English Civil War (song)
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|"English Civil War"|
|Single by The Clash|
|from the album Give 'Em Enough Rope|
|Released||23 February 1979 (U.K.)|
|Songwriter(s)||traditional, arranged by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones|
|The Clash singles chronology|
"English Civil War" is a song by English punk rock band The Clash, featured on their second album Give 'Em Enough Rope, and released as a single on 23 February 1979. It reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart and number 28 in the Irish Singles Chart.
The song is derived from an American Civil War song, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", written by Irish-born Massachusetts Unionist Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, which is in turn derived from the Irish anti-war song "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye". It was popular among both sides of the conflict.
Having learnt the song at school, Joe Strummer suggested that the band should update it. Those on the left wing saw the rise during the mid-1970s of far right groups such as the British National Front as alarming and dangerous omens for Britain's future. The song is about this state of politics in the country and warns against all things uniformed and sinister. Shortly after the song had its first live performance at a Rock Against Racism concert, Strummer said, echoing the song's lyrics, in an interview to the music newspaper Record Mirror:
War is just around the corner. Johnny hasn't got far to march. That's why he is coming by bus or underground.
It was later covered in 1993 by The Levellers on their EP, Julie (1994).
A ska version of the song also appears as a track on The Crombies "Dance Crazee" CD.
"English Civil War"
- Joe Strummer – lead vocals, rhythm guitars
- Mick Jones – backing vocals, lead guitars
- Paul Simonon – bass guitar
- Topper Headon – drums
- Joe Strummer – lead vocal, piano, rhythm guitar
- Mick Jones – backing vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitars
- Paul Simonon – backing vocal, bass guitar
- Topper Headon – drums
|UK Singles Chart||25|
|Irish Singles Chart||29||Mar 1979|