Now the king told the boogie men
"You have to let that raga drop"
The oil down the desert way
Has been shaken to the top
The Sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a-cruisin' down the ville
The Muezzin was a-standin'
On the radiator grille, ow

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
The Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

By order of the prophet
We'll ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound
But the Bedouin they brought out an electric camel drum
The local guitar picker got his guitar pickin' thumb
As soon as the Shareef had cleared the square
They began to wail

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

Now, over at the temple
Oh, they really pack 'em in
The in-crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
And the temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

The king called up his jet fighters
He said, "You better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way"
As soon as the Shareef was chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to the cockpit radio blare
Soon as the Shareef was outta their hair
The jet pilots wail

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

Shareef don't like it, he thinks it's not kosher
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it, fundamentally can't take it
Rockin' the Casbah, Rock the Casbah

Shareef don't like it, you know he really hates it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it, really, really hates it

Lyrics submitted by Brock256

Rock The Casbah Lyrics as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Rock the Casbah song meanings
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  • +11
    General Commentthe casbah is a sector of Algerias capital Algiers that is largely avoided by most algerians and other outsiders for fear of their lives. So feared is the Casbah that police don't enter the region unless heavily armed. More than 20 police have been murdered in the Casbah since 1992.
    The Casbah has served as an impregnable warren against Ottoman invaders and French colonialists. It is now the hotbed of resistance against Algeria's military regime - an Islamic insurgency that has resulted in the death of more than 60,000 people in the last five years.
    The old Casbah was renowned for its tolerant atmosphere. Native Arabs rubbed shoulders with Jews, Spaniards, Portuguese and French. But that tolerance has disappeared and the sector remains isolated.

    WhatAnAnderson May 19, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentHey this is what I found at

    AMG EXPERT REVIEW: After enduring five years as a cult act in the U.S., the Clash finally broke through on the U.S. charts with a Top Ten hit in the form of "Rock the Casbah." The lyrics, penned by Joe Strummer, were inspired by a news report of Iranians being flogged for the crime of owning a disco album and create an amusing fantasy where a disco-hating sharif is defied by everyone from the citizens to his own air force as he tries to stamp out "that crazy Casbah sound." The music lives up to the playful style of the lyrics with a rollicking melody that contrasts simple verse melodies that bounce up and down in a dance-friendly style with a shoutalong chorus that uses stuttered notes to create a punchy rhythm. The Clash's recording began as a short demo by Topper Headon consisting of a funky bass/drums vamp with some ticklish piano riffs on top. The rest of the band looped and remixed to it to a proper song length and fleshed it out with funky yet fiery electric guitar riffs, more percussion and an array of electronic sound effects. The result was a song that was tough enough for rock fans but rhythmic enough to appeal to dance music lovers. A combination of live exposure via a tour with the Who and a video on the then-new MTV network helped "Rock the Casbah" shoot to number eight on the U.S. pop charts. It remains a favorite on classic rock radio today and is frequently played by sarcastic disc jockeys whenever there is a military situation in the Middle East (example: it got a lot of airplay during the Persian Gulf War). — Donald A. Guarisco
    punkemofanon August 19, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThe song was inspired by the banning of rock music in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. The song gives a fictitious account of the ban being defied by the population who proceed to "rock the casbah", causing the King to order jet fighters to bomb the revellers. The pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios.
    JeffKaos71on March 10, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's a little ignorant to call The Clash sell outs, when it is widely known they were never entirely driven by money. Ticket and album/ cd etc prices were kept very reasonable even at the height of their popularity. They were insistant that their double and triple album sets be sold for the prices of normal albums [about a fiver, back then], which they had to eventually compromise for £5.99, but they forfeited all of their royalties. They refused to sacrifice their principles and thus were in debt to CBS Records until 1982, when they only just broke even. Not quite sell outs.
    Furthermore, they're not pop punk; I doubt it even existed back in the first wave of punk in the UK.. they were punk rock, and drew their influences from all over the musical spectrum, including reggae, rockabilly and in turn influencing hip hop, ska, britpop, alternative rock, punk pop, reggae etc.
    Ingidoon January 08, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTo clear up a few things:
    1. Topper wrote the riff. Joe the lyrics.
    2. A casbah is a section (the citadel) of MANY middle eastern cities. Not just in Algiers. Just like many western cities have a downtown, an arts district, etc., many Mideast cities have a casbah. (In fact this song is loosely based on something that happened in Iran)
    3. This song was the first song played on armed forces radio during Desert Storm (something that made Joe Strummer furious). He obviously opposed everything that the US invasion stood for. Need proof? Listen to songs like 'The Call Up', 'Clampdown', and 'Washington Bullets'.
    4. I'm not even going to waste my time discussing whether the Clash "sold out." Stop playing 'punk rock police' and get a life. The scene doesn't need you.
    slapshot303on February 07, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf you don't like a specific song or lose respect for a band because they have become popular, then you are a fucking moron.

    As for selling out. I want you all to form a band and deny the 3 million dollar record deal; becuase I'm sure that you would so you would aviod "selling out".
    myfriendoakon May 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt was a response to the ban of all western music by middle east nations
    aebassiston May 16, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwow, Aebassist and WhatAnAnders... good interpretations! i did a lil searching on the internet about "the casbah" and the ban of western music in the middle east. i think it could go either way.... but i wouldve never guessed either of those things... good job you two!
    dizziness61on June 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwow is right more reasons why the clash rocks
    dead_kennedyson June 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentffs why do people instantly dislike songs because they become popular. Their shitty elitist attitudes piss me off. "i dont like that purely because you do." what a load of shit. they do not appreciate music just use it as a tool to try and be different. fuck 'em
    dazon March 28, 2003   Link

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