The Rebel
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


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They treat me like a savage
On me they took advantage
When I was young and growing up in town
All o′ them badjohns used to slap me down
Kicked me and all them stuff
Give me some big, big cuff
I really grew up rough and tough
Now I'm a rebel
I seeking my revenge in any kind o′ way
I'm a devil
I don't laugh, I don′t smile, I don′t play
Anytime we meet, man-to-man
It's blood and sand!

They really think I forget
How I get so much clouted
They used to bluff me when I leaving school
Take off my cap and tap me like a fool
While they were in their glee
I was in misery
Like any Good Friday bobolee

Now I′m a rebel
I seeking my revenge in any kind o' way
I′m a devil
I don't laugh, I don′t smile, I don't play
Anytime we meet, man-to-man
It's blood and sand!

All I could do was cry, cry
And go home with a black eye
When I was twelve I was a laughing stock
Done as a pappyshow from block to block
Always, always in a fix
Whenever they do their tricks
I′m always getting innocent licks

Now I′m a rebel
I seeking my revenge in any kind o' way
I′m a devil
I don't laugh, I don′t smile, I don't play
Anytime we meet, man-to-man
It′s blood and sand!

Once my schoolmaster told me
He wish police could hold me
When I was expelled I was left to roam
Put out from school, also put out from home
That's why I want to meet
Them badjohns on the street
To show them how revenge is sweet

I am a rebel
I seeking my revenge in any kind o' way
I′m a devil
I don′t laugh, I don't smile, I don′t play




Anytime we meet, man-to-man
It's blood and sand!

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Mighty Sparrow's "The Rebel" tell the story of a man who was once treated poorly as a child by those around him, including being bullied and physically beaten. As a result, he has become a rebel seeking revenge in any way possible. He is portrayed as a devil without emotions, ready for any violent confrontation that may arise.


These lyrics speak to the idea of the cycle of violence, that those who are mistreated are more likely to perpetuate that violence onto others. The singer of the song has had enough of being pushed around and now seeks to assert his power through violence and intimidation. It is a cautionary tale about the consequences of not addressing the root causes of violence and treating others with empathy and respect.


Line by Line Meaning

They treat me like a savage
I was treated very poorly by the people around me


On me they took advantage
They used me to their benefit


When I was young and growing up in town
My mistreatment started at a young age


All o′ them badjohns used to slap me down
People who were considered bad in society used to physically abuse me


Kicked me and all them stuff
They kicked me and did other abusive things to me


Give me some big, big cuff
They hit me very hard


I really grew up rough and tough
My childhood was difficult and I had to become strong to survive


Now I'm a rebel
I am no longer willing to take mistreatment


I seeking my revenge in any kind o′ way
I am looking for ways to get back at those who treated me badly


I'm a devil
I am willing to do whatever it takes to get revenge


I don't laugh, I don′t smile, I don′t play
I am very serious about my mission to get revenge


Anytime we meet, man-to-man
When I come face to face with those who wronged me


It's blood and sand!
There will be violence and serious consequences


They really think I forget
Those who mistreated me believe that I have moved on


How I get so much clouted
They don't realize or care about how much they hurt me


They used to bluff me when I leaving school
They used to intimidate me as I left school


Take off my cap and tap me like a fool
They used to humiliate me by playing with my clothes


While they were in their glee
They were enjoying themselves at my expense


I was in misery
I was suffering and unhappy


Like any Good Friday bobolee
I was treated like a Good Friday effigy that is beaten as part of a religious ritual


All I could do was cry, cry
I was very emotional and cried a lot


And go home with a black eye
I used to go home with physical injuries


When I was twelve I was a laughing stock
People made fun of me when I was only a child


Done as a pappyshow from block to block
I was put on display for the amusement of others


Always, always in a fix
I was always in trouble or difficult situations


Whenever they do their tricks
Whenever they played their cruel pranks or schemes


I′m always getting innocent licks
I was being punished unfairly


Once my schoolmaster told me
My teacher once said to me


He wish police could hold me
My teacher wanted me to be arrested


When I was expelled I was left to roam
When I was kicked out of school, I was left to fend for myself


Put out from school, also put out from home
I was expelled from school and disowned by my family


That's why I want to meet
That is why I am seeking a confrontation


Them badjohns on the street
The people who wronged me


To show them how revenge is sweet
To demonstrate to them how satisfying it is to get revenge




Contributed by Tristan A. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Gerry Hector

For me any other singer would have to take second place after the mighty Sparrow, I grew up listening to that genius

WeeWeeJumbo

Mama's family moved from Trinidad to the Canal Zone - to Rainbow City, Panama. She sang this song to herself many years before YouTube was started, and I never heard this song myself until now.
Thanks, Edward Spencer

Mikdeb

The greatest Sparrow

alfredo edwards

The Great Sparrow again Panamanians love him.

David Marquez

Calpet yes!!! After a haircut u used to collect plenty lol