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A rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon. Her face and arms began to swell and Whitey’s on the moon. I can’t pay no doctor bills but Whitey’s on the moon. Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still while Whitey’s on the moon. The man just upped my rent last […]

Whitey on the Moon

by GIL-SCOTT HERON

A rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon.
Her face and arms began to swell and Whitey’s on the moon.
I can’t pay no doctor bills but Whitey’s on the moon.
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still while Whitey’s on the moon.


The man just upped my rent last night cuz Whitey’s on the moon.
No hot water, no toilets, no lights but Whitey’s on the moon.
I wonder why he’s uppin me. Cuz Whitey’s on the moon?
I was already givin’ him fifty a week but now Whitey’s on the moon.


Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
The junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin’ up,
And as if all that shit wasn’t enough:


A rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon.
Her face and arms began to swell but Whitey’s on the moon.
Was all that money I made last year for Whitey on the moon?
How come there ain’t no money here? Hmm! Whitey’s on the moon.


Ya know, I just about had my fill of Whitey on the moon.
I think I’ll send these doctor bills
airmail special….
to Whitey on the moon.

Copyright GIL-SCOTT HERON, 1972.