"Charlie Don't Surf" as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
[Chorus:]
Charlie don't surf and we think he should
Charlie don't surf and you know that it ain't no good
Charlie don't surf for his hamburger Momma
Charlie's gonna be a napalm star

Everybody wants to rule the world
Must be something we get from birth
One truth is we never learn
Satellites will make space burn

We've been told to keep the strangers out
We don't like them starting to hang around
We don't like them all over town
Across the world we are going to blow them down

[Chorus:]

The reign of the super powers must be over
So many armies can't free the earth
Soon the rock will roll over
Africa is choking on their Coca Cola

It's a one a way street in a one horse town
One way people starting to brag around
You can laugh, put them down
These one way people gonna blow us down

[Chorus:]

Charlie don't surf he'll never learn
Charlie don't surf though he's got a gun
Charlie don't surf think that he should
Charlie don't surf we really think he should
Charlie don't surf

Charlie don't surf and we think he should
Charlie don't surf and you know that it ain't no good
Charlie don't surf for his hamburger Momma
Charlie don't surf


Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Charlie Don't Surf" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Charlie Don't Surf song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentCharlie Don't Surf is a famous line from the film Apocalypse Now, spoken by Colonel Kilgore as justification for taking a beach at the Mekong Delta so the American soldiers could go surfing

    The song -- as well as the line from the movie -- is about American Imperialism.
    stupidwickon August 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFound out about it the same place as iamrickenfort... I'm assuming. The restaurant called Charlie Don't Surf in White Rock, B.C. Good songggg.
    ChicSquaredon March 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song first of all. At first I didn't really understand it's meaning but after seeing Apocolipse Now. If you want to understand the meaning see the movie!
    haycoon March 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAfrica is choking on their Coca Cola may be the best Clash lyric ever. Which is really saying something.
    freehat17on May 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLets see the T shirt, then. Juuust kidding. I first heard this song at a restaurant called, ironically, Charlie Don't Surf. Its a small place down by the beach in my hometown. I plan on seeing Apocolypse Now sometime in the future.
    iamrickenforton November 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"We've been told to keep the strangers out
    We don't like them starting to hang around
    We don't like them all over town"
    The Vietcong keeping USA out
    Armegideonon December 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is definatly about the US's governments foriegn policy of spreading western culture customs to other nations.

    charlie (code for the enemy army, specifically the vietcong)
    "charlie don't surf and we think he should" - the enemy doesn't surf, a western custom, and we want them to be like us and surf.
    also references to hamburgers and coka cola, american customs.


    it's a very pretty song, too.
    sgt.peppperon December 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSgt. Pepper has hit it well and truly, squarely on the head.
    BoHoon February 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould someone explain how this song was ever connected with charles manson, is it just the name?
    Vacuitys Baneon June 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnoo its not connected to Charles Manson read all of the prior posts, thats the meaning
    floating_eyeon June 28, 2006   Link

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