"John Sinclair" as written by and John Lennon....
It ain't fair, John Sinclair
In the stir for breathing air
Won't you care for John Sinclair?
In the stir for breathing air
Let him be, set him free
Let him be like you and me

They gave him ten for two
What else can the judges do?
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta set him free

If he'd been a soldier man
Shooting gooks in Vietnam
If he was the CIA
Selling dope and making hay
He'd be free, they'd let him be
Breathing air, like you and me

They gave him ten for two
What else can the judges do?
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta set him free

They gave him ten for two
They got Ali Otis too.
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta set him free

Was he jailed for what he done?
Or representing everyone
Free John now, if we can
From the clutches of the man
Let him be, lift the lid
Bring him to his wife and kids

They gave him ten for two
What else can the bastards do?
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,
Gotta, gotta, gotta set him free


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"John Sinclair" as written by John Winston Lennon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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John Sinclair song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentJohn Sinclair is cool! I met him a few weeks ago at the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, and got a signed copy of his newest book of poetry. He is originally from the Flint, Michigan area. He was one of the leaders of the late sixties counterculture in Ann Arbor/Detroit, and currently lives in New Orleans.

    Anyway, you know you must be important when John Lennon writes a song for you! Yes, Sinclair was originally sentenced to ten years in prison for giving an undercover cop two joints (that's where the "ten for two" comes from). There was a "Free John Sinclair" rally at Crisler Arena (University of Michigan basketball arena) featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Phil Ochs, and Allen Ginsberg among others.
    Jerrybearon April 28, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJul 1969 - Sinclair had been sentenced to prison in July 1969 for 10 years -- he'd been busted for possession of two marijuana cigarettes. (Hence the John Lennon lyric in "John Sinclair": "They gave him ten for two...what else can the judges do?") Amazingly, three days after the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, John Sinclair was freed.


    Those were the days, when things could get done like that.
    funkspielon December 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan't believe there aren't more comments on this song! I love it - One of my faves from Lennon. <3
    LiberianGirlon April 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know of anyone these days who can write like that.
    funkspielon December 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey taffurs888 it should be 10 for 1 right?? 10 years for 1 stoopid comment. lol ignoramus.
    Tricky1979on June 20, 2012   Link
  • -3
    General CommentI saw the movie "Grass" which said that this song is about John Sinclair who got a sentence of ten years of two joints. Total bullshit if you ask me.
    taffurs888on March 06, 2003   Link

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