London Calling
The Clash Lyrics


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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
Except for the ring of the truncheon thing

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

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

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
And 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?

(London calling)





I never felt so much alike, alike, alike, alike

Overall Meaning

The Clash's "London Calling" is an iconic punk rock song that was inspired by a number of world events that were taking place in 1979. The lyrics are a reflection of the social and political climate of the time, with references to the looming nuclear threat, the economic recession, and the decline of rock music.


The song begins with the famous opening line "London calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down". This line is a call to arms for people around the world to unite against the oppressive forces that were threatening to destroy society. The line "Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust" is a nod to the decline of the rock music scene, which was evolving into a more commercial and formulaic sound.


The second verse of the song speaks to the impending doom of an ice age and a nuclear era, with the repetition of the line "the sun's zooming in" creating a sense of urgency and fear. Yet, even in the face of this destruction, the singer proclaims "I have no fear, 'cause London is drowning, I live by the river". This creates an image of the singer finding solace in the midst of chaos and destruction, accepting their fate but not going down without a fight.


Overall, "London Calling" is a powerful anthem that speaks to the spirit of rebellion and dissent that defined the punk rock movement. It was a groundbreaking track that inspired countless other artists and continues to be relevant today.


Line by Line Meaning

London calling to the faraway towns
London is announcing its call to all the towns far and wide, as war is declared and the battle ensues.


Now war is declared and battle come down
The commencement of war with impending battles is evident as London issues its call.


London calling to the underworld
London is urging people from the underworld to step out of their hiding places.


Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London is asking people to come out of hiding and not be afraid anymore.


London calling, now don't look to us
London is stating that it's not going to guide people anymore as false Beatlemania has lost its craze.


Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
Beatles fanatics have become non-existent since their fame has faded away.


London calling, see we ain't got no swing
London admits that there is no rhythm or dance for the people.


Except for the ring of the truncheon thing
The only sound or music that's audible is of police using the truncheon stick to maintain order.


The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
The world is about to witness terrible changes, as the ice age approaches and the sun appears nearer.


Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
With high levels of radiation being detected, the wheat crop is dwindling in production.


Engines stop running, but I have no fear
Despite the engines stopping and the situation getting worse, there is no fear shown by the citizens.


'Cause London is drowning I live by the river
London, the city of dreams, is now drowning and the singer declares that he lives near the drowning river.


London calling to the imitation zone
London is calling out to people who copy and fake their identity.


Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
The singer asks a brother to forget his fake identity and be genuine as they can survive independently.


London calling to the zombies of death
London is calling out to the people who have lost all hope and energy in life, the walking dead.


Quit holding out and draw another breath
The singer asks people to stop fighting and breathe another breath of life.


London calling and I don't want to shout
London doesn't want to shout but needs to make people aware of the unfortunate circumstances.


But while we were talking, I saw you nodding out
The singer noticed people losing consciousness while talking about the disastrous situations happening around them.


London calling, see we ain't got no high
London admits that people have no high or excitement left in them since the situation's too grim.


Except for that one with the yellowy eye
The only person with enthusiasm is the one with the yellow eye, suggesting he's the leader or the only hope.


London calling, yes, I was there, too And you know what they said? Well, some of it was true
The singer admits to being in London when the calamity broke out and confirms some of the rumors to be true.


London calling at the top of the dial
London calls out loudly, reaching out to people even at the highest dial frequency.


And after all this, won't you give me a smile?
After everything that they've been through, the singer requests people to smile, indicating hope and a better future.


(London calling) I never felt so much alike, alike, alike, alike
The singer declares that he has never felt more the same or one with the people, indicating their shared struggle.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@miracleofsound

One of the greatest songs of all time. Sounds like the end of the world

@giandomenicorodino1776

sono d'accordo

@mikeferguson5935

So gosh darn correct. One of my top ten best albums EVER. Side 3 is perfection.

@astraluna6is9

It did. It does. It will always.

@rajs4719

Think it was written because they were having to go back to London because of the threat of a war at the time of something like that. So you were pretty spot on haha

@thomasconrad7998

Holy shit miracle of sound comments on music videos!

53 More Replies...

@leokimvideo

A haunting song that has you exploring the vocals and the band. It's a perfect invitation song to join the club that is The Clash

@jonathan13co

Why does this sound like a patrick bateman quote?

@itburnswhenipiss

Hey, it's the guy who helped make my childhood!

@eg395

My family and I were just at Heathrow and I was thinking of this song. To top it off British Airways lost our luggage!! Lol!!!

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