"Hitsville U.K." as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
They cried the tears, they shed the fears
Up and down the land
They stole guitars or used guitars
So the tape would understand
Without even the slightest hope of a thousand sales
Just as if there was a Hitsville in UK
Know the boy was all alone, till the Hitsville UK

They say true talent will always emerge in time
When lightening hits small wonder
It's fast rough factory trade
No expense accounts, or lunch discounts
Or hypeing up the charts
The band went in 'n' knocked 'em dead in two minutes and fifty-nine

No slimey deals, with smarmy eels, in Hitsville UK
Let's shake 'n' say we'll operate in Hitsville UK
The mutants, creeps and muscle men
Are shaking like a leaf
It blows a hole in the radio
When it hasn't sounded good all week
A mike 'n' boom, in your living room - in Hitsville UK
No consumer trials, or A.O.R. in Hitsville UK
Now the boys and girls are not alone
Now the Hitsvilles hit UK

Lyrics submitted by aebassist, edited by Mellow_Harsher, jpaulo

"Hitsville UK" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hitsville U.K. song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe girl is Ellen Foley who was Mick Jones' girl friend at the time.
    LolaBaton October 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about the beginning of independent record labels.

    Small Wonder was an indie record label that brought us The Cure.

    Rough Trade was another label that helped make The Smiths famous.

    Factory brought us Joy Division/New Order and the Happy Mondays.

    It's amazing what Google and 5 minutes of research will do.
    hangover grenadeon February 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually this is my favorite Clash song. Its classic Clash. Unbelievable lyrics that are totally contradictory to the tune.
    benjyedwardson July 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah not one of my personal favorites of the Clash (which by the way is my favorite band). It's a shame to, I saw a lot of potential in the song. Sort of like how they destroyed the amazing "Career Opportunities" from the self titled debut, when they had the children's choir verson of it on Sandanista. But oh well.
    Bigson October 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this song a lot. It is classic Clash IMO, as benjyedwards said. It grows on you the more you hear Sandinista, and not like a fungus.
    spork542on December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it's both about and an example of the sheer joy and power of music
    ntwjoneson January 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd Subpop has done to every alternative musician ever
    TastethePavementon August 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes this song take its melody from another? Sounds very familiar...
    MHHD2on December 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat does Subpop have to do with this song?
    Venha Futuroon April 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMHH62, the bassline and funky guitar riff sound very similar to some hit song by the Supremes... 2 years later, The Jam would have a hit (of course...) with a very close song, "A Town Called Malice".
    Anyway, it's an homage to 60's Motown sound (which studios in Detroit were dubbed "Hitsville, USA". Those who say they don't like this song should really listen to these delightful sounds !
    About the lyrics, I think it's a tribute to the abounding music activity of late 70's UK (with this music label name-dropping), and a tribute to the do-it-yourself spirit :
    "They stole guitars or used guitars
    - So the tape would understand,
    Without even the slightest hope of a 1000 sales"
    The Dog That Ate...on March 26, 2008   Link

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