48 Hours

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Guitarist Mick Jones joked in the Westway to the World documentary that "48 Hours" only took about 24 minutes to write. This was obviously a tongue-in-cheek comment, but it is true that a lot of songs on their debut album were written very quickly, and judging by the simplicity of the song's structure, it's probably the case that it was written very quickly.
  • The "48 Hours" in the title refers to the 48 hours of the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), and describes the feeling amongst many young people of desperation to have as much fun as possible in the short space of time before Monday and the working week comes around again - or as it's described in the song, the "Jail on Wheels."

    Lyrically, it's possible that Joe Strummer was taking inspiration from the 1966 song "Friday On My Mind" by the Easybeats, which he covered many times in the 101ers, the band he was in before he joined The Clash.
  • "48 Hours" was quite an inspirational song in the Punk community - the popular punk fanzine 48 Thrills took its name from the chorus lyrics of this song, unsurprising seeing as the editor Adrian Thrills toured extensively with The Clash throughout 1977. He would later take it professional and turn it into a weekly column in the NME magazine. The song also inspired the Jam's "Here Comes The Weekend" and Sham 69's "Hurry Up Harry (Come On)."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

Shaun Morgan of SeetherSongwriter Interviews

Shaun breaks down the Seether songs, including the one about his brother, the one about Ozzy, and the one that may or may not be about his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee.

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."