48 Hours

Album: The Clash UK (1977)
  • 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)."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Ed Roland of Collective SoulSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Shine," "December," "The World I Know" and other Collective Soul hits.