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Eton Rifles by The Jam

Updated on May 16, 2013

Introduction To The Jam

The Jam were an English mod revival band of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although they shared the angry young men outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore Mod style neatly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes and incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock influences, rather than rejecting them.

Eton Rifles was one of the Greatest Hits of The Jam, about an incident at Eton near Slough in Middlesex, west of London.

The band had 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their breakup in 1982, including 4 number one hits. As of 2007, they remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group split up, all 18 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 60.

The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk rock, pop punk and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavour and its mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam's original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs; including the hits Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, The Eton Rifles and Town Called Malice.

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Song Lyrics: Eton Rifles by The Jam

Eton Rifles - The Jam from the Album "Setting Sons" 1979

Sup up your beer and collect your fags

There's a row going on down near Slough

Get out your mat and pray to the West

I'll get out mine and pray for myself.

Thought you were smart when you took them on

But you didn't take a peep in their artillery room

All that rugby puts hairs on your chest

What chance have you got against a tie and a crest ?

Hello hooray what a nice day, for the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Hello hooray I hope rain stops play, with the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Thought you were clever when you lit the fuse

Tore down the House of Commons in your brand new shoes

Composed a revolutionary symphony

Then went to bed with a charming young thing.

Hello hooray cheers then mate, its the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Hello hooray an extremist scrape, with the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

What a catalyst you turned out to be

Loaded the guns then you run off home for your tea

Left me standing, like a guilty schoolboy.

What a catalyst you turned out to be

Loaded the guns then you run off home for your tea

Left me standing, like a naughty schoolboy.

We came out of it naturally the worst

Beaten and bloody and I was sick down my shirt

We were no match for their untamed wit

Though some of the lads said they'd be back next week.

Hello hooray there's a price to pay, to the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Hello hooray I'd prefer the plague, to the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Hello hooray there's a price to pay, to the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Hello hooray I'd prefer the plague, to the Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles

The Jam CD's from Amazon

Get ready to rock with a Jam CD purchase today. Amazon have a great collection of CD's. Sample some tracks and make your purchase.

The Jam Compilations from Amazon

Amazon has a good choice of Greatest Hits CD's by The Jam to choose from. Why not add one to your music collection today.

The Jam on DVD from Amazon

Now you can both listen to and watch The Jam in your living room. Grab yourself a DVD today.

The Jam Eton Rifles Videos - The Jam Performing Eton Rifles Live

Great Jam Merchandise on eBay

You never know what you might find on eBay. Great prices on CD's and DVD's, plus other rare collectible items. Take a look today and see what's waiting for you.

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    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Montreal

      Lover the Jam!

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 5 years ago

      Great song. Big Jam fan here.

    • TonyPayne profile image
      Author

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @anonymous: I used the album cover for the background, lightened it so it wouldn't obliterate the text, and re-sized it to the correct width. I thought it looked quite cool as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      another very nice lens Tony. I hadn't heard of Eton Rifles before, must be popular in England and we just don't hear it in the states. Well done, love the background you use, its a great effect!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      "... what a catalyst you turned out to be!" eh? Merry Christmas dear.

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 8 years ago

      Nicely done!

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