Clampdown By The Clash

London Calling

1979 | Punk

Spotify | Amazon

“But you grow up and you calm down and working for the clampdown. -- You start wearing blue and brown, you're working for the clampdown. -- So you got someone to boss around, it make you feel big now. -- You drift until you brutalize, make your first kill now."


  • "Clampdown" was written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones.
  • The song began as an instrumental track called "Working and Waiting".
  • The song was covered by Rage Against the Machine at their first live show in 1991.


Luke Tatum

Here's a rebellious tune! "Kick over the wall; 'cause government's to fall; How can you refuse it? Let fury have the hour; anger can be power; D'you know that you can use it?" In general, I'd caution against being possessed by anger. It seems like letting our weakness take control gets us things like the French Revolution, with its wanton slaughter and blood frenzy. This also seems to have an anti-capitalist streak to it, with some anti-factory speak. But you know what? I'll take allies as far as they'll go with us.

Sherry Voluntary

The Clash! What a band. This song seems to me to be about people losing their youthful commitment and idealism and beginning to work for the very things they used to stand against. Indoctrination is a powerful tool of The State. Since every person you indoctrinate then becomes an indoctrination machine themselves, it is the gift that keeps on giving. They will teach their twisted speech to the young believers, and the cycle repeats. That’s why I try to teach my children to question everything and develop sharp minds. I don’t want them to perpetuate or work for the clampdown.

Nicky P

This is another of those songs where I have to pretend I don't know how much a commie Joe Strummer was. The song is a straight anti-capitalist propaganda piece. For some reason Strummer is possessed by the idea that not maintaining youthful rebelliousness only works if you're poor. Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of the clashes music in general but it's a tad frustrating listening to the economically illiterate try and co-opt the minds of other economic illiterates and start shaping policy from a position of wanton ignorance. So i'll stand by the idea of keep your fire to say fuck you to those who would dictate your life from some false authority but don't give up on money...it's pretty important.

Created By
Nicky P

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