"Washington Bullets" as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
Oh! Mama, Mama look there!
Your children are playing in that street again
Don't you know what happened down there?
A youth of fourteen got shot down there
The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town
The killing clowns, the blood money men
Are shooting those Washington bullets again

As every cell in Chile will tell
The cries of the tortured men
Remember Allende, and the days before,
Before the army came
Please remember Victor Jara,
In the Santiago Stadium,
Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again

And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961,
Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun,
For Castro is a color,
Is a redder than red,
Those Washington bullets want Castro dead
For Castro is the color...
...That will earn you a spray of lead

For the very first time ever,
When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
There was no interference from America
Human rights in America

Well the people fought the leader,
And up he flew...
With no Washington bullets what else could he do?

'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel
That the Moscow bullets missed
Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist...
...Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet,
How many monks did the Chinese get?
In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary,
'N' check the British bullets in his armory
Que?
Sandinista!


Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Washington Bullets" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Washington Bullets song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentamerica's crimes against humanity, committed in the name of stopping communism
    schlieffenon May 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBasically it's a critique of American foreign policy, particularly the habit of the US government in supporting anybody who was anti-communist, including fascist regimes such as that of Pinochet in Chile. Of course, US support for the Mojahadeen in Afghanistan is part of the reason the world is in the mess it's in right now. The lyrics are remarkably prescient.

    However, the genius of the song is that it doesn't just attack America, it attacks the USSR for invading Afghanistan and China for invading Tibet. Strummer was against both sides in the cold war, against all human rights abuses, whoever committed them.

    The reference to a 'playboy' in the Cuba verse is of course to JFK, who ordered the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
    ntwjoneson January 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSandinista were the communist rebels on Nicuragua(dunno if thats spelt right). The afgan rebels in this song that America funded during the USSR's war in afganistan later became Al Kaeda who america now hate.
    Fat Tedon November 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh! Mama, Mama look there!
    Your children are playing in that street again
    Don't you know what happened down there?
    A youth of fourteen got shot down there
    The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town
    The killing clowns, the blood money men
    Are shooting those Washington bullets again

    Talks about young casualties of gunfire between U.S. funded contrarevolucionaries and communist sandinist rebels (good Guys are sandinista) The contra were where the money from the iran contra affair was goin they were started after the sandinista march on somoza grounds by reagan (b@stard) and somozas second son (also b@stard) jamdown town is a big city in nicaragua coke drglords are also involved in this fight apparently


    As every cell in Chile will tell
    The cries of the tortured men
    Remember Allende, and the days before,
    Before the army came
    Please remember Victor Jara,
    In the Santiago Stadium,
    Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again

    not sure on allendas first name but he and jara were south american rebels helping multiple countries both assassinated by green beret snpers (more b@stards) ?the spanish dicator till lessee... '89 had multiple torture chambers but not in chille possible ref.? more later
    Punker_Kenon January 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentO dear God, I've just gotta correct Punker Ken on this one. Salvador Allende was a democratically elected leader of Chile whom the U.S. decided was too left wing (he was a socialist) As a consequence the U.S. gov't (as they have done many times) backes a right wing, military coup to illegally overthrow the democratically elected government of a foreign nation. This by the way, happened in 1973 - not all that long ago. Allende(once again - democratically elected) was summarily shot. Also killed by the U.S. supported military dictator, Pinochet (you may have heard of him) were Pablo Neruda, the brilliant poet and PEACE ACTIVIST and Victor Jara, a folk singer and peace activist. Jara's death id particularly sad - he was imprisoned with thousands of other men in the Santiago football stadium and when he sang and palyed to comfort his fellow prisoners, he was tortured! They broke all of his fingers, beat him for three days and then shot him ' FOR SINGING SONGS! This song is as passionate an indictment of Western foreign policy as I have ever heard. Thank god for the Clash "the only band that matterd"
    magpi1on January 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThank u very much i had assumed that the aformentioned were officers in the overthrow of batista like Che because the names sounded familiar i didnt check and the green beret killed many of the revolutionaries in that group

    not sarcastic thank u for correcting me i really like this song as it points out many failings in the government and is a very good song in general thanx
    Punker_Kenon January 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd in the Bay of Pigs in 1961,
    Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun,
    For Castro is a colour,
    Is a redder than red,
    Those Washington bullets want Castro dead
    For Castro is the colour...
    ...That will earn you a spray of lead

    just about the u.s. trying to kill castro pretty straightforward


    For the very first time ever,
    When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
    There was no interference from America
    Human rights in America

    im pretty sure about the fsln revoulution in 1979 as we took some time to mess it up


    Well the people fought the leader,
    And up he flew...
    With no Washington bullets what else could he do?


    one of the last successful peoples revolts somoza was exiled

    'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel
    That the Moscow bullets missed
    Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist...
    ...Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet,
    How many monks did the Chinese get?
    In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary,
    'N' check the British bullets in his armoury
    Que?
    Sandinista!

    talking about the afghani russia conflicts and the chinese dictatorship and slaughter of some practicing buddhists rest is self explanatory
    my favorite song thankmagpi for the corrections
    Punker_Kenon January 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is brilliant. Probably the best song the Clash made lyrically. One of their most underrated.
    Bigson July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA fantastic song with as much relevence today, I only regret it took me so long to find it.
    osamaon January 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGotta bring up the story of Victor Jara, because magpi1 touched on it, but the legend is a good story. As magpi1 said, he was a leftist folk singer, imprisoned in Santiago Stadium during the US-backed overthrow of Allende. He was tortured, his fingers broken, and his guitar smashed. His captors mocked him, and suggested he play a song. Jara picked up what was left of his smashed guitar with his shattered hands and fingers and played the melody of the Populist Party Anthem. It was then that the soldiers shot him. Now, keep in mind, this is the legend of Victor Jara. Probably exaggerated and embellished over the years, not necessarily completely true. Regardless, it is a great story, and Jara was a great artist and a powerful voice of the oppressed.
    slapshot303on February 07, 2007   Link

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