The Clash are famously not from Liverpool. But they are one of my favorite bands, and this global pandemic thing has given me waaaay too much time to think about these things.
Jurgen Klopp: “Clampdown”
Key Lyrics: “We will teach our twisted speech to the young believers/ We will train our blue-eyed men to be young believers.”
“Let fury have the hour, anger can be power/ d’you know that you can use it?”
The song is a powerful call to arms for the working class, not to lose the best years of your life being ground down, undervalued, and overworked. It speaks to the power of belief, the power of the collective, and the power of righteous anger. “Clampdown” is perfect for Kloppo, who taught us all his twisted speech, and made us all believers.
James Milner: “Lost in the Supermarket”
Key Lyrics: “I’m all tuned in/ I see all the programs/ I save coupons from packets of tea.”
Haha, yes, there’s a tea joke in here. But I swear I didn’t write this whole post just to make this joke.
Actually, the song is surprisingly contemplative and soulful, as is Milly. It speaks to the emptiness of materialism and the failed promises of suburban life. Mick Jones sings about never belonging in his otherwise comfortable suburban life. Just as Jones had to seek belonging in the punk scenes in the city in the 70’s, so too did Milly have to leave the comfort of City to truly find his home.
Alberto Moreno: “Spanish Bombs”
Key Lyrics: “I’m hearing music from another time...”
I can’t help loving Albi. And I can’t help loving this song. The song juxtaposes a sweet longing for the past with the objective horrors of the Spanish Civil War, which is somehow perfect in describing Moreno’s relationship to football at Liverpool.
Roberto Firmino: “Magnificent Seven”
Key Lyrics: “Working for a rise, better my station/Take my baby to sophistication/Seen the ads, she thinks it’s nice/Better work hard, I seen the price”
This song is about everything and nothing. It’s distinctly not punk rock, and yet it is. It relies heavily on other musical genres, including funk and early hip hop, creating a mix that is unique within The Clash’s impressive catalog and beyond. Like “Magnificent Seven,” Bobby Firmino cannot be categorized. And both he and the song will long be remembered by fans as being incomparably cool.
Mohamed Salah: “Rock the Casbah”
Key Lyrics: “The Shareef don’t like it/Rock the Casbah, rock the Casbah”
Salah rocks the casbah, and infuriates the Egyptian FA “Shareef” along the way. This was an easy one.
Andrew Robertson: “White Riot”
Key Lyrics: “White riot, I want to riot/White riot, a riot of our own”
Sometimes you just want to get stuck in and riot. And sometimes you’re also white. Both of these things describe Andy Robbo well (and especially the latter).
Jordan Henderson: “Death or Glory”
Key Lyrics: “Gotta march a long way/ Fight a long time/ You got to travel over mountains/ Got to travel over seas/ We gonna fight your brother/ We gonna fight ‘til you lose/ We gonna raise trouble/ We gonna raise hell...”
Captain Jordan Henderson has fought through a ton of adversity to get where he is today. He’s finally getting the recognition he deserves. He fought against an attempted sale. He fought through injury. He fought against fans who thought he didn’t deserve to captain the side. And in the end, he brought home glory.
Luis Suarez: “London Calling”
Key Lyrics: “London calling, yeah I was there too/ An’ you know what they said? Well some of it was true/ London calling, at the top of the dial/ After all this, won’t you give me a smile?”
They lyrics and mood of “London Calling” evoke scenes of the apocalypse. And watching Luis Suarez play in red more or less did the same. He’s arguably the most talented footballer to play for Liverpool, but that talent came with a guarantee of destruction. Sometimes he’d destroy the other team. Sometimes, Liverpool would be on the receiving end of the collateral damage. And with a London side, Arsenal, calling for him in the summer of 2013, this was a perfect selection.
Sadio Mane: “Guns of Brixton”
Key Lyrics: “When they kick at your front door/ How you gonna come?/ With your hands on your head/ Or on the trigger of your gun?”
The song opens with a rhetorical question: are you ready for a fight? Mane is always ready for the fight. He will always keep shooting, and keep getting one over on his opponents, even when ultimately losing the war.
Philippe Coutinho: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Key Lyrics: “If I stay there will be trouble/ If I go there will be double”
Should’ve stayed at Liverpool, Phil. It’s right there in the song.