"All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon....
Hanging about
Down the market street
I spent a lot of time on my feet
When I saw some passing yabbos
We did chance to speak

I knew how to sing
Why' know an
They knew how to pose
An' one of them had a Les Paul
Heart attack machine

All the young punks
Laugh your life
'Cause there ain't much to cry for
All the young cunts
Live it now
'Cause there ain't much to die for

Everybody wants to bum
A ride on the rock 'n' roller coaster
And we went out
Got our name in small print on the poster
Of course we got a manger
Though he ain't the mafia
A contract is a contract
When they get 'em out on yer

You gotta drag yourself to work
Drag yourself to sleep
You're dead from the neck up
By the middle of the week

Face front you got the future shining
Like a piece of gold
But I swear as we get closer
It look more like a lump of coal
But it's better than some factory
Now that's no place to waste your youth
I worked there for a week once
I luckily got the boot


Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts) song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis was the first Clash song that I heard... Even today this song can be related: to the current neo-punk surge... everyone going with the fashion to become a 'punk' ("They knew how to pose") but without a cause to fight for.

    I can think of many... how people in authority abuse their power over others... how the world today revolves around image to get you anywhere in life... how everyone is allowed their own opinion as long as it's the same as the norm...

    I refuse to conform!

    Unfortunately today's neo-punks fight to look 'cool'. Shame that punk has become popular over the last 2 years... giving a bad name to old-school punks.

    I always was under the impression that punk was about change.
    Today, it's about looking the same.
    (or looking like Avril Lavigne)

    Better shut up before I'm arrested for breaching the laid-down rules of political correctness...
    colabottleon June 26, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe ad libs at the end are: "feeling bad for 3 to 4 days, feeling sad for 3 to 4 more, feeling hazy for 45 minutes, feeling crazy for 45 more we've been dancing all night long,waiting in the corner 'cause something's wrong, don't wanna get up and see that dawn...like the day before. A spliff, a pound, a half a pint of brown, this is the way we spell CAMDEN TOWN! I shouldn't speed it's not my need, feeling crazy for 45 more" [god love ya Joe!]
    batongalon May 13, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Dury and his band were seen as classically-trained or art-school types (which they were) jumping on the punk/new wave bandwagon. Although undoubtedly musically talented, they lacked any significant political agenda, and that's probably why the Clash took a dig at them."

    I'm don't agree with this. Fistly Dury was held in high regard by most of the Punk bands (Johnny Rotten, Mick Jones and Jimmy Pursey for instance). Strummer had known Dury during his pub rock days when he was in the 101'ers and Dury was in Kilburn & the Highroads amd there was never any animosity ever shown between the two then or later (in fact all of the bands of that era are always described as being quite chummy) plus they signed with Blackhill (Dury's management company at the time) and several peopel including Kozmo Vinyl, Johnny Green and one of the band (Strummer or Simonon possibly) have hinted/said that one of the reasosn for this was because they were managing Dury. And Dury did have a political direction, which pretty much matched the Clash's. Oh and the band would later go on hire three Blockheads - Mikey Gallagher, Norman Watt-Roy and Davey Payne at various times. Gallagher played on London Calling. So yeah, lol.

    The reason always sighted as to why Strummer got so pissed that Jonsey played with Dury for Sweet Gene Vincent is because he thought Jonsey should put the band above personal appearances.
    dwitefryon October 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song! the only band that matters...
    ClashPepperson March 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBasically about the band n such.. but thats obvious.. the point is more people should be commenting on this genius piece of work.
    Punker829on March 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentclash with conformity, rock awsome song, and an amen to colabottle
    optmstcon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPeace to you, optmstc! :)
    colabottleon July 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone heard the song "All the young dudes" by Mott the Hoople? I read somewhere that the Clash wrote this song because of Mott the Hoople's version.
    tommy_gunon June 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentby the by its
    have to laugh cuz there aint much to cry for
    livin now cuz there aint much to die for

    swell
    moogfaagon February 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't claim to be a punk of any sort, though I do like the Clash. I'd like to point out though, for all of you nostalgic about what it would have been like to live in the late '70s, that you certainly wouldn't have found it free of punk posers, as the Clash could have told you. Cf. the lyrics to 'White Man in Hammersmith Palais'
    albanyankeeon February 03, 2005   Link

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