Song of the Day #4,167: ‘Forgive Them Father’ – Lauryn Hill

Tomorrow I will start a countdown of my favorite albums of the decade. If this were 20 years ago — 1999 instead of 2019 — that list would include Lauryn Hill’s ’97 classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill somewhere near the top.

This blend of hip hop, soul and R&B sounds as bold and vital today as it did when it made such a splash 22 years ago. It is even more special for remaining the only solo studio recording Hill ever released (her one follow-up record was a live recording of an MTV Unplugged appearance).

It’s a shame that the world missed out on whatever else such a special talent might have released. Fortunately, the one album we did get isn’t going anywhere.

[Intro: Shelly Thunder]
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 nuh know what them do
Dig out your eye, while I’m sticking like glue
Fling, skin, grin, while them plotting for you, true!

[Chorus: Lauryn Hill & Shelly Thunder]
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Me a tell you, dem nuh know)
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Fi be real, them nuh have a clue!)

[Verse 1: Lauryn Hill]
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
Ohhh

[Chorus: Lauryn Hill]
Forgive them father, for
They know not what they do
Forgive them father, for
They know not what they do

[Verse 2: Lauryn Hill]
Why every Indian wanna 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 gon’ idolize the missing?
To survive is to stay alive in the face of opposition
Even when they coming, gunning 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, uhh

Like Cain and Abel, Caesar and Brutus
Jesus and Judas, backstabbers do this

[Chorus: Lauryn Hill]
Forgive them father, for
They know not what they do
Forgive them father, for
They know not what they do

[Verse 3: Lauryn Hill]
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?

[Chorus: Lauryn Hill & Shelly Thunder]
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Forgive them, forgive them)
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
(Forgive them, forgive them)

[Verse 4: Shelly Thunder & Lauryn Hill]
Gwan like dem love you, while dem rip you to shreds
Trample pon yuh heart, and leff you fi dead
Dem a yuh friend, who you depend pon, from way back when
( [?] to grace)
But if you, gi’ dem yuh back, then you must meet yuh end
Dem nuh know what dem do do
(Who’s gonna be the one?)
Dem nuh know what dem do do
(Gotta be the one to say)
Dem nuh know, dem nuh know, dem nuh know, dem nuh know
Dem nuh know what dem do do
(Oh, yeah, oh)

[Outro: Lauryn Hill]
(Forgive them father, forgive them father…)

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,167: ‘Forgive Them Father’ – Lauryn Hill

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I really don’t know why she hasn’t recorded anything since.

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