Mama Look at Boo Boo

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Harry Belafonte had a lot of funny calypso songs in the 1950s. One of his most popular was “Mama Look at Boo Boo” about the disrespectful whelps, John and James. This song would be tagged politically incorrect nowadays.

I wonder why nobody don’t like me
Or is it a fact that I’m ugly?
I wonder why nobody don’t like me
Or is it a fact that I’m ugly?

I leave my whole house and home
My children don’t want me no more
Bad talk inside de house dey bring
And when I talk they start to sing:

Mama, look a boo-boo, they shout
Their mother tell them shut up your mouth
That is your daddy, oh, no
My daddy can’t be ugly so

Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey
Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey

I couldn’t even digest me supper
Due to the children’s behavior
John (Yes, pa)-come here a moment
Bring de belt, you’re much too impudent
John says it’s James who started first
James tells the story in reverse
I drag my belt from off me waist
You should hear them screamin’ round de place

Mama, look at boo-boo they shout
Their mother tell them shut up your mouth
That is your daddy, oh, no
My daddy can’t be ugly so

Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey (uh)
Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey (uh)

So I began to question the mother
These children ain’t got no behavior
So I began to question the mother
These children ain’t got no behavior

They’re playing with you my wife declared
You should be proud of them, my dear
These children were taught too bloomin’ slack
That ain’t no kind of joke to crack

Mama, look at boo-boo they shout
Their mother tell them shut up your mouth
That is your daddy, oh, no
My daddy can’t be ugly so

Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey (uh)
Shut your mouth, Go away
Mama, look at boo-boo dey (uh)
Shut your mouth, Go away

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