Police and Thieves

Album: The Clash (1977)
  • Police and thieves in the streets, oh yeah
    Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition
    Police and thieves in the street, oh yeah
    Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

    From genesis to revelation
    The next generation will be, hear me
    From genesis to revelation
    The next generation will be, hear me

    And all the crowd comes in, day by day
    No one stop it in anyway
    All the peacemaker, turn war officer
    Hear what I say

    Police and thieves in the streets, oh yeah
    Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition
    Police and thieves in the street, oh yeah
    Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

    From genesis to revelation
    The next generation will be, hear me

    Oh yeah
    Oh yeah

    Now, all the crowd come in, day by day
    No one stop it in anyway
    All the peacemaker, turn war officer
    Hear what I say

    Police, police, police and thieves, oh yeah
    Police, police, police and thieves, oh yeah
    From genesis, oh yeah
    Police, police, police, police and thieves, oh yeah

    And I'm scaring, I'm fighting the nation, oh yeah
    Shooting, shooting their guns and, guns and ammunition, oh yeah
    Oh yeah

    Police, police, police and thieves, oh yeah
    I'm scaring, oh yeah
    I'm scaring the nation, police oh yeah
    Oh yeah
    Oh yeah
    Oh yeah

    Here come, here come, here come
    The station is bombed, oh yeah
    Get out, get out, get out you people
    If you don't wanna get blown up, oh yeah

    The police, the police and the thieves, oh yeah

    Police
    Police
    Police Writer/s: Junior Murvin, Lee Perry
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 8

  • D from BaltimoreThe message is that they're all gangs involved in the same war and nefarious dealings, and it's everyone else who suffers.

    Some of it is specific to Jamaica in the 70's, where cops were notoriously corrupt, and warring street gangs were on the payroll of of rival political parties.

    Some of it still applies to Jamaica today.

    Most of it describes the underlying reality around the world.
  • Brandon from Colorado"From genesis to revelation" "all the peace makers, turned war officers"...what about this? Interesting.
  • Drew from B\'ham, AlAs for the police & thieves being both threats in the streets, my take is that the thieves make the streets dangerous & that without them, the police, just as dangerous, wouldn't be needed as much. After all, what if police fire at thieves, miss & instead nail innocents on accident? Of course, police are trained to have good aim, but thieves are mighty fast & tricky these days, too. It's the thieves' fault that the whole vicious cycle starts in the first place! The Clash may have been frustrated, much like the message of "War" by Edwin Starr.
  • Jay Wo from Dallas, TxWhen I first listend to the Clash first album. This was the song that immediately stood and separated itself from the yelling and screaming songs. This is the song that made me give the others another chance. Boy, am I glad.
  • Evan from Paramus, United Statesin the movie "knocked up" the original version can be heard in the background of one scene and also the clash song "Police On My Back" is played in the super market scene
  • Mudassir from Bolton, EnglandThe original lee perry/junior murvin song was all over the local underground reggae stations in the mid 70s when at the time, running battles between police and black youths were common around london. joe and paul famously joined in these riots even though they were white, joe once comically recalling how he wasted a box of matches unable to set fire to a car.
  • James from Gainford, EnglandWhat does this song represent, as in what political message is it trying to convey? That police are a lot like the thieves?
  • Nick from San Francisco, CaThough the song is written by Murvin, Joe Strummer added the line "they're going through a tight wind" as a tribute to the Ramones, already an established punk band and an influence on the Clash; the line appears in the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop."
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