Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Feast of Joe Strummer

Left: Memorial mural to Joe Strummer on 7th Street at Avenue A, New York City. Photo from Union Song.



(This one is for Mr Daisy. I'm a day late!)

Joe Strummer died on December 22, 2002. In this song, he wrote of another war, a generation ago. And we find it is enduringly true once again.

Joe, we hardly knew ye.



~*~




If you can play on the fiddle
How's about a British jig and reel?
Speaking King's English in quotation
As railhead towns feel the steel mills rust water froze
In the generation
Clear as winter ice
This is your paradise

There ain't no need for ya
There ain't no need for ya
Go straight to Hell boys
Go straight to Hell boys

Y'wanna join in a chorus
Of the Amerasian blues?
When it's Christmas out in Ho Chi Minh City
Kiddie say papa papa papa papa papa-san take me home
See me got photo photo
Photograph of you and Mamma Mamma Mamma-san
Of you and Mamma Mamma Mamma-san
Lemme tell ya 'bout your blood bamboo kid.
It ain't Coca-Cola it's rice.

Straight to Hell, boys
Go straight to Hell, boys
Go straight to Hell, boys
Go straight to Hell, boys
Oh Papa-san
Please take me home
Oh Papa-san
Everybody they wanna go home
So Mamma-san said

You wanna play mind-crazed banjo
On the druggy-drag ragtime U.S.A.?
In Parkland International
Hey! Junkiedom U.S.A.
Where procaine proves the purest rock man groove
and rat poison
The volatile Molotov says-

PSSST...
HEY CHICO WE GOT A MESSAGE FOR YA... SI...
VAMOS VAMOS MUCHACHO
FROM ALPHABET CITY ALL THE WAY A TO Z, DEAD, HEAD

Go straight to Hell, boys
Go straight to Hell, boys
Straight to Hell

Oh Papa-San
Please take me home
There ain't no need for ya,
There ain't no need for ya

Go straight to Hell, boys
Go straight to Hell, boys

Can you cough it up loud and strong
The immigrants
They wanna sing all night long
It could be anywhere
Most likely could be any frontier
Any hemisphere
No man's land
Ain't no asylum here
King Solomon he never lived round here

Straight to Hell, boys

~*~

The version below is missing the final verse, probably due to the time constraints of commercial American television. (And how ironic.)

The Clash - Straight To Hell Live

[via FoxyTunes / The Clash]



Pray for us, Joe.

2 comments:

abstractjenn said...

God I loved Joe Strummer and was so unbelievably sad when he died. It's always such a shock - I really do believe that these guys will live forever sometimes.

Thanks for the great Clash video!

Bryce said...

i missed this post. it bloody rocks!! mick jones looks farking fab-u-lusss!