Music & Lyrics by Garland Jeffreys

From the album The King of In Between (Luna Park Records, 2011)


All my relatives have gone

To their peaceful resting place

I’ve been left here to carry on

To do what’s right

Leave a smile on your face

And one thing my father said

I looked into his eyes

Then he turned his head and he said

You gotta be streetwise


See my little child she’s walking down the street

Coming home from school

Not knowing what kind of crazy fool she’s gonna meet

Some distraction happenin’ from the other side

Suddenly a man pulls up

And asks her if she wants to go for a little ride

And when I think of what my father said

Caught me by surprise

I looked up at him and he said

You gotta be streetwise


And when you’re out there on your own

In a crowd or all alone

You gotta be smart you gotta be tough

Cause it’s on the rise

And streetwise sometimes it ain’t enough


Black president on the White House lawn

I remember when there were two black jockeys there

When I was born

Now lock your cars shut your doors

And close your gate

Mind yourself you cannot ever try to hesitate

And when you’re working for the president of the United States

All you Secret Service guys

You gotta be streetwise

You gotta be streetwise

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