"Rudie Can't Fail" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash, featured on their 1979 album London Calling. The song was written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, who sing it as a duet.

Contents Edit

  • 1 Composition
  • 2 Lyrics
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Composition[edit] Edit

Like many songs on London Calling, "Rudie Can't Fail" has a strong reggae influence. Donald A. Guarisco of Allmusic described it as "an exuberant horn-driven number that mixes pop and soul elements in to spice up its predominantly reggae sound".[1]

Lyrics[edit] Edit

"Rudie Can't Fail" praises the rude boys of Jamaica in the 1960s who challenged their elders' status quo. The song is about a fun-loving young man who is criticized by his elders for not acting as a responsible adult, drinking beer before breakfast,[2] and describe him as being "so crude and feckless", to which he responds "I know that my life make you nervous, but I tell you I can't live in service."[1] The song's title derives fromDesmond Dekker's 1967 song "007 (Shanty Town)", and is in homage to Ray Gange, who had portrayed a roadie who quits his job to follow The Clash around in the 1980 film Rude Boy.[3] Rudie Can't Fail was the working title of a planned second movie for which The Clash would provide the soundtrack.[4] Reference is made also to Dr Alimantado, in the line "Like the doctor who was born for a purpose".[5] Its name commonly appears at the end of "Safe European Home" from "Give 'Em Enough Rope"