Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the U.K.

Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the U.K.

‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ is a song by English punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band's debut single on 26 November 1976 and was later featured on their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ was number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's ‘500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll’.

This was the Sex Pistols' first single, and it caused quite a stir in England with its lyrics advocating violence against the government. Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols was not released until a year later, partly because of distribution concerns: after hearing "Anarchy In The UK," some organizations refused to ship the album. Originally issued in a plain black sleeve, the single was the only Sex Pistols recording released by EMI, and it reached number 38 on the UK Singles Chart before EMI dropped the group on 6 January 1977, a month after members of the band used profanity during a live television broadcast.

Sex Pistols Band Pic

In the documentary The Filth and the Fury, John Lydon described the composition of the song's opening lyrics, explaining that the best rhyme he could devise for the first line, "I am an Antichrist", was the second line, "I am an anarchiste". (Lydon confirmed that he is not an anarchist in a 2012 interview.) Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren considered the song "a call to arms to the kids who believe that rock and roll was taken away from them. It's a statement of self-rule, of ultimate independence."

The abbreviations used in the lyrics are a selection of civil war references from 1970s headlines, a suggestion of what could happen in the United Kingdom. The IRA and the UDA were the largest paramilitary armies in the conflict in Northern Ireland: the heavily armed IRA (Irish Republican Army) were on the Republican (anti-British, pro-unification) side, and the thousands-strong UDA (Ulster Defence Association) were on the Loyalist (pro-British, anti-unification) side. The MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, or the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola) were the political party that took control of Angola, formerly one of Portugal's African colonies, in a 1975–1976 civil war, and still run the country today. When Rotten sings "I use the enemy", it's a deliberate homonym for "I use the NME", or New Musical Express, the British weekly music newspaper.

T-Shirt Sale

Label – EMI
Songwriters – Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock
Producers – Chris Thomas, Bill Price, Dave Goodman


Right now
[Verse 1]
I am an Antichrist
I am an anarchist
Don't know what I want, but I know how to get it
I wanna destroy passersby
'Cause I wanna be anarchy
No dog's body
[Verse 2]
Anarchy for the U.K., it's coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time, stop at traffic line
Your future dream is a shopping scheme
'Cause I, I wanna be anarchy
In the city
[Guitar Solo]
[Verse 3]
How many ways to get what you want
I use the best, I use the rest
I use the enemy
I use anarchy
'Cause I wanna be anarchy
It's the only way to be
[Guitar Solo]
[Verse 4]
Is this the M.P.L.A.?
Or is this the U.D.A.?
Or is this the I.R.A.?
I thought it was the U.K.
Or just another country
Another council tenancy
I wanna be anarchy
And I wanna be anarchy
Know what I mean?
And I wanna be anarchist
I get pissed, destroy
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