"Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" as written by Topper Headon, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
Anything we should know about your change?
So you're on the floor at fifty-four
Think you can last at the Palace
Does your body go to the to and fro?
But tonight's the night or didn't you know
That Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe

He tried his tricks that Ruskie bear
The United Nations said it's all fair
He did the radiation he did the chemical plague
But he could not win with a cossack spin

The Vostok Bomb the Stalin strike
He tried every move he tried to hitch hike
He drilled a hole like a Russian star
He made every move in his repertoire

When Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe

Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe

Now it was G.I. Joe's turn to blow
He turned it on cool and slow
He tried a payphone call to the Pentagon
A radar scan a leviathan

He wiped the Earth clean as a plate
What does it take to make a Ruskie break?
But the crowd are bored and off they go
Over the road to watch China blow

Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe
Ivan meets G.I. Joe


Lyrics submitted by aebassist, edited by jpaulo

"Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Ivan Meets G.I. Joe song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about what potentially could have happened during the cold war if America or the Soviet Union would have decided to strike against one another with nuclear weapons. Scary shit...
    freehat17on May 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo way I always wondered who sang it I thought it was just Joe or Mick with an effect on their voice. It's a light hearted song kinda funny but about a really serious issue. Classic Clash.
    Cpt-Sensibleon October 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Clash truly were the soundtrack to the Cold War.

    And more than relevant to the current geo-political state of the globe.
    BoHoon February 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd like to add Topper wrote and sang it. Was it the only song he sang when he was with Clash?
    iamrickenforton November 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this song a lot. As Cpt-Sensible said it is a light-hearted song about a serious issue. Sandinista! was a great album, I have to admit.
    spork542on December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTopper Headon sings this song. He also wrote much of "rock the casbah" and plays bass, drums, and piano on that song... not many people know that.

    the song is about an imaginary battle between 2 figures GI Joe (representing USA) and Ivan (representing USSR).

    Ivans powers include radiation and chemicals (all big cold war fears). the end mentions everyone leaving to watch China, another communist country
    sgt.peppperon December 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. Always wondered though why they used "Ivan" when The communists were pretty anti that. Guess it just sounded better than "Stalin meets G.I. Joe" haha, or its more recognizable, w/e.
    Croatian9Deuceon November 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentof course it's about the US and the USSR finally facing off, however, the metaphor is that they are two guys at studio 54 in 70s NYC, using every trick in the book to win the big dance-off as the crowd observes. the spectators, ultimately bored with all the devastation, leave to watch china! (was this yet another example of the prescient, damn-near psychic foresight of the only band that still matters, predicting the inevitable rise of china, a fact the rest of us only began to observe in recent years?)
    sparafucileon November 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI only remember the tail end of the cold war, but this song brings to mind memories of the mood in Europe - that we were trapped, geographically and politically, between two dangerous lunatics. There was definitely a feeling that if Russia and America went to war, we'd be the ones getting the bulk of the fallout (pun intended).
    stygimolochon August 11, 2012   Link

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