|Song by The Clash from the album London Calling|
|Released||14 December 1979|
|Recorded||August–September 1979, November 1979 at Wessex Studios|
|Writer||Joe Strummer, Mick Jones|
"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".
Strummer wrote the song during the recording sessions for London Calling. He developed the idea for the song while travelling home from Wessex 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.
"Spanish Bombs" compares and contrasts the modern day tourist experience of Spain with the noble cause of the Spanish Civil War. It makes reference to Andalucia, the hometown of Strummer's ex-girlfriend Palmolive. The song incorporates pidgin Spanish lyrics and compares the "trenches full of poets" in the civil war to the planeloads of British tourists visiting the sunny coasts of post-Franco Spain. The lyric "Yo te quiera infinito, yo te queira, oh mi corazón" translates to "I want you forever, I want you, oh my heart". According to The A.V. Club, the song's Spanish lyrics are usually translated poorly because of Strummer's "thick working-class British accent".
According to writer Robert Dimery, "Spanish Bombs" praises the heroism of republicans in the Spanish Civil War. The song alludes to the death of antifascist poet Federico Garcia Lorca and the role of the United States in aiding the military dictatorship's rise to power. Andrien Begrand of PopMatters remarked that Strummer muses how bomb attacks by Basque separatists in the late 1970s echo Lorca and the Spanish Civil War, citing the line "Spanish bombs rock the province / I'm hearing music from another time".
According to Allmusic's Donald A. Guarisco, "Spanish Bombs" is a "rousing rocker" with "simple but catchy verses and chorus", and a combination of power chords and quickly-strummed acoustic riffs. Continente Multicultural magazine characterized the song as pop rock.
- Joe Strummer - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, lead guitar
- Mick Jones - backing vocals, lead guitars
- Paul Simonon - bass guitar
- Topper Headon - drums
- Mickey Gallagher - organ
- Guarisco, Donald A. "Spanish Bombs Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
- 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.
- Mazmanian, Adam (29 December 2009). "Listening Station: Clash of cultures". Washington Times. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Begrand, Adrien (8 October 2004). "The Clash: London Calling: 25th Anniversary Legacy Edition". PopMatters. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- Guarisco, Donald A. "Spanish Bombs – The Clash". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- Continente multicultural (Companhia Editora de Pernambuco) 9 (103-8): 83. 2009.
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- Topping, Keith (2004) . The Complete Clash (2nd ed.). Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-903111-70-6. OCLC 63129186.