Original Song title: Redemption Song
Singer-Songwriter: Bob Marley
A last breath of hope for freedom
Redemption Song is both an exorcism of the pain that Marley was in while battling cancer and facing the mind slavery that his peers were subjected to. It is a call to self-liberation, an empowerment of the individual through the realisation of the might of their mind and the capacity within to save themselves from mental oppression.
The main phrases of the song “Emancipate ourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds” are extracted from a speech by Marcus Garvey in Nova Scotia (Oct 1937) published in his Black Man magazine, showing how Garvey’s philosophy influenced Marley.
The poetic display of our strength and impact, beyond what our bodies allows, takes us where only the mind can help us reach. There is a deep sense of a prophetic call that will influence generations to come, an optimism that is all the more powerful as it is written by a dying man.