V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Mick Jones, Carbon/Silicon, BAD and cetera.
BigBernieDynamite
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V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by BigBernieDynamite »

Hello out there, I hope everyone is doing well despite the circumstances we're all facing at the moment.
I'm just curious, as a simple Swede, where our english skills are a little more than OK but as soon as it's starting to get a little bit beyond casual, it's also starting to get awkward in terms of understanding.

As a music fan I've always been curious about the lyrics the most, I love to discuss different point of views and interpretations. It's simply beautiful.
Let's face it, most of The Clash material isn't too hard to understand or make an interpretation of, but other later Strummer-involved lyrics, like Baby the Trans and other of his late 80's Latino Rockabilly War-era stuff can be rather hard to make out a definitive meaning of as a non native english speaker.
Some people are like me, they love to make up their own minds on stuff, but they also still like to know the writers original intentions.

So my question is basically what your interpretation of this song is? It's a fantastic song, like most songs of the original line-up, according to me.

I'm a little drunk right now and won't take responsibility for any typos or bad english. Vince White taught me to behave like this.

Olaf
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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Olaf »

BigBernieDynamite wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 10:24pm


I'm a little drunk right now and won't take responsibility for any typos or bad english. Vince White taught me to behave like this.
Ha!
Who pfaffed the pfaff? Who got pfaffed tonight?

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by bazarboy75 »

BigBernieDynamite wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 10:24pm
So my question is basically what your interpretation of this song is? It's a fantastic song, like most songs of the original line-up, according to me.
basically it's about AIDS

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Kory »

BigBernieDynamite wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 10:24pm
Hello out there, I hope everyone is doing well despite the circumstances we're all facing at the moment.
I'm just curious, as a simple Swede, where our english skills are a little more than OK but as soon as it's starting to get a little bit beyond casual, it's also starting to get awkward in terms of understanding.

As a music fan I've always been curious about the lyrics the most, I love to discuss different point of views and interpretations. It's simply beautiful.
Let's face it, most of The Clash material isn't too hard to understand or make an interpretation of, but other later Strummer-involved lyrics, like Baby the Trans and other of his late 80's Latino Rockabilly War-era stuff can be rather hard to make out a definitive meaning of as a non native english speaker.
Some people are like me, they love to make up their own minds on stuff, but they also still like to know the writers original intentions.

So my question is basically what your interpretation of this song is? It's a fantastic song, like most songs of the original line-up, according to me.

I'm a little drunk right now and won't take responsibility for any typos or bad english. Vince White taught me to behave like this.
I'm not sure about V Thirteen, but I think you're going to fight a losing battle trying to understand Strummer lyrics from Permanent Record forward—he really got into a Dada/Burroughs word collage style.
"Toto is OK." —Inder

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by drowninghere »

to me, "we used to go roaming, go roaming around / you don't look for something, it's sure to be found" is about Joe & Mick and their Upping St reunion

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Silent Majority »

It's a dystopian sci fi song set in a future (which is really the present, like JG Ballard) about wandering hoboes. It's like the Road, but one of them is Joe Strummer dwelling on decisions he made in the past.
I'm the all night drug prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun


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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Spiff »

The lyric "Little Jamie rides V13" -- made me believe that the song's about a London bus or Tube line called V13.

I'm only 1/2 serious about that. :shifty:
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

-- There's no fairytale ending with cocaine.

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by oliver »

Spiff wrote:
23 Apr 2020, 11:37am
The lyric "Little Jamie rides V13" -- made me believe that the song's about a London bus or Tube line called V13.

I'm only 1/2 serious about that. :shifty:
Is it not "... writes V-13"? As in tagging V-13 on a wall somewhere to denote it's V-13 gang territory?
Putting a little stick about. Putting the frighteners on flash little twerps

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Heston »

oliver wrote:
23 Apr 2020, 11:41am
Spiff wrote:
23 Apr 2020, 11:37am
The lyric "Little Jamie rides V13" -- made me believe that the song's about a London bus or Tube line called V13.

I'm only 1/2 serious about that. :shifty:
Is it not "... writes V-13"? As in tagging V-13 on a wall somewhere to denote it's V-13 gang territory?
Yes
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by TeddyB Not Logged In »

V-13 refers to a Venice, California street gang. My late friend Dennis Hopper, who lived in the heart of Venice, did a series of paintings with the V-13 graffiti tag.

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by BigBernieDynamite »

I'm back after nearly a year of shouting for all the people who had nothing to say, or something like that..
Some interesting replies, thanks. I love the slight vibe of melancholy in this tune. But I do need some help with this one, "Cue talk breakdown on point forty-four", what does that line mean? Been driving me crazy. ("Always doing their nuts, when they don't have spanners...")

Speaking of crazy, do you think the re-issue of Upping St. will ever be released or is that plan scrapped for good?

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by CDS1976 »

Yep just looked it up. I'm still not sure what "comes in by the door goes out by the screen" means. I think the whole album has a loose theme of urban street life in a way.

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by oliver »

CDS1976 wrote:
07 Mar 2022, 5:11pm
Yep just looked it up. I'm still not sure what "comes in by the door goes out by the screen" means. I think the whole album has a loose theme of urban street life in a way.
If there's one thing I'm not an authority on it's urban street life but I assumed that means they come in by the (front) door and then leave by the screened-in back door (a sort of second door that doesn't lock over the real door so you can leave the real door open for breezes but keep insects out)
Putting a little stick about. Putting the frighteners on flash little twerps

MarkyJacobs
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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by MarkyJacobs »

Think the street gang might have been mentioned in the film. There's certainly footage of Mick and Joe on the mixing desk singing along to a recording of V13.

There is also nice use of Beyond the Pale.

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Re: V.Thirteen lyrics interpretation

Post by Silent Majority »

The screen here is probably also a double meaning for disappearing into cinematic style myth.
I'm the all night drug prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

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