Here I am, after so many years
Hounded by hatred and trapped by fear
I'm in a box, I've got no place to go
If I follow my mind, I know I'll slaughter my own.
Help me I'm the prisoner, won't you hear my plea
I need somebody, yeah, to listen to me
I beg you, brothers and sisters, I'm counting on you (yeah).
Black babies in the womb are shackled and bound
Chained by the caveman who keeps beauty down
Smacked on the ass when they're squalling and wet
Heir to a spineless man who never forgets
Never forgets that he's a prisoner, can't you hear my plea
Cause I need somebody, Lord knows, to listen to me
I'm a stranger to my son who wonders why his daddy runs.
On my way to work in the morning when I don't give a damn
Can't nobody (x4) see just who in hell I am
Hemmed in by a suit, yes all choked up in a tie
Ain't no wonder some times near morning I hear my woman cry
She knows her man is a prisoner, won't you hear my plea
Yeah, cause I need somebody, wooo, to listen to me
My woman she don't say but she hates to see her man chained this way
Yeah, help me, I'm the prisoner
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm the prisoner
BRIAN JACKSON, GIL SCOTT-HERON