GREATEST SONGS EVER WRITTEN (#3): Bob Marley, U2

“REDEMPTION SONG” BOB MARLEY

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our minds

BobMarleyRedemptionSongBoth of today’s songs have very spiritual connections, powerful political messages, and Biblical references that has conjured up multiple interpretations over the years. Bob Marley’s Redemption Song opens with imagery of pirate ships and slaves being brought from Africa. But Marley describes the power of faith and God’s love providing an escape and a true hope for a better future. True freedom and the ability to change our lives only exists if we can avoid the mental slavery (those fears that hold us back). Ultimately the song concludes with the message that no one man can do it alone, we need a unified world to truly make this world a better place.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Won’t you help to sing
This songs of freedom
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fullfil the book.

Won’t you help to sing
This songs of freedom-
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

/Guitar break/

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fullfil the book.
Won’t you have to sing
This songs of freedom? –
‘Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs –
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.


 

“NEW YEAR’S DAY”     U2

u2 new years dayThe mystery of deciphering a song’s lyrics has become a passion for fans world-wide. The fifth most played song ever in U2’s concert setlists, New Year’s Day, has multiple versions of the song’s true meaning. Of course, the title leads us to think it’s simply a love song to his wife at the start of a new year. Bono shares his Christianity views in many of his songs and lyrics like “under a blood red sky”, “the chosen few”, and “I will be with you again” lead many to believe it’s a metaphor for Christ’s return. But Bono acknowledged the song began as a love song to his wife and was transformed into a battle anthem for Polish Solidarity and Lech Walesa’s movement. The song shares the view that oppression would soon be lifted and people would once again live in peace and harmony. But like any great song, if you interpret in another way, more power to you!

All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it’s true it’s true…
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I…I will begin again
I…I will begin again

Oh…
Maybe the time is right
Oh…maybe tonight…

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we’re told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day

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