Straight To Hell

Album: Combat Rock (1982)
Charted: 17 45
Play Video
  • If you can play on the fiddle
    How's about a British jig and reel?
    Speaking King's English in quotation
    As railhead towns feel the steel mills rust
    Water froze
    In the generation
    Clear as winter ice
    This is your paradise

    There ain't no need for ya
    There ain't no need for ya
    Go straight to hell, boys, go straight to hell, boys

    Wanna join in a chorus
    Of the Amerasian blues?
    When it's Christmas out in Ho Chi Minh City
    Kiddie say papa papa papa papa pappa-san, take me home
    See me got
    Photo photo photograph of you and mamma mamma mamma-san
    Of you and mamma mamma mamma-san
    Let me tell you 'bout your blood, bamboo kid
    It ain't Coca-Cola, it's rice

    Straight to hell
    Go straight to hell boys
    Go straight to hell
    Go straight to hell boys

    Oh Papa-san
    Please take me home
    Oh Papa-san
    Everybody, they wanna go home
    So Mamma-san says

    You want to play mind-crazed banjo
    On the druggy-drag ragtime U.S.A.?
    In Parkland International
    Ha, junkie-dom U.S.A
    Where pro-caine proves the purest rock man groove
    And rat poison
    The volatile Molotov says

    Straight to hell

    Can you really cough it up loud and strong?
    The immigrants, they wanna sing all night long
    It could be anywhere
    Most likely could be any frontier any hemisphere
    In no-man's-land
    There ain't no asylum here
    King Solomon he never lived 'round here

    Straight to hell, boys
    Go straight to hell, boys
    Go straight to hell, boys
    Go straight to hell, boys
    Oh, papa-san, please take me home Writer/s: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 16

  • Luke from Auckland, New ZealandOne of my favourites that I used to play over and over (as you do when you're 'hooked'), it is a signature track of theirs I think insofar as it highlights (yet again!) their ability to surprise us with it's unique sound and style with which to carry meaningful lyrics and comment - outstanding, for lack of a better word.
  • Brady from New Prague, MnReally awesome song. Also, I have to agree with Mudassir too.
  • Jeff from Cincinnati, OhHas anyone else noticed that MIA stole the beat from this song to make the song paper planes?
  • M Paul from Green Bay, WiThere ain't no asylum here, King Solomon he never lived 'round here........
  • Brad from Long Island, NyIts a song like this (and many others) that makes me think the clash shouldnt be classified as merely a punk band. Not so much the lyrical message, but the musical acumen of Joe, Mick, Paul and Topper is amazing. Strummer was a great craftsman, not just a head banger and as is often the case, taken from us too early
  • Steve from Gatineau, NsThere's this girl...M.I.A...she made a crappy song out of a sample of this. SHAME!
  • Dan from London, EnglandJakob, look at my previous log - this song is not soley about Vietnam - the first verse is about the UK (british jig and reel" around 1982-3 and the mass unemployment "steel mills rust" refers to places like Sheffield known for its steel production.

    The second verse is about the US's legacy in Vietnam - another group of displaced people

    The third verse is about junkiedom USA

    Pradeep London

    see also Muddasser Bolton
    Lastly Strunner says that it could be anywhere
  • Simon from London, EnglandI agree with Mudassir - about dissaffected youth worldwide. Joe wrote it from a few different perspectives thats all
  • Pradeep from London, EnglandI agree with Mudassir from Bolton, this song is not just about America - its about a generation of people from 3 continents who had been put on the scrap heep e.g Thatcher's moneterism dogma led to more than 3 million losing their jobs , "steel mills rust" "there aint no need for you"- go straight to jail "

    Also is this line a twist on the "go straigt to jail" from the Monopoly game ?
  • Nathan from Willow Spring, NcGreatest song by the Clash, Easily!
  • Julie from Madison, WiThis is my favorite Clash song and has been since I bought the album way back in junior high!
  • Joe from Chicago, Ari have to say that this isn't the best clash song out there but it's still a pretty good song......the lyrics are prett kool and like izzy said they actually make sense now i didn't get them before either really......anyway the clash are on my top 5 list of the best bands of the 70s and the 80s because there awesome.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyawesome song. makes more sense to me now.
  • Mudassir from Bolton, EnglandJoe explained this song on British radio - The "hell" is the fate awaiting youth all over the world, (it's not an anti-american song at all !). The opening verse relates to British youth at the time of great industrial decline in northern towns, such as coal-mining and steel mill communities. the second verse refers to the kids of GIs and vietnamese gfs, the third refers to parks in america where junkies seek solace at night, the last refers to immigrant youth rioting when they realise there are no streets of gold in "any frontier, any hemisphere..."
  • Jim from Dayton, OhPersonally, this is my favorite Clash song and an oft overlooked one at that.
  • Jakob from Edmonton, CanadaGood song about vietnam
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The Remasters

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

80s Video Director Jay Dubin

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin Popoff

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.