The Clash's Clampdown - What is this song about?

What is the song about? What does the below line mean?

Seems like your standard edition “working sucks” song.

Put away your cool, hip clothes, put on your working clothes.

It does?

No, I’d say it’s about a facist takeover…that being the clampdown. More specifically, about recuiting young working class men for fascist groups like the National Front and such.

Blue and brown? Hmmmm…well, brownshirts…and blue I’m not sure about but it’s the colour of the Conservative party in England so that might be fasict enough for the Clash :smiley: .

I think you’re both partly right: yes, the song is basically about a repressive fascist movement, but I’ve always interpreted the lines about “calming down” and wearing blue and brown as referring to losing one’s youthful rebelliousness and joining the establishment, wearing conservative business clothes.

I had always thought of it as comparing “working for the establishment” (especially factory work since that is mentioned) to being held down by “a repressive fascist movement”. That is, people running the factory are a bunch of fascists, telling you what to do (if that makes any sense).

I agree that the blue and brown refers to business attire. In fact I would say it refers specifically to blue ad brown suits which would be indicitive of upper-middle mamangement. I also think Fear the Turtle has the basic theme of the song down, the youthful exuberance associated with revbellion is eventually destroyed mostly by work, although also by societal pressure to conform.

Yeah, but don’t forget that they drop various fascist references all over the place.

God, I miss Joe Strummer…

Whether its about fascism or working for the man, I’d say its the same thing in an allegorical kind of way.

I agree that it’s about work as fascism.

Also, note the cattle herding yells in the song (“Hah! Get along, get along…”). Neither here nor there, but I just think it’s a nice touch.

I miss Joe Strummer, too.