“Get up stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up. Don’t give up the fight.” These words, made famous by Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, still serve as a battle cry for people all over the world. These lyrics, along with many of his others, exemplify how timeless his music is and demonstrate how arts, spirituality and social issues, when joined together, have the power to impact people around the world.
On this day in 1945, Marley was born in the island nation of Jamaica. Marley brought reggae to the world, but he didn’t take his role for granted. He used his artistry as a tool to express himself and raise the social consciousness of millions of people worldwide. Artists, particularly those with huge followings such as Marley, have the power to send messages about global social issues. Marley understood that such an undertaking was necessary and a part of who he was as both an artist and a human.
Below are six of his songs that serve as examples of Marley’s brilliant combination of the arts and social messaging.
- One Love
- Get Up, Stand Up
- Redemption Song
- I Shot the Sheriff