Jean and Dinah
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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Well the girls in town feeling bad
No more Yankees in Trinidad
They going to close down the base for good
Them girls have to make out just how they could
Brother is now they park up in town
In for a penny, and in for a pound
And it's competition for so
Trouble in the town when the price drop low

So Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,
Round the corner posing, bet your life is something they selling
And if you find them broken you can get it all for nothing
Don't make no row, the yankees gone, Sparrow take over now

Things bad is to hear them cry
Not a sailor in town, the night clubs dry
Only West Indians like me or you
Want to get just one drink or two
And as we have things back in control
Ah seeking revenge with me heart and soul
No more hotel to rest your head
By the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread

So Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,
Round the corner posing, bet your life is something they selling
And if you find them broken you can get it all for nothing
Don't make no row, when the yankees gone, the Sparrow take over now

When the Yankee was in full swing
Just imagine how Calypsonian was suffering
Mavis told me straight to me face
How she find I too fast and out of place
No, no, no, they would start to fret
Money or not poor Sparrow can't get
With the Yankees you have it cool
Calypsonians too hard to fool

So Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,
Round the corner posing, bet your life is something they selling
And if you find them broken you can get it all for nothing
Don't make no row, the yankees gone, Sparrow take over now

We reach the glamour boys again
We are going to rule Port of Spain
No more Yankees to spoil the fete
Dorothy have to take what she gets
Since the natives are back in control
Ah seeking revenge with me heart and soul
No more hotel to rest your head
By the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread

So Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,
Round the corner posing, bet your life is something they selling




And if you find them broken you can get it all for nothing
Don't make no...

Overall Meaning

"Jean and Dinah" is a classic calypso song by the Mighty Sparrow, released in 1956. The song tells the story of how Trinidad's economy and social landscape changed when the American military base at Chaguaramas was closed down in 1951, leaving many local women who depended on the base for their livelihoods struggling to survive. The lyrics are full of clever wordplay, double entendres, and social commentary, highlighting the struggles of women trying to make a living in a rapidly changing society.


The first verse sets the scene, with the girls in town feeling bad because there are no more Yankees in Trinidad. The competition among the local women to make a living is fierce, and prices have dropped so low that there is trouble in the town. The chorus introduces the song's protagonists - Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina - who have turned to "posing" to make ends meet. The second verse continues the story, with the singer noting that things are so bad that not even sailors are in town anymore, leaving the nightclubs dry. But the locals are determined to take back control, seeking revenge with their heart and soul.


Overall, "Jean and Dinah" is a powerful commentary on Trinidad's post-colonial struggles as it transitioned to an independent nation. Sparrow addresses the social and economic impact of the American military presence, including the inherent power dynamics and exploitation of local women. However, the song also reflects a sense of pride and resilience in the face of adversity and celebrates the strength and ingenuity of the Trinidadian people.


Interesting facts about "Jean and Dinah":


Interesting Facts
Note: This section uses generative AI, which can be inaccurate.


Line by Line Meaning

Well the girls in town feeling bad
The girls in town are feeling upset.


No more Yankees in Trinidad
There are no more American soldiers in Trinidad.


They going to close down the base for good
The American military base in Trinidad is going to shut down permanently.


Them girls have to make out just how they could
The girls have to figure out how to make a living now that the American soldiers are gone.


Brother is now they park up in town
The locals are now parking in town.


In for a penny, and in for a pound
They are totally committed, no turning back.


And it's competition for so
There is a lot of competition.


Trouble in the town when the price drop low
There is trouble in town when the prices are low.


So Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina,
These are the names of some women.


Round the corner posing, bet your life is something they selling
These women are prostitutes.


And if you find them broken you can get it all for nothing
If these women are broken, you can have sex with them for free.


Don't make no row, the yankees gone, Sparrow take over now
Don't make a fuss, Mighty Sparrow is taking over now.


Things bad is to hear them cry
It's sad to hear them cry.


Not a sailor in town, the night clubs dry
There are no sailors in town and the night clubs are empty.


Only West Indians like me or you
Only West Indians like me and you want a few drinks.


Want to get just one drink or two
We just want one or two drinks.


And as we have things back in control
We have things under control now.


Ah seeking revenge with me heart and soul
I am seeking revenge with all my heart and soul.


No more hotel to rest your head
There are no more hotels to stay in.


By the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread
We will have to work hard to make a living.


When the Yankee was in full swing
When the American military was in full force.


Just imagine how Calypsonian was suffering
Imagine how the Calypso artists were suffering.


Mavis told me straight to me face
Mavis was honest with me.


How she find I too fast and out of place
She found me too fast and out of place.


No, no, no, they would start to fret
They would start to worry.


Money or not poor Sparrow can't get
Even without money, Mighty Sparrow can't get.


With the Yankees you have it cool
With the Americans, everything was cool.


Calypsonians too hard to fool
Calypso artists are tough to fool.


We reach the glamour boys again
We have regained our status as the glamour boys.


We are going to rule Port of Spain
We are going to be in charge of Port of Spain.


No more Yankees to spoil the fete
There are no more Americans to ruin the party.


Dorothy have to take what she gets
Dorothy has to accept what she gets.


Since the natives are back in control
Now that the locals are in control.


Ah seeking revenge with me heart and soul
I am seeking revenge with all my heart and soul.


No more hotel to rest your head
There are no more hotels to stay in.


By the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread
We will have to work hard to make a living.




Writer(s): Don Raye, Mighty Sparrow

Contributed by Savannah N. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@olivieashair5543

It's 2022 and Mighty Sparrow still is fire!πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ A real icon! Thanks for bringing back so much memories

@ankneter

YES!!!

@andrewhall7930

I can't tell you how happy this music makes me. I'm an Aussie born in the USA and I've been all over the world, this music may be the most beautiful I've ever heard. Trinidad is coming this year.

@roses4me451

G'day mate! Glad you enjoyed the music. My sister visited Australia last year. This is a very upbeat, happy, music. Dance with a partner!

@geetaramlochan2647

Love that you love this music always enjoy to fullest

@babalu-oc6iu

Try Kitchener, psn explosion, rain o rama,
Agree with you. After listening for so long I even understand their patois.

@tashasookram7429

Nice to hear that u enjoy our sweet music πŸ’ƒπŸ’―πŸ’ƒ

@randyramoutarvlogs

I hope you've been to Trinidad already you would love it πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ή

@KingBrondon

Born in the 90s but grew up to my parents listening to this music.

I love my culture!! πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ή

@pooky328

Just saw him in concert a week ago. When this came on, the crowd went crazy. He sounded amazing live. I met him after the concert and got a picture with him. Loved the concert and this medley.

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