Song of the Day #2,957: ‘Police On My Back’ – The Clash

clash_sandinistaThe #1 album on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll for 1981 was The Clash’s Sandinista!, the triple-album follow-up to their heralded London Calling. The album was released in December of 1980, just missing the cut for that year’s poll.

Interestingly, it was London Calling — released in January 1980 in the States — that topped the 1980 poll. Critics were apparently in a Clash state of mind at the turn of the decade.

While London Calling is (deservedly) considered the band’s masterpiece, Sandinista! is viewed as more of a mixed bag. The band threw the kitchen sink into the three-record set, featuring a smorgasbord of styles including (to quote Wikipedia) “funk, reggae, jazz, gospel, rockabilly, folk, dub, rhythm and blues, calypso, disco, and rap.” That sounds like a whole record store.

But that mixed bag was enough to make it the most critically-acclaimed album of the year, which has to count for something.

I’m a fan of London Calling but I suspect I’d be less impressed with Sandinista! A little Clash can go a long way, and this sounds like a whole lot more than a little.

[Verse 1]
Well I’m running, police on my back
I’ve been hiding, police on my back
There was a shooting, police on my back
And the victim well he won’t come back

[Chorus 1]
I’ve been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Runnin’ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
What have I done? What have I done?
[Chorus 2]
Yes, I’m running down the railway track
Won’t you help me? Police on my back
They will catch me if I dare drop back
Won’t you give me all the speed I lack

[Chorus 1]
I’ve been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Runnin’ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
What have I done? What have I done?

[Bridge]
I’m running
I’m running
I keep running

[Chorus 2]
Yes, I’m running down the railway track
Won’t you help me? Police on my back
They will catch me if I dare drop back
Won’t you help find the speed I lack

[Chorus 1]
I’ve been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Runnin’ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
What have I done? What have I done?

[Bridge]
Because I’m running
(Police on my back)
Hiding
(Police on my back)
Running
(Police on my back)
Hiding
(Police on my back)

[Chorus 2]
Yes, I’m running down the railway track
Could you help me? Police on my back
They will catch me if I dare drop back
Won’t you give me all the speed I lack

[Outro]
I’ve been running, I’ve been running

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,957: ‘Police On My Back’ – The Clash

  1. Dana says:

    I just really can’t get into their sound. I guess I’m out of step with the critics on this one.

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