The Clash, Big Decisions and Girlfriend Trouble

Short post, but with only a day to go, there should be no-one in the UK who doesn’t understand the significance of today’s clip. If the EU was our girlfriend this is how it would be playing out right now but despite the 24/7 debate and news coverage from both sides (all very balanced so as not to show any bias of course) many of us are still none the wiser as to which way to vote.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash:

Not entirely sure why Angela Merkel and Co. haven’t been getting involved in the debate but it seems that they don’t want to affect the outcome one way or another, so are leaving it to the people of the UK themselves.

So, no tearful last minute pleadings – “It’s not you, it’s me”, “I think we just need a break” and “You’re too good for me” – It’s all down to us and us alone.


As for The Clash, they were part of the first wave of British punk bands that emerged in the late ’70s. I was a 17-year-old then, and even we girls couldn’t help but get excited about this new style of music. Lots of energy and a cosmic leap away from everything else that had been around for most of the decade (glam rock, country, soul and disco). They wrote politically-charged songs that meant something to young, white, disaffected youth and became one of the most respected bands from that era influencing many bands that were to follow. This song, Should I Stay Or Should I Go, was re-issued several times but it first charted in September 1982 which was just at the tail-end of their heyday as a band.


I have just made an interesting discovery however, the band’s co-founder Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor) was born in Turkey to a Scottish mother who hailed from a village not far from me in the Highlands. Also, his diplomat father was born in India and had part-Armenian, part-German parentage. The young Joe spent a lot of his early life living in both Mexico and Germany so although I thought of him as being quintessentially English, and a Londoner at that, I couldn’t have been more wrong. A great choice of song therefore to have used on this last day of campaigning featuring one of music’s most significant contributors.  As it turns out this late discovery about Joe, and the fact that he delivers the song’s backing vocals in Spanish, has made my voting decision even easier.

joe strummer

Should I Stay Or Should I Go
(Song by Mick Jones/Joe Strummer)

Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here till the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

It’s always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine, and next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I Stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

8 thoughts on “The Clash, Big Decisions and Girlfriend Trouble”

  1. Yes, the diplomat father bit always bothered me. Leftie he might have been, but hardly working class. Not that that has anything to do with the music, although you can see now that the council estate voice was put on. But then I’m a grumpy old git, aint I?


  2. Reblogged this on What's It All About? and commented:

    We are now over a 1000 days on from this post and it seems as relevant as ever. In my original opening paragraph, I said that with only a day to go, many of us were still none the wiser as to which way to vote. That worked out well, didn’t it?


      1. Gosh – This post was from over a 1000 days ago and back then you were the only person who left comments – Good to have you drop by again 1000 days on. Hope life is treating you well? As for Brexit, we don’t know what the **** is going on either so being 4000 miles away makes no difference. It is one big mess and has divided the country. Back in 2016, it divided the country and 3 years on, even worse. There was a big march in London at the weekend, where over a million people who want a second referendum took part. An online petition to have Article 50 revoked has clocked up 6 million names but of course the people who wanted to Leave are generally as fervent as ever. MPs have taken over business in the HofP but has made no difference, as none of he alternative plans for effecting Brexit have won enough support. The PM said on 118 different occasions we would definitely leave the EU on the 29th March which is tomorrow – But we won’t be!

        Stay where you are and bury your head in the (literal) sand – a happier place to be I’m sure.


    1. We felt sorry for you guys after Trump got elected but we must now be the laughing stock of the world. It’s a mess. Scotland voted to remain by the way but still being dragged out anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t think by the way that we did think we’d be better off alone and now regret it, it’s just like with you guys in the US, we are a nation divided. Half wanted to leave and half want to remain (pretty much) and it seems that hasn’t changed. Just an awful lot more complicated to execute than any of them thought. So much at stake over a referendum that was supposed to be “advisory” and should never really have taken place.


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