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A Song Analysis.  The song Washington Bullets was released on The Clash album called Sandanista in the US and Canada in January 1981.  The song is a.

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Presentation on theme: "A Song Analysis.  The song Washington Bullets was released on The Clash album called Sandanista in the US and Canada in January 1981.  The song is a."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Song Analysis

2  The song Washington Bullets was released on The Clash album called Sandanista in the US and Canada in January  The song is a protest against the political interference on the part of the major powers of the time in the politics of other nations and the conflicts and abuses that result. Although the song focusses on US policy in a number of foreign countries it also targets the USSR, China, and the UK and their actions.  Listen to the song here:

3 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again The first verse refers to the use of drugs as a method used by warlords in order to fund their wars against their own and other governments. At times the US government has tolerated these activities on the part of those it was believed would advance the cause of democracy and work against communist movements especially in Central and South America.

4 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again Following the election of Victor Allende in 1970 and his promise of socialist reforms in Chile, a military coup resulted in the death of Allende and brought General Augusto Pinochet to power. What followed was years of disappearances, torture, and death squads. A famous folk singer, Victor Jara, was one of those imprisoned and tortured. He was executed when after having been tortured he was asked if he still wanted to play his song “Es Verdad”. When he picked up a guitar and began playing, he was shot. Es Verdad means “The Truth”. The US government of Richard Nixon supported the Pinochet government for years.

5 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead Fidel Castro led a movement which overthrew the US backed government of Fulgencio Batista who resigned on December 31, He installed a communist regime in Cuba which nationalized many US interest on the island. After a number of assasination attempts by the CIA, in 1961 John F Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba which ended in the invasion force being defeated and many expatriot Cubans being killed or imprisoned. The animosity and distrust on the part of both nations continues to this day.

6 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? Anastazio Somoza Debayle was a dictator in Nicaragua, whose reign ended in 1979 when he was overthrown by a long running liberation movement know as the FSLN (Sandanistas). The Carter Government’s withdrawal of support for the Somoza dictatorship, because of human rights abuses and the embezzlement of aid money, led to the defeat of his army. Somoza resigned in July 1979 and fled first to the US where he was denied refuge, and then to Paraguay. Somoza was assassinated in September 1980.

7 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! The song finishes by criticising some of the other major powers of the day for their involvement in foreign conflicts. During most of the 80s the Soviet Union was involved in a war supporting a communist regime in Afghanistan which resulted in thousands of Afghan rebels and Russian troops. In 1955, China invaded and annexed Tibet claiming it had a historical claim to the territory. There was widespread killing of Tibetan monks during the invasion. Britain’s involvement in the arms trade is addressed as, even to this day, the UK are among the top 5 countries for global arms sales. Many of these sales are to warlords who use mercenary troops in their rebel movements.

8 Washington Bullets (The Clash) Oh! Mama, Mama look there! Your children are playing in that street again Don't you know what happened down there? A youth of fourteen got shot down there The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town The killing clowns, the blood money men Are shooting those Washington bullets again As every cell in Chile will tell The cries of the tortured men Remember Allende, and the days before, Before the army came Please remember Victor Jara, In the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun, For Castro is a colour, Is a redder than red, Those Washington bullets want Castro dead For Castro is the colour......That will earn you a spray of lead For the very first time ever, When they had a revolution in Nicaragua, There was no interference from America Human rights in America  Well the people fought the leader, And up he flew... With no Washington bullets what else could he do? 'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel That the Moscow bullets missed Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist......Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, How many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'N' check the British bullets in his armoury Que? Sandinista! The main musical style is that of a traditional rock and roll song but, in keeping with the original subject of the song, the musical style is heavily influenced by Caribbean and Central American themes. There are significant fiesta rythms throughout the song which, when combined with the use of steel drums, transport the listener to these tropical locations. The upbeat nature of the music is ironic given the message which explores the negative role of the political influence which the major powers have used in trying to control extend their control through the years of the cold war. In the second half of the song a choir singing “Sandanista” is introduced and slowly with the influence of an organ the rock and roll style returns to the forefront.


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