This Black History month we wanted to highlight a few songs which incorporated certain aspects of Black History in Jamaica. With that being said we have prepared a selection of iconic music, where we will expound on how the lyrics would have impacted the lives of Jamaicans or blacks and also pin point the most relatable verse in each single.
Get Up Stand Up- Bob Marley and the Wailers
This single has impacted the lives of many in more than one way, particularly the lives of Jamaicans seeing that it is a local original. Within this song Bob emphasize the importance of perseverance and independence. During the time of slavery most slaves succumbed to the mentality of enslavement, so even knowing their rights most chose to remained in bondage, seeing that any form of disobedience was taken very seriously by slave masters. This would have stood as a message to generate that level of independence at that time.
Most relatable verse/ verses "Get up, stand up / stand up for your rights! / Get up, stand up / stand up for your rights! / Get up, stand up: / stand up for your rights! / Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!"
Equal Rights- Peter Tosh
This single brings us back to when or primary objective was peace, equally important was justice but that topic got a somewhat blind eye treatment. In the process of seeking out peace among ourselves we lost that trait of enforcing justice so many got a way with unlawful acts. Perter Tosh brought that matter into light where he demanded equal rights and justice, so basically, he wanted a fair judgment for all in the eyes of the law.
Most relatable verses/verses “(What is due to Caesar / You better give it on to Caesar / And what / belong to I and I / You better, you better, give it up to I)”
" (Everyone is talking about crime/ Tell me who are the criminals? / I said everybody's talking about crime, crime/Tell me who, who are the criminals? I really don't see them) "
The title of this single should explain the song in its entirety, where by the definition of revolution states a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system. This single would have stood out the most amongst all other songs in the list, seeing that it cohesively fits what most persons fought for during the time of enslavement and racial acts.
Most comparable verse/verses “Do you know what it means to have a revolution? /
And what it takes to make a solution? / Fighting against oppression (Ooh yeah!) / Battering down depression”
“(Are you ready to stand up and fight the right revolution? / Are ready to stand up and fight it just like soldiers? / Many are called few are chosen / Many are called few are chosen)”
Unchained – Bob Andy
This I would consider to be a cry or plea to remove the chains from slaves to slave masters, which most slave would have experienced. It also portrays a message of independency and mutual agreement, where if they all cooperate by relieving them of captivity there would have been more unity among the different races.
Most comparable verse/verses “Just take these chains away And set me free / Remove me out of bondage And we'll agree / Too long I've been a slave I don't want to be no more / I'd rather dig my grave / Than be locked behind a door”
One Blood 1990 – Junior Reid
Junior Reid emphasize the importance of unity in this single, and also some of negative aspects if we’re not unified. Equally it shows no matter the race we are from we are all the same, where by the same blood that circulates in you, it circulates in him also. With all that being portrayed, it leave only one message, there is no need for segregation among races seeing that we are all human beings.
Most comparable verse/verses “(Yuh coulda come from rema or yuh come from jungle /
Coulda come from fiyah house or yuh come from tower hill / One blood one blood one blood)”
“(Yuh coulda come from Libya or yuh come from ‘merica / Coulda come from Europe or yuh come from Africa / One blood one blood one blood)”
“(Yuh coulda be Irishman or a Englishman / Coulda be a Mexican or a wedda Indian / One blood one blood one blood "