"Corner Soul" as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
Is the music of grove skin rock
Soaked in the diesel of was boys war?
Blood, black gold and the face of a judge
Is the music calling for a river of blood?

Beat the drums tonight, Alphonso
Spread the news all over the grove
The big meeting has decided
That total was must burn on the grove

Does it mean I should take my machete
To chop my way through the path of life?
Does it mean I should run with the dog pack
Is that the way to be the one to survive?

Never need a gun says Tai Chi
Move on up to dragon snaps his tail
Fall back on still waters
Hammer with his eye on the nail

Spread the word tonight please, Sammy
They're searching every house on the grove
Don't go alone now, Sammy!
The wind has blown away the corner soul

Tell the news for me, Sammy
They're searching every place on the grove
But don't go down alone new, Sammy!
The wind has blown away the corner soul

Is the music calling for a river of blood?

Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Corner Soul" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Corner Soul song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song (Corner Soul) is most likely about the Rivers Of Blood speech by Enoch Powell, a conservative MP in the UK in the 1960's... Basically, he was saying that the black (and other minority, to a lesser extent) British subculture - what Strummer generally refers to as "music"* - cannot co-exist with English, white culture and the entire multi-ethnic situation will implode and result in a catastrophic, biblical-style 'river of blood' in the streets of Birmingham specifically and the UK more generally. Obviously, Strummer is at odds with this opinion and doubts the logic, or at least thinks it's interesting, expressed in the question "Is the music calling for the river of blood?" You can read more about the speech and its effects and interpretations at wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/….

    *Music in the black British culture has also been explored by, among others, Paul Gilroy who called the LP the second most important influence the creation of (and distinction from pre-existing black cultures) black British culture. At least, I'm pretty sure it was Gilroy.
    brokendoglegon December 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdon't know what it means, but its a great song anyway.
    schlieffenon May 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I once fell asleep with sandanista! going and awoke up at three in the morning to this song I was drenched in sweat and convinced I was in a tent. It was during the chorus and I was pretty sure some people had machete and where out to get me with them, I also thought the music was like their battle song. It took me about a minuit or two to realise I could pause the the music and that I was in my bed. It wasw utterly terrifying.
    Cpt-Sensibleon February 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a great song. One of my favorite lesser known Clash songs. It has such a soothing sound to it. Don't really understand what it is about, though, "Never need a gun says Tai Chi" most likely refers to Tai chi chuan, a Chinese martial art.
    pretzzron July 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of those Clash songs that have such a compassionate vibe to them... of course it's "total war", not "total was". taking into account the recurrent Vietnam theme in Joe's lyrics, this could be about a war-weary soldier telling a Vietnamese boy named Sammy to run to the shacks of his village, warning that soldiers are coming soon to burn down the village.
    it never fails to leave me stunned.
    Heinrichon June 07, 2008   Link

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