"The Crooked Beat" as written by Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon....
Start the car lets make a midnight run
Across the river to South London
To dance to the latest hi-fi sound
Of bass, guitar and drum
Seeking out a rhythm that can take the pressure off
Stepping in and out of that crooked crooked beat

Take a piece of cloth, a coin for thirst
For the sweat will start to run
With a cymbal splash, a word of truth
And a rocking bass and drum
Seeking out a rhythm that can take the pressure on
Stepping in and out of that crooked crooked beat

So one by one they come on down
From the tower blocks of my home town
Stepping with the rhythm of the rockers beat
Drowning out the pressure of the crooked beat
Seeking out a rhythm that can take the tension on
Stepping in and out of that crooked crooked beat

It has crooked past this crooked street
Where cars patrol this crooked beat
Badges flash and sirens wail
They'll be taking one and all to jail

Prance! Prance! You want a law to dance?

Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"The Crooked Beat" as written by Paul Simonon Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Crooked Beat song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentYet another homage to the Clash's love of reggae, courtesy of Paul Simonon. A simple yet effective bass line with with the echo drums we all love in reggae, and a Mikey Dread vocal bit to emphasize the point. People can go on about "London Calling" all they want (and deservedly so), but "Sandinista" is my favorite Clash album. Beyond the constraints of simple "punk", that album took it all in (a flawed masterpiece is still a masterpiece). Anyways, Paul Simonon always was the reggae man of the band ("Guns of Brixton" anyone?), and it shows here. i guess reggae in those days was basically punk from a different place (or punk was reggae from a different place), and it is interesting how the punks of the time were into the whole reggae scene. Now when one thinks "reggae", they tend to think hippies and/or dancehall. But this song shows ya where the Clash were coming from, and what they were into.
    Shiro_Kon November 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, this is a great song. I would have to say Shiro K said it all.
    spork542on December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favourites on Sandinista!
    I just LOVE how Paul says, "And a rocking bass and drum".

    And I hate how few comments there are.
    Come one everyone.

    Prance! Prance!
    you want a law to dance?
    RettAlexison November 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSandinista is the best Clash Album EVER! its by far the most diverse album with plenty of punk/Dub/Reggae/Calypso/Funk/ and RAP!

    R.I.P. Joe Strummer and Mikey Dread
    Steppingrazoron December 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe bass line in this song is great. In terms of the meaning, the first post seems to have nailed it.
    fuzzyslipperson October 14, 2009   Link

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