Robbery With V
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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They want a new King
They would do anything
They want a new King
They will do anything
Well they don't like meh way
How ah sticking out for money
If ah don't get pay
I ain't singing for nobody
They decide to clip meh wings
And put ah obstacle there as King

A man with no originality
No stage personality
They trying to make me look small
All he have is a deep croon
But he won't change the tune at all
This song, that song, same melody
No variety
If you don't believe me
You could ask anybody
If it ain't robbery with V

Hiding the judges name
Ah fus they feeling shame
They feel they spiting me
But they too blind to see
I am the only man
Does fight for Calypsonians
Right here in this island
Getting no appreciation
Instead of helping me up
They fighting for progress to stop

They put up a man with no originality
No stage personality
They trying to make me look small
I know he have a deep croon
But when he go change that tune?
This song, that song, same melody
No variety
Well if you don't believe me
You could ask anybody
If it ain't robbery with V

Now try and remember
I have nothing against Dougla
We all went up to sing
And all of we hope was to win
It is the committee
That making it they duty
Forgetting ability
Extending sympathy
But is the one thing they learn
They give him the crown
But I had the throne

He ain't had no stage personality
No originality
They can't make me look small
All he have is a deep croon
But he won't change the tune at all
This song, that song, same melody
No variety
Well if you don't believe me
You could ask anybody
If it ain't robbery with V

They say I'm not a sport
Call me names of every sort
But I want them to know
My whole life is calypso
I take it seriously
I ain't care who say ah silly
It's a job to me
No one should disagree
All I am begging them to do
Is to give credit where credit is due

Don't put no man with no originality
No stage personality
Don't try to make me look small
Because all he have is a deep croon
Tell me when he go change the tune
This song, that song, same melody
No variety
Well if you don't believe me




You could ask anybody
If it ain't robbery with V

Overall Meaning

The Mighty Sparrow's "Robbery With V" is a political and social critique of the Calypso industry in Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics are directed at the Calypso Monarch competition, and Sparrow's frustration with the judges' decisions and treatment of him. The song describes a situation in which the judges and organizers of the competition want a new monarch, and are willing to do anything to get one, even if it means overlooking talent and quality.


Sparrow is calling out the committee members for their biased behavior and lack of appreciation for the art form. He feels that they have put up a man with no originality and no stage personality, who continues to sing the same songs with the same melody, and yet he is given the crown. Sparrow feels disrespected and unseen for all his hard work and contribution to Calypso, and the judges' actions amount to robbery with violence (V).


The lyrics also point to Sparrow's determination to fight for the rights of Calypsonians and to be recognized for his artistry. He is serious about his craft, and he takes offense when people call him silly. Sparrow is laying claim to his throne as the rightful King, and he is asking for credit where credit is due.


Line by Line Meaning

They want a new King
Some people want a new Calypso King to reign.


They would do anything
These people are willing to do anything to get a new king.


They will do anything
They are determined to remove the current king, by any means possible.


Well they don't like meh way
The people trying to replace the current king don't like the way he operates.


How ah sticking out for money
The current king insists on getting paid for his performances.


If ah don't get pay
If he doesn't get paid, he won't perform.


I ain't singing for nobody
He refuses to perform if he's not getting paid.


They decide to clip meh wings
The people trying to replace him have decided to prevent him from performing.


And put ah obstacle there as King
They plan to install someone else as Calypso King.


A man with no originality
The person they want to make the new King has nothing original.


No stage personality
He lacks presence when he performs.


They trying to make me look small
They are actively trying to humiliate the current king.


All he have is a deep croon
The person they want to make the new king only has a deep voice.


But he won't change the tune at all
He will only sing the same type of songs.


This song, that song, same melody
All of his songs sound the same with no variety.


No variety
He lacks creativity.


If you don't believe me
If someone doesn't trust what the current king is saying.


You could ask anybody
They are encouraged to ask around about what's happening.


If it ain't robbery with V
The current king believes that there is foul play involved in the attempt to replace him.


Hiding the judges name
The people involved in trying to replace the king are keeping the judges' identities a secret.


Ah fus they feeling shame
They themselves are feeling ashamed of what they are doing.


They feel they spiting me
They think they are getting back at the current king by rigging the competition.


But they too blind to see
They don't realize that the current king has been the only one supporting other Calypso musicians.


I am the only man
The current king is the only one fighting for Calypso musicians.


Does fight for Calypsonians
He is fighting for the recognition of Calypso musicians.


Right here in this island
He's fighting for recognition within the Calypso music industry in Trinidad and Tobago.


Getting no appreciation
He's not receiving any credit for his actions.


Instead of helping me up
Instead of being helped and recognized, he's being brought down by some people who want a new Calypso king.


They fighting for progress to stop
They are actively blocking the progress of the current king.


Now try and remember
The current king wants people to take note of what's happening.


I have nothing against Dougla
The current king has nothing against the person they are trying to install as the new king.


We all went up to sing
They both competed in the Calypso competition.


And all of we hope was to win
Both wanted to be recognized as the best Calypso musician.


It is the committee
The committee is the one responsible for organizing the Calypso competition.


That making it they duty
The committee has a responsibility to ensure that the competition is fair.


Forgetting ability
The committee is forgetting the ability of the current king.


Extending sympathy
They are being sympathetic towards the person they want to make the new king, which is affecting the outcome of the competition.


But is the one thing they learn
It's a lesson they need to learn in fairness and honesty.


They give him the crown
The committee gives the crown to the person they want to make the new king.


But I had the throne
The current king is the one who deserves the throne.


He ain't had no stage personality
The person they want to make the new king lacks stage presence.


Don't put no man with no originality
The current king warns the committee against choosing someone lacking originality as the next Calypso king.


Because all he have is a deep croon
All the person they want to make the new king lacks is a deep voice.


Tell me when he go change the tune
He's asking when the person they want to make the new king will start singing different types of songs.


They say I'm not a sport
Some people say the current king is not playing fair.


Call me names of every sort
They are insulting the current king.


But I want them to know
The current king wants the people to recognize and respect his love for and dedication to the Calypso music industry.


My whole life is calypso
Calypso music is everything to the current king.


I take it seriously
He takes the Calypso music industry seriously.


I ain't care who say ah silly
The current king doesn't care who thinks he's foolish for dedicating his life to Calypso music.


It's a job to me
The Calypso music industry is like a job to the current king.


No one should disagree
No one should fault him for loving and dedicating his life to Calypso music.


All I am begging them to do
The current king is asking people to recognize and appreciate his contribution.


Is to give credit where credit is due
He wants to be recognized for his love and dedication to the Calypso music industry.




Writer(s): Francisco Slinger

Contributed by Isabelle S. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

SuperSnk1

This competition in 1961 was very unique in that it was the first year that The Mighty Dougla sang and his Topics were also very interesting and imaginative. Lazy Man and Split me in two were classics and he had a lovely voice also. Before the competition every one was singing these tunes especially the kids. The Mighty Sparrow was powerful as ever with Royal Jail and I believe 'Rose" which many thought was a sentimental song and not a Calypso. It was very close and Dougla won. Great time.

Richard Johnson

Sparrow is king undoubtedly. But the Mighty Dougla calypso Lazy Man was a classic and he deserved the win even if Sparrow was nipping at his heels for a close second.

NORMAN OSBORNE

THROWING SOME WORDS DIRECTLY AT MIGHTY DOUGLA ONE OF SPARROW'S BEST WORK LYRICALLY SOUND.

SuperSnk1

@marledebakkerunicorn . You are correct that lots of viewers are interested in the lyrics for it is the soul of calypso and that story is what holds your attention. Please upload if possible Sparrow's Bullpistle and Kerry Packer. Thanks.

Charles Barry

Sparrow could not believe that he was beaten by Dougla

R Radioman

how come Sparrow can lost the competition ?? for me HE IS THE KING OF CALYPSO sinds Calyopso started he is the UNTRONED KING

Pacafra

Angelina and the Yankees, fool and his money, English society also were great hits from the Birdie. (Where is mighty Dougla by the way?)

Charles Barry

Dougla died some years ago. He was felled by cancer.

Brian Joseph

Wow... Thanks, miss this old time Calypso... Tired of the "new" music... No lyrics nor melody and don't talk about originality...

Vernell Quashie

@Pacafra ...Mighty Dougla transitionship began in May 1977.

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