The Call Up

Album: Sandinista! (1980)
Play Video


  • Ivan Julian from the Voidoids played guitar on this track.
  • The lyrics are mostly an anti-war and anti-establishment screed, but feature a more touching sentiment underneath the rhetoric and sloganeering. "There is a rose that I want to live for" suggests that the singer is more concerned with a loved one than fighting and dying for a cause. It starts and closes with a US Marines' marching chant.
  • The Clash first played this song live in Berlin in May 1981 and it was played on and off until the end of 1982.
  • The video, directed by Don Letts, was filmed at the warehouse of singer Chris Farlowe, a collector of military items and paraphernalia, of which the band are dressed. Drummer Topper Headon is dressed as a World War II fighter pilot.

Comments: 2

  • Bruce from Australia I always thought “the rose” was a reference to The English Rose
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandThis reached #40 in the UK
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Concert Disasters

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.