Some Of It Was True! – the name explained

Before I write about anything else, and while still firmly in start-up mode, I want to dwell briefly on this blog’s title, Some Of It Was True! – and to try to explain it a little.

It’s taken from I couplet I adore in London Calling, surely The Clash’s most famous song:

“London calling, yeah I was there too,
And you know what they said, well some of it was true!”

So why this particular row of words?  Well, there be a few reasons…

1. This blog is going to largely focus on the London music scene – the experience of being a music-lover in London.  Given that, it seemed appropriate to name it after a song about the city.  Think of music about London and a few come to mind straightaway – stuff by Roots Manuva and Skinnyman, the Stones’ ‘Rain Falls Down’, various tunes by Bloc Party, and the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset. And London Calling, which instantly comes to mind when the question is posed.

2. London Calling’s lyrics refer to the city’s growing nuclear obsession, and also about the end of the punk era and Beatlemania… but that still doesn’t quite explain that couplet up there. ‘London calling’ the phrase refers to the BBC World Service announcements at the time, but still these two lines are elusive. What does it mean??  What did ‘they’ say?? Who are ‘they’??  God knows.  I can only guess, speculate, impart my own meaning and enjoy the mystery. And that seems to me the joy of music in general – it’s so interpretative and personal, its lyrics and sounds so shadowy and rich with intrigue and triggers.  One person’s favourite song is the worst his neighbour has ever heard. Candle in the Wind can send some to tears and others to sleep. Just last night I read various websites arguing about New Order’s Love Vigilantes lyrics: is the soldier-narrator dead or alive?  It’s impossible to know – but such joy to be part of the discussion.  That’s what sucks us music fans in and keeps us coming back, begging for more. I hope this blog translates some of that joy.

3. This blog will probably spend most of its time talking about electro, hip-hop, mash-ups and generally all sorts of exciting alternativa; while devoting scant attention to this music’s forebears.  But that’s not to say I’m not aware much of modern music is influenced by previous genius, subconsciously or otherwise. In some cases it’s banal re-workings, and in others thrilling re-imaginations and next stages. I see (or rather hear) as much of The Clash in today’s music as any other past band, and this title honours that continuing influence.

4. London Calling’s exactly the sort of song I heard too much on Virgin Radio or Greatest Rock Songs-type compilations when I was small and New Kids On The Block were big (lord).  Meaning I hate it now. Except, in this case, I don’t – I still bloody love it. It’s a ball-grabbingly boisterous bundle of angry fun, the musical equivalent of a Ferrari and an open road, and it suits the thrasher that, let’s be honest, is in all of us. It’s the leather jacket of songs: heavy, never quite out of fashion, handsome and effortlessly cool.

There we go – I hope some of that makes some lousy sense.

The Clash – London Calling (zSHARE)

Purchase Links:
London Calling (album)


~ by ripamel on 12/06/2009.

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