54-46 That's My Number
Toots and The Maytals Lyrics


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I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)

I said, "Stick it up, mister"
Hear what I say, sir
Get your hands in the air, sir
Then you will get no hurt mister, ah
Do what I say, sir, ah
Just what I mean sir
Get your hands in the air, sir
Then you will get no hurt, no

I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)

Second thing they say, I must join the office
Third thing they say, "Son, give me your number now"
He say, "What's your number?", I don't answer
He say, "What's your number, man?", I don't answer
He say, "What's your number now?"
He say "What's your number now?"
I said, "Fifty-four, forty-six, that's my number", whoa
Fifty-four, forty-six, that's my number, one more time
Fifty-four, forty-six, that's my number, whoa
Fifty-four, forty-six, that's my number

I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)

Ba-da-da, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee, dee, da-da-dee-da
Ba-da, dai-dai, day-day, day-da-da-dee-da
Dee-da-dai-da, day-da-day-da, day-da-day-da, day-da-day-da
Da-da-da, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee, de-dee-dee
Dee-da-da-da-da, dai-da-da-da-da
Dee-da-da-da-da-da

I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
Listen what I say (listen what I say)

Stick it up, mister
Hear what I say, sir
Get your hands in the air, sir
You will get no hurt, sir, me say

Turn out your left pocket
Ah, give me a clean shirt, sir
Take off your shirt, sir
I not want no racket now

Stick it up, mister (I said, yeah)
Hear what I say, sir (I said, yeah)
Get your hands in the air, sir (I said, yeah)
Then you will get no hurt, mister, oh oh (I said, yeah)
Yeah (I said, yeah)
Whoa, yeah, yeah, yeah (I said, yeah)




Stick it up, mister now (I said, yeah)
Hear what I say, sir

Overall Meaning

The song "54-46 That's My Number" by Toots and The Maytals is about the experience of being arrested and sent to jail. The opening lyrics "Stick it up, mister, hear what I say, sir, get your hands in the air, sir then you will get no hurt mister, ah, do what I say, sir, ah, just what I mean sir" create an image of a police officer arresting the singer and telling them what to do in order to avoid getting hurt. The singer is telling the officer to do what they say and they won't get hurt. The rest of the song describes the singer's experience in jail, including being asked to give their number and responding with "54-46 That's My Number".


The lyrics of the song show the singer's strength, resilience, and hope in a situation that could easily break a person. The repetition of "I said, yeah" and "listen what I say" throughout the song emphasizes the singer's determination to be heard and respected, even in a place where they have no power. The song also touches on themes of police brutality and corruption, as well as the dehumanizing experience of being in jail.


Line by Line Meaning

I said, yeah (I said, yeah)
The singer is urging the listener to pay attention to what he has to say.


Listen what I say (listen what I say)
The singer repeats that the listener should pay attention to what he's saying.


I said hear me now (I said, yeah)
The singer is emphasizing that he wants to be heard.


I said, "Stick it up, mister"
The singer is commanding the listener to raise his hands.


Hear what I say, sir
The singer emphasizes that he wants the listener to listen to him.


Get your hands in the air, sir
The singer repeats that he wants the listener to raise his hands.


Then you will get no hurt mister, ah
The singer reassures the listener that if he complies, he won't be hurt.


Do what I say, sir, ah
The singer repeats that he wants the listener to obey him.


Just what I mean sir
The singer emphasizes that he wants the listener to follow his instructions exactly.


I said, "Listen what I say"
The singer repeats that he wants the listener to pay attention to him.


Second thing they say, I must join the office
The singer refers to the consequences of not complying with authority.


Third thing they say, "Son, give me your number now"
The singer highlights how authority figures want to identify and track individuals.


He say, "What's your number?", I don't answer
The singer refuses to comply with the request to give personal information.


He say, "What's your number now?"
The authority figure insists on getting personal information from the singer.


I said, "Fifty-four, forty-six, that's my number", whoa
The singer reveals his identity but maintains a sense of defiance and self-assuredness.


Ba-da-da, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee, dee, da-da-dee-da
The song features a musical interlude.


Ba-da, dai-dai, day-day, day-da-da-dee-da
The song features another musical interlude.


Dee-da-dai-da, day-da-day-da, day-da-day-da, day-da-day-da
The song features yet another musical interlude.


Da-da-da, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee, de-dee-dee
The song features another musical interlude.


Dee-da-da-da-da, dai-da-da-da-da
The song features a musical interlude.


Dee-da-da-da-da-da
The song ends with a musical flourish.


Stick it up, mister
The singer repeats his earlier command to raise hands.


You will get no hurt, sir, me say
The singer repeats that the listener won't be harmed if he obeys.


Turn out your left pocket
The singer instructs the listener to empty his pocket.


Ah, give me a clean shirt, sir
The singer asks for a shirt from the listener.


Take off your shirt, sir
The singer instructs the listener to remove his shirt.


I not want no racket now
The singer emphasizes that he doesn't want any trouble or fuss.


Yeah (I said, yeah)
The singer repeats his earlier command for attention.


Whoa, yeah, yeah, yeah (I said, yeah)
The singer repeats his emphasis on wanting to be heard and recognized.


Stick it up, mister now (I said, yeah)
The singer repeats his earlier command for the listener to raise his hands.


Hear what I say, sir
The singer repeats his instruction for the listener to listen to him.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Frederick Hibbert

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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