Dreadlock Holiday
by 10cc

Album: Bloody Tourists (1978)
Charted: 1 44
  • The song is about a white man who gets lost in Jamaica and gets ripped off every step he makes (by a whore, by a gang who steal his medal, etc.). It was inspired by real events that happened to 10cc's Eric Stewart and Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues when they went on holiday together in Barbados.

    Stewart recalled in the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner & Spencer Leigh, "Justin and I were on a para-sailing raft in the middle of the ocean and I was strapped into this parachute gear. I was towed behind a speedboat at high speed. I took off and waved goodbye to Justin. He was then left on the raft with three black guys, one Jamaican and two from Barbados. The Jamaican guy said to Justin, 'I like your silver chain, man, I'll give you a dollar for it.' Justin replied, 'come on, it's worth a lot more than that and it's a present from my mother.' And this guy said, 'If this was Jamaica, I would cut your hand off for that.' I came back and asked Justin if he wanted to have a go. He said, 'No, let's get off this raft as quick as we can, I have had some problems.' When we got back to England, I relayed the story to Graham (Gouldman) and we wrote a song around it." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Thibaut - Brussels, Belgium
  • The lyrics came from several other sources. The expression, "Don't you walk through my words" came from a report about a radio DJ in Newcastle who was challenged when he walked through a group of black guys talking together. The line, "I don't like cricket, I love it" came from a conversation Gouldman had with a completely different Jamaican guy in a hotel in Jamaica. They ended up talking about sport and when Gouldman asked his new West Indian friend if he liked cricket he replied "I don't like cricket," before pausing. He then said. "I don't like cricket, I love it."
  • Graham Gouldman sang lead on this track, giving 10cc the distinction of having three UK #1 hits all with different lead vocalists (Lol Creme sang lead on "Rubber Bullets" and Stewart on "I'm Not In Love").

    By this time, Stewart and Gouldman were the only original band members; Creme and Kevin Godley left in 1976.
  • This song found a huge audience in the UK, but never caught on in America, where most people can't identify it by title. A lot of this had to do with an aversion to reggae on rock radio. "With 'Dreadlock Holiday,' we got a report from one station that said, 'Oh, we don't play reggae,'" Gouldman said in a Songfacts interview. "Ridiculous, just play good music, whatever it is."

Comments: 13

  • Tom from Dunedin, New ZealandAnyone notice an odd similarity to Gentle Giant's 1976 'Give It Back'? -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVsmECYtO0Q
  • Michael from Santa Cruz, CaThis song and "Life is a minestrone" were the ones that really got me into 10cc.Runner-up would be their mini-epic "The benefit".Great stuff.
  • Mark from Adelaide, AustraliaLuke from Manchester...10 cc were a great band, but this is no place to trade insults, by reading your comments I ask who is the deluded one. Just because you know this song intimately and the band your comments remind me of the stereotypical bigot.
  • Ken from Gibraltar, GibraltarThis is surely their best song and still heard and loved today as it was way back in 1978.

    ken. Gibraltar.
  • Glenn from Auckland, New ZealandI remember that this song was No. 1 for quite a few weeks in late 78. Sadly 10cc were coming to an end. Two years earlier Kevin Godley and Lol Creme had left 10CC and they were never quite the same, even though they had a couple of more hits afterwards.
  • Rob from Detroit, MiWow, Luke! How do you really feel?
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandYou stupid stupid American. You didn't listen to the song, you took what little you remembered and thought that was the actual structure... Poor deluded dickhead... This is an amazing song, 10cc are an amazing band, get educated.
  • Nakib from Dhaka, OtherThe movie 'Snatch' really brought this song to me,great song,great lyrics.
  • Jim from Stonerville, Cahave this song on the snatch soundtrack. coolest song on the album. i don't like reggae. i love it...
  • Guy from Wellington, New ZealandThis is a very cool 10CC song and if you get the chance to see the video they made it lends delightful humour to the rocking reggae tune. While they play the story for all its amusing content I'm sure the actual events for whoever suffered them must have been a hell of a lot more frightening.
  • Derek from Cambridge, New ZealandA very depressing song, it shows the worst sid eof Jamaica, in the lyrics of the song.
  • Jay from Geneva, CheezlandIt's featured on the brilliant film "Snatch". And as any song of this OST, it fits like a glove to the film.
  • Rich from Elkins, WvMy favorite song by 10cc is "I'm Not in Love" ...
    I don't think I've heard this one.
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