This Is Reggae Music
Bob Marley would be 73 years old today. As a reggae fan, I don’t spend much time listening to Marley anymore. That’s not a slight. It’s a compliment.
It’s the same reason I don’t listen to much Dylan anymore. You don’t have to. Marley, Dylan,… their imprint is all over music.
I revisited some of the Marley catalog for the first time in a while, and it’s cavernous. I started with Exodus, the landmark album that Time named its best album of the 20th century.
Then, I played one of his most famous songs. A quick aside: I was the guy in the college dorm who’d change out Legend for something just a little more obscure, please. You know how it is. Us music fanatics love the deeper cuts. Give me his Rock Steady any day of the week.
Well, I went ahead and listened to “No Woman, No Cry” three times in a row – with the lyrics in front of me. There are some stunning words:
“I remember when we used to sit / In the government yard in Trenchtown / Oba, observing the hypocrites”
“Then we would cook corn meal porridge/ Of which I’ll share with you”
“My feet is my only carriage / So I’ve got to push on through”
Those lines all point to the messianic wisdom of Marley.
Then, in comes the chorus. You know it:
“Everything’s gonna be alright.”
On the lyric sheet a “x8” – indicating the number of times you’ll hear it, rising a little higher each time.
Happy Birthday, Bob Marley.