This February 6 of 2017, Bob Marley would have been 72. He may have died in 1981, but his music lives on today, in various playlists and mp3 torrents online and all over the world.
Bob Marley the Revolutionary
It’s not really easy to describe in words the revolutionary nature of Bob Marley’s music. His music reflects who he was, and he was a poor kid in Jamaica who lived during a politically tumultuous time in his country’s history. Yet he became not just a successful musical artist, but a revolutionary for his people.
It was also Bob Marley, virtually all by his lonesome, who introduced the sound of reggae to the world outside Jamaica. He spearheaded the reggae revolution. It was a sparse sound indeed, with none of the technological and electronic tricks that were part and parcel of Western music. The sound symbolized the poverty where Bob Marley came from.
Yet with Bob Marley, the songs were hopeful. Deeply embedded in the lyrics and the somehow upbeat music was the hope and belief that people can come together in peace. That despite innate differences between people, they could live side by side in harmony.
The Real Bob Marley
There was nothing faked about his attitude. You could see it in how he moved and grooved in his legendary performances. It was the real Bob Marley up there on stage. It wasn’t a performance at all. Every time he sang, it was somehow a celebration of what can be good.
Perhaps the most iconic moment on stage for Bob Marley was when he played the One Love Peace Concert in his country, and he did it for free. What’s more, in the midst of civil war, he was somehow able to have the 2 leaders of the opposing factions to grasp each other’s hands and embrace on stage.
That was classic Marley. He wasn’t a polarizing personality. He united people. Bob Marley and his music were beyond politics. He espoused love, and who will come out and admit that they’re supporting hate instead?
The Legacy of His Songs
You can hear it as well in just the songs. Listen to each one and let the sound catch your attention. It’s different as if there’s a shuffle in the music just as a dancer has a shuffle in his steps. The passion is there in the voice, and he brings a message of faith in goodness.
It’s easy enough for some to scoff at what may seem like naiveté. Can there be much relevance in that music these days, when the music is edited and altered to such a degree that it doesn’t seem natural? How can such innocence fare in a world where hate seems on the rise, and the youth be engrossed on what’s cool?
Yet inexplicably, his music lives on. Even without knowing who Bob Marley was, if you’re knowledgeable about music you can discern various musical elements in his reggae songs. Bob Marley liked to experiment with different sounds.
But when it comes to the truth in his music, he stayed on course. He was genuine. Even a hundred years from now, his lyrics will still ring true and the joy, faith, and spirituality of his music will still be recognized.
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