Parables
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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Long ago, boy, when I was young
And anything at all go wrong
I used to run to mih grandmother
For she to help me but oh, brother!
When she talk is only parable,
When she done, I in more trouble
I know is good advice she giving
But what the Devil she saying?

An ounce of prevention better than a whole pound of cure, doodoo
(Never trouble trouble until trouble trouble you)
You scratch my back before yours get scratch
(When you drinking gasoline, doh eat match)
What sweet in goat mouth go sour in he pants
(Egg have no right in rock stone dance)
Exchange no robbery, any port for a storm
(Can't clean ground for monkey run on)

I really thought she was madwoman
Because I really couldn't understand
All these parables she using,
To me it was too confusing
You young, you quick to fall in love
And always have problem to solve
I think I getting help from she
But she telling me Nancy story.

Lalin kouwi jou pawe
(One day, one day, congotay)
Who have coco in sun always looking for rain
(He who have cocobay doh 'fraid yaws again)
Wise man will never practice what you hear him preach
(So doh hang your hat where you hand can't reach)
Love soon get cold when it run hot like... caca
(Married man he wait for her to sting obeah)
That's the one I like!

Boy, oh boy, she was a real good sport,
The real amusing sort
She could fix any problem, I'm sure,
She had a plaster for every sore
When you live in glass house don't pelt stone
The window you break might be your own
Who bring you news go carry back on you
Everything she tell me is true.

Show me a thief, I will show you a liar
(Birds of a feather flock together)
Knowledge is power, wisdom is force
(Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse)
Fool could make money but is wise man to spend it
(Nobody could teach an old dog new trick)
One hand can't clap, once bitten twice shy
(And you never miss the water 'til the well run dry)





Tell me granny!
Yeh dat sweet.

Overall Meaning

The song "Parables" by Mighty Sparrow talks about the wise advice and teachings of the singer's grandmother, who used to give parables when he was young. The singer used to go to his grandmother for help whenever he faced any problem, but he found it confusing when she gave him advice in the form of parables. Even though he knew that she was giving him good advice, he wasn't able to understand what she was saying. The wisdom passed down by his grandmother comprises proverbs that are still relevant today, and the song presents them in a humorous way.


Some of the proverbs which his grandmother recited include, "An ounce of prevention better than a whole pound of cure," which means that it is better to try to avoid a problem in the first place rather than fixing it later. Another one was, "When you live in a glass house, don't pelt stone, the window you break might be your own," which cautions that we shouldn't harm others as it might come back to harm us. The song is a tribute to the wisdom, humor, and teachings passed down from the singer's grandmother that have stayed with him throughout his life.


Line by Line Meaning

Long ago, boy, when I was young
When Mighty Sparrow was young, his grandmother used to teach him wise words through parables.


And anything at all go wrong
Whenever he faced any problem, he would run to his grandmother for help.


I used to run to mih grandmother
Mighty Sparrow would always go to his grandmother for advice.


For she to help me but oh, brother!
He was confident that his grandmother could help him, but sometimes her parables confused him.


When she talk is only parable,
His grandmother used parables to teach him important lessons.


When she done, I in more trouble
Sometimes, her parables would leave him more confused and in more trouble.


I know is good advice she giving
Mighty Sparrow recognized that his grandmother was giving him good advice.


But what the Devil she saying?
However, sometimes he found it difficult to understand the meaning behind her parables.


An ounce of prevention better than a whole pound of cure, doodoo
It's better to prevent a problem from happening than to try and fix it once it has happened.


(Never trouble trouble until trouble trouble you)
Avoid getting into unnecessary trouble.


You scratch my back before yours get scratch
Help others and they are more likely to help you in return.


(When you drinking gasoline, doh eat match)
Don't do things that are likely to cause you harm.


What sweet in goat mouth go sour in he pants
Don't be too quick to trust the things that seem sweet or enjoyable.


(Egg have no right in rock stone dance)
Sometimes you can't force things to happen if they are not meant to be.


Exchange no robbery, any port for a storm
Sometimes you have to compromise in order to survive a difficult situation.


(Can't clean ground for monkey run on)
You can't prepare for every possibility or prevent every bad thing from happening.


I really thought she was madwoman
Mighty Sparrow sometimes thought his grandmother was crazy for using parables to teach him.


Because I really couldn't understand
He sometimes found it difficult to understand the meaning behind the parables.


All these parables she using,
His grandmother used many parables to teach him important lessons.


To me it was too confusing
He found the parables confusing and difficult to understand.


You young, you quick to fall in love
His grandmother recognized that Mighty Sparrow was young and inexperienced with love.


And always have problem to solve
He often faced problems and needed his grandmother's help to solve them.


I think I getting help from she
He believed that his grandmother was helping him by using parables to teach him.


But she telling me Nancy story.
However, sometimes he felt that she was telling him stories that were not relevant to his situation.


Lalin kouwi jou pawe
A Haitian phrase that means 'one day, one day, something will happen.'


(One day, one day, congotay)
This line is a variation of the Haitian saying above.


Who have coco in sun always looking for rain
Those who have everything are always looking for more.


(He who have cocobay doh 'fraid yaws again)
This line is a variation of the line above.


Wise man will never practice what you hear him preach
Some people give good advice, but don't always follow it themselves.


(So doh hang your hat where you hand can't reach)
Don't expect too much or reach too far beyond your capabilities.


Love soon get cold when it run hot like... caca
Sometimes love can fade away quickly, even if it started off strong.


(Married man he wait for her to sting obeah)
Sometimes people do bad things out of fear or jealousy.


That's the one I like!
Mighty Sparrow found this parable to be humorous and enjoyable.


Boy, oh boy, she was a real good sport,
His grandmother was always patient and willing to help him.


The real amusing sort
She could make him laugh with her witty parables.


She could fix any problem, I'm sure,
He trusted that his grandmother could solve any problem he faced.


She had a plaster for every sore
She always had a solution to any problem he faced, no matter how big or small.


When you live in glass house don't pelt stone
Don't criticize others if you are not perfect yourself.


The window you break might be your own
Be careful with your actions, as they may have unintended consequences.


Who bring you news go carry back on you
Be careful who you talk to, as they may share your secrets or gossip about you.


Everything she tell me is true.
Mighty Sparrow trusted that his grandmother was always telling him the truth through her parables.


Show me a thief, I will show you a liar
People who lie are often hiding something or doing something wrong.


(Birds of a feather flock together)
People with similar personalities or interests often hang out together.


Knowledge is power, wisdom is force
Having knowledge and wisdom can be more powerful than physical strength.


(Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse)
Having too much enthusiasm without proper knowledge or guidance can be dangerous.


Fool could make money but is wise man to spend it
Making money might be easy, but knowing how to spend it wisely is more important.


(Nobody could teach an old dog new trick)
Older people are often resistant to change or learning new things.


One hand can't clap, once bitten twice shy
Sometimes you need cooperation from others to be successful, and past negative experiences can make you more cautious in the future.


(And you never miss the water 'til the well run dry)
You often don't appreciate something until it's gone.


Tell me granny!
Mighty Sparrow was eager to learn from his wise grandmother's parables.


Yeh dat sweet.
He enjoyed his grandmother's parables, even though they were sometimes confusing.




Contributed by Gabriel T. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Miles Walcott

I remember this song as a child but I now understand the wisdom

Sylvia Emmons

This is new,excellent lyrics

Cube

Small bits of this feels like a nice, fun arrangement of "what a wonderful world"

Lucianrider

"When you drinking gasoline, don't eat match!! I always love that one!!!

cinematiccrisis

"when she talk, it's only parable, when she done - i'm in more trouble!" love his novelty songs, actually love everything by birdie. three cheers to mr. slinger francisco!

Irving .d

Great music, great man.

Kusmin Guinness

Children of today should listen to this - always heed the advice of the elders.

Darwin Charles

When judgeing claypso u get points 4 rendition, performance vocal quality and others this is where Sparrow Excelled. The best renderer of Calypso in my book

Darwin Charles

Facts

Ayana J

Love it! The Mighty Sparrow!! Tuuuuuneee!!

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