Big Audio Dynamite

by Simon

I was listening to the last Clash album the other day, Cut The Crap. My God, never again. Luckily there was another Clash album. Of sorts. The second album by Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite, produced by and partly written with Joe Strummer. One of my favourite albums. Beyond The Pale is quite possibly the best song by Strummer/Jones and one I identified with, being about immigration bringing people to London and the troubles they face.

My dad and his family came to the UK from Mauritius in the early 60s, and a lot of my mates growing up were Jamaican or Turkish, the two main immigrant communities in our area. Beyond The Pale was something of an anthem for me and my best mate.

Big Audio Dynamite – V.Thirteen
Big Audio Dynamite – Limbo The Law
Big Audio Dynamite – Beyond The Pale

“If you don`t know where I come from
You better stear clear of my trail
From the dark side of London
And that`s way beyond the pale
My grandpa came from Russia
Stowed away hidden in some bales
And he took my grandma dancing
To the air raid sirens hail

Saint George used his sword
On the immigrant poor
`Cos he can`t kill no dragon
If I was in those shoes
I`d say Soweto`s gonna happen here too
I gotta get a message through
Tell everybody the news

And with the winter coming…

Crossing all the borders
Through the smoke of war and rain
Papers out of order
On a military train
A coat a bag a baby
Status: refugee
These are the people of my family

Don`t anybody know that
This city was made
Of immigrant blood and money
If I was in those shoes
A blackshirt with the playboy blues
I gotta get a message through
Tell everybody the news

And with the winter coming…

Now there`s a rocker in Vladivostok
Got every side by Jerry Lee
But for accidents of disorder
That guy could well be me
I want everybody to know this
I want everyone to hear
Immigration built the nation
You got a bloodclaat standing here

Saint George used his sword
On the immigrant poor
`Cos he can`t kill no dragon
If I was in those shoes
I`d say Soweto`s gonna happen here too
I gotta get a message through
Tell everybody the news

And with the winter coming…

Don`t anybody know that
The city was made
Of immigrant blood and money
If I was in those shoes
A blackshirt with the playboy blues
I gotta get a message through
Tell everybody the news

And with the winter coming..”

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