the modern technologies we have today, what is still most essential among us is the love we have inside, the respect and concern we have for others around us. And this can only be found in Jesus Christ who dwells inside our hearts. Let us “switch” him on and become his presence of love and mercy in this world that is becoming heartless and even senseless sometimes.

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