Burning up your hometown streets could set a fire for the world to catch
Burn it up, no need to reconcile

Come and see me, I'm your west end perfect stranger, in America
Lady on that state's so full of style

Stand up, turn around, beat it out
You gotta sound, Joe
Swing low and now I know
It's hard to let a brother go, Joe

The many boots that you have laced could tell a story, comin' night and day (?)
No one said that you would need a crowd

The many lands that you have graced could make a case that there is no better make
And now I only see your face in clouds

Stand up, turn around, beat it out
You gotta sound, Joe
Swing low and now I know
It's hard to let a brother go, Joe

Stand up, turn around, beat it out
You gotta sound, Joe
Swing low and now I know
It's hard to let a brother go, Joe

Tell me so (?)
Do you know
Does it show
When I'm low

And then again, when I feel your love from far away, I think of yesterday
I see a family we know how to smile

There comes a time when you must rock another world and we will get along
There comes a time when we will walk that mile

Stand up, turn around, beat it out
You gotta sound, Joe
Swing low and now I know
It's hard to let a brother go, Joe

Stand up, turn around, beat it out
You gotta sound, Joe
Swing low and now I know
It's hard to let a brother go, Joe


Lyrics submitted by Hump De Bump

Joe song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentreggae b-side from Desecration smile.
    I loved it.
    Hump De Bumpon February 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis sucks itunes wont let me buy it b/c i don't live in the UK
    supernukeon February 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am almost sure that this is about Joe Walters, one of AK's best friends when he was a teenager. He talks about him in Scar Tissue.
    wisdom cubeon February 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthia is about Joe from "the Clash" if anyone watched the CHilis on more4 on "live at abbey road", Flea was talking about how much of an influence he is on the band.
    "Swing low and now I know
    It's hard to let a brother go, Joe"

    I think this could be a brief reference to Hillel Slovak, and a grief the band and Joe share.
    iluvpunkrockon February 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSurely, the first line ("Burning up your hometown streets could set a fire for the world to catch") must be a tribute to Bob Marley & the Wailers. Their album "Catch a Fire" was their international breakthrough, after all.

    I don't know about Joe Strummer from the Clash, but given this song's reggae style, I'd say all of it is a tribute to Bob Marley & the Wailers. Strummer passed away in late 2002, though—after the Peppers had already recorded By the Way—so I'm thinking this song could be a tribute both to him and to Bob Marley & The Wailers.

    No matter what, it's an awesome tune! :)
    Reverend Duckon April 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI would say its about Joe Strummer. Reggae heavily influenced The Clash, anyways. It sounds like a tribute to his passing. Even if By The Way came out after Joe's death this could of been written about that time, but Anthony didn't think it was right for the album.

    "Come and see me, I'm your west end perfect stranger, in America"

    It sounds like a reference that Joe is from England while Anthony, America. (England being West of America of course.)

    "The many boots that you have laced could tell a story, comin' night and day (?)
    No one said that you would need a crowd"

    That entire segment alone reminds me of the whole "Punk" style of life Joe lived.
    Wrong Em Boyoon May 12, 2007   Link

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