I got a letter from the government The other day I Opened and read it It said they were suckers They wanted me for the army or whatever Picture me given' a damn -- I said never Here is a land that never gave a damn About a brother like me and myself Because they never did I wasn't wit' it, but just that very minute... It occured to me The suckers had authority Cold sweatin' as I dwell in my cell How long has it been? They got me sittin' in the state pen I gotta get out -- but that thought was thought before I contemplated a plan on the cell floor I'm not a fugitive on the run But a brother like me begun -- to be another one Public enemy servin' time -- they drew the line y'all To criticize me some crime -- never the less They could not understand that I'm a Black man And I could never be a veteran On the strength, the situation's unreal I got a raw deal, now I'm lookin for the steel
(Tricky: Many switch in, switch on, switch off (x5)) Nevertheless they cannot understand That I'm a black man, and I could never be a veteran. On the strength of situations, I'm real. I got a raw deal, so I'm lookin' for the steel Lookin for the steel.