The Clash’s famous 1979 single “London Calling” originally stood as the dark, edgy anthem for London’s punk music scene. But according to NPR Music, it will now stand for the rallying cry of the London 2012 Olympics, as organizers have chosen to use it in the Games’ ads.
It’s an odd fit for the song, in which Joe Strummer sings about problems of unemployment, radical conflict and drug abuse in Britain. But by focusing on the song’s opening line, “London calling to the faraway towns,” the Olympic Games’ organizers have made the song seem like an international call to unity. It’s probably best that the London 2012 committee disregarded the apocalyptic lyrics and themes of police violence and nuclear settings because they don’t exactly go with rhythmic gymnastics and badminton.