Know Your Rights
|"Know Your Rights"|
|Single by The Clash|
|from the album Combat Rock|
|B-side||"First Night Back in London"|
|Released||23 April 1982|
|Writer(s)||Joe Strummer, Mick Jones|
|The Clash singles chronology|
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 – lead guitars, sound effects
- Paul Simonon – bass guitar
- Topper Headon – drums
"First Night Back in London"
"Know Your Rights" has been performed live many times by Pearl Jam, most notably during their Riot Act Tour in 2003, and it also has been recorded on their live albums 7/11/03 – Mansfield, Massachusetts, 7/9/03 – New York, New York, 3/3/03 – Tokyo, Japan, and 9/30/12 - Missoula, Montana.
The Frisk also recorded a version of the song on their EP "Rank Restraint."
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||43|
- Gilbert, Pat (2005) . Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash (4th edition ed.). London: Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-113-4. OCLC 61177239.
- Gray, Marcus (2005) . The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town (5th revised edition ed.). London: Helter Skelter. ISBN 1-905139-10-1. OCLC 60668626.
- Green, Johnny; Garry Barker (2003) . A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with The Clash (3rd edition ed.). London: Orion. ISBN 0-7528-5843-2. OCLC 52990890.
- Gruen, Bob; Chris Salewicz (2004) . The Clash (3rd edition ed.). London: Omnibus. ISBN 1-903399-34-3. OCLC 69241279.
- Needs, Kris (2005-01-25). Joe Strummer and the Legend of the Clash. London: Plexus. ISBN 0-85965-348-X. OCLC 53155325.
- Topping, Keith (2004) . The Complete Clash (2nd edition ed.). Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-903111-70-6. OCLC 63129186.