Mike Opitz Song Writing and Theory Project

Featuring the Karma Refugees

Rude Boy

Rude Boy, Punk, The Clash

The Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen.”

The Sex Pistols, “Anarchy in the UK.”

Note the line: “Give the wrong time/ Stop a traffic line./ The future dream is a shopping scheme.”

The Sex Pistols, “Holiday in the Sun.”

The connection between punk and reggae is implicit in this line: “I don’t want a holiday in the sun./ I want to go to the new Belsen.” They recognized that Jamaica was a holiday destination for rich tourists but a concentration camp for its residents.

The Clash, “London Calling.”

Full Album, The Clash, London Calling

8. A Theory of Punk

Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces on a Cigarette: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. Excepts from Marcus’ book show the connection between punk and historical radical resisters. It is a fascinating reading of punk aesthetics and politics.


Article by John Savage, the author of England’s Dreaming, an exhaustive chronicle of punk rock, about the death of Malcolm McLaren.


The Clash illustrated lecture playlist. I will use the following playlist as the basis for a lecture in class about the politics of The Clash.

1. “I Fought the Law” clip from the film.

2. “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”

3. “Police and Thieves”

The Clash version

The original version, Junior Murvin produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry

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