I Don't Like Mondays

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"I Don't Like Mondays"
I Don't Like Mondays single cover.jpg
Single by The Boomtown Rats
from the album The Fine Art of Surfacing
B-side "It's All the Rage"
Released 2 June 1979 (UK) May 1979 USA
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded Trident Studios
Length 4:19 (LP)
3:47 (single/video)
Label Ensign (UK)
Columbia (US)
Songwriter(s) Bob Geldof
Producer(s) Phil Wainman
The Boomtown Rats singles chronology
"Rat Trap"
"I Don't Like Mondays"
"Diamond Smiles"

"Rat Trap"
"I Don't Like Mondays"
"Diamond Smiles"
Music video
"I Don't Like Mondays" on YouTube
"I Don't Like Mondays" on YouTube

"I Don't Like Mondays" is a song by Irish band The Boomtown Rats about the 1979 Cleveland Elementary School shooting in San Diego. The song was a number one single in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks during the summer of 1979,[1] and ranks as the sixth biggest hit of the UK in 1979.[2] Written by Bob Geldof, it was the band's second number one single.

The full length version appeared on the group's third album, The Fine Art of Surfacing. It includes a reprise of the first verse, which was edited for the single release.


According to Geldof, he wrote the song after reading a telex report[3] at Georgia State University's campus radio station, WRAS, on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, US on 29 January 1979, killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day".[4] Geldof had been contacted by Steve Jobs to play a gig for Apple, inspiring the opening line about a 'Silicon chip'.[5] The song was first performed less than a month later.

Geldof explained how he wrote the song:

I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with [Johnnie] Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel and I just said 'Silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload'.[6] I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, 'Tell me why?' It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn't an attempt to exploit tragedy.[7]

Geldof had originally intended the song as a B-side, but changed his mind after the song was successful with audiences on the Rats' US tour.[7] Spencer's family tried unsuccessfully to prevent the single from being released in the United States.[7] Despite being a major hit in the United Kingdom, it only reached #73 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[8] The song was played regularly by album-oriented rock format radio stations in the United States throughout the 1980s, although radio stations in San Diego refrained from playing the track for some years in respect to local sensitivities about the shooting.

The strings were arranged by Fiachra Trench. Apart from Geldof, pianist Johnnie Fingers and drummer Simon Crowe are the only members of the group who appear on the recording.

In the UK the song reached Number One on the singles chart in July 1979, and won the Best Pop Song and Outstanding British Lyric categories at the Ivor Novello Awards.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Live performances[edit]

On 9 September 1981, Geldof was joined on stage by fellow Boomtown Rat, Johnnie Fingers, to perform the song for The Secret Policeman's Ball sponsored by Amnesty International. A recording of that performance appears on the 1982 album, The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.

The Boomtown Rats performed the song for Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985. This was the band's final major appearance. On singing the line, "And the lesson today is how to die", Geldof paused for 20 seconds while the crowd applauded on the significance to those starving in Africa that Live Aid was intended to help.

At a concert in London in 1995, almost ten years later to the day, Bon Jovi covered the song after being joined on stage by Geldof at Wembley Stadium. This recorded performance features on Bon Jovi's live album One Wild Night Live 1985–2001, as well as on the bonus 2-CD edition of These Days. Bon Jovi was again joined by Geldof for a performance of the song at The O2 Arena on 23 June 2010, the 10th night of their 12-night residency. Geldof himself performed a version of the song while hosting the Live 8 concert in London, on 2 July 2005.[citation needed]

"I Don't Like Mondays" was subsequently covered by Tori Amos on her 2001 album Strange Little Girls and later by G4 on their 2006 album Act Three.


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 370–1. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Top 100 1979 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038428z
  4. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara (29 September 2005). "Urban Legends Reference Pages: Music (I Don't Like Mondays)". snopes.com. 
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038428z
  6. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038428z
  7. ^ a b c Clarke, Steve (18–31 October 1979). The Fastest Lip on Vinyl. Smash Hits. EMAP National Publications Ltd. pp. 6–7. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955-1999. Record Research Inc. p. 65. ISBN 0-89820-139-X. 
  9. ^ "I Don't Like Mondays". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  10. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  12. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 1 September 2018. 
  13. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  14. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1979 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1979-12-31. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  15. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1979" Record Mirror 5 January 1980: 30

External links[edit]