In a Songfacts interview with Glen Matlock
, he told the story behind the song:
"I went to a rehearsal, at a place called the Roundhouse, which is a place in London, in Camden. We were rehearsing there for a bit - the rehearsal room was downstairs. I met up with John, and Steve and Paul didn't turn up. So, me and John went over to the pub to have a drink, and he said, 'Have you seen Malcolm?'
'What's he got to say for himself?'
'Oh, he has an idea that we write a song.'
'He had a title - 'Submission.''
And John went, 'What? All about domination and all that sort of stuff? I'm not having that.'
So we sat down, and I can't remember which one said, 'What about a submarine mission?' So, we traded line for line, and wrote the song there and then. Then, I went home that night and worked out the music. The next time we rehearsed, I said, 'Look, we have this idea. It goes like this...' And it went like that, and that was it really. The song is basically about taking the Mickey out of Malcolm McLaren."