THE CLASH — KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

“Know Your Rights” is a song by The Clash released as a single prior to the release of the album, Combat Rock, on which it appears. The song was the first single from the album.

The song begins with the words “This is a public service announcement…with guitars!” The structure of the song revolves around the rights held by the poor and disenfranchised, in which the speaker of the song, presumably a villainous civil servant (whose identity is assumed in the song by vocalist Joe Strummer), is only able to name three rights, which are all provisional anyway. At the end, the notion that more rights should be granted is rebuffed by the speaker.

The three rights are:

1. The right not to be killed, unless it is done by a policeman or an aristocrat.

2. The right to food money, providing of course, you don’t mind a little investigation, humiliation, and, if you cross your fingers, rehabilitation.

3. The right to free speech (as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it).

The song is featured on the compilation album, Songs and Artists That Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11, which followed up the 2004 documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 by filmmaker Michael Moore, where the track listing was selected by Moore based on the songs and the artists he listened to while creating the documentary.

This background information is from Wikipedia

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