Ivan and Fu-Manchu
They both are coming through, yeah
Yay, a lotta people, a lotta people
Oh remember to kick to it over
No one will guide you, through Armagideon time
“Fu Manchu” is a reference to a fictional character from the novels of Sax Rohmer. He is the archetype of evil criminal genius.
“Ivan” is a reference to Jimmy Cliff’s character in The Harder They Come, a 1972 film that depicts Cliff in the role of a reggae artist pushed into a life of crime by an oppressive police presence. Ivan features in several other songs by The Clash, including “Guns of Brixton” and “Ivan Meets GI Joe”. The film was a known favourite of bassist Paul Simonon.
The verse explains that characters like Fu Manchu and Ivan are coming through: those who are ‘naturally’ evil are seizing their chance, and others are turning to a life of crime to survive.