Both o'Dem
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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I′m in love with Betty-Lou
She sister Mary say she love me too
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(With both o' dem, with both o' dem)
Ah tell she tings doh work out so
She say de next sister ain′t bound to know,
(Both o′ dem, both o' dem)
(Both o′ dem, with both o' dem)
Just because I ain′t like dem scandal
Deh have yuh partner fool all day
Kitchener like all dem bacchanal
So ah call Kitchy on de phone one day
Dis is what de old man say:

Do it! Do it! Do it! Oh God, Birdy
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Man, come on!
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, with both o' dem)

Carlene, is you ah waited for
Ah ah want ah lover not no brother-in-law,
(Both o′ dem, both o′ dem)
(With both o' dem, with both o′ dem)
I know all men like to roam
And I know charity begins at home
(With both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(With both o' dem, both o′ dem)
But de sister such ah loving child
All relationship is great
And she always wear ah charming smile
Kitchener say "Birdy, doh hesitate
There is nothing to sit and contemplate!"

Do it! Do it! Do it! Oh God, Birdy
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Man, come on!
(Both o' dem, both o' dem)
(Both o′ dem, with both o′ dem)

(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)

Though she prettier than me
I could boogie down better than she
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, with both o' dem)
Ah remember Lord Melody,
Shame and scandal in de family,
(Both o′ dem, both o′ dem)
(With both o' dem, with both o′ dem)
All de brakes ah brakes was all in vein
She ask me if ah showing off
Then she start to tackle me again
Kitchener say: "Boy you must treat dem rough
Otherwise dem woman go say you tough!"

Do it! Do it! Do it! Oh God, Birdy
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Man come on!
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, with both o′ dem)

If I was ah different shot
Maybe I would ah get trapped enough
(With both o' dem, both o' dem)
(With both o′ dem, both o′ dem)
All de offers that she made
I tink bout it but I cyah make de grade
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, with both o′ dem)
Where I empty in the spice of life
Polygamy today I dread
Thank Kitchener for his good advice
Ah still could remember what he said
De message still ringing in meh head:

Do it! Do it! Do it! Oh God, Birdy
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Gih she what she want,
Man, come on!
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, with both o' dem)

(Both o′ dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)





(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
(Both o' dem...)

Overall Meaning

The song "Both o'Dem" by Mighty Sparrow is a comical commentary on the dangers and temptations of polygamy. The singer of the song is torn between the affections of two sisters, Betty-Lou and Carlene. Although he loves Betty-Lou, Carlene is more of a lover than a sister-in-law to him, and he is tempted by her advances. When he seeks advice from his friend Kitchener, Kitchener advises him to give both sisters what they want, suggesting that he can keep them both happy by being a little rough with them.


The lyrics are presented in a humorous and light-hearted way, with the singer's confusion and indecision being played for laughs. The chorus, "Gih she what she want, Man, come on!" captures the casual attitude towards polygamy in some cultures, and the notion that men are entitled to multiple partners. However, the song also highlights the potential problems and complications that can arise from such arrangements, such as jealousy, scandal, and emotional turmoil.


Overall, "Both o'Dem" is a witty and entertaining song that uses humor to make a serious point about the dangers of polygamy. It is a reflection of the cultural attitudes of the time, and serves as a reminder of the complex social dynamics at play in romantic relationships.


Line by Line Meaning

I'm in love with Betty-Lou
I have fallen in love with a woman named Betty-Lou


She sister Mary say she love me too
Betty-Lou's sister Mary has expressed her love for me as well


(Both o' dem, both o′ dem)
Both Betty-Lou and Mary have feelings for me


(With both o' dem, with both o' dem)
I am romantically involved with both Betty-Lou and Mary


Ah tell she tings doh work out so
I explain to them that this type of relationship won't work out


She say de next sister ain't bound to know
Mary suggests that we keep our relationship a secret from their other sister


Just because I ain't like dem scandal
I don't want to get involved in any scandalous behavior


Deh have yuh partner fool all day
They can fool their partners about their true feelings all day


Kitchener like all dem bacchanal
Kitchener enjoys participating in wild and outrageous parties


So ah call Kitchy on de phone one day
I call Kitchener to seek his advice


Dis is what de old man say:
This is what Kitchener tells me:


Do it! Do it! Do it! Oh God, Birdy
Go ahead and pursue both women


Gih she what she want,
Give them what they want


Man, come on!
Don't hesitate


Carlene, is you ah waited for
I have been waiting for a woman named Carlene


Ah ah want ah lover not no brother-in-law
I want a romantic partner, not a family member


I know all men like to roam
I know that men like to have multiple partners


And I know charity begins at home
But I know that it's best to focus on one relationship at a time


But de sister such ah loving child
Carlene is a loving person


All relationship is great
She would be great in any relationship


And she always wear ah charming smile
She has a charismatic smile


Kitchener say 'Birdy, doh hesitate
Kitchener advises me not to hesitate


There is nothing to sit and contemplate!'
There's no need to overthink the situation


Though she prettier than me
Even though Carlene is more attractive than me


I could boogie down better than she
I am more fun to be around than she is


Ah remember Lord Melody,
I remember a song by Lord Melody


Shame and scandal in de family,
The song is about a scandal involving a family


All de brakes ah brakes was all in vein
All attempts to avoid the scandal were unsuccessful


She ask me if ah showing off
Carlene questions whether I'm trying to show off


Then she start to tackle me again
She continues to pursue me


Kitchener say: 'Boy you must treat dem rough'
Kitchener advises me to be firm and assertive with them


Otherwise dem woman go say you tough!'
Otherwise they will think I'm weak


If I was ah different shot,
If I were a different person


Maybe I would ah get trapped enough
Maybe I would fall for their advances


All de offers that she made
All the offers that Carlene made to me


I tink bout it but I cyah make de grade
I have considered them, but I can't bring myself to accept


Where I empty in the spice of life
Where I am content in life


Polygamy today I dread
I am not interested in having multiple spouses


Thank Kitchener for his good advice
I am grateful to Kitchener for his helpful advice


Ah still could remember what he said
I still remember his words of wisdom


De message still ringing in meh head:
His message is still resonating with me


(Both o' dem...)
Both women are still pursuing me




Writer(s): Francisco Slinger

Contributed by Lincoln S. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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