Third World

Lyrics: Henry Biggs
Music: Henry Biggs and Mylene Farmer

o check this story I'm about to lay down 
I'm talking about your hometown 
they tell you America's got it so good 
but they ain't talking about your neighborhood 
but I know the word and it goes something like thisss...
broken down buildings and back streets for bathrooms 
choking to death on another sweaty afternoon 
scheming and dreaming praying for a way out 
but your town clown is just a hole they forgot about 
day after gray day with no help and no hope 
sick of your poverty but there ain't no antidote 
doping to cope but knowing you won't make it far 
and quittin' ain't with it cuz the boys they got radar 
on the alert to avert your early burial 
the street makes your heartbeat pump out in stereo 
you ask me yo what's the home of this freak show 
it's a day in America welcome to the front row

haven't you heard, haven't you heard, haven't you heard we're living in the third world (x2)

Stick smack shoot yourself to sleep 
try to take yourself out cuz you're in too deep 
feels fine for a while but the fun fades away 
and you come back crashed to a cancerous new day 
dreams down the drain thoughts out of focus 
the rich man's witchcraft does its hocus pocus 
can't concentrate clearly can't hear me 
just need food to feed your poor family 
stomach's screaming no time for dreaming 
family to feed that ain't got no place to live in 
sounds like a story from the heart of hungry Africa 
but no homeboy it's from the broken heart of America


you know you do what you can to put food on the table 
you work on the corner though you know it might be fatal 
senses and defenses sharper than a razor's edge 
eyes like a hawk you walk in the darkness 
poised at every noise always on the ready 
work is now full time no escape no remedy 
night and day you got your blade and gage 
ready to smoke anybody on a rampage 
and hope is just a glimmer growing ever dimmer 
of busting this ghetto noise and coming up a winner 
cuz crime ain't sometimes it's always and forever 
a lifetime choke hold you can never sever 
and yo what's the birthplace of this sad scenario 
it's the land of the free homey you're living in the capital


something comes up that you was just waiting on 
back seat bullets in the belly and a pipe bomb 
sirens screaming but no one's seen a thing 
patrol car looks and keeps on going 
and in pain you wait at your corner 
wait for your boys to come they ain't gonna 
alone you groan your way to the hospital 
but you got no ID and the place is too full 
and so you die with dreams as your memories 
of movie scenes with your own happy family 
living it up drinking from a gold cup 
but that door boy's just about to close shut 
slam boy this story's over 
read your book from cover to cover 
dead and gone just one of many 
that never got a chance in the land of plenty

REFRAIN x 5The Idea. . .

Then the great-hearted king unclasped from his throat
A collar of gold, and gave to his thane;
Gave the young hero his gold-decked helmet,
His ring and his byrny, and wished him well.
'You are the last of the Waegmunding line.
All my kinsmen, earls in their glory,
Fate has sent to their final doom,
And I must follow.'
These words were the last
The old king spoke ere the pyre received him,
The leaping flames of the funeral blaze,
And his breath went forth from his bosom, his soul
Went forth from the flesh, to the joys of the just.

 -Beowulf, lines 2809-2820 trans. by Charles Kennedy

Beowulf was a champion of alliterative verse, using alliteration
to link his lines together. In "Third World" Headmess uses this
same style, using both internal rhyme and alliteration. Look
especially in the second verse for this style.

Confused? Click here to send in your questions.