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THE CLASH Know Your Rights


"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 guitar!" 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.

The three are:

"The right not to be killed. Murder is a crime, unless it is done by a policeman, or an aristocrat".

"The right to food money, providing of course, you don't mind a little investigation, humiliation, and, if you cross your fingers, rehabilitation".

"The right to free speech (as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it)".

"Know Your Rights"

Joe Strummer – vocals, lead guitar, piano

Mick Jones – sound effects

Paul Simonon – bass guitar

Topper Headon – drums


Posted by George Freund on October 15, 2015 at 9:40 AM 1639 Views