Ep. 4 Lyrical Lesson – How to Forgive & Be Forgiven

Lauryn Hill was the artist of my adolescence. Exposure to her music provided a model of the depth, beauty, and creativity of African-American women. It was a brick in the foundation of understanding who I am and my value as a believer birthed in brown skin. She also gave voice to some of my perceptions and feelings, which confirmed my experiences were not a figment of my imagination or inconsequential. Her voice inspired me to find my own.  I will always be sincerely grateful.

Lauryn Hill – Forgive Them Father

 

Forgive Them Father – Lyrics
Forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those that trespass against us
Although them again we will never never never trust
Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!
Them not know what them do
Big out to yi while I’m stickin’ like glue
Fling skin grin while them plotting for you, true!
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Me nah tellin’ them no more)
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Be real, them not a clue!)
Beware the false motives of others
Be careful of those who pretend to be brothers
And you never suppose it’s those who are closest to you
To you
They say all the right things, to gain their position
Then use your kindness as their ammunition
To shoot you down in the name of ambition, they do
Oh
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Why every Indian want to be the chief?
Feed a man ’til he full and he still want beef
Give me grief, try to tief off my piece
Why for you to increase, I must decrease?
If I treat you kindly, does it mean that I’m weak?
You hear me speak and think I won’t take it to the streets
I know enough cats that don’t turn the other cheek
But I try to keep it civilized like Menelik
And other African czars, observing stars with war scars
Get yours in this capitalistic system
So many caught or got bought you can’t list them
How you gonna idolize the missing?
To survive is to stay alive in the face of opposition
Even when they comin’, gunnin’ I stand position
L’s known the mission since conception
Let’s free the people from deception
If you looking for the answers then you gotta ask the questions
And when I let go, my voice echoes through the ghetto
Sick of men trying to pull strings like Geppetto
Why black people always be the ones to settle?
March through these streets like Soweto, uh
Like Cain and Abel, Caesar and Brutus
Jesus and Judas, backstabbers do this
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
It took me a little while to discover
Wolves in sheep coats who pretend to be lovers
Men who lack conscience will even lie to themselves
To themselves
A friend once said, and I found to be true
That everyday people, they lie to God too
So what makes you think, that they won’t lie to you?
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Forgive dem, forgive dem)
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Forgive dem, forgive dem)
Gwan like dem love while dem rip you to shreds
Trample pon yuh heart and lef yuh fi dead
Dem a-yuh friend who yuh depen pon from way back when
But if you, gi dem yuh back dem yuh mus meet yuh end
Dem not know what dem do do
Dem not know what dem do do
Dem not know, dem not know, dem not know, dem not know
Dem not know what dem do do
(Forgive them father, forgive them father)
Songwriters: Lauryn Hill / Lauryn N. Hill
Forgive Them Father lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
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