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The Clash Songs - Sean Flynn Lyrics

Sean Flynn Lyrics By The Clash Songs Album: Combat Rock Year: 1982 You know he heard the drums of war When the past was a closing door The drums beat int

The Clash - Sean Flynn
The Clash - Sean Flynn


The Clash - Sean Flynn Lyrics and Youtube Music Videos

Album: Combat Rock
Released: 1982

Sean Flynn Lyrics


You know he heard the drums of war
When the past was a closing door

The drums beat into the jungle floor

Past was always a closing door
Closing door

Rain on the leaves and the soldiers sing
You never-never hear anything

They filled the sky with a tropical storm

You know he heard the drums of war
But each man knows what he's looking for

Writer/s: STRUMMER, JOE / JONES, MICK / SIMONON, PAUL / HEADON, TOPPER
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Sean Flynn
  • The song is named after real-life photojournalist Sean Flynn, the son of Hollywood star Errol Flynn. It is based on the story of Flynn and Dana Stone, who were both widely respected war correspondents and photographers working extensively with Time magazine. In April 1970 Flynn and Stone traveled from Phnom Penh in Vietnam and were stopped at a checkpoint before being led away by either Vietcong or Khmer Rouge members. Neither were ever seen again, and CIA intel suggests that they were executed by their captors in 1971.

    The mournful, eerie feel of the song is inspired by these events, and coincides with singer Joe Strummer's interest in the Vietnam War. He was intrigued by how many Americans seemed to feel a guilt about even getting involved in the war in the first place, let alone losing it.
  • "Sean Flynn" was written in 1981 at Vanilla studios in London, and recorded at Marcus Music studios in April of that year. The full version of the song is over seven minutes long; much of the backing track is drummer Topper Headon's work - the oriental-sounding drum patterns were his idea. Joe Strummer worked out his lyrics to this pattern, while session musician Gary Barnacle added multi-layered saxophone solos throughout the song. Mick Jones used an echo box and multiple overdubs for his guitar parts. "Playing chromatically, like an Irish reel," according to engineer Jeremy Green.
  • This is a spectacular mood piece, one that many hardcore Clash fans consider one of the most under-appreciated in the band's canon. However, not everybody liked it. Manager Bernie Rhodes sat through an early mix and at the end apparently threw his hands up and shouted "Does EVERYTHING have to be a raga?!" It's possible this accusation was aimed not just at this track, but other lengthy songs such as "Straight To Hell" that were recorded for the album. On the plus side, Rhodes' exclamation gave Strummer the opening line for "Rock the Casbah."
  • This was one of many longer tracks on the record which ended up causing much tension during the mixing process. Joe Strummer discovered that their previous album, the triple-LP Sandinista!, was very hard to obtain - many record shops even in New York didn't stock the record. So Strummer decided that their next album would be a single one so it would be easier to sell, as well as being more straightforward musically. Except that Jones disagreed, and wanted another sprawling double or triple LP like Sandinista! or London Calling.

    Jones produced an early mix of the finished album, named Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg, in late 1981, which Strummer criticized for being overlong and self-indulgent. It included all the tracks at full length, as well as several tracks which remain unreleased (including a 12-minute improvised Jazz piano instrumental called "Walk Evil Talk"). The veteran producer Glyn Johns took over production of the album and was tasked with cutting the running time down, and against Jones' wishes he cut several tracks (some of which became B-sides and others which are still unreleased) from the LP altogether, and slashed the runtime down of other tracks. "Sean Flynn" was one of the worst hit, being cut from eight minutes plus down to just over four minutes.
  • Because of the extreme complexity of the backing track, as well as the surreal nature of the song, it was never performed live by the band.

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