I don't like Mondays- school murder by Brenda Ann Spencer

When I was a teenager Sir Bob Geldolf and his band the "Boomtown Rats" were No 1 in the charts for four weeks during the summer of 1979. The title of the song was, "I don't like Mondays" in which the main character said they were going to "shoot the whole day down". The song was a success and I guess many people of may age could quite happily sing along as near word perfect as they were over thirty years ago.

However the song was based on a true real life story of Brenda Ann Spencer who really didn't like Mondays.

Brenda Spencer
Brenda Spencer

Brenda Spencer was born on the 3rd of April 1962 and at Christmas 1978 her father Wallace gave her a shotgun. For those of us who live in towns and cities this seems a totally off the wall present to give to a 16 year old child.

Brenda Spencer lived opposite a school, the Grover Cleveland Elementary school in San Diego. Sitting comfortably in her own home Brenda Spencer started to fire at people as they came to the school. The first target was the headmaster Burton Wragg as he bravely tried to shield the children from her bullets. The Head Custodian Mike Suchar also died as he tried to help Mr Wragg protect the children.. These brave men were the only people to die but Brenda also managed to injure 8 children and one policeman who had come to investigate and help.

Police soon realised where the shots were coming from and surrounded the Spencer House laying seige for about six hours before Brenda finally gave herself up.

The bizarre nature of the shootings started to emerge when Brenda gave herself up to the police.

When asked how she selected people to be shot she answered that she aimed for red and blue jackets. When asked why she had shot the people that day she made her soon to be famous reply " I don't like Mondays" she added that the shooting had livened up the day and it was a lot of fun undertaken for no reason. Brenda Spencer likened the children to "shooting ducks in the pond" adding that the children looked lile a herd of cows standing around which made them "easy pickings".

Brenda Spencer pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life imprisonment.

This sentence meant that Spencer had to apply to the parole board to be released. An attempt for parole in 2005 was denied. At the parole hearing Spencer claimed that at the time of the incident she had been high on drugs and tht she had been sexually abused by her father since her teenage years. This was the first time that she had ever mentioned this.

Grover Cleveland Elementary school was closed in 1983 as it had too few pupils

12" single cover
12" single cover

I don't like Mondays- Boomtown Rats

The silicon chip inside her head

Gets switched to overload

And nobody's gonna go to school today

She's going to make them stay at home.

And daddy doesn't understand it,

He always said she was good as gold

And he can see no reason

'cause there are no reasons

What reason do you need to be shown?


Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

I want to shoot

The whole day down


The telex machine is kept so clean

As it types to a waiting world

And mother feels so shocked

Father's world is rocked

And their thoughts turn to

Their own little girl.

Sweet 16 ain't so peachy keen

No, it aint so neat to admit defeat

They can see no reasons

'cause there are no reasons

What reasons do you need to be shown?


Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

I want to shoot

The whole day down


All the playings stopped in the playground now

She wants to play with her toys a while

And school's out early and soon we'll be learning

And the lesson today is how to die

And then the bullhorn crackles

And the captain crackles

With the problems and the how's and why's

And he can see no reasons

'cause there are no reasons

What reasons do you need to die?


Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays

I want to shoot

The whole day down

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Comments 19 comments

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 19 months ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

Hello to all the students from Denmark. I have just got back from a cruise where we stopped at Aarhus and visited the town which was good fun. I understand it will be the capital of culture in 2017 so maybe I will come back.

I think you can trust this article as I read and detail as much as possible from more than one source. Normally on a site such as this you don't reference but I take your point and will think about it in the future.

Guns are frightening and it is so awful when these shootings happen. The gun laws in the UK are really tight but still we have violence within our schools- a teacher died in 2013 as she was stabbed by a student.

I wish you all well, commend you all on your command of the English language and hope that you continue your studies

Thank you

1d group 2 20 months ago

Hello Case1woker.

We have read your text about Brenda Spencer. It's a tragic story. When we read that Brenda said "I don't like mondays" as the reason why she did the school shooting, we though there might be another reason. Why doesn't she like mondays? Mabey she had a bad experience on mondays? Brenda later said that she was being abused by her father. Could it be the reason?

In Denmark it's hard to get guns, even when your older. That could be the reason why we never had had a school shooting in Denmark. We find it every irresponsible that Brenda's father gave her a gun at her 16th birthday.

Your sincerely, studens from Denmark.

valles 20 months ago

Meaningless violence is the worst kind. I just read your article and I am ashamed to be a human being when I read how people can behave. The worst thing is that it is not a one-time case. Through the years, similar events have played out. But now to the real question, why always America?... I am from Denmark, and we have not had similar events that I have heard and so on through the world. It happens everywhere I will not deny that, but not anything near the rate in America. The only thing I really can think is their stupidly weird gun laws, but the Americans are too stubborn to realize it themselves and so they pay the price. But anyway, GOD BLESS AMERICA, they need it…

Axel Stubeen 20 months ago

We think the song is pretty good. But we think it's makes more sense after we read the blog and heard about Brenda Ann Spencer. She writes it very detailed. and she puts the song into the perspective.

Åge, Paul Erik, Kaja, Grethe, Hanne. 20 months ago

Dear case1worker,

We are from Denmark and have read your article about Brenda Ann spencer, the school murderer. In English we have about school shootings and we think it’s tragic.

The chances of this happening in Denmark is extremely small because we have gun laws that says you can’t have a gun until you’re 18 and it has to be locked in a safe. And we also thinks that America should be reconsider their laws against guns because it could prevent school shootings.

And we like your articles especially the ones about cats.

Greetings from Denmark

Group 1 20 months ago

Hello Case1Worker. We think it's a good article you have written and postet here at Hubpages. You give us a lot information about the case, but we need a reference list so we are 100% sure that you give us the truth about Brenda Ann Spencer. We liked that you postet the lyrics of the song "I don't like Mondays", that gave us the opportunity to understand why Brenda Ann Spencer could reference to the song. You give us a good big overview over the text, a good timeline, it makes it more clear and easy to understand.

Greeting Group 1 from Nykøbing Katedralskole in Denmark.

Group number 5 #Nykatten 20 months ago

We think that it's a good article, it describes a lot of things very well, and it coveres the subject. However we have a question, we got a task by our english teacher, while we work on the subject school shootings, our question is, is this text reliable, do you have any sources that makes the article more credible. We have looked up your blog and we see that you write about almost everything and that you don't specialize in one subject, wich also makes os wonder if this story can be trusted.

We hope you will answer our question.

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 3 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

You are right an unfortunate event but one that produced little change in America's gun laws- I know that is an ongoing debate in the US but in the UK we can't understand why anyone other than a hunter or someone who shot as a hobby would want one. Thanks for your visit

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Pretty clear that Brenda had something wrong in her head and sexual abuse can certainly contribute. Most people who experience rape or sexual abuse do not readily talk about it, and the younger they are when they experience it, the longer it takes them to talk about it.

An unfortunate event in every sense regardless of what caused it.

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

kkay63- glad to be of help and thanks for the visit-

kkay63 profile image

kkay63 4 years ago

So glad to find this Hub! Was just working on one about Bob, and needed more on this incident. You popped up as a related Hub! Wonderful job! Thanks so much!

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

Keisha- thank you for your comment- don't worry this sort of thing does not happen very often.

keisha 5 years ago

i am 8 years of age and i just read about this song and not that happy with Her!!. but i do like this song and happy that they wrote this song because if they didn't write this song people my age would not no about it and when they found out about it they probably be a little scared and might think that she can do it again. That's when it gets scary

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Wow, what a sad and tragic story. I don't recall that song but I must've heard it as I was a teenager at the time. That picture of her is really creepy :-0

Diana S 5 years ago

Wow, that is such an interesting background behind the song. I'm glad the lead singer of the band chose to do this, it's another one of those great songs that not only sounds good, but is existent for a strong,good purpose.

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

dahoglund - It might have been one of the first school shootings and the impact must have been awful.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Interesting incident. I never heard the song but I am probably in the wrong age group.

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

The words are there, lock yourself in the bathroom and sing along!

I don't remember the incident just the song and the incident afterwards- which is why i decided to research it

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

I well remember this incident. I really liked the song, and would join in the chorus whenever it played on the radio, but I could never quite ignore the true source of the lyrics. I'm sure the bizarre nature of Ms. Spencer's calm answer and demeanor to explain a seemigly senseless act of violence just added to the songs appeal.

Now I want to hear it...it is Monday after all.


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