THIS IS OUR MUSIC: The Clash – “Spanish Bombs” – live Capitol Theatre – Passaic, NJ, 3/8/1980.
A good number of Strummer’s songs insist upon a deeper listen and oftentimes require a trip to the library. For example, “Spanish Bombs”. The singer penned the track after hearing about terrorist attacks aimed at Spain’s more touristy hotels, which reminded him of the IRA bombings in the UK. Just like a sly historian, Strummer weaved in references to the Spanish Civil War in the ’30s (“Or can I hear the echos from the days of ’39”) and poet and anti-fascist martyr Federico Garcia Lorca (“Federico Lorca is dead and gone”). He also condemns his fellow British countrymen for flying into the beautiful country, unaware of the domestic strife boiling around them. It’s all heavy stuff, but it doesn’t feel heavy, thanks to Mick Jones’ driving arrangements that take us from smoke-filled skies to sunny dances by the shore. One of many juxtapositions that would make up The Clash’s trademark sound.
The Only Lyric That Matters: “Back home the buses went up in flashes/ The Irish tomb was drenched in blood/ Spanish bombs shatter the hotels/ My senorita’s rose was nipped in the bud”