Four Horsemen

Album: London Calling (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • "Four Horsemen" was The Clash's attempt to lighten the tone of London Calling in the midst of very apocalyptic and dark-sounding songs such as the title track, "Clampdown," and "Death Or Glory." It features deliberately humorous lyrics, presenting The Clash as the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse in the style of Monty Python-esque parodies who are in the middle of a bit of a rubbish day ("One was over the edge, one was over the cliff, One was lickin' em dry with a bloody great spliff. When they picked up the hiker he didn't want the lift, from the horsemen"). It acts as an attempt to poke fun at themselves, showing that they acknowledge that their lyrics veer close to pretentious at times.
  • This song was only ever played live once: at the Russrock Festival in Finland, in August 1979. One can only assume that the band didn't play it all too often in case audiences just didn't get the joke of the lyrics.

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