Musically, this is yet another variant of the main riff from The Who's song "I Can't Explain
," which the band obviously liked as it had already inspired the main riffs to both "Capital Radio One
" and "Clash City Rockers
Lyrically, it actually has nothing to do with the pigeon-shooting incident, although Joe Strummer's opening line about swearing to tell the whole truth - as a defendant would in court - only adds to the misconception about the lyrics which are actually about international terrorism and assassins spawned from corrupt governments ("A system built by the sweat of the many creates assassins to kill off the few"). The Clash were calling out those who oppress their own people with often brutal results ("They torture all the women and children, then they've put the men to the gun, 'cause across the human frontier, freedom's always on the run").