There may be no other musician as well known around the world as Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae singer. With his band The Wailers, Marley’s music took themes of jubilation and liberation with spiritual centeredness to almost every corner of the globe. He died at 36 from a form of melanoma, continuing his music and touring until the end. The music continues to reverberate around the world.
Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement during the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, said, “The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Marley’s “Redemption Song” picks up that same theme as he proclaims, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” Here is an acoustic version Marley did in the studio of “Redemption Song”:
Here is Playing for Change‘s version of “Redemption Song” with some special cuts of Bob Marley himself woven into this global performance:
“One Love” is Marley’s anthem that lifts up our common human connection–“One love, one heart!”
Playing for Change again captures the global appreciation and love for this iconic song:
Marley took on the themes of racism, war, and the countervailing theme of love in his “War/No More Trouble.” Here we see Marley singing the song in concert, followed by the version by Playing for Change with musicians from around the world (Marley must be Playing for Change’s favorite musician!).