Federation
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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People want to know why Jamaica run from the Federation
Well, they want to know why Jamaica run away from the Federation
Jamaica have a right to speak she mind, that is my opinion
And if you believe in democracy, you'll agree with me

But if they know they didn't want
Federation (Federation)
And they know they don't want to unite as one
Independence was at the door, why didn't they speak before?
This is no time to say you eh federating no more

When they didn't get the capital site, that nearly cause big fight
When Sir Grantley Adams took up his post, that even made things worse
They bawling, "We ent want no Bajan premier
Trinidad can't be capital for here!"
So the grumbling went on and on to a big referendum

But if they know they didn't want Federation (Federation)
And they know they don't want to unite as one and only one
I say to tell the Doctor you not in favour, don't behave like a blasted traitor
How the devil you mean you eh federating no more?

Sorry, but no Federation again, I think it's a big shame
After so much efforts and energy-Goodbye everybody
Right now it's only a memory, we fail miserably
Some may say we shouldn't help part it, but is Jamaica wey start it

If they know they didn't want Federation (Federation)
And they know they don't want to unite as one
Just tell the Doctor you not in favour, don't behave like a blasted traitor
This is no time to say you eh federating no more?

Federation boil down to simply this-is dog eat dog and survival of the fittest
Everybody fighting for Independence singularly, Trinidad for instance
We going get it too, so don't bother, but I find we should we all be together
Not separated as we are because of Jamaica

If they know they didn't want Federation (Federation)
And they know they don't want to unite as one... Tell the Doctor




Tell the Doctor you not in favour, don't behave like a blasted traitor
How the devil you mean you eh federating no more?... Outside, man

Overall Meaning

The Mighty Sparrow's iconic song, "Federation", explores the reasons behind Jamaica's departure from the West Indies Federation in the early 1960s. The song criticizes Jamaica's decision to leave the union, arguing that the country should have stayed in the Federation to work together with the other Caribbean nations towards independence. The lines "Federation boil down to simply this-is dog eat dog and survival of the fittest" and "everybody fighting for Independence singularly" suggest that the division of the Caribbean weakened their position in the fight for self-government.


Throughout the song, The Mighty Sparrow expresses frustration with Jamaica's insistence on independence, rather than working towards it through the shared framework of the West Indies Federation. The lines "Independence was at the door, why didn't they speak before?" suggest that Jamaica was pursuing self-rule while still benefiting from the support of the Federation. The song portrays Jamaica as selfish and short-sighted, only interested in its own independence rather than the betterment of the Caribbean as a whole.


Overall, "Federation" is a commentary on the complexities of Caribbean politics during the late colonial period. Jamaica's departure from the Federation was a significant moment in the region's history, and The Mighty Sparrow uses his lyrics to express his opinions on the matter.


Line by Line Meaning

People want to know why Jamaica run from the Federation
Some people are curious about why Jamaica withdrew from the Federation


Jamaica have a right to speak she mind, that is my opinion
In my opinion, Jamaica has the right to express her thoughts and opinions freely


But if they know they didn't want Federation (Federation)
If Jamaica already knew that they did not want the Federation,


And they know they don't want to unite as one
and they know that they do not want to unite as one entity,


Independence was at the door, why didn't they speak before?
with Independence being imminent, why did Jamaica not voice their disagreements earlier?


This is no time to say you eh federating no more
now is not the appropriate moment to decline the Federation


When they didn't get the capital site, that nearly cause big fight
Tensions arose when Jamaica did not receive the desired capital location


When Sir Grantley Adams took up his post, that even made things worse
Sir Grantley Adams' appointment worsened the situation


They bawling, "We ent want no Bajan premier
Jamaica expressed their dissatisfaction saying, "We do not want a Premier from Barbados


Trinidad can't be capital for here!"
They opposed Trinidad being the capital


So the grumbling went on and on to a big referendum
The dissatisfaction continued, leading to a significant referendum


I say to tell the Doctor you not in favour, don't behave like a blasted traitor
I urge you to inform the Doctor that you do not support the Federation, but do not act like a betrayer


Sorry, but no Federation again, I think it's a big shame
I believe it is regrettable that there will be no Federation once again


After so much efforts and energy-Goodbye everybody
Despite significant efforts and energy expended, the Federation failed, and it is time to bid farewell


Right now it's only a memory, we fail miserably
Currently, the Federation exists only as a memory of a miserable failure


Some may say we shouldn't help part it, but is Jamaica wey start it
There are those who might argue against Jamaica withdrawing from the Federation, but Jamaica was the one who initiated the separation


Federation boil down to simply this-is dog eat dog and survival of the fittest
Ultimately, the Federation was about competition and the survival of the strongest


Everybody fighting for Independence singularly, Trinidad for instance, We going get it too, so don't bother
Each country was fighting for independence on its own, with Trinidad being an example, and Jamaica will do the same, so there is no point in bothering


but I find we should we all be together, Not separated as we are because of Jamaica
However, I believe that we should all be united rather than separated because of Jamaica


Tell the Doctor you not in favour, don't behave like a blasted traitor
Inform the Doctor that you do not support the Federation, but do not act like a betrayer


This is no time to say you eh federating no more?... Outside, man
Now is not the right time to decline the opportunity for Federation. Take it outside, man.




Contributed by Caden W. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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@shennicecato2271

Federation

Song by Mighty Sparrow

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Lyrics

People want to know why Jamaica run
From the Federation
Well they want to know why Jamaica run away
From the Federation
Jamaica have a right to speak she mind
That is my opinion
And if you believe in democracy
You'll agree with me

But if they know they didn't want federation
And they know they don't want to unite as one
Independence was at the door
Why didn't they speak before
This is no time to say you ain't federating no more!

When they didn't get the capital site
That nearly cause big fight
When Sir Grandley Adams took up his post
That even made things worse
They bawling "we ain't want no Bajan premier
Trinidad can't be capital for here!"
So the grumbling went on and on
To a big referendum

But if they know they didn't want federation
And they know they don't want to unite as one and only one
I say to tell the Doctor you're not in favour
Don't behave like a blasted traitor
How the devil you mean you ain't federating no more!



All comments from YouTube:

@gabrielchristian3981

A great calypso by the Mighty Sparrow that calls us to unite. The end of the West Indian Federation of the English speaking islands was a tragedy. May Ed yet knit together the frayed bonds of affection between our kindred people. God bless a united Caribbean of all the islands.

@SuperSnk1

What an Educator Dr. Sparrow is. This is surely one for the students of our history. All the facts re the failure of the Federation in 4 verses. Great song Doc, just Great. Thanks.

@nytrini2005

The only way you can get a better example of calypso, is from another Sparrow calypso.

As the Mighty Sparrow is at the sunset of his life, I want to thank him for his great contribution to T&T.

@fredlagrandcourt3084

Damn genuinely true!

@marledebakkerunicorn

+Fred LAGRANDCOURT You are so right.

@kalanicharles7688

+Fred LAGRANDCOURT Koop

@kusmin69

There will never be another King of Calypso like The Mighty Sparrow. He is undeniably the best - TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER. May you live long and prosper. We are a richer world for your royal Birth. THANK YOU SIR.

@bondeebryan411

Yes Kusmin

Sparrow today tomorrow and forever.

@marledebakkerunicorn

Exactly. Look now 20.to.40.years later. Sadly nobody with his capacity and ability.took over. I am yearning for his covona 19 song.๐Ÿคฉ

@LifeWPCOS

This is STILL what goes on between Trinidadians and Jamaicans ESPECIALLY at work !!!

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