Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law

A man unable to support his wife or girlfriend takes to a life of crime, and probably gets arrested, convicted and jailed. That’s what this story in the song may be about.

It has been covered many times over to make statements about police power and brutality, poverty, and generally, resistance and rejection of authority as a form of power. See John Mellencamp’s Authority Song for more on this.

Still, the protagonist violated the law, robbing people by gun. Anti-heros may be culturally cool, and there are philosophical arguments made about when it may be okay to break a law. But wholesale acceptance and tolerance and promotion of law-breaking brings many public safety problems of which societies throughout history have worked hard at minimizing. But let’s be clear: a song about following the law like a good citizen isn’t rock and roll?

After all, in 1979 the Clash made this song great, too:

In the 1980s, the US blasted this version in Panama to oust a military dictator, Manuel Noriega.



One thought on “Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law

  1. Pingback: John Mellencamp – Authority Song | Political Tunes

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