No One is Innocent

Album: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1978)
Charted: 7

Songfacts®:

  • This was a double A-side along with Sid Vicious' rendering of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
  • This was co-written by Ronnie Biggs, a British criminal notorious for being part of the 1963 Great Train Robbery. After escaping from prison in England he holed up in Brazil. The Great Train Robber sang lead vocals on both this track and "Belsen Was A Gas" from the same album.
  • Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Pistols went to Brazil to work with Biggs. (Johnny Rotten had left the band by this stage.). Jones recalled to Mojo magazine Bigg's contribution: "Ronnie Biggs rated himself as a bit of a poet, and I remember sitting in the hotel room writing the music while he wrote the words. It was a big accomplishment, to write a song with an infamous train robber. That was a good move."
  • The lyrics refer to the Pistols previous hit "God Save The Queen" as each verse begins with "God save..." followed by the listing of various disreputable characters such as Nazi Martin Bormann, child murderers Moira Hindley and Ian Brady and African dictator Idi Amin. The chorus 'celebrates' Biggs escape from prison.

Comments: 4

  • Gurn from UsaOne problem with your assessment, John from Glasgow: Ronny Biggs himself WROTE and SANG the song.
  • John from Glasgow, United Kingdomi would put this song in my top ten of all time.the only thing i dont like most of the lyrics though [ronny biggs himself wouldnt like most of the lyrics] but its an original catchy masterpiece and it got to number 3 in the charts at the time.
  • Lee from Northbend, Orjohnny rotten said in his book that he was desgusted at this song and he was offerd to participate in this song but he said that he would not give credit to a man who stole money from the working class and who beat a man in to synility
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandNeedless to say, this was banned by UK radio at the time!
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