Another band I followed around town was The Clash. There’s an exhibition at the Museum of London exploring the background of ‘London Calling’ and the influence this particular record has had on so many.
This record has been misused so many times for so many things – any reference to London and you’ll often here a grab of ‘London Calling’ here and there, but the lyrics I’ve just learnt are in fact a dystopian tale inspired by a news report from the time of how much of the city would be underwater if the River Thames flooded. These lyrics seem as fresh and relevant now as they did in 1979 with climate change on the front pages of our newspapers.
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 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