The Clash's 'London Calling' Now an Olympics Jingle

Punk battle cry being used to lure tourists
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 12:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – It was probably only a matter of time before the establishment appropriated the ultimate anti-establishment anthem. Olympic organizers are using "London Calling" by The Clash in ads to draw tourists to the 2012 summer games in England, reports NPR. It's a little bit of an odd choice, considering the lyrical subject matter of the title track from The Clash's 1979 album.

"In the song, London's got zombies wandering around, the river's flooding, and the policemen are beating everyone up," says BBC music writer Alan Connor. "So it's not much of a way of saying, 'Hey, come and watch our beach volleyball—you'll have a great time.'" It should be noted, however, that The Clash themselves adopted the line from BBC broadcasts to occupied countries during World War II.

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