Clash ( The ) - Clampdown

First performance: 22/04/2014


Bruce covered the song 6 times during the High Hopes tour 

2014-05-01 MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL
Bruce opens with "Joe Hill" on International Workers' Day. Joe Hill, clampdown is second on the setlist now.
Energetic set opens with Springsteen's first performance of The Clash's Clampdown". It was played in a full-band arrangement, as a duet with Tom Morello. 


"Clampdown" is a song by The Clash from their album London Calling. The song began as an instrumental track called "Working and Waiting". Its lyrics concern those who have forsaken the idealism of youth and urges young people to fight the status quo. The word 'clampdown' is a neat cover-all term the writers adopted to define the oppressive Establishment, notably its more reactionary voices who were to be heard throughout the 1970s calling alarmingly for 'clampdowns' by government and law enforcement on strikers, agitators, benefits claimants, football hooligans, punks and other perceived threats to the social, economic and moral wellbeing of the UK. The 'clampdown' can therefore be read as a figure of dread for the Clash's generation - and the song stands as a warning to the youth to beware being part of the problem rather than of the solution.

Bruce on the artist

2020-09-02 SiriusXM Studio, New York City
Bruce plays the song during the 11th episode of 'From My Home, To Yours… '. It brings honor to Labor Day.
It turned out that Clash frontman Joe Strummer was a huge Springsteen fan.
"Bruce is great," Strummer wrote in a 1995 fax to Mojo. "If you don't agree you're a pretentious martian from Venus. His music is great on a dark, rainy morning in England, just when you need some spirit and some proof that the big wide world exists."
The admiration worked both ways, and when Strummer died in 2002 Springsteen was more than happy to honor him furing the Grammy telecast with a killer performance of "London Calling" alongside Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl and Steve Van Zandt.


Hey, hey!
The kingdom is ransacked, the jewels all taken back and the chopper descends
They're hidden in the back with a message on a half-baked tape with the spool going round
Saying I'm back here in this place and I could cry and there's smoke you could click on

What are we gonna do now?
Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
'Cause they're working for the clampdown
They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
When we're working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers

The judge said five to ten, but I say double that again
I'm not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don't owe nothing, so boy get running
It's the best years of your life they want to steal

You grow up and you calm down
You're working for the clampdown
You start wearing blue and brown
You're working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
You made your first kill now

In these days of evil presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due
For working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown

Yeah I'm working hard in Harrisburg
Working hard in Petersburg
Working for the clampdown
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong
Begging to be melted down
Gitalong, gitalong
(Work) And I've given away no secrets - ha!
(More work)
(More work)
Who's barmy now?