Ronnie Wood and Toots Hibbert ’54-46 Was My Number’ jam

Ronnie Wood and Toots Hibbert begin their interview by jamming a version of ’54-46 Was My Number’, before discussing Amy Winehouse, and the inspiration behind Toots & The Maytals’ hit, ‘Monkey Man’.

This clip is taken from The Ronnie Wood Show, an award-winning TV series first broadcast on Sky Arts. Every episode features top artists joining Ronnie for impromptu jamming, lively chat and reminiscing about the wild days of rock’n’roll.

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“54-46 (That’s My Number)” is a song by Fred “Toots” Hibbert, recorded by Toots and the Maytals, originally released on the Beverley’s label in Jamaica and the Pyramid label in the UK. A follow-up version released a year later, “54-46 Was My Number”, was one of the first reggae songs to receive widespread popularity outside Jamaica, and is seen as being one of the defining songs of the genre. It has been anthologised repeatedly and the titles of several reggae anthologies include “54-46” in their title.

The lyrics describe Toots’ time in prison after being arrested for possession of marijuana. The song features a similar riddim to “Train to Skaville” by Toots and the Maytals’ contemporaries, The Ethiopians.

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54-46 Was My Number Lyrics

I said yeah (I said yeah), listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now, listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said stick it up mister
Hear what I say, sir
Get your hands in the air, sir
And you will get no hurt mister
Do what I say sir
Just what I mean sir
Get your hands in the air, sir
And you will get no hurt, no
I said yeah (I said yeah), listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now, listen what I say (listen what I say)
Second thing they say I must join the office
Third thing they say, “Son, give me your number now”
He’d say “What’s your number?” I don’t answer
He’d say “What’s your number, man?” I don’t answer
He’d say “What’s your number now?”, he’d say “What’s your number now?”
I said “fifty four forty six, that’s my number”
Fifty four forty six, that’s my number, one more time
Fifty four forty six, that’s my number
Fifty four forty six, that’s my number
I said yeah (I said yeah), listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said hear me now, listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said yeah (I said yeah), listen what I say (listen what I say)
I said yeah (I said yeah), listen what I say (listen what I say)
Stick it up, mister, hear what I say, sir, yeah
Get your hands in the air, sir
And you will get no hurt, you say
Turn out your right pocket
Ah, give me a printed shirt, sir
Make up your shirt up
I ain’t have no luck now
Stick it up, mister, hear what I say, sir, yeah
Get your hands in the air, sir
And you will get no hurt, mister, oh oh
Stick it up, mister, hear what I say, sir, yeah

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