Guns of Brixton

Jess writes some of the lyrics to this song by English punk rock band The Clash on a notepad for Rory, who correctly identifies it – thus passing one of Jess’ “tests” to see if she’s worthy.

“Guns of Brixton” is from the 1979 album, London Calling. It was written and sung by the band’s bassist, Paul Simonon, who grew up in Brixton in South London, and has a strong reggae influence, reflecting the culture of the area. It predates the race riots which took place in Brixton in the 1980s, but depicts the discontent of the area due to economic factors and heavy-handed policing against black youth.

The lyrics begin:

When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?

When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting on death row?

After this point, the phrase “guns of Brixton” becomes used so often that it would be immediately apparent which song it is, so I presume Jess showed Rory the first stanza or the first two stanzas. It looks as if he has written the first two stanzas on the notepad, but I can’t see it very clearly.

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