"Know Your Rights" as written by Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer....
This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights
All three of them

Number one
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime
Unless it was done
By a policeman
Or an aristocrat
Oh, know your rights

And number two
You have the right to food money
Providing of course
You don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights
Hey, say, Wang

Oh, know these rights

Number three
You have the right to free speech
As long as
You're not dumb enough to actually try it

Know your rights
These are your rights
Oh, know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested in some quarters
That this is not enough

Get off the streets
Get off the streets

Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Know Your Rights" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Know Your Rights song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentThis song just epitomizes Joe Strummer. What a fucking revolutionary, no one else could write a song about human rights like this. I love how he's just basically flipping the finger to the government with this. It's like he's thinking, we're supposed to be lucky to have all these so called 'rights', but all the shit we have to go through to get them, is it really worth it?
    Stoned Immaculateon September 20, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe meaning of this song is obvious, but here is some side info.

    Supposedly Joe wrote this song after a series of poorly produced public service announcements were broadcasted in areas of extreme poverty in England. Because of poor education people had to learn their rights through a commercial on the television. I heard this song was a sarcastic response to those messages. I could be wrong though.
    InsertEmoNameHereon December 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti really hope i dont have to explain the meaning of this one but this song has the greatest intro EVER
    "This is a public service announcement
    With guitar"
    hpw101on June 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the "investigation, humiliation" refers to the government researching and testing people to see if they were poor enough to be put on welfare. Hence, if you were lucky, you would be "rehabilitated" back into society. (?)
    P.S. Fantastic politically-charged song.
    Teakettleon September 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song means,the government sucks.They claim you have rights,that you are free.But you're not.Plain and simple.You can do what you want,but there is a price to pay at the end.So **** the government,basically.Wow,nobody commented on one of the coolest songs from the Clash.Darn.
    Skatersamluvsjohnnyon June 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is called "Know YOUR Rights" not "You"
    sammy4770on April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is one of the most self explanatory ever
    aceospades91on April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favourite clash songs. i love joes voice when he says "by a poliiiiiiiceman". obviously self explanatory. i love sarcasm in lyrics - "all three of them" is a great line
    atthedrive-inon November 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentheh heh heh i can sense the sarcasm in this song

    the clash are geniuses
    Mr. Badguy0077on December 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfor some reason this sounds like a song bob dylan would write. dont ask why
    Bleachisthebombon June 02, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top