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The Clash — Rock the Casbah
Album: Combat Rock
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2246









Released: 1982
Length: 3:31
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Now, the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin' to the top

The sheik, he drove his Cadillac
He went a-cruisin' down the ville
The muezzin was a-standin'
On the radiator grille

The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

By order of The Prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound

But the Bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the sharif
Had cleared the square
They began to wail

The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

Now over at the temple
Ooh, they really pack 'em in
The in-crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing

But as the wind changed direction
And the temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive

The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

The king called up his jet fighters
He said, "You better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way"

As soon as the sharif
Was chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare
As soon as the sharif
Was outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed

The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

The sharif don't like it (He thinks it's not kosher)
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

The sharif don't like it (Fundamentally can't take it)
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

The sharif don't like it (You know he really hates it)
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
Comments (222)add comment
This is my Indian summer ... I learnt that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke. I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all.

— Joe Strummer to Chris Salewicz – 2000


RIP Joe, gone too soon!

why do i always think of  "The Young Ones" when this is playing?                                                 Is that you Vyvyan ??
I loved this song when it came out, cranked it up big time on the home sound system. But my Clash phase ran out after some months. Now they just sound like noise. London Calling still sounds good though
 ziggytrix wrote:
I never did care for that cellphone going off in the third verse, but the rest of the song is so good that ya really can't hold it against it.
 
LOL! ....Too funny!
Good bop Keep on boppin!
 ziggytrix wrote:
I never did care for that cellphone going off in the third verse, but the rest of the song is so good that ya really can't hold it against it.
 
Cellphone? In 1982?  That'll be clever; I'm going to buy a time machine last Tuesday so I'll make sure Joe Strummer has one ringing nearby instead of the alarm on his watch...
Memories of City League soccer, on the fields in Ala Wai Park behind the Waikiki skyscrapers.  Those fields were converted into an elementary school.  <sigh>
 ziggytrix wrote:
I never did care for that cellphone going off in the third verse, but the rest of the song is so good that ya really can't hold it against it.
 
Oddly, if that were a cell phone going off on this tune from 1982, that might have been a reason to +1 it (though to my ears, way back when, that sound always reminded me of the handheld football game that predated the Nintendo and made obsolete by it too.  Long Live RP and retro video games!!
Haven’t heard this one in a while Still fun
 chasmen wrote:
Fock de kerstman, Fock de kerstman!!!
 
And I always sang it as "Fuck the Cash Bar" 
Fock de kerstman, Fock de kerstman!!!
Lock the taskbar.
I never did care for that cellphone going off in the third verse, but the rest of the song is so good that ya really can't hold it against it.
Shawty don't like it, lock the taskbar!
 maboleth wrote:
Soooo worn and bad aged......

 
Nope!
Soooo worn and bad aged......
 ThePoose wrote:
When Joe found out that US airmen wrote ROCK THE CASBAH on their bombs before dropping them in Afghanistan, he wept bitter tears.

 
Wow, didn't know that. This song could be mistaken as being anti-Islam, but really it's just anti-fundamentalism. You could write a similar song in regards to any fundamentalist banning rock music. Come to think of it, someone has - Footloose!
I still hear this as "Rockin' the cat box..."
 woolybear wrote:
If you like Rock the Casbah, check out Rock El Casbah by Rachid Taha.

 
WOW

thanks! 
"That Crazy Cat Box Sound"
Pete Townsend said The Clash were going to be bigger than The Beatles. Was this the point when Pete started to get tone deaf?
Oddly, this is probably the only Clash song I enjoy, but they appear to have half-inched it from elsewhere ...
If you like Rock the Casbah, check out Rock El Casbah by Rachid Taha.
I thought it would've been "Great Balls Of Fire".

Jerry Lee probably wouldn't have minded. 
When Joe found out that US airmen wrote ROCK THE CASBAH on their bombs before dropping them in Afghanistan, he wept bitter tears.

 


 Clarentine wrote:
{#Music}  Bill, you guys are hitting it out of the park this afternoon. 

 
Agreed!  Most excellent...
{#Music}  Bill, you guys are hitting it out of the park this afternoon. 
Like them but not this one.
When Joe found out that US airmen wrote ROCK THE CASBAH on their bombs before dropping them in Afghanistan, he wept bitter tears.
 below72 wrote:
This annoyance has been used in the torturing of prisoners in various countries - and has never failed to get results.  I once heard the song was played in the ears of a prisoner for 32 hours...and it killed him.
I'm not surprised.  This pounding meoldy is right down there in annoying-ville with Saturday Night Fever.

 
Any repetitive sound played at high volume for 32 hours, thus depriving the subject of sleep, would be considered torture.  It could be Beethoven, The Beatles, or Brittany Spears.   Duh! 

At least with this one, you'd be rocking your ass off for the first hour which is more than could be said for some.

 below72 wrote:
This annoyance has been used in the torturing of prisoners in various countries - and has never failed to get results.  I once heard the song was played in the ears of a prisoner for 32 hours...and it killed him.
I'm not surprised.  This pounding meoldy is right down there in annoying-ville with Saturday Night Fever.

 
More than that - it killed him and there's no evidence of it left on the internet! Scary, eh kids?
This is one of those songs that are truly excellent and I'm completely tired of hearing them. Not on RP but Pandora crams this into ever 80s related station I create. 

Im'ma PSD reluctantly. See ya'll on the other side. 
             
              As if she figured out all and prophesied
                 You can look away only when
                 You can't take away your eyes..
               So my best friend die another day.
              But,  I'll  die everyday hungry in luxury.
{#Drunk}{#Notworthy}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Sunny}
 grbn wrote:
Laughed so hard when I saw this, one of the best misheard lyrics in a while:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEWG6kSYqlY

 

 
{#Lol}
Not bad but not their best.
 
Laughed so hard when I saw this, one of the best misheard lyrics in a while:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEWG6kSYqlY

 
This annoyance has been used in the torturing of prisoners in various countries - and has never failed to get results.  I once heard the song was played in the ears of a prisoner for 32 hours...and it killed him.
I'm not surprised.  This pounding meoldy is right down there in annoying-ville with Saturday Night Fever.
Anybody have any wine to go along with this cheese?
Never really understood all the lyrics until I found this cool acoustic cover. 

https://youtu.be/J-q1QPkOyL4

 
Hard to believe this is my first listen on RP, at least to rate it.  
Saw these guys during the year this came out.  They were opening for The Who. 
Sounds different than the album I remember,  is this a remix?
{#Bananajam}
 Sasha2001 wrote:
You lost a lot of cred with this statement. This song succeeds on so many levels. 1. Catchy as hell
2. A good beat that you can dance to.
3. Ironic, political, and socially aware lyrics (the trifecta)
4. Rocks pretty hard
5. From a legendary album/band Am I missing any others? 
 
6. It's kitschy


 unclehud wrote:
 kcar wrote:
... clipped ...    How was Honolulu? I'd love to go to Hawaii for a coupla weeks if I could find places that aren't too built up. 

OFF TOPIC

Hawaii was fabulous from 1978 to 1983.  Oahu had almost nowhere that wasn't urbanized, but you could find solitude with a 30-to-90 minute hike through the jungle and bamboo.  Maui had mega-resorts that cultivated an artificial "away from everything" feel, wide-open whaling town Lahaina, and KNUI radio.  Kauai has the still-wild Na Pali coast trail.  Big Island was my favorite, because it has a built-in functioning volcano and was touristy only along 3 or 4 blocks in Kona -- but kcar, that was 30 years ago, my friend. 

Today, for example, the entire island of Lanai is owned by Larry Ellison (Oracle dude) who uses it for cruising his superyacht and supporting a few high-end resort hotels.  Back in the day it was entirely a Dole pineapple plantation with a worker population of maybe 1,000.

The USS Arizona is still sunk in Pearl Harbor, I am sure, and is a not-to-be-missed experience.  Budget three hours, including transport, and you will leave with new insight on war.



 
Yeah...sigh. I can't imagine that those 30 years have been kind to Hawaiian nature, although my brother and sister-in-law had a great time on Kona and found a lot of nature there. I had trouble believing you about Larry Ellison and Lanai, but Wikipedia set me straight. What a jerk. Rumor was that he paid $500-600 million. 

I've heard the Arizona memorial is powerful and beautiful.  
Not my favorite Clash song but had way too much fun dancing to it in the bars back in the 80's
 kcar wrote:
... clipped ...    How was Honolulu? I'd love to go to Hawaii for a coupla weeks if I could find places that aren't too built up. 

OFF TOPIC

Hawaii was fabulous from 1978 to 1983.  Oahu had almost nowhere that wasn't urbanized, but you could find solitude with a 30-to-90 minute hike through the jungle and bamboo.  Maui had mega-resorts that cultivated an artificial "away from everything" feel, wide-open whaling town Lahaina, and KNUI radio.  Kauai has the still-wild Na Pali coast trail.  Big Island was my favorite, because it has a built-in functioning volcano and was touristy only along 3 or 4 blocks in Kona -- but kcar, that was 30 years ago, my friend. 

Today, for example, the entire island of Lanai is owned by Larry Ellison (Oracle dude) who uses it for cruising his superyacht and supporting a few high-end resort hotels.  Back in the day it was entirely a Dole pineapple plantation with a worker population of maybe 1,000.

The USS Arizona is still sunk in Pearl Harbor, I am sure, and is a not-to-be-missed experience.  Budget three hours, including transport, and you will leave with new insight on war.


{#Heartkiss}  ....... love it  {#Kiss}
 fredriley wrote:

Nope, that pretty much sums the song up. Danceable agitprop, and back in the day it was absolutely guaranteed to fill the dance floors at leftie gigs. My second fave from the Clash, behind The Magnificent Seven.

 
This song was outrageous, outspoken, over the top and original!
Clashy! {#Bananapiano}
 Proclivities wrote:

I'm not sure how much '80s alternative music you'd heard, but the majority of it was quite danceable.

 
Amen, to that!
 unclehud wrote:
Freshly discharged, but still hanging in Honolulu, practicing and playing with an Estonian soccer club on the fields immediately behind Waikiki canal.  This was their theme song, and they sang in comically broken English and twisted lyrics.  Good times.

 
It has a loopy, knocked-on-the-head feel of its own that your Estonian friends amplified. Good for dancing in a dark club but I heard this too many times on FM radio and dumb frat parties to listen with fresh ears. Maybe that scheduled lobotomy will help...

How was Honolulu? I'd love to go to Hawaii for a coupla weeks if I could find places that aren't too built up. 
Freshly discharged, but still hanging in Honolulu, practicing and playing with an Estonian soccer club on the fields immediately behind Waikiki canal.  This was their theme song, and they sang in comically broken English and twisted lyrics.  Good times.
Rock the Casbah! 
 Sasha2001 wrote:
You lost a lot of cred with this statement. This song succeeds on so many levels.

1. Catchy as hell
2. A good beat that you can dance to.
3. Ironic, political, and socially aware lyrics (the trifecta)
4. Rocks pretty hard
5. From a legendary album/band

Am I missing any others?
 
Nope, that pretty much sums the song up. Danceable agitprop, and back in the day it was absolutely guaranteed to fill the dance floors at leftie gigs. My second fave from the Clash, behind The Magnificent Seven.
 bobcat1963 wrote:
thanks bill for my daily shot of CLASH!{#Dancingbanana}

 

...roger that!!
 trailhub wrote:
Might be their most commercially successful song, and a great one at that, but I'm saving my 10's for their even better stuff (like about half the songs on London Calling)

 
Yes!
I think this suffers from its popularity. It's better than I remember it being.

YEP!


It's somewhat ironic that the killer intro riff here was composed by Topper playing around on a piano one day before a rehearsal, and it went on to be their most "remembered song".  And Mr. Headon was subsequently then sacked for his hopeless drug addiction right before the triumphant '82 tour featuring this song and album.
This cut was HUGE for good reason.  Topical, clever and rockin'.  At least an 8.
 mikeatlarge wrote:
80's alternative you can actually dance to. One of their better tracks.
 
I'm not sure how much '80s alternative music you'd heard, but the majority of it was quite danceable.
80's alternative you can actually dance to. One of their better tracks.
frigging classic babes
Might be their most commercially successful song, and a great one at that, but I'm saving my 10's for their even better stuff (like about half the songs on London Calling)
 holborne wrote:


By "single," I trust you mean a song actually released as a single (as opposed to the common use of the term to mean simply "song from one of their albums")?
 
When has anyone who knows anything about music ever used the word "single" in the second sense?  : \
You lost a lot of cred with this statement. This song succeeds on so many levels.

1. Catchy as hell
2. A good beat that you can dance to.
3. Ironic, political, and socially aware lyrics (the trifecta)
4. Rocks pretty hard
5. From a legendary album/band

Am I missing any others?
Another great song from a great group.
 Stingray wrote:


Unbelievable comment!!!!!!!!!!!
 

I agree wholeheartedly.  Take a look at the list of great songs this guy rates very lowly.  I think he likes to push buttons and I've let him push mine.
 sirdroseph wrote:
A bad song made worse from overplay.
 

Unbelievable comment!!!!!!!!!!!
Would most certainly be a hit in 2011 as well!

10% for me, Puff Daddy...
A bad song made worse from overplay.
This is my moneymaking jam!
Fu@%ing the gas pump   .......... good story Bill {#Clap}
Simple, classic tune and nice!

 bobcat1963 wrote:
thanks bill for my daily shot of CLASH!{#Dancingbanana}
 
Cheers to that!

 bobcat1963 wrote:
thanks bill for my daily shot of CLASH!{#Dancingbanana}
 
Indeedy: somehow one needs that . . .
 fredriley wrote:

I must be getting way old, because I've never come across the second meaning {#Stupid}. So yes, I do mean a released single, and one I want played at my wake.

 
rock the casbahI guess "singles" are a thing of the past; I hadn't come across that second meaning either.

Sounds more like "Empty the cats box, empty the cats box"
 ozzie wrote:
I don't even mind Combat Rock as an album, although it's not a classic.
 
Not a classic?

 holborne wrote:
By "single," I trust you mean a song actually released as a single (as opposed to the common use of the term to mean simply "song from one of their albums")?
 
I must be getting way old, because I've never come across the second meaning {#Stupid}. So yes, I do mean a released single, and one I want played at my wake.

This doesn't come even remotely close to anything from Sandanista! or London Calling, but when they felt they had to produce a Top 40 Pop Song, such as it was, it was a killer. Joe Strummer, RIP.
thanks bill for my daily shot of CLASH!{#Dancingbanana}
I'm a big Clash fan, but this was never one of my favourites. Still, a 7. Ok, you can spell-check now, jagdriver.
Still a classic.
 jagdriver wrote:


Well, first of all, it's gods (lowercase). And I'm not sure I'd go that far, although this track certainly rates a 9.
 
Whether it's upper- or lowercase "g" is far less important than the fact that there is no apostrophe in a simple plural "Gods."

This is commercial tripe from a usually-good band.  Zero or less.

You should listen to the Solar Twins remake of this. While this is a 9, that, as impossible as it seems, is even better.
I love the way these guys, Elvis Costello and others totally changed the production values in pop music of their day. They did a 180 from disco and its overproduced fully packed, heavy bass sound and went back to that dance hall sound that had lots of air.
 derekd wrote:
Go RP! The Clash are God's. When interviewed, Bono said at a younger age, "All we ever wanted to be was The Clash"
 

Well, first of all, it's gods (lowercase). And I'm not sure I'd go that far, although this track certainly rates a 9.
Go RP! The Clash are God's. When interviewed, Bono said at a younger age, "All we ever wanted to be was The Clash"
I've been a Clash fan since way back. Seen them twice and so on.

I don't even mind Combat Rock as an album, although it's not a classic.

But I hate this song. It's the only Clash song that gets played on commercial stations and I think it's headache inducing tripe. If I never hear it again it will be too soon.
 fredriley wrote:
The best ever Clash single, by a country mile. A glorious and deserved 10 from the Nottingham jury. I've never tired of listening and bopping to this, even after twenty years and what must be hundreds of listens. An absolute minted classic.
 

By "single," I trust you mean a song actually released as a single (as opposed to the common use of the term to mean simply "song from one of their albums")?
 buckeyes wrote:
perfect friday song!
 

Too bad its only Thursday! {#Dancingbanana}
The best ever Clash single, by a country mile. A glorious and deserved 10 from the Nottingham jury. I've never tired of listening and bopping to this, even after twenty years and what must be hundreds of listens. An absolute minted classic.
Anyone else think of Joe Strummer last night when they discussed Joe Plumber?
K I T T Y Don't Like it - Rocks in the cat box, rocks in the cat box.  I cannot hear this any other way.  My brother and his crazy friends are to blame!!
Sounds like ''f*ck the busker''
perfect friday song!
 FlatCat wrote:

I thought I had a winner with "Lock the Taskbar" (a Windows feature), but there are already a dozen videos on YouTube making the same joke.
 

This is very funny.  I do frequently lock and unlock the taskbar.


This is gearing me up to rock the Black Shire, the local watering hole, in about 29 minutes and counting...

28

27

....wow time moves really slowly at the near end of a work week.


Quel fromage.
"Mock the cats car"?
kindermanltd wrote:
Rock the Cat-box!
I thought I had a winner with "Lock the Taskbar" (a Windows feature), but there are already a dozen videos on YouTube making the same joke.
It's been overplayed, but this really is a great song.
Are you kidding me?
Anyone heard Rachid Taha do this? best cover of a Clash song ever I reckon Joe would've loved it
"Hock the hash bar"
steeler wrote:
This gets quite a bit of play on RP compared to all the other Clash songs, and I really don't find it to be representative. In fact, I think it somewhat atypical because it seems a bit forced, not as naturally cool as earlier works and rather simplistic in message. Then again, Combat Rock is my least favorite Clash album.
You obviously have never tried to sit through "Cut The Crap", the last album they made after Mick Jones was sacked. I think even Joe would trash it if he were still with us! But this song is on heavy rotation in those Jack FM formats, and sure doesn't need to be in heavy rotation here. And not one single song from The Clash album "Give 'em Enough Rope" in the RP catalog?!?! I'd love to hear Stay Free or All the Young Punks right about now...
chix wrote:
:devil_pimp: 9
By "9" do you mean no?
:devil_pimp: 9
This gets quite a bit of play on RP compared to most of the other Clash songs, and I really don't find it to be representative. In fact, I think it somewhat atypical because it seems a bit forced, not as naturally cool as earlier works and rather simplistic in message. Then again, Combat Rock is my least favorite Clash album. From that album, I'd much rather hear Straight To Hell. That said, any Clash is always welcome.
"Mock the cat's bra"?!
Rock the Cat-box!
jadewahoo wrote:
The Clash~ Rock the Casbah & Patti Smith~ Because the Night both in one set = Ecstacy for me!
Agreed, both classics!
The Clash~ Rock the Casbah & Patti Smith~ Because the Night both in one set = Ecstacy for me!
Tagish_girl wrote:
Ha ha ha! Now imagine a really bad 1980's tacky wedding, with pale blue ruffle-front rented tuxes, burgundy and yellow uber-ruffled bridesmaids, and a meringue of a bride, all singing "Rock the cash bar! Rock the cash bar!" Ewwww, I was there..... wearing a little black number and way too much eyeliner.
I was once forced to wear a White Tux (Miami Vice Brand!) with a pink cumber bun and bow tie. As soon as Sis said I Do and they kissed, the tie flew off and white beat up Adidas shoes went on. I had managed to dispose of the cumber bun during the service. Yes, I am still scarred.
This is probably one of the best party dance songs ever - just from that beat. I absolutely cannot hear this song without moving. :bananajam:
let that raga drop!
So the king told the (boogedy) man! (Elaine Benes)
Tagish_girl wrote:
Ha ha ha! Now imagine a really bad 1980's tacky wedding, with pale blue ruffle-front rented tuxes, burgundy and yellow uber-ruffled bridesmaids, and a meringue of a bride, all singing "Rock the cash bar! Rock the cash bar!" Ewwww, I was there..... wearing a little black number and way too much eyeliner.
So you're the one I slept with....