Bob Marley's Redemption Song

933 WordsJun 25, 20184 Pages
“Won't you help to sing, these songs of freedom 'cause all I ever have, redemption songs” (Bob Marley, 1980) Marley was born into Jamaica’s poverty and it is where he developed a strong love of reggae and became a Rastafari. Reggae, evolved from another musical style called Ska in the late 1960’s, is considered the voice of the ‘oppressed’ peoples. Many reggae lyrics are politicalised and centre on themes of freedom and fighting for it. (Cooper, 2014) Rastafari is a theology based upon the writings of Marcus Garvey a Jamaican social activist. The movement’s global spread from Jamaica across the world has been strongly influenced by Bob Marley and closely associated with reggae. Many of Marley’s songs captured the essence of Rastafari…show more content…
Marley’s song embodies his ideologies perfectly - peace, god and freedom. He builds up a picture of his peoples history, “Old pirates, yes, they rob I” and speaks of how god gave them strength. His picture is one of solidarity with the people and God. Highlighting the triumphs of this (his) generation. Again he brings in the chorus effectively equating redemption with this sense of unity and deliverance. Then he hits us with our failures in a truly artful way, making it very clear that we must discontinue the slave mind-set. It is time to brush away mortal fears and time to stand with the prophets rather than to the side. The artfulness here is in the way that he confronts his audience without judgement. This gives redemption a new level of meaning this is the repurchase of something of which we have sold, our internal freedoms. Marley continues on to sing that all he ever had was redemption songs, as his music centres on oppression he may be speaking about songs of deliverance. The change in musical style from mainstream reggae matched with the timing of the song so close to his death, hints at the redemption is his own, as he humbly lays out the line that all he ever had was redemption songs. This is a powerful move and quietly drives home the message. By seeking redemption through music he encourages us to ask ourselves what of our personal redemption. Redemption Song became a part of my life accidently. Someone left a Marley

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