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54-46 Was My Number

Toots and the Maytals

54-46 Was My Number Lyrics

Stick it up, mister!
Can you hear what I'm saying now, yeah
Get your hands in the air, sir!
And you will get no hurt, mister, no no no


I said yeah (I said yeah)
Listen what they say (listen what they say)
Can you hear me say, yeah? (yeah yeah)
Listen what they say (listen what they say)


Do you believe I would take such a thing with me
And give it to a police man?
I wouldn't do that, oh no (ooh, ooh)
I wouldn't do that (ooh, ooh)


And if I do that, I would say "Sir
Come on and put the charge on me"
I wouldn't do that (ooh, ooh)
I wouldn't do that (ooh, ooh)


I'm not a fool to hurt myself
So I was innocent of what they done to me
They were wrong (ooh, ooh), oh yeah
They were wrong (ooh, ooh)


You give it to me one time (huh)
You give it to me two times (huh-huh)
You give it to me three times (huh-huh-huh)
You give it to me four times (huh-huh-huh-huh)

54-46 was my number, was my number, man
Right now, someone else has that number
54-46 was my number, well
Right now, someone else has that number

And I said yeah (I said yeah)
Listen what they say (listen what they say)
Can you hear me say, yeah? (yeah yeah)
Listen what they say (listen what they say)
Oh, work could not control me now
Oh, no bars could not hold me now
They hold I down and they lock-a you way
They try to keep I for a year and a day
But through the powers of the Most High God
Got to turn me lose, I say


54-46 was my number, was my number, man
Right now, someone else has that number, well
54-46 was my number, was my number, man
Right now, someone else has that number, hey

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About “54-46 Was My Number”

This a follow up to the single “54-46 That’s My Number” which was released in celebration of Toot’s release and the lyrics describe Toots' time in prison for an arrest for possession of marijuana.
It later transpired that he had been set up by a promoter.
This turned out to be a massive reggae hit for Toots and The Maytals and without the injustice of Toots Hibbert’s arrest, this song would not have been.