Worst Weekend Ever

No, this post title isn’t referring to anything bad that happened to me over the past weekend. (In fact, it was a perfectly nice three-day break.) Rather, I’m referring to the band Vampire Weekend, whose irritating song “Holiday” is currently ruining television. Yes, folks, what better way to start off the new year than with a little rant?

If you’ve watched television at all over the last couple of months, then you’ve almost certainly heard “Holiday” about 850,000 times, like I have. The tune is currently featured in two major commercials that have run in constant heavy rotation, practically back-to-back-to-back-to-back on every single network during every single show at every single commercial break for several weeks now.

First, there’s this Honda ad.

Then, in case that weren’t annoying enough, Tommy Hilfiger uses the same song in this commercial too.

Even though I watch the majority of my TV programming from DVR recordings (where I can fast forward through commercials), I still can’t escape from this damn song. As soon as I turn on the TV, no matter what channel I last left it on, invariably one of these commercials is playing. In between recordings, when I have to go back to the DVR’s menu, again these same commercials will be playing. When I start up a recording, guess what’s always caught at the beginning of the show? I just can’t get away from this song.

In searching for the YouTube clips I embedded above, I see that TV Squad noticed and is annoyed by the same thing. However, where the TV Squad writer argues that constant repetition has ruined his enjoyment of an otherwise perfectly good song, I just plain loathe this song from the core of my being. It’s not a good song on its own. It’s a godawful musical travesty.

Why do I hate it so much? Let’s just look at the insidious lyrics, shall we? The very first verse of the song (and the one that starts both commercials) is:

“Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.”

What? That doesn’t make any goddamn sense. OK, I get the “Holiday, oh, a holiday” part. But the next line is “And the best one of the year.” Huh? “And” is a conjunction that joins two thoughts. There’s nothing being joined here. The “and” was thrown in there randomly to start a sentence for no reason at all. That’s followed by “the best one of the year.” The best one what of the year?! The best day of the year? The best time of the year? The best holiday of the year? The best what?

I seriously want to punch the person who wrote this song in the face. This first verse would be fine if it went: “Holiday, oh, a holiday. It’s the best time of the year.” That would have the same meter, would sound the same, and would be more effective than the gibberish we have now.

There are some other lyrics that both commercials cut out in order to jump down to this line:

“But if I wait for a holiday, could it stop my fear?”

First off, who rhymes “year” with “fear” in a holiday song, instead of “cheer”? What’s that about? I guess the band was trying to be ironic or some bullshit. Whatever. It’s stupid. Even more perplexing is the fact that both corporations who’ve adopted the song have chosen to highlight that line in their advertisements. Honda even ends the commercial with it. Are they trying to subconsciously scare us into buying a car? I don’t get it. I just hate it.

Like any effective commercial jingle, “Holiday” is an earworm that burrows into your brain and won’t let go. No matter how much I hate it, the song plays over and over and over again in my head. In fact, the more I hate it, the more my mind feels the need to replay it.

Christmas is over. It’s time to pull both of these commercials off the airwaves. They’re driving me absolutely crazy!

Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.
Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.
Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.
Could it stop my fear?
Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.
Holiday, oh, a holiday. And the best one of the year.
Could it stop my fear fear fear fear fear?



  1. Ralph


    I normally have the same opinions that you do, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I do agree with stopping these commercials, only because I really like the song and I hate hearing a little snippit of it, over and over. It was the same when HP was using Vampire Weekend’s “A-Punk” in their printer ads. It was a chopped up mess.

    Did you ever think that maybe they’re using the word “holiday” in the sense of a vacation or getaway in the song. It would make a little more sense. It’s the ad people’s decision to use it for a christmas sale commercial. Also, i know you just want to rant on this, but do you really think that this song’s lyrics make any less grammatical sense that a thousand other songs out there? Classics, even? Give me a break and get over it.

  2. The music video is even worse – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KQibZXDlKU What the heck?

    Now, granted, from reading the original lyrics, I think the group is from the UK or Austrailia, and is refering to vacation / time off. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmukH2kFOlA

    I was also thinking that more than just these two commercials used it this year. I could have sworn I saw an Old Navy commercial with it, but can’t find it on YouTube, so maybe I am imagining it.

  3. Aaron Peck

    It’s already well known that the song from Vampire Weekend is not referring to Christmas or the “holiday season.” I for one LOVE Vampire Weekend, and think they have one of the more original sounds out there.

    Now, my view on this is that these commercials are using the song out of context, and playing a few lines (the most catchy ones) for their commercials. Obviously the band had to have signed off on this at some point, because they’ve got to be seeing TONS of royalties from this, but I wouldn’t blame the song, because the rest of the song is quite good and so is that whole album. It’s just that once you use the same verse over and over and over and over, it will get on anyone’s nerves no matter what the song is.

    • Sam

      For the first time in history, I disagree with my BFF Aaron Peck. I despise Vampire Weekend. I agree with this post; listening to them is torture on the ears.

  4. Sorry Josh but I kind of like the Song. At least it’s a new Holiday song. But I understand were your coming from.

    The Hyundai Christmas commercials were more annoying to me. You know with that Hipster youtube group playing over and over and over with Jingle Bells. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lBy3c5zMbM I saw that commercial way more then the Holidays song.

  5. JoeRo

    I’m with Josh on this one all the way. I’ve actually been complaining about this myself lately to anyone in earshot.

    I know music is subjective and all, but damn I hate that song. The crazy thing is that for a jingle it works, it’s a damn fine jingle. It gets in your head and stays there, and no amount of alcohol or blunt force trauma will get it out. Then I saw a commercial for the album this song is on … which in and of itself is bizarre, and I nearly died laughing.

    “Like that’s a real song by a real band and not just a jingle? Seriously? And people listen to that shit? Looks like the horrible predictions made by Demolition Man were at least partially correct – except that ads didn’t become the popular music, but rather the popular music has just become one big bland poppy ad. Way to fail America.”

    Way to fail indeed.

  6. I disagree with your grammatical analysis. Though it used to be frowned upon, conjunctions are perfectly acceptable to start sentences. Besides, these are the lyrics as written. There’s nothing to say that the lyric as sung is not split by a comma or semicolon.

    “one” certainly refers to the holiday among holidays, especially since the “And” connects the second sentence with the first exclamation. “time” could not have approximated the same phonetic sense that “one” makes. In your lyric a voiceless alveolar plosive is followed by a voiceless alveolar plosive. “one” works better.

    I do, however, dislike Vampire Weekend and find their music irritating. I’m on the fence as to whether they are hipsters or just stony nerds, but hipsters eat up their music. I wouldn’t mind them dying in a plane crash, but then everyone in the world who wore skinny jeans would lionize them as if they were Buddy Holly.

    • Josh Zyber

      I don’t have a blanket objection to sentences that start with conjunctions. (You’ll note that the sentence where I complain about this begins with “But.”) The problem here is that the “And” isn’t connecting anything.

      Joining them into one sentence doesn’t help. “Holiday, oh, a holiday, and the best one of the year.” That still doesn’t mean anything. It’s just gibberish.

  7. Jeff

    I have the exact same response to the train wreck of a song “Hey Soul Sister”. That song was used so much by Samsung and other companies that it now makes me cringe (literally) everytime I hear it. Unfortunately the advertising works for a lot of people because I have had several friends come up to me and say “Hey have you heard that song on the Samsung commercials?? It’s cool!” Uuggggghhhh.

  8. Calan

    I think you would’ve make yourself look a whole lot more intelligent had you simply made a post highlighting the fact that 2 commercials are using the same song, paying to be played on the same few networks (I watch a lot of TV and haven’t seen either of these commercials even once, so this must be only on a few networks which you watch exclusively) at the same time, and in your opinion they seem to be overplayed to death.

    Instead you’ve written an article which essentially reads “I don’t like this song and I’m upset that it is on TV,” effectively making yourself sound like a child.

    You try to support your opinion by attempting to analyze the coherence of a few lines of the song. You come at the word “holiday” from an American viewpoint, reading “holiday” to mean “the holiday season” or “Christmas time” instead of its actual meaning, which could be translated to American English as “vacation.” This makes you come across as fairly uneducated in that you’re seemingly unaware of possible meanings of a fairly common word in your own language.

    This post alone has brought the quality of your blog down substantially. As I’ve read in the previous comments, some people agree with you, but there’s no way I’m going to read another word you write – my own intelligence might suffer if I do.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a big fan of Vampire Weekend and I find many of their songs to be fairly annoying to listen to. It’s easy to see why these commercials would get annoying.

    • Josh Zyber

      To address your points:

      These commercials did not just run on “a few networks.” They ran on all of the major American broadcast networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) and several of the prominent cable networks. This was a heavy media saturation campaign from both sponsors. I suppose if you only ever watch QVC and the Fishing Network, or if you’re located in another country, you may have missed them. Otherwise, it would have been damned difficult to not see them a thousand times each.

      On the definition of the word “holiday,” these commercials were broadcast in America, where “holiday” is NOT commonly used to mean “vacation.” They also ran non-stop through the month of December, and the Honda ad featured prominent snow, Christmas tree, and wrapping paper imagery. Even if Vampire Weekend may have originally been using “holiday” to mean “vacation” when they wrote the song, that is not the context in which it was played for these advertisements.

      As for whether this post brings down the quality of this blog, all I can say is that this is my blog and I’m entitled to a humorous rant if I want one. (Not that I should have to defend myself on this point.)

    • That’s it? “you sir are wrong!”, you aren’t going to say why? why did you post that then? I don’t care how much you like a musical group, its OK if they have a bad song every once in a while, and even if you love the song at least say it.
      I agree and disagree with the post myself. I think its a catchy song, and it could possibly be a good song, but I have not cared enough about it to look it up on YouTube to find out either way. No I do not listen to vampire weekend, but I am not going to discount the band just because of one song that they had got into an annoying commercial.

  9. Jason M

    I think this POS song was made specifically for commercials. Everyone knows how horrible most “jingles” are and this is no exception. Furthermore how is this “band” even a band? Clearly they are a bunch of talentless trolls who thought they would name themselves after an idiotic counterculture of weirdoes to gain the attention of those individuals. What is it I am talking about? Vampires!!! Since when did Vampires start meaning goofy a$$ make up wearing, pasty-faced douchebag momma’s boys who start crying if they have sand in their vaginas. Vampires from the old school were not prissy little made-up fairies, they were monsters!!! This group is just like MTV and that entire worthless generation…A BUNCH OF PATHETIC PUSSIES! Like Dennis Miller would say, “Of course that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.” Oh and by the way I am not an “old fogey” either, I am 30, I just have to draw the line in the sand with BS groups like this with no talent. Ten years from now after they are “has beens” or “never weres” you will be able to see this lame a$$ group with Miley Cyrus at the same concert headlining a little county fair FOR FREE!! Even then they would just be the warm up acts!

  10. I have determined that commercials must run 24/7. My basis for this is that no matter what channel I last watched when I turned it off, no matter what time of day I turn the tv back on, there is ALWAYS a commercial on. Quick, try another channel, commercial, try another, commercial.