11/01/2019: “Spanish Bombs” by The Clash

“Spanish Bombs” refers to two things. First, there is the Spanish Civil War. Joe Strummer is praising the anti-fascist struggle and remembering the martyrs.

It also refers to the bombing of tourist resorts by the Basque separatist E.T.A., which he compares to the I.R.A.

It’s quite a poppy song considering the subject. The chorus in particular is a particularly mangled, jaunty Spanish jingle which is meant to mean “I love you infinitely, I love you, oh my heart” but isn’t really proper Spanish. It does sound good.

The song itself is a catchy one, with a the guitar almost blending into the general wall of sound at times. It’s not complicated, but the vocals in particular have quite an interesting melody, almost happening in 2 parts.

The song is full of allusions to revolutionary history. It’s clear that Strummer was pretty well educated on the subject.

He also had a girlfriend from Andalusia (also a punk musician), which further explains the song.

“Spanish Bombs” was released in 1979 on the albumĀ London Calling.

A classic tune.

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