Sunday, June 21, 2020

"Holiday in Cambodia": America's greatest punk song?

Dead Kennedys : Holiday in Cambodia

In June of 1980 the new Dead Kennedys single, "Holiday in Cambodia", was climbing the UK Indie singles chart. Eddie Vedder once said of frontman/provocateur Jello Biafra "you couldn't have invented a more ethical anti-hero". In "Holiday", Biafra's target is hypocritical liberal-arts college students who slander Blacks with the n-word. He suggests if they really want to know how the world works, they march into Cambodia, at the height of the Khmer Rouge massacres, when two million people were put to death:

Well, you'll work harder with a gun in your back 
For a bowl of rice a day 
Slave for soldiers till you starve 
Then your head is skewered on a stake

The b-side, "Police Truck", has a surf vibe and is sung from the point of view of cops getting psyched for a night of rape and violence. 

Pull down your dress, here's a kick in the ass 
Let's beat you blue, 'till you shit your pants 
Don't move child, I gotta big black stick 
There's six of us babe, so suck on my dick

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