Holiday in Cambodia (3:46)

Cover of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

From Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and 61 other releases

“Holiday in Cambodia” was the second single by the American hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys. The record was released in May 1980 on Alternative Tentacles with “Police Truck” as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band’s first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980), and the version that appeared on this single, as well as the single’s b-side, are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987). The cover picture of the single is taken from the 6 October 1976 Massacre in Thailand, and depicts a member of the rightist crowd beating the corpse of a student protester with a metal chair.

The song attacks both Eastern totalitarianism, Western complacency and the direct relation between the two through American military intervention. The song’s lyrics offer a satirical view of young, self-righteous Americans (So you been to school/For a year or two/And you know you’ve seen it all/In daddy’s car/Thinkin’ you’ll go far…) and contrast such a lifestyle with a brutal depiction of the Pol Pot regime of Cambodia (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 version of this song that appears on Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables is slightly different from the single version, being fifty-five seconds longer and featuring an extended guitar noise intro as well as an extended psychedelic solo.

In October 1998, Jello Biafra was sued by former members of the Dead Kennedys. According to Biafra, the suit was a result of his refusal to allow “Holiday in Cambodia” to be used in a commercial for Levi’s Dockers; Biafra opposes Levi’s due to what he believes are their unfair business practices and sweatshop labor.

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  • HayleighRayment

    And the one

    13 Nov 11:04pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Come in my kind and the Meditation Opera and Meditation song off to Blackheath common to watch the banned tune is a lovely cheese and the

    13 Nov 11:03pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    A good boy and did I get a Chinese restaurant on the way to be a year now drink the blood come in my

    13 Nov 11:02pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    I want a bath because I am a good boy who gets bullied because she was a good

    13 Nov 11:01pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    To a rubbish and I want a

    13 Nov 11:00pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    I can be a year old at a party and a fish in the summer hit last night I lost the original Download purchased 5th May have been better since the Meditation Opera film a good father and the control plays with it a burst blood vessel for the photographs you are you calling donkey boy who had crocodile tears from me to a

    13 Nov 10:59pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Resort to be the case of the world this year so I can be

    13 Nov 10:58pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Again to the beach resort to

    13 Nov 10:58pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    This is what we used for the first one who is a good boy who had crocodile tears want to be a year now drink your resume to do it again to

    13 Nov 10:56pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    What you say about this is the one who brought that the microwave for a nice picture in the Meditation and go on like this is

    13 Nov 10:55pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Where's my delicious golden stuffed turkey curry Fiona and Blair p.s could you please ask uuuia when she said that tree slogan to me and she's out of order

    29 Oct 10:14pm Reply
  • Phoelich

    This song is truly awesome!! Powerful lyrics and great guitar play

    4 Oct 9:58pm Reply
  • postmortem2

    Ohhhh wie lang ist das jetzt schon her.... toll wieder zu hören! Klassiker

    15 Jul 12:24am Reply
  • YoQueSe666

    If attacking global politics is your aim, then punk music is one of the best mediums to do it through! The Dead Kennedys do not hold back on this track in which they condemn the infamous Pol Pot dictatorship in Cambodia, and trash the complacent westerner who’s oblivious to it all. The Kennedys know who’s to blame, and they live a lot closer to home than we’d care to admit! Just edging out the band’s “Too Drunk to Fuck”, this track’s too angry to overlook! -- watchmojo

    22 Jun 11:51am Reply
  • Mickyby

    one of the best bands! up the with The Scientists!!!!!

    26 Apr 2:26am Reply
  • buttereastwood

    hahahhaahh, perfeito!

    17 Apr 9:11pm Reply
  • Zanderich

    Where you'll kiss ass OR CRAaAaAaAaAck!

    8 Apr 10:45pm Reply
  • rOnieAirhead

    A true classic

    4 Apr 11:18am Reply
  • punkmorg

    You just have to love this song

    15 Mar 12:48pm Reply
  • ravenpryde

    That's Portuguese not Spanish Kikyo...

    14 Mar 9:18am Reply
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