"1977" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon....
In 1977 I hope I go to heaven
Cause I been too long on the dole
And I can't work at all

Danger stranger
You better paint your face
No Elvis, Beatles, or the Rolling Stones
In 1977

In 1977
Knives in West Eleven
Lent so lucky to be rich
Sten guns in Knightsbridge

Danger stranger
You better paint your face
No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones
In 1977

In 1977
You're on the never never
You think it can't go on forever
But the papers say it's better
I don't care 'cause I'm not all there
No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones

In 1977
Sod the jubilee
In 1978
In 1979
Stayed in bed
In 1980
In 1981
The toilet don't work
In 1982
In 1983
Here come the police
In 1984

Lyrics submitted by SexieSadie

"1977" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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1977 song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe title seems to refer to the song titles of The Stooges' songs 1969 and 1970.
    Also, the term ''danger stranger'' goes back to Iggy & The Stooges' Gimme Danger.

    The song doesn't seem to be about The Beatles, The Stones or Elvis. Elvis wasn't dead yet, and The Stones were still rockin'. The problem was that the youth couldnt't relate to the music they made at that point. Elvis and the Stones were decadent superstars in those years.
    Reinton October 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIt's often overlooked that Strummer had previously been playing a lot of covers in his retro pub band the 101ers. "No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones" may be partly a reference to him now starting again with something new and original. That and punk posturing!
    DwarfCowboyon May 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTimes are changing
    Armegideonon December 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice Orwell reference at the end.
    Regos the Saneon June 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentinteresting how elvis is mentioned, since elvis died in 77.
    yelloweyeyeson August 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe song's not about celebrating the death of Elvis, but the irrelevance of every rock act that came before the Clash and the punk wave of 77. Considering the stylistic expansiveness of the band's future discography, these lyrics weren't 100% earnest; as such they stand almost completely alone among Clash songs.
    chowfun18on November 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwritten in 77 but still relavent today the feeling that all hope is lost and u hate your life and whats around u love the clash!!!!!!
    josephederyon December 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, for sure about how get over the old and go in with the new punk wave. And yeah, still fits today, least to me.
    Lyleon May 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningA statement about the convoluted world of the UK in the 70s. More Orwellian than anything else. Beatles, Stones & Elvis were rendered useless by the less than ideal subsistence of the U.K. youth and terrible economy. The song is an alarm to wake up and retake control of your own life.
    Better paint your face means that color doesn't matter - that all youth are in the same boat.
    That no neighborhoods - no matter how exclusive (Knightsbrige) would be immune from violence.
    slimtenon January 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the best songs from their early days.

    Always liked the “1984” ending to reference Orwell. Also interesting that the song’s sudden ending at 1984 -sorta- predicts the end of the band’s career
    StayFree95on February 27, 2018   Link

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