Good Citizen
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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When does someone really become a good citizen?
I'd like to know for sure
Why when the ordinary man disagrees with the establishment
They call it treason?
Why should they persecute a brother for seeking black power?
Don't they know a blind man could see that this is blatant hypocrisy
The real traitors and them are all high in society
Yet the government protecting all ah dem and penalizing you and me

And in a million different ways they violate the law
It's the same good, no good bastards who oppress the poor
They selling black market, making excess profit, paying a starvation salary
These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery

They say you have the right to criticize but then you are victimized
And without any reason, many a time you find yourself
Politically paralysed by that same good citizen
Yet these fakes and phonies enjoy a long life of luxury
While they spread corruption throughout the country
When they should be arrested
They're protected and respected in the society

And in a million different ways they violate the law
It's the same good, no good bastards who oppress the poor
With their false declaration, tax evasion, defrauding customs duty
These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery

In lust, in greed, in fraud, in strife they specialize
Double deals, double deals they idolize
If you brave enough to open your mouth and criticize
One time you are ostracized and or victimized
Still they go unpunished and unaccused of any crime
While on the backs of the ordinary man these vultures climb
They use their riches and their power, make a mockery of the law
And have the law protect them same time

And in a million different ways they violate the law
It's the same good, no good bastards who oppress the poor




They controlling bootlegging, dope peddling, prostitution and piracy
These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Mighty Sparrow's "Good Citizen" openly criticize the establishment's definition of what makes someone a good citizen. The singer questions why disagreeing with those in power is automatically labeled as treason, and why seeking black power is met with persecution. He highlights the hypocrisy and inequality in society, where the real traitors, often high up in society, are protected while the ordinary man is penalized. Throughout the song, the singer brings attention to the ways in which the good citizens, who are supposed to uphold the law and be exemplary members of society, continually violate it.


Line by Line Meaning

When does someone really become a good citizen?
I want to know what defines a good citizen.


Why when the ordinary man disagrees with the establishment, they call it treason?
Why is it considered treason when a regular person expresses dissent?


Why should they persecute a brother for seeking black power?
Why do people face persecution for advocating for black empowerment?


Don't they know a blind man could see that this is blatant hypocrisy?
Isn't it obvious that this is blatant hypocrisy?


The real traitors and them are all high in society
The actual traitors are wealthy and influential people.


Yet the government protecting all ah dem and penalizing you and me
The government protects those corrupt leaders instead of us regular citizens.


And in a million different ways they violate the law
Those corrupt people violate the law in countless ways.


It's the same good, no good bastards who oppress the poor
The people who oppress the poor are hypocrites pretending to be good.


They selling black market, making excess profit, paying a starvation salary
Those corrupt people profit from the black market while paying their workers very little.


These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery
Those hypocritical oppressors are responsible for creating economic slavery.


They say you have the right to criticize but then you are victimized
People are told they have the right to criticize, but then they face negative consequences.


And without any reason, many a time you find yourself politically paralyzed by that same good citizen
These hypocritical oppressors can silence opposition with no legitimate reason.


Yet these fakes and phonies enjoy a long life of luxury
Those hypocrites live luxuriously despite their corruption.


While they spread corruption throughout the country
Those hypocrites cause corruption throughout the entire nation.


When they should be arrested, they're protected and respected in the society
Those corrupt leaders should be arrested but instead they're protected and respected.


With their false declaration, tax evasion, defrauding customs duty
Those hypocrite oppressors commit crimes like falsifying documents, avoiding taxes, and evading customs duty.


In lust, in greed, in fraud, in strife they specialize
Those corrupt leaders specialize in lust, greed, fraud, and causing conflict.


Double deals, double deals they idolize
Those corrupt people worship double-crossing and backstabbing.


If you brave enough to open your mouth and criticize
Only those brave enough to criticize them actually do so.


One time you are ostracized and or victimized
After criticizing them, people are often shunned or victimized.


Still they go unpunished and unaccused of any crime
Those hypocrites are never held accountable for their crimes.


While on the backs of the ordinary man these vultures climb
Those corrupt leaders exploit the hardworking people underneath them.


They use their riches and their power, make a mockery of the law
Those corrupt people use their wealth and influence to make a mockery of the legal system.


And have the law protect them same time
Despite breaking the law, those hypocrites are still protected by the law.


They controlling bootlegging, dope peddling, prostitution and piracy
Those corrupt leaders control illicit activities like bootlegging, drug sales, prostitution, and piracy.


These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery
Those hypocritical oppressors are responsible for creating economic slavery.




Contributed by Claire K. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@matthewsdonna991

A tune that suits our times.

@irving.d4959

You're so correct.

@nathifamelville5589

No truer words have even been sung.

@goodsonearthquake9244

This is great vision Sparrow you are a prophet

@MusicLikeRegin

What a classic. I kid you not. This Bird is the  Goat--Greatest Of All Times.

@levihenry659

One of the best Calypso for any season.

@juddsvenson9614

Hi, Hi BROTHER SPARROW,So So TRUE.YOU COULDN'T SAY IT BETTER.LOVE YOU,and THANK YOU . I'M SO PROUD OF YOU FOR SINGING THIS CALYPSO SONG. (A GOOD CITIZEN.)WELL SAID.(THE TRUTH) It's my FAVOURITE.So So TRUE.I want all these evils to change for a Better World.

@osiris460131

This was first performed n 1971 and is still relevant today.

@oliverhughes6162

Philosophically powerful. Only the King himself.

@teletubbies52

Great legend......the mighty sparrow.

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