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I shot the sheriff
But I didn't shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff
But I didn't shoot no deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh.)
Yeah! All around in my home town,
They're tryin' to track me down;
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy,
For the life of a deputy.
But I say:

Oh, now, now. Oh!
(I shot the sheriff.) - the sheriff.
(But I swear it was in selfdefence.)
Oh, no! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh) Yeah!
I say: I shot the sheriff - Oh, Lord! -
(And they say it is a capital offence.)
Yeah! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh) Yeah!

Sheriff John Brown always hated me,
For what, I don't know:
Every time I plant a seed,
He said kill it before it grow -
He said kill them before they grow.
And so:

Read it in the news:
(I shot the sheriff.) Oh, Lord!
(But I swear it was in self-defence.)
Where was the deputy? (Oo-oo-oh)
I say: I shot the sheriff,
But I swear it was in selfdefence. (Oo-oh) Yeah!

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town, yeah!
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down,
So I shot - I shot - I shot him down and I say:
If I am guilty I will pay.

(I shot the sheriff,)
But I say (But I didn't shoot no deputy),
I didn't shoot no deputy (oh, no-oh), oh no!
(I shot the sheriff.) I did!
But I didn't shoot no deputy. Oh! (Oo-oo-ooh)

Reflexes had got the better of me
And what is to be must be:
Every day the bucket a-go a well,
One day the bottom a-go drop out,
One day the bottom a-go drop out.
I say:

I - I - I - I shot the sheriff.
Lord, I didn't shot the deputy. Yeah!
I - I (shot the sheriff) -
But I didn't shoot no deputy, yeah! No, yeah!



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_marley/i_shot_the_sheriff.html

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    syzmicefxFeb 3, 2010 at 7:12 am
    the meaning of this song is often misconstrued and being simply that he literally shot the sheriff of the law. But this song has a much deeper meaning. Listening to Bob most of my life I understand his message is about freedom, freedom of body as well as mind. Anyhow... the sheriff in which he shot represents the "system", or government, and the deputy represents the people that are governed by the sheriff, or the "system" He "exposed" or shot the sheriff to free the deputy, hence he did not shoot the deputy which would represent everyday people. then he goes on to say : "if i am guilty I will pay" which means he is justified, in there receiving his reward which will be paid to him in righteousness. makes perfect sense.

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