The Call Up – (The Clash)
Authored by Dale Nickey:
Great thing about The Clash; they could get as loud and abrasive as you wanted. But, they could also sheath their upraised fists in a velvet glove when the song required. The “Call Up” (a British euphemism for ‘the draft’) is just such a song. Introducing the song with “Hup, two, three, four…I am the Marine Corps!” they then make a reasoned plea to all those conscripted to kill without question. The answer is simple. Just refuse to fight and render the war machine impotent. Clash front-man Joe Strummer, calms his raspy bark into a gentler instrument of persuasion. The tune is housed in a graceful reggae- tinged march and discreet synthesizer textures draw you in further. Key line, “It’s fifty-five minutes past eleven…” references the symbolic nuclear clock social scientists used as a countdown to Armaggedon.