What does CLEAN mean?

Foreigner   Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:36 am GMT
The Beatles sing about a fireman in Penny Lane :
"...He likes to keep his fire engine clean,
It's a clean machine..."
Then in A Hard Day's Night film, when speaking of Ringo's grandfather, they also called him "clean".

Does "clean" mean anything else than "not dirty" there? Maybe it meant "cool" that time?
guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:19 pm GMT
"clean" can also mean "off drugs/alcohol"
can also mean morally pure

I'm not familiar with the song, so I do not know the context there
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:08 pm GMT
In '60s slang being "clean" meant that you were "with it"-- you knew the right things to say and the right things to do.
Guest   Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 pm GMT
In the sense of keeping a fire engine clean, it should be noted that firemen regularly wash the fire engines. You see that all the time when you drive by a fire station, at least in the US. I also always wondered if that line was meant ambiguously, meaning that keeping his fire engine clean is used as a metaphore for keeping his male organ clean. There are other veiled sexual references in the song, as is common in rock and roll. The line about finger pie comes to mind.
Guest   Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:32 am GMT
It figures that a Europeeon would ask what the word "clean" means.