"Clash City Rockers" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon....
An' I want to move the town to the Clash city rockers
You need a little jump of electrical shockers
You better leave town if you only want to knock us
Nothing stands the pressure of the Clash city rockers

You see the rate they come down the escalator
Now listen to the tube train accelerator
Then you realize that you got to have a purpose
Or this place is gonna knock you out sooner or later

So don't complain about your useless employment
Jack it in forever tonight
Or shut your mouth and pretend you enjoy it
Think of all the money you've got

An' I want to liquefy everybody gone dry
Or plug into the aerials that poke up in the sky
Or burn down the suburbs with the half-closed eyes
You won't succeed unless you try

You owe me a move say the bells of St. Groove
Come on and show me say the bells of Old Bowie
When I am fitter say the bells of Gary Glitter
No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I
No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I

An' I want to move the town to the Clash city rockers
You need a little jump of electrical shockers
You better leave town if you only want to knock us
Nothing stands the pressure of the Clash city rockers
Rock rock Clash city rockers


Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Clash City Rockers" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Clash City Rockers song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commentwhat made the clash last was their huge amount of talent. they didn't stay with "punk" style entirely because they could go beyond that. over the years, ska, reggae, soul, r&b, jazz, rap, funk, and even what you would call new wave joined their repertoire. not only did this show off their copious and diverse talents, but widely expanded their fanbase by inviting fans of all different styles to listen to their favored style, and then to everything else the clash could do. you can praise "old-school clash" all you want, but don't disregard the enormity of everything after.
    pintsofguinnesson October 03, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"They went new wave after the release of London Calling, didn't they? Most Clash fans I've met have heard (and liked) 'Rock The Casbah' and 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' - new wave. (OK, Rock the Casbah could be interpreted as a response to a political situation... but new wave is basically unpoliticised).

    I'm more of a fan of their actual punk-rock (earlier) stuff... ever since the London Calling album the politics kinda dissolved... I mean, think 'Train In Vain', 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' to name a few. "

    Wow, that was slightly painful to read.
    New wave? New order, joy division, that is new wave.
    Their sound didn't change overnight, it evolved evenly across every album. By combat rock, it was almost exclusively dub/raggae based, but you can definately see the sound progressing that way across all albums;
    white man in hammersmith...
    safe european home,
    etc.

    The music that is not "punkrock" anymore is still fantastic, and is even more fantastic when you look at what type of band they started out as. I love punk rock to death, but you can't deny the awesome songs that came later even though they weren't punk.
    And the political lyrics didn't stop by any means.
    Sandinista covers:
    -racial issues
    -the cold war
    -gang warfare
    -running from the cops(isnt that punkrock enough for you ;))
    -etc etc.
    (in my opinion, sandinista contains many lyrical masterpieces, it somethign about england, somebody got murdered etc)

    Combat rock covers:
    -the vietnamese war
    -war in general
    -the police again
    -etc etc

    It's also interesting that the three songs you said were the most "new wave" we Rock the Casbah, Should I stay or Should I Go, and Train in Vain.
    First, THEY ARE NOT NEW WAVE!! Anything that doesn't sound like punk is not automatically new wave!!
    Second, perhaps you dont like them because they were not writted by Joe.
    Mick wrote should I stay... and Train in Vain, and Topper wrote Rock the Casbah.

    Punk is about being open minded and accepting of new concepts. try it.

    Not meant to chew you up, just in the spirit of good debate!
    Boulevardtrash.comon March 13, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe bit about bells, is an adaptation of a the nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons". It does also feature in Orwells' 1984, but I don't think that is how they are using it. The Clash have just used the tune and pace of the rhyme and replaced churches with their own choice of musicians. It's a bit funny and clever.
    matthewsheffieldon July 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionThe Clash stayed true to punk throughout their career. Too many people think punk is defined by loud, distorted guitars banging out two or three chords, with the vocalist sneering the lyrics. Punk is more identified by your ethic, ethos, and most importantly, *not selling out*.

    The Clash never sold out, to be sure. They got their label to release double and triple albums for the price of a single album. They worked hard for their fans, and only took on bigger opportunities when they were comfortable with it and it made sense in the context of their career.

    They only moved away from the original "punk sound" of 1976 and 1977 because they were becoming better musicians. Now, I love "Clash City Rockers" as much as the next Clash fan, but if their career had consisted of eight years of songs that sounded that way, they would NOT be as well regarded today. It would be more like the Ramones, who are definitely legends, but people always tell you to explore the post-1970s material with trepidation. EVERYTHING the Clash did was innovative and creative, even if it wasn't all great. That's a big part of why they are regarded as legends. (Let's forget the Cut the Crap LP. They failed there by trying to pander to the stereotype of punk.)

    If you want to see how fast the Clash evolved, just look at the US version of their debut album. It came out in 1979, two years after it debuted in the UK, and had four songs removed in favor of five songs recorded at various sessions from 1977-1979. All of these songs sound vastly different from each other, much less the songs from the original 1977 UK LP.

    OK, I'll end my rant now. It just bugs me to no end that people can't see past 1976/1977 punk as "true punk," and that people think the Clash stopped being punk somewhere along the way.
    leamancon January 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it's about how the clash is comming to town and some jerks don't like the music and don't want them to play punk rock in their town, so Joe Strummer is telling them to 'shut your mouth and pretend you enjoy it' because no one is going to stop them..good song.
    AllStarMeon April 24, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure this song was written to describe Clash fans.
    Morbadumon September 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm more of a fan of their actual punk-rock (earlier) stuff... ever since the London Calling album the politics kinda dissolved... I mean, think 'Train In Vain', 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' to name a few.


    Train in Vain was on London Calling....
    Jim Youngon October 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentno one but you and i say the bells of prince far-i


    children will sing that in nursery school in the twenty-fifth century
    moogfaagon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentselling out is a cracker ass concept for cracker ass crackers
    is it better to be one of them righteous trees in a self-righteous empty forest? (and sound is only sound if somebody hears it, otherwise its just a crappy ole compression wave)
    moogfaagon February 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYESSSS!!! I love the clash's old stuff!!!! They went new-wave after!!!
    *SweetxWhitexLies*on July 03, 2002   Link

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