Members of the British band Clash have given the go-ahead to Ukrainian musicians to turn their 1979 hit “London Calling” into a powerful resistance anthem.
The Clash title refers to BBC reports during the bleak days of World War II that began with the greeting: “London Calling.”
Now “Kyiv Calling,” which was recently recorded by the popular three-member Ukrainian punk band Beton near the front lines (and mixed in Los Angeles by producer Danny Saber, one of the last to work with Clash lead singer Joe Strummer before his 2002 death), is also a fundraiser.
Proceeds will go to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement. Donations will help fund a shared communications system to alert Ukrainians to threats, and lobby for international support.
A gut-wrenching music video of the retooled Clash song shows devastating images of exploding bombs, beleaguered Ukrainians, suffering — and defiance and heroism.
Footage shot by the bandmates’ friends, family and volunteers shows Russian military attacks from Kharkiv to Kyiv, The Guardian reported.
“Kyiv calling to the faraway towns. Kyiv calling to the whole world,” say the rewritten lyrics. “Kyiv calling to the NATO zone. Forget it, brother, we can’t go it alone.”
Still: “Kyiv is rising. We live for resistance,” says the anthem.
Band musicians Bohdan Hrynko, Oleg Hula and Andriy Zholob are also playing other roles in the resistance. Many musicians in Ukraine have traded “guitars for guns,” said Beton guitarist Zholob, Reuters reported. He also works as an orthopedic surgeon treating the war wounded.
“Many Ukrainian musicians are now on battlefields or in territorial defense,” he added. But the music itself also plays a key role, Zholob emphasized. “We hope this song shows Ukrainians’ spirit and our defiance to Russian aggression … [and is] a symbol of solidarity and hope.”
He added: “We have no doubt about our victory. We are proud to be Ukrainians and feel the support from musicians abroad. It means so much.”
Check out the new resistance anthem in the video up top, and Clash’s original “London Calling” below.