Spanish Bombs

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"Spanish Bombs"
Song by The Clash from the album London Calling
Released 14 December 1979
Recorded August–September 1979, November 1979 at Wessex Studios
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:18
Label CBS
Writer Joe Strummer, Mick Jones
Producer Guy Stevens

"Spanish Bombs" is a song by English punk rock band The Clash, with principal vocals by Joe Strummer and additional vocals by Mick Jones. It was written by Strummer and recorded for the band's 1979 album London Calling.

The song also appears on the Clash compilation albums The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 (1988) and Clash on Broadway (1991). Allmusic's Donald A. Guarisco said that the song's "combination of thoughtful lyrics and an energetic performance" made it a "highlight of London Calling".[1]

Background[edit]

Strummer wrote the song during the recording sessions for London Calling. He developed the idea for the song while travelling home from Wessex studios in London and listening to a radio news report of Basque terrorist bombings of tour hotels on the Costa Brava. It reminded him of the contemporary IRA bombing campaign in the United Kingdom.[2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

According to Continente Multicultural magazine, "Spanish Bombs" is a pop rock song.[3] AllMusic's Donald A. Guarisco described it as a "rousing rocker" with a combination of power chords, quickly-strummed acoustic riffs, and "simple but catchy verses and chorus".[4]

"Spanish Bombs" compares the modern day tourist experience of Spain with the circumstances of the Spanish Civil War,[2] and contrasts the "trenches full of poets" to the planeloads of British tourists visiting the country's beaches in the post-Franco era.[5] Praising the heroism of the civil war republicans,[6] the song alludes to the death of anti-fascist poet Federico Garcia Lorca.[7] Adrien Begrand of PopMatters remarked that Strummer's references to bomb attacks by Basque separatists in the late 1970s "echoes" Lorca and the Spanish Civil War, citing the line "Spanish bombs rock the province / I'm hearing music from another time".[8]

The song utilizes what Adam Mazmanian of The Washington Times calls "pidgin Spanish".[5] According to the liner notes accompanying the original 1979 UK vinyl release of London Calling the song included the lyric "Yo t'quierro y finito, yo te querda, oh ma côrazon" (sic).[9] According to The A.V. Club, the lyric is, in fact, "Yo te quiera infinito, yo te quiera, oh mi corazón" which translates as "I want you forever, I want you, oh my heart".[10] The song also makes reference to Andalucia, the Spanish region where Strummer's ex-girlfriend Palmolive was born.[2]

Performers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Spanish Bombs Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Gray, Marcus (2004). The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town (2nd ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 315. ISBN 1617749176. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Continente multicultural (Companhia Editora de Pernambuco) 9 (103-8): 83. 2009. 
  4. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Spanish Bombs – The Clash". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Mazmanian, Adam (29 December 2009). "Listening Station: Clash of cultures". Washington Times. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Dimery, Robert (1999). Collins Gem Classic Albums. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-472485-2. OCLC 43582584. ..."Spanish Bombs" praises the heroism of republicans in the Spanish Civil War. 
  7. ^ D'Ambrosio, Antonio, ed. (2012). Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk, and the Movement That Shook the Word (2nd ed.). Nation Books. p. 277. ISBN 1568587201. 
  8. ^ Begrand, Adrien (8 October 2004). "The Clash: London Calling: 25th Anniversary Legacy Edition". PopMatters. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  9. ^ London Calling (Loose leaf lyric sheet). The Clash. London: CBS Inc./Riva Music Ltd/Nineden Ltd. 1979. CBS CLASH 3. 
  10. ^ Heller, Jason et al. (23 November 2009). "Ça plane pour wha?: 19 foreign phrases we wouldn’t know without pop songs". The A.V. Club (Chicago). Retrieved 9 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]