London Calling

The Clash

About London Calling

"London Calling" is a song by the British punk rock band the Clash. It was released as a single from the band's 1979 double album London Calling. This apocalyptic, politically charged rant features the band's post-punk sound, electric guitar and vocals.


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London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin' thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath
London calling and I don't want to shout
But when we were talking I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain't got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eye

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growin' thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growin' thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won't you give me a smile?

I never felt so much a' like a'like a'like

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The Clash

The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones's departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986. more »

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Written by: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Release and Reception
"London Calling" was released as the only single in the UK from the album of the same name and it has since been hailed as one of the greatest rock songs ever made. It ranked #15 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song was influenced by the economic turmoil and societal changes happening in the UK at the time. Its title comes from the BBC World Service's station identification: "This is London Calling," which was used during World War II.
Both Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, members of The Clash, are credited with writing the song. It is often recognized for its politically charged lyrics - the track covers topics such as nuclear error, police brutality, and consumerism.
Album Artwork
The album cover of "London Calling" features an iconic image of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his bass onstage. It's considered one of the most famous album covers in rock 'n' roll history.
Music Style
The song is a fusion of punk rock and reggae, showcasing the band's ability to blend different styles of music. This mix gave the song a unique flavor that set it apart from much of the music of its time.
Historical Context
The phrase "London Calling" became a symbol of British resilience during trying times, specifically during World War II. The Clash reinvented it, giving it a modern twist to reflect the challenges of the late 1970s.
"London Calling" is often cited as one of The Clash’s best live performances, known for its energy and the powerful response it evoked from audience members.
Legacy and Influence
The song and its album greatly impacted not only the punk genre, but the entire music industry, pushing boundaries in terms of both music style and lyrical content. It continues to be covered and featured in movies, commercials, and television shows.
Awards & Accolades
The album "London Calling" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance."
Music Video
The music video was directed by Don Letts, a key figure in the punk scene who would later direct most of The Clash's videos. The video includes footage from a 1979 concert that the band gave in New York City.

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    London Calling

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