"Something About England" as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
They say immigrants steal the hubcaps
Of the respected gentlemen
They say it would be wine an' roses
If England were for Englishmen again

Well I saw a dirty overcoat
At the foot of the pillar of the road
Propped inside was an old man
Whom time would not erode
When the night was snapped by sirens
Those blue lights circled fast
The dance hall called for an' ambulance
The bars all closed up fast

My silence gazing at the ceiling
While roaming the single room
I thought the old man could help me
If he could explain the gloom
You really think it's all new
You really think about it too
The old man scoffed as he spoke to me
I'll tell you a thing or two

I missed the fourteen-eighteen war
But not the sorrow afterwards
With my father dead and my mother ran off
My brothers took the pay of hoods
The twenties turned the north was dead
The hunger strike came marching south
At the garden party not a word was said
The ladies lifted cake to their mouths

The next war began and my ship sailed
With battle orders writ in bed
In five long years of bullets and shells
We left ten million dead
The few returned to old Piccadilly
We limped around Lester Square
The world was busy rebuilding itself
The architects could not care

But how could we know when I was young
All the changes that were to come?
All the photos in the wallets on the battlefield
And now the terror of the scientific sun
There was masters an' servants an' servants an' dogs
They taught you how to touch your cap
But through strikes an' famine an' war an' peace
England never closed this gap

So leave me now the moon is up
But remember all the tales I tell
The memories that you have dredged up
Are on letters forwarded from hell

The streets were by now deserted
The gangs had trudged off home
The lights clicked off in the bedsits
An' old England was all alone

Lyrics submitted by aebassist, edited by AcousticLou

"Something About England" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Something About England song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentMusically this is said to be something of a mess.

    - I disagree.

    But the lyrics are as wistful and poignant as Joe and Mick ever got.

    A superb song that *should* have found its way onto the Essential Clash album along with Death or Glory, All The Young Punks, The Call Up and The Card Cheat.
    BoHoon February 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti feel like this is one of the most important songs the clash did. maybe not the best, but it absolutely shows where the entire punk phenomenon came from--the ruin of Britain after the war, and the subsequent failure to create opportunities for the following generations. not to mention the way the song shows the true effects of war on individual families. brilliant.
    thereisnospoon1on May 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the timelessness(is that a word) of this song. It's just as powerful today as it was 22 years ago.
    aebassiston March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYip if it isn't is now. I love the start about blaming stuff on immigrants and stuff. really timeless. I love it.
    Cpt-Sensibleon October 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWho says this is something of a mess musically??

    This is one of my favourite Clash songs, definitely one of the best off Sandinista. 'Timeless' is a good word for it
    Cherub Rockon March 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is thier best song in my opinion. It's dripping with the grunge of 1970's London, but at the same time timeless and could be talking about any city of the Western world.
    WolfeToneon October 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMick is the guy talking to the old man and Joe is the old man explaining everything England went through over the years to bring it to this point.

    Pure poetry.
    robsunon May 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBasically - the leaders and 'respected gentlemen' like to blame the immigrants for the troubles in the country but, as the old man says, it's nothing new and the leaders are essentially the ones to blame.

    "The world was busy rebuilding itself, the architects could not care"

    That lyric is probably the best description of post-war Europe in song.
    sonnyjdon November 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about even if you think England is in the tubes, perspective is always there.The experience of the old man, through all the death and the chaos of the two world wars, "England never closed the gap".

    Either that, or that England was lost since the World Wars and not the immigrants or the Tories excuses
    persondontcareon November 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow yeah the war of 1418 damn look that up truly horrible
    Dilling3ron June 15, 2014   Link

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