Three Card Trick

Album: Cut The Crap (1985)
Play Video


  • "Three Card Trick" was, along with "This Is England" generally cited as one of the better songs on the Cut the Crap debacle, mainly because both songs actually sound like The Clash, using a reggae rhythm and revisiting classic Clash themes of oppression, breakdown of society ("Patriots of the wasteland torching two hundred years, dragging my spirit back into the dungeon again") and protest ("You won't fall for that law and order is a baton in the rib, you won't fall for that just like your mummy and your daddy did"). In this case, singer Joe Strummer's lyrics relate to two core actions occurring at the time: many of the steel mills closing due to foreign imports ("Using steel nails manufactured by the slaves in Asia") and the Miners Strikes of 1984.
  • This is the only post-Mick Jones Clash song to remain in their live set right until their final festival performances in summer 1985, having been introduced on the Out of Control tour in early 1984.

Comments: 1

  • Tom from SpaceIf you can ever be bothered to read TS Elliots The wasteland you will agree this knocks the hell out of that so called masterpiece
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Brandi Carlile

Brandi CarlileSongwriter Interviews

As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.

When Rock Belonged To Michelob

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.


PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?


QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.