October 26, 2020

Why Did I Fall For That

Pete: "I don’t know how it is over in the States, but over here if you try to get in a conversation about arms buildup or nuclear weapons, people turn away and order another pint of Guinness, and they want to talk about bloody Arsenal! They’re going to be dead tomorrow if they don’t start thinking about it…but they’re embarrassed; ‘It’s annoying…oh, don’t talk about that! We’re impotent, we’re neuter.’ Now that is what’s happened to rock ‘n’ roll."

The line "Four minutes to midnight on a sunny day" refers to the Clock on the front cover of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Much publicized in the early 1980’s, this clock represented by minutes to midnight how close the scientists felt the world was to nuclear war. In January 1981 the worsening political situation led them to move the hands to four minutes to midnight. The Clash made a similar reference to the Clock on their song "The Call Up" from Sandinista! ("It’s 55 minutes past 11"). Pete on the line "It never rains under my umbrella": "we’ve just sat back under the nuclear umbrella and lived our lives, taken our drugs, listened to our blues. I don’t want to sound like fucking Pravda or anything, but we have been a pretty impotent, unthinking [generation]."

Six months after the release of It’s Hard President Reagan would announce the SDI initiative, popularly known as "star wars"; an attempt to build a nuclear missile defense system Reagan was characterize as an "umbrella" against nuclear attack.

The 1997 CD keeps the song going another 38 seconds past the point where the original mix faded out.

Click here to see the original lyric sheet: Why Did I Fall For That.