Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Album: Combat Rock (1982)
Charted: 1 45
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  • Lyrics
  • Darling you got to let me know
    Should I stay or should I go?
    If you say that you are mine
    I'll be here till the end of time
    So you got to let me know
    Should I stay or should I go?

    It's always tease tease tease
    You're happy when I'm on my knees
    One day is fine, and next is black
    So if you want me off your back
    Well come on and let me know
    Should I Stay or should I go?

    Should I stay or should I go now?
    Should I stay or should I go now?
    If I go there will be trouble
    And if I stay it will be double
    So come on and let me know

    This indecision's bugging me
    Esta indecision me molesta
    If you don't want me, set me free
    Si no me quieres, librame
    Exactly whom I'm supposed to be
    Digame quien tengo ser

    Don't you know which clothes even fit me?
    Sabes que ropas me queda?
    Come on and let me know
    Me tienes que decir
    Should I cool it or should I blow?
    Me debo ir o quedarme?

    Split

    Should I stay or should I go now?
    Me entra frio por los ojos
    Should I stay or should I go now?
    Me entra frio por los ojos
    If I go there will be trouble
    Si me voy va a haber peligro
    And if I stay it will be double
    Si me quedo va a ser doble
    So you gotta let me know
    Me tienes que decir
    Should I cool it or should I blow?

    Should I stay or should I go now?
    Me entra frio por los ojos
    If I go there will be trouble
    Si me voy va a haber peligro
    And if I stay it will be double
    Si me quedo va a ser doble
    So you gotta let me know
    Should I stay or should I go Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 34

  • Melinda from AustraliaShaft from Glenville. In the era The Clash grew up in , working class London men often would refer to females with Darlin. Without doubt still do. But not Darling, how the lyrics here spells it.
    I know I know, every man in the universe calls females darlin at some stage.
    But workin class London males have a unique way of sayin it.
    It almost like Dorlin. And u can hear it in this song. They don’t even know they are sayin it that sexy way.
    Chas and Dave, who are probably the zenith of English working class songs/singers. They say Dorlin in exactly the same accent in their song, Ain’t No Pleasing You.
    I love Should I stay Or Should I Go. Never was a song that was so of the moment. When this come out a new kind of music for a decade was comin in. You could feel it.
    And it was undeniable. The Clash in that moment were the epitome of cool.
    With a very ‘f..ck you we’re English. And we’re proud of being working class delinquents.
    It intrigued me to discover years later. That Joe Strummer was the son of an upper class toss pot who who worked in the English Foreign Service in India. And Strummer as a kid was dumped continuously in English Upper Class Boarding schools. With, as he has called ‘rich thick people’.
    Well, he appears to be the only one in The Clash who had a privileged upbringing.
    I don’t believe he was a phoney. Because he was always politically active. In Left wing issues. So alls forgiven.
  • Demat from Dublin, OhIt wasn't about anybody specific and it wasn't pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rockin' song, our attempt at writing a classic ... When we were just playing, that was the kind of thing we used to like to play. – Mick Jones, 1991
  • Demat from Dublin, Ohhe Spanish backing vocals were sung by Joe Strummer and Joe Ely:

    On the spur of the moment I said 'I'm going to do the backing vocals in Spanish' ... We needed a translator so Eddie Garcia, the tape operator, called his mother in Brooklyn Heights and read her the lyrics over the phone and she translated them. But Eddie and his mum are Ecuadorian, so it's Ecuadorian Spanish that me and Joe Ely are singing on the backing vocals. – Joe Strummer, 1991
  • John Dough from New York, NyAny idea whence they came up with the first bars of the song? I ask because there is a reggae song whose name I don't know from around '72/'73 that opens exactly that way. First time I heard it, I thought it was the reggae being played Second or third bar dispelled that idea. Anyone?
  • Lisa from Lawrence, NyWow, this song just popped into my head tonight, thinking about my relationship with my Mom. I've sadly needed her help financially (VERY hard times), and she gives it, but always with such a huge guilt sandwich that is near impossible to swallow. One day she wants to help (I'll do anything for you), next day she doesn't (can't you find someone else). I just wish she'd make one decision and stick to it. And this just came right it my head and I went "YES!" This song (which could be both a love song and the thing with Jones leaving) is just THE perfect example of the rollercoaster this woman is putting me on and how I just wish I would stop (PLEASE, I'm begging you woman, tell me, "should I cool it or should I blow". Stop the "I love you/go away" thing). LOVE the "Clash Spanish"! Should have definitely charted higher. What rock fan doesn't love this song? Also check out BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE (Clash offshoot) song "The Globe"---borrows REAL heavily from "Should I?", in a most awesome way!
  • Sydney from Dallas, TxThis song was also used in the Iron Man 2 movie, unfortunately, it is only played for a minute. The scene is when Tony Stark first returns to his lab/ garage.
  • Jesus Herrera from Mexico, MexicoJoe Strummer did know some Spanish since he lived in Mexico City for a while in his childhood. I like the early MTV version showing a performance of the band in the Shea Stadium. And I like the kind of rooster noise Strummer yells somewhere in the middle of the song.
  • Jon from Hackney, United KingdomWhat Luke said about Spanish Bombs. Spot on mate. Didn't he even say about it in the RS thing? Oh, speaking of RS, there's a certain other band not mentioned above who employ a certain band member ..... this has probably been pointed out 10 mill times, but I ain't reading it all, no way
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiaawesome song.. but i don't think it beats london calling...... but ppl...clash roxxxxxxxxxx
  • Brad from Long Island, NyThis was never my fav clash song, but if you get a chance, listen to the live version when they opened for The Who (its on UTube,) Mick sings it slightly differently, that version works better for me
  • Jim from Denver, CoI belive there are political overtones in the lyrics, but this song brings back memories of a man and a woman confused over a new relationship
    when someone else is in the middle.
  • Jaimye-leah from Birmingham, EnglandIt was used in the rugrats movie "... go wild"
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nygood song, but waaaay over-hyped in the us.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdThe Spansish in the Second verse translates to "This indecision I bother me If not my you want, free me Dûme quû? I have to be Know that clothes remains me?
    That you have me that to say I should go or to remain me?."
  • Luke from Worthing, EnglandTo justify the ungrammatical Spanish, Joe Stummer said that the Spanish in this song is "Clash Spannish [sic]", which can also be heard in "Spanish Bombs"
  • Jo-c from Lima, PeruMy first language is Spanish, but I didn't have any idea the backing vocals were in Spanish!
  • Shaft from Glenville, WvQuote from "Pedantic Wit, Madison, WI":
    "To dispel the rumor about the Mick Jones/Joe Strummer break-up theories, I believe that the first line uttered contains a vital clue... Does it seem likely that bandmates would refer to each other as "darling?"

    I've heard, Mr.Wit, and bear in mind this is just something I HEARD, that sometimes, when songwriters write songs, they do not always exactley what they mean. Now, one fine example of this, is that when singers mention "Pot" they are not infact talking about Pots, but rather the drug Marijuana.

    Firstly, it's entirely possible that "Darling" could be used between two band-mates especially ones who had been close friends for many years.

    Secondly, the clash often had songs that were about more than one thing.
  • Clare from Liverpool, Englandthis song is so awesome!!!
  • Sus from Copenhagen, DenmarkMy mistake - this was not the song Joe Strummer didn't like. It was Train In Vain
  • Sus from Copenhagen, DenmarkThis song could potentially have a lot of meanings, but the explanation from Mick Jones was always that it was about his relationship with singer Ellen Foley.
    It is said that Joe Strummer was not very fond of this song either and not very pleased to be playing it on-stage.
    I dunno.
  • Andy from Tualatin, OrGreat Clash Song. I think its about deciding whether to stay in the band or not. its number 228 on the rolling stones list of the greatest songs ever.
  • Ferris from Ohio, OhThey used this song for one of the Rugrat's movie. I can't remember if it was "Rugrats in Paris" or "The Rugrats go Wild", I can't remember, it was a long time ago. I think I remember Angelica was singing this song one night with a bunch of sumo wreslers..
  • Collin from Boston, MaThe song was released in 1982. The lyrics have double meaning...1. It's about US involvement in El Salvador...and can be viewed as a love song.
  • Kelly from Nanaimo, CanadaI heard that the song was about sex. Just listen to the song and think dirty. Only what I heard, maybe my friends are pervs.
  • Are Fridtjof from LillestrÃ?m, NorwayAlternate interpretation:

    This song can also possibly be about UKs partisipation in the EU. It was released the same year the UK became a member of the EU.
  • Rainyhouse from Spanish Fork , Ut"Should I Stay Or Should I Go" was written by Mick Jones about American singer Ellen Foley, who sang the backing vocals on Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell LP. (Source: NME Magazine 3/16/91)
  • Pedantic Wit from Madison, WiOne needs only to examine the lyrics of this pop song to discover the intent of the author. I believe that it is a candid commentary on human nature - specifically that which is concerned with meaningful relationships pertaining to the opposite sex. To dispel the rumor about the Mick Jones/Joe Strummer break-up theories, I believe that the first line uttered contains a vital clue... Does it seem likely that bandmates would refer to each other as "darling?" In my opinion, the realization that this is about a relationship-gone-wrong is the key to understanding the song. For example, take the lyric "If I go there will be trouble, But if I stay it will be double" - this hints at the all too common tendency of those in a relationship riddled with turbulence to feel that, on one hand, if they "go" then they must face the possiblity that the other person may find someone else. On the other hand, however, the same person realizes that if they "stay" things will continue to get worse. Therefore, it is my belief that this song is a commentary on the not-uncommon sentiment that goes as follows: "I don't really want to stay in this relationship, but I don't really want to see her/him with anyone else."
  • Kai from Pleasent View, Utthis was one of the best clash songs they ever made not the best but one of the best and it is a shame that it took a levi commercial for people to see that it is a great song and that people are now noticing it know from a rugrats movie come on people know your music know what is good
  • Eduardo from Baltimore, MdCan you find the hiccup in this song?
  • Jackie from Fairfield, CtThis was the Clash's only number one hit, and was not a hit untill it was re-released after the levi's comercial. When Mick Jones came under scrutiny about using the song in a comercial, he reasoned by saying that levi's were on of the great rock and roll accesories.
  • Erick from The Woodlands, Txmy dad, whos from Guatemala(REPRESENT!)isn't really into da whole "punk" thing but when he used to live in Cali when he first came to da states he liked sum of The Clash's songs, oblivious of knowing they were a punk band, just thought i'd share dat cause i thought it was funy...
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaThis song was a big hit again when it was used in the movie "Rugrats Go Wild!" in a scene where Angelica Pickles and Debbie Thornberry sing the song while driving in the Thornberrys' RV.
  • Jason Lee from New York, NyThis song is so good. My theory is it's about someone who's been cheated on. He's asking if he should stay or break up/divorce. The line should I cool it or should I go means should I just let it go or should I get really angry and leave.
  • Matt from London, EnglandRomoured that the song was a question to Joe, who did indeed later let Jonesey go.
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