The Street Parade

Album: Sandinista! (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • "The Street Parade" was, despite only being a largely unappreciated track, one that was highly rated by The Clash. It featured in most of their 1981 concerts, and was the uncredited final bonus track on the Clash on Broadway compilation - rumored to be uncredited as the band were determined to get the song on the compilation even though the record label were happy with the tracks already picked from Sandinista!.
  • The lyrics could be viewed as a hint towards Joe Strummer's struggles with depression later in the 1980s, after The Clash had broken up. Even though at the time of the song's writing, it seems he was struggling with identity and being detached from the real life he was trying to represent in songs with The Clash by the trappings of fame ("It's not too hard to cry, In these crying times"). The idea of losing himself in a crowd is clearly an appealing one, wanting to escape into a situation where no-one recognizes him ("Though I will disappear, To join the street parade, Disappear and fade, Into the street parade").
  • The recording of this song is much like most songs on the Sandinista! album, with many extra instruments adding to the sound - in this case, a floating horn section and snatches of Caribbean marimbas.

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