"The City of the Dead" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon....
This is the city of the dead
As we lie side by side in bed
I'd do something else instead
But it is the city of the dead

We went out kickin' around
But you got drunk an' fallen down
An' I wished I could be like you
With the Soho River drinking me down

In the city of the dead
Fall in love an' fall in bed
It wasn't anything you said
Except I know we both lie dead

Don't you know where to cop
That's what New York Johnny said
You should get to know your town
Just like I know mine

While all the windows stare ahead
An' the streets are filled with dread
Every nation in the world
Slinks through the alley after girls

What we wear is dangerous gear
It'll get you picked on anywhere
Though we get beat up we don't care
At least it livens up the air

But someday's we hide inside
All courage gone and paralyzed
Sniff that wind of ugly tension
Today the jerks have got aggression

It is the city of the dead

Lyrics submitted by aebassist, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"The City of the Dead" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The City of the Dead song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment'NY JOHNNY' is Johnny Thunders who tought The Clash should get to know where to buy drugs. Johnny knew where to get them in his town, NY...
    ellajetgirlon June 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like this song because of the Thunders reference. BTW, the 'From Here To Eternity Live' version is better than the 'Black Market Clash' one IMO.
    Vacuitys Baneon July 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim sure its about london, that much is pretty obvious. joe strummer said he didnt really know london outside his own area. "YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW YOUR TOWN"

    "AS WE LIE SIDE BY SIDE IN BED" i think this is about how all the homes and shops etc are all really close and everyone is really close and squashed up.

    "EVERY NATION IN THE WORLD" London's a pretty multicultural city.

    its all pretty straight forward, i think they hated London alot though.
    joeytheboyon May 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree. i think that the clash despised what london had become a place where everything wasnt what it seemed and where you had no future unless you sold your soul.
    vicious_groupieon December 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I heard this story about how the clash did this in some town and the fans there thought they where saying there city was dead so they went beserk throwing stuff at the band and gererally rioiting.
    Cpt-Sensibleon October 28, 2005   Link

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