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The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais – 1978

About The Song

“(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” is a song by the British punk rock band The Clash, released in 1978. The song is known for its unique blend of punk, reggae, and ska influences, showcasing The Clash’s musical versatility and social commentary. Here are five facts about the song:

  1. Musical Fusion: The Clash experimented with a fusion of punk and reggae in “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais,” marking a departure from their earlier straight punk sound. This genre-blending approach showcased the band’s willingness to push musical boundaries.
  2. Lyrically Poignant: The lyrics of the song address issues of cultural appropriation, racism, and the disillusionment of punk ideals. The title refers to the Hammersmith Palais, a historic London venue, where clashes between punk and reggae crowds were observed by the band.
  3. Reggae Influences: The song prominently features reggae rhythms and beats, with Joe Strummer’s vocal delivery adopting a more reggae-influenced style. The incorporation of reggae elements reflected The Clash’s interest in diverse musical genres and social issues.
  4. Recording Challenges: The recording process faced challenges due to technical issues and the band’s dissatisfaction with the initial results. Despite the difficulties, the final version captured the raw energy and eclectic mix of influences that defined The Clash’s evolving sound.
  5. Reception and Legacy: “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” received critical acclaim for its musical innovation and social commentary. Over the years, the song has become a classic in The Clash’s discography, celebrated for its genre-defying nature and thought-provoking lyrics. It remains a testament to the band’s ability to use their platform to address broader societal issues within the context of punk rock.



One, two
One, two, three, four

Midnight to six man
For the first time from Jamaica
Dillinger and leroy smart
Delroy wilson, your cool operator

Ken boothe for UK pop reggae
With backing bands sound systems
If they’ve got anything to say
There’s many black ears here to listen

But it was four tops all night with encores from stage righten (wooh, ooh, ooh)
Charging from the bass knives to the treble (wooh, ooh, ooh)
But onstage they ain’t got no roots rock rebel (wooh, ooh, ooh)
Onstage they ain’t got no roots rock rebel

Dress back jump back this is a bluebeat attack
‘Cos it won’t get you anywhere
Fooling with the gun
The british army is waiting out there
An’ it weighs fifteen hundred tons

White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up robin hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution

Punk rockers in the UK
They won’t notice anyway
They’re all too busy fighting
For a good place under the lighting

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got burton suits, huh, you think it’s funny
Turning rebellion into money

All over people changing their votes
Along with their overcoats
If Adolf Hitler flew in today
They’d send a limousine anyway

I’m the all night drug-prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun
I’m the white man in the palais
Just loo- lookin’ for fun
Only lookin’ for fun

Oh, please mister
Just leave me alone
I’m only
Lookin’ for fun
Lookin’ for fun
F, U, N