Rock The Casbah

The Clash
Lingua: Inglese

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ClashOne theory is that the song was inspired by the banning of rock music in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. The song gives a fabulist account of the ban being defied by the population, who proceed to "rock the casbah". The King orders jet fighters to bomb any people in violation of the ban. The pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios.

The song does not mention Iran or any other Islamic nation by name. The lyrics include a mixture of Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and North African terms such as sharif, bedouin, sheikh, kosher, raga, muezzin, and casbah.

According to the album notes on the box set The Clash on Broadway, "Rock the Casbah" originated when the band's manager Bernie Rhodes, after hearing them record an inordinately long track for the album, asked them facetiously "does everything have to be as long as this raga?" (referring to the Indian musical style known for its length and complexity). Joe Strummer later wrote the opening lines to the song: "The King told the boogie-men 'you have to let that raga drop'". The rest of the lyrics soon followed.

The song is one of the few in which drummer Topper Headon played a substantial role in the writing of the music beyond the percussion tracks. The instrumental opening was a tune he had written on the piano some time earlier, and had toyed with during rehearsals before being incorporated into the song. In the 2000 documentary Westway to the World Headon said he played drums, bass, and piano on the record for the song. Headon claims that, while he thought he was merely playing the song for the band, his performances were, unbeknownst to him, recorded.[citation needed] All that was left to record was the guitar parts and the vocals.


Now the king told the boogie man
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desertway
Has been shakin' to the top
The sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a cruisin' down the ville
The muezzin was a standing
On the radiator grille

The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the casbah rock the casbah
The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the casbah rock the casbah

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
Whit that crazy casbah sound
But the beduin they brought out
The electric cameldrum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the shareef had cleared the square
They began to wail

Nowover at the temple - oh!
They really pack 'em in
They in-crowd says it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the chanting direction
And the temple band took five
The crowd took a wiff
Of that crazy casbah jive

The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between minarets
Down the casbah way

As soon as the shareef
Was chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare
As soon as the shareef was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed

The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the casbah rock the casbah

He thinks it's not kosher
Fundamentally he can't take it
You know he really hates it.

inviata da Ian Phillips - 6/1/2008 - 22:15

Lingua: Italiano

Versione italiana da RadioClash

Il re disse all'uomo del boogie
Di lasciar perder la musica indiana
Il petrolio scorreva a fiumi giù per il deserto
Era stato agitato dalla cima
Lo sceicco guidava la sua Cadillac
Andò a fare un giro in città
Il muezzin era in piedi
Sulla griglia del radiatore

Allo sceriffo non piace
Che si suoni il rock della casbah
Allo sceriffo non piace
Il rock della casbah

Per ordine del profeta
Vietiamo il boogie-woogie
Contamina i fedeli
Col folle sound della casbah
Ma i beduini tirano fuori
Un tamburo elettrico di cammello
Ed il chitarrista locale
Sfodera il pollicione per pizzicare le corde
E appena lo sceriffo sgombra la piazza
Cominciano tutti a far casino

Intanto al tempio
Stanno avendo un grosso successo
Il folto pubblico dice
E' figo ascoltare queste nenie
Ma appena il vento cambia direzione
E la banda del tempio si riposa 5 minuti
Il pubblico si fà uno sniffo
Del folle ritmo della casbah

Il re richiamò i suoi piloti da caccia
Disse : " è meglio che vi guadagnate il pane
Sganciate le bombe sui minareti
Sulle strade della casbah "

Appena lo sceriffo
Si allontanò col suo autista
I piloti sintonizzarono la radio di bordo
Sul gran baccano della casbah
Non appena lo sceriffo
Fini di scocciarli
I piloti si misero a far casino

Allo sceriffo non piace
Che si suoni il rock della casbah

Pensa che non sia ortodosso
In pratica non lo sopporta
Insomma lo odia.

8/1/2008 - 00:11

Prima ancora che in "Combat Rock", Rock The Casbah (insieme ad altri pezzi celeberrimi, come Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Ghetto Defendant e Know Your Rights) è inclusa nel bootleg dal titolo, significativamente antimilitarista, "Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg"

Qui un articolo che parla di questo semi-sconosciuto disco:
ed una bella foto che mi pare non starebbe male come introduzione alla pagina dedicata a Rock the Casbah:

Qui invece il disco può essere scaricato nella sua interezza:

Alessandro - 9/1/2008 - 13:16

Lingue: Arabo, Inglese

L'incredibile versione di Rachid Taha / رشيد طه‎

السلطان قال البوجي مان
من الحرقة بركاو
واش واش هاد الفوضى
البترول في الصحرا يسيل
الشيخ يسوق في الكاديلاك
راه هابط لسونتر فيل
كان دبان
ولا حنش
يستنى في راس المال

Sha-riff don´t like it
Rock the casbah ! rock the casbah !
Sha-riff don´t like it
Rock the casbah ! rock the casbah !

عمر الشيخ فات
قيلكم من البوجي
ماديرو . ماديروش الهول
حرزو حرزو يتلفكم
البداوية خرجو الصوت كي شافهم الشيخ
بعد منهم
واحد منهم بلغيتارة
لاخر بلبندير يضرب
من الحدود خرجو
من الحدود خرجوا
خرجوا من الحدود
الناس تلايمو يتظاهرو
في ارض الجماعة
تم تبدل الريح منين منين جاي
يبدلو في الميزان
والناس سمعو الصوت
صوت القصبة اللي يهبل
الوزير في القصر يعيط على العسكرية
الان راه جا الوقت
نوضو تخدموا شوية
سيرو طلقوا البومبات
و داو الطيارات
و طلقوا البومبات على الناس المجرمين اللي نكرو كلام السلطان
في الاداعة سمعوا
عجبتهم الغنية

19/9/2018 - 21:04

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