Rock the Casbah
The Clash Lyrics


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Now the king told the boogie men
"You have to let that raga drop"
The oil down the desert way
Has been shaken to the top
The Sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a-cruisin' down the ville
The Muezzin was a-standin'
On the radiator grille, ow

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
The Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

By order of the prophet
We'll ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound
But the Bedouin they brought out an electric camel drum
The local guitar picker got his guitar pickin' thumb
As soon as the Shareef had cleared the square
They began to wail

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

Now, over at the temple
Oh, they really pack 'em in
The in-crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
And the temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

The king called up his jet fighters
He said, "You better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way"
As soon as the Shareef was chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to the cockpit radio blare
Soon as the Shareef was outta their hair
The jet pilots wail

Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah

Shareef don't like it, he thinks it's not kosher
Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it, fundamentally can't take it
Rockin' the Casbah, Rock the Casbah

Shareef don't like it, you know he really hates it




Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
Shareef don't like it, really, really hates it

Overall Meaning

The Clash's "Rock the Casbah" tells the story of a king who instructs the "boogie men" to stop playing music since it is deemed inappropriate according to their beliefs. In an ironic twist, the boogie men end up disobeying the king and playing their music anyway, much to the chagrin of the Shareef, who doesn't approve of the unorthodox sounds. The lyrics paint the picture of the conflict between the conservative beliefs of the people and the desire to express one's creativity and individuality through music.


The song is full of poetic imagery, such as "The oil down the desert way has been shaken to the top" and "The Muezzin was a-standin' on the radiator grille." These lines use vivid descriptions to help paint a picture of the world the song is set in. The use of phrases like "Crazy Casbah jive" and "Electric camel drum" help create a sense of whimsy and lightheartedness, even as the song tackles serious topics like censorship and freedom of expression.


Line by Line Meaning

Now the king told the boogie men
The authorities have issued an order to stop people from dancing to certain music


"You have to let that raga drop"
You must stop playing that type of music


The oil down the desert way
The oil industry is thriving in this region


Has been shaken to the top
There has been a significant change in the hierarchy of power in this area


The Sheik he drove his Cadillac
The wealthy entrepreneur is showing off his wealth by driving his expensive car


He went a-cruisin' down the ville
He's showing off his lifestyle to the other people in the town


The Muezzin was a-standin'
The religious person is observing the events happening around him


On the radiator grille, ow
He is in a position where he can't escape from what's happening


Shareef don't like it
The leader doesn't approve of the changes taking place


Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
The new music style is becoming very popular among the locals and it's upsetting the leader


By order of the prophet
The directive is coming from a religious leader


We'll ban that boogie sound
Music authorities will stop the new music style from playing


Degenerate the faithful
The music will corrupt the moral fiber of the locals


With that crazy Casbah sound
The unique cultural sound is causing problems in the community


But the Bedouin they brought out an electric camel drum
The nomads are modernizing their musical instruments


The local guitar picker got his guitar pickin' thumb
The musician is ready to play and entertain the people with his guitar


As soon as the Shareef had cleared the square
As soon as the leader left the area


They began to wail
The music started playing and the people were dancing


Now, over at the temple
The religious place of worship


Oh, they really pack 'em in
It's very crowded inside the temple


The in-crowd say it's cool
The popular people feel the music is acceptable


To dig this chanting thing
They enjoy this type of musical chanting


But as the wind changed direction
Suddenly there was a shift in the situation


And the temple band took five
The musicians took a break from playing


The crowd caught a whiff
The people started hearing the new music coming from outside the temple


Of that crazy Casbah jive
The unique new music has reached the temple and people are excited about it


The king called up his jet fighters
The military is getting involved in the situation


He said, "You better earn your pay
The military must complete this mission properly


Drop your bombs between the minarets
They must strike targets in a certain area


Down the Casbah way"
They need to get rid of the problem that originated from here


As soon as the Shareef was chauffeured outta there
As soon as the leader was safely taken away from the area


The jet pilots tuned to the cockpit radio blare
Pilots listened to their commands through the cockpit radio


Soon as the Shareef was outta their hair
As soon as the leader was out of sight


The jet pilots wail
The pilots continue to fly and complete their mission


Shareef don't like it, he thinks it's not kosher
The leader thinks the situation is not acceptable


Rockin' the Casbah, rock the Casbah
The new music style has taken over the area and caused a problem


Shareef don't like it, fundamentally can't take it
The leader is ideologically opposed to this situation


Rockin' the Casbah, Rock the Casbah
The new music is so popular in the area that the leader is having trouble stopping it


Shareef don't like it, you know he really hates it
The leader is very upset with the situation and wants it to stop immediately




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Topper Headon

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@leokimvideo

The greatest Punk / Disco hit song ever

@nossta5242

For real!

@danw1374

They got that crossover sound just right.

@RebeccaPenson

​@danw1374 11❤11

@denevaflath1397

London Calling is my favorite!

@soniahurtado315

​@@nossta5242f

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@Kimberly-pf4iy

It's hard to believe how fast time has gone by. I was a 20 year old girl when this song came out. I used to watch it on MTV all the time. Now, I'm a 61 year old retired woman. I still love this song and it still makes me feel good when I listen to it. You guys rock. 😊

@loriperry1162

I completely agree with your statement. Enjoy your well deserved retirement babe. We still Rawk! 🤟🏻

@amberfox8309

You rock too ,keep enjoying more good music

@Kimberly-pf4iy

@@amberfox8309 Thank you. You also rock. There's nothing like listening to upbeat music played by talented musicians.

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