Thursday Inspiration #125 One Love

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word heart, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘One Love’, or by going with another song by Bob Marley, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘One Love/People Get Ready’ is a reggae song by Bob Marley & The Wailers from their 1977 ninth studio album Exodus.  It was first recorded in a ska style by Marley’s group in 1965 and was released as a single.  The song contains an interpolation of The Impressions’ 1965 song ‘People Get Ready’ written by Curtis Mayfield.  The original Bob Marley recording of the song does not credit Mayfield’s song and is simply titled ‘One Love’, because copyright law was not enforced for Jamaican recordings at this time.  When the famous version was recorded for Island Records in 1977 it was titled ‘One Love/People Get Ready’ and it did credit Mayfield giving co-authorship credits to both Marley and Mayfield.

Bob Marley was a preacher of love and unity for all living beings and this message is apparent here, but it is a bit deeper than that.  Marley wrote these lyrics during a severe internal turmoil in Jamaica, as they only became independent on August 6, 1962, with full dominion status within the Commonwealth, under a constitution that retained the British monarch as head of state.  A long-standing political feud existed between right-wing and left-wing elements here, which often exploded into violence and violence was a taken-for-granted as being part of the political process in Jamaica.  The Jamaican Labor Party and the People’s National Party fought for control of the island and they encouraged urban warfare in Kingston.  Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to have been backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba.

In 1964, Robert Nesta Marley married Rita Anderson, a devout Rastafarian, and his music was reflected in his interest in this religion.  Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity.  Marley thought that unity could resolve these conflicts and he got this message across with his lyrics, “Hear the children crying.”  He knew that it was not only the children who are affected by these conflicts, but they were the innocent people that had no stake in politics and their suffering was due to the fault of others.  Marley was resolved to ending these conflicts by placing unity among people in an equal position as praying and praising God.  The latter will achieve peace within yourself and the former will achieve peace within the world.

Bob sings of “one love and one heart” among people, feeling that everybody should look at each other in the same light and perspective by disregarding the color of their skin, their race, religious beliefs and so on.  This idea is synonymous with John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’, where people live in peace, nobody kills or dies and there are no religious differences.  Marley figured that the division into different factions created the conflict among his people, and most of the time these factions were invented to carry on the fight.  He knew that only with unity the people would be able to bring about peace among themselves.

Bob Marley questions the actions of the sinners of the world. Letting people know the love of God is a means of salvation.  Bob Marley ties the beginning of the world into the idea of one love and the end of the world with the idea of one heart.  He talks about praising the Lord to feel better and he wants everyone to fight the Holy Armageddon mentioned in the Bible, probably making the assumption that there was peace and unity among people when God created this world.  Marley feels that if we all work together, this world will be alright.

This song has had a significant impact on the culture throughout the years.  It was elected the ‘best music of Jamaica over the last 50 years’, and it was named the ‘song of the millennium’ by The World Health Organization.  The song has been featured in the Jamaican Tourist Board commercials since 1994, and the Jamaican national motto became Out of Many, One People.  The song also peaked at #5 in UK Singles Chart after the song was released as a single in 1984.

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (one love)
Hear the children crying (one heart)

11 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #125 One Love

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