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The Clash Songs - Something About England Lyrics

Something About England Lyrics By The Clash Songs Album: Sandinista! Year: 1980 They say immigrants steal the hubcaps Of the respected gentlemen They say

The Clash - Something About England
The Clash - Something About England

The Clash - Something About England Lyrics and Youtube Music Videos

Album: Sandinista!
Released: 1980

Something About England Lyrics

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

Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Something About England
  • "Something About England" is one of many crazy musical variations on the Sandinista! album, with The Clash experimenting with Music Hall, one of British music's oldest genres, stretching back to Victorian and Edwardian times. The campy vaudeville elements sound an odd contrast to Punk music, but Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten was very open about how much Music Hall "comedy of the absurd" elements he incorporated into his stage persona.
  • The lyrics are structured as a conversation between the narrator, guitarist Mick Jones, and a wistful old tramp, singer Joe Strummer. The first verse is a putdown of lazy racism - higher social classes blaming immigration for a society's ills ("They say immigrants steal the hubcaps of the respected gentlemen, they say it would be wine an' roses if England were for Englishmen again").

    Joe Strummer's lyrics in the character of a wistful tramp are some of the most political and social commentary in The Clash's back catalogue, bemoaning how two world wars and the industrial revolution still couldn't break down the class system which causes such disharmony in England ("But through strikes an' famine an' war an' peace England never closed this gap"). Though musically the song is nothing like old Punk-Rock Clash, the lyrics stick right to the core values of Punk of anti-establishment and protest against social ills.
  • Musically "Something About England" is very complex, with Jones playing piano for the whole song, drummer Topper Headon playing a delicate 'quotation-mark' percussion beat and a horn section comprising of session musician Gary Barnacle, Gary's father Bill (a noted jazz musician) and military bandsman David Yates). Because of this complexity (and the worry that the first verse may be misinterpreted by certain sections of the audience), the song was never performed live.

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