Know Your Rights: The Clash

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
September 15 2016

Know Your Rights by the Clash

You have the rights not to be killed, to food money and to free speech. But don’t try to exercise these rights lest you be crushed by the government.

 

The Clash – Know Your Rights – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lfInFVPkQs

Know Your rights
You have the right not to be killed; unless it is by a policeman #BlackLivesMatter

 

Lyrics

This is a public service announcement

With guitar
Know your rights
All three of them

Number one
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime
Unless it was done
By a policeman
Or an aristocrat
Oh, know your rights

And number two
You have the right to food money
Providing of course
You don’t mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers
Rehabilitation

know your rights
Human rights and civil rights are often trampled upon by governments

Know your rights
These are your rights
Hey, say, Wang

Oh, know these rights

Number three
You have the right to free speech
As long as
You’re not dumb enough to actually try it

Know your rights
These are your rights
Oh, know your rights
These are your rights
All three of ’em
Ha!
It has been suggested in some quarters
That this is not enough
Well

Get off the streets
Run
Get off the streets

know your rights
Combat Rock, the 1982 Clash album, laid bare the fallacy that the people really have rights beyond what the government, the aristocracy and the corporatocracy feel like giving you.

“Know Your Rights” is a song by The Clash. It was released as the first single from the album Combat Rock, three weeks prior to the release of the album.

The song begins with the words “This is a public service announcement…with guitars!” The structure of the song revolves around the rights held by the poor and disenfranchised, in which the speaker of the song, presumably a villainous civil servant (whose identity is assumed in the song by vocalist Joe Strummer), names the three actual rights. At the end, the notion that more rights should be granted is rebuffed by the speaker

4 thoughts on “Know Your Rights: The Clash

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  2. As I was a-goin’ over Gilgarra mountains
    I met Colonel Pepper and his money he was counting
    I drew forth my pistol and I rattled my sabre
    Saying “stand and deliver, for I am a bold deceiver”

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

    The shining yellow coins did sure look bright and jolly
    I took the money home and I gave it to my Molly
    She promised and she vowed that she never would deceive me
    But the devil’s in the women for they never can be easy

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

    When I awoke between the hours of six and seven
    Guards were standing ’round me in numbers odd and even
    I flew to my pistols, but alas I was mistaken
    I fired off my pistols and a prisoner was taken

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

    They put me in jail without a judge or jury
    For robbing Colonel Pepper in the morning so early
    They didn’t take my fist so I knocked down the sentry
    And I bid a long farewell to that cold penitentiary

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

    I think I’ll find my brother, he’s the one that’s in the army.
    I don’t know where he’s stationed be in Cork or in Killarney.
    Together we’ll go roving thru the Moutains of Kilkenny.
    I dare he’ll treat me fairer than my darling sporting Molly.

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

    Some take delight in fishing and bowling
    Others take delight in carriage a-rollin’
    I take delight in the juice of the barley
    Courting pretty women in the morning so early

    Musha ringum duram da
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    Whack-fall the daddy-o
    There’s whiskey in the jar

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