*5.12-HOLIDAY (Bee Gees)

Bee Gees


        Ooh you're a holiday, such a holiday.
        Ooh you're a holiday, such a holiday.

It's something I think’s worthwhile
If the puppet makes you smile.
If not then you're throwing stones
Throwing stones, throwing stones.

        Ooh it's a funny game.
        Don't believe that it's all the same.
        Can't think what I've just said;
        Put the soft pillow on my head.

Millions of eyes can see,
Yet why am I so blind?
When the someone else is me
It's unkind, it's unkind.

        [Vocal Break]

[Repeat third verse]

        Ooh you're a holiday, every day, such a holiday.
        Now it's my turn to say, and I say you're a holiday.

[Repeat first verse]

        [Vocal Coda]

Holiday was released as a single several months after the album on which it had been included. Nonetheless, it did fairly well on the charts despite its odd melody reminiscent of a 19th century children’s marching song set in a mournful minor key in order to praise, one would imagine, a pleasant occasion, a holiday. Was the sad irony the hook? the sentimental orchestration? Barry and Robin Gibbs' quavering voices? The psychedelic quality is most evident in the lyrics. The young Bee Gees turned out two koans, "the someone else is me", in this lyric, and Red Chair Fade Away's "I can see the speaking sky. / I don’t want to know / It’s filling up the air.” But I also sense psychedelia in the radical juxtaposition of music and language. This has got to be the saddest holiday tune on record. And we don’t even know what makes it sad, though the words are melancholic. I really don’t know what the singer means when he calls the “you” (the listener?) a holiday. There’s little said about the qualities of the “you”; everything seems centered on the emotions of the singer. A puppet makes you smile is all I know, and in the context of this song, even that sounds insecure, as if the option to amusement is a stoning. (The Bee Gees avoid "stoning" in the sense of Dylan's Everybody must get stoned by the too definite verb "throwing".) Maybe “you” are a holiday because "you" allow the singer to be relieved of self-consciousness. But even there, he’s frustrated, because “the someone else is me”, simply a projection of himself, providing no holiday relief whatsoever.