The Haves and Have-Nots

This track is from my favorite Clash album, Combat Rock.  Anyone who has not been on Mars for the past five years will recognize quickly that MIA sampled the main riff for her song ‘Paper Planes’.  If you had the impression that is is another 80’s pop song reborn for the young and stupid to drink Jagerbombs to and blast in a Mazda, you are wrong. Both the Clash version and the song by MIA address the hardships and complications faced by Southeast Asians confronted with western culture.  ‘Straight to Hell’ is regarded by the Clash as the best song they ever recorded, it mainly addresses the plight of the many children born in Vietnam from American soldiers.  MIA suffered a tramatic childhood in Shri-Lanka and after a short stint in India made it to London where she cultivated her colorful identity.  Never losing sight of her roots which were formed amidst civil war, ‘Paper Planes’ almost sounds like a grown up child from ‘Straight to Hell’ who got swagger and decided to let a new generation know what it means to be different, and what it means to be a survivor.  Whether this correlation is deliberate or not is unclear, however its nice to know all pop music is not and was not about making out under the bleachers and being in a Levis commercial.


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One thought on “The Haves and Have-Nots

  1. ernesider says:

    The 30th anniversary of the album Sandinista! just passed. It was a very controversial album due to the wide variety of music the Clash covered , as they were trying to have a worldly focus. They even waived royalties to keep the format of a 3-album release with 6 songs on each one. I recommend downloading it and judging for yourself.

    Some key tracks are The Magnificent Seven, Hitsville UK, Junco Partner, Police on My Back, The Crooked Beat, Charlie Don’t Surf, and Shephard’s Delight

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