Bob Marley – Positive Vibrations

Published in Medium, Positive Music on 22nd September 2017
Bob Marley – Positive Vibrations

About Bob Marley:

Nesta Robert Marley OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who achieved international fame through a series of crossover reggae albums. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee Scratch Perry. After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career which culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977 which established his worldwide reputation. He was a committed Rastafarian who infused his music with a profound sense of spirituality.

Bob Marley was born on the farm of his maternal grandfather in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, to Norval Sinclair Marley and Cedella Booker. Norval Marley was a European-Jamaican of British/Syrian descent whose family came from England. Norval claimed to have been a captain in the Royal Marines though at the time of his marriage to Cedella Booker, an African-Jamaican then 18 years old, he was employed as a plantation overseer. His family named him Nesta Robert Marley though later a Jamaican passport official would reverse his first and middle names. Although Norval provided financial support for his wife and child he seldom saw them as he was often away. Bob Marley attended Stepney Primary and Junior High School which serves the catchment area of Saint Ann. In 1955, when he was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack at the age of 70. Although Bob Marley recognised his mixed ancestry, throughout his life and because of his beliefs, he self-identified himself as a Jamaican of African descent, following the ideas of Pan-African leaders.

The Wailers’ first major label album, Catch a Fire was released worldwide in April 1973, packaged like a rock record with a unique Zippo lighter lift-top. Initially selling 14,000 units, it didn’t make Marley a star, but received a positive critical reception. It was followed later that year by Burnin’, which included the standout songs “Get Up, Stand Up“, and “I Shot the Sheriff”, which appealed to the ear of Eric Clapton. Vincent Ford, a childhood friend from Jamaica, was given writing credit for “No Woman, No Cry” on the 1974 album Natty Dread, as well as the songs “Crazy Baldheads” (with Marley’s wife Rita), “Positive Vibration” and “Roots Rock Reggae” from the 1976 album Rastaman Vibration, along with “Inna De Red” and “Jah Bless” with Marley’s son, Stephen. “Three Little Birds” is a song by Bob Marley; The Wailers. It is the fourth track on side two of their 1977 album Exodus and was released as a single in 1980. The song reached the Top 20 in the UK, peaking at number 17. It is one of Bob Marley‘s most popular songs. The song has been covered by numerous other artists. One of the most notable covers was by British singer Connie Talbot, whose version reached number one on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart in 2008. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is a song by musician Bobby McFerrin but is often erroneously attributed to Bob Marley.

lyrics:

Live if you want to live
(Rastaman vibration, yeah! Positive!)
That’s what we got to give!
(I’n’I vibration yeah! Positive)
Got to have a good vibe!
(Iyaman Iration, yeah! Irie ites!)
Wo-wo-ooh!
(Positive vibration, yeah! Positive!)

If you get down and you quarrel everyday,
You’re saying prayers to the devils, I say. Wo-oh-ooh!
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier. (Just a little bit easier)

Say you just can’t live that negative way,
If you know what I mean;
Make way for the positive day,
‘Cause it’s news (new day) – news and days –
New time (new time), and if it’s a new feelin’ (new feelin’), yeah! –
Said it’s a new sign (new sign):
Oh, what a new day!

Pickin’ up?
Are you pickin’ up now?
Jah love – Jah love (protect us);
Jah love – Jah love (protect us);
Jah love – Jah love (protect us).

Rastaman vibration, yeah! (Positive!)
I’n’I vibration, yeah! (Positive!) Uh-huh-huh, a yeah!
Iyaman Iration, yeah! (Irie ites!) Wo-oo-oh!
*Positive vibration, yeah! (Positive!)

Pickin’ up?
Are you pickin’ up now?
Pickin’ up?
Are you pickin’ up now?
Pickin’ up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin’ (protect us!) up now?
Pickin’ up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin’ (protect us!) up now?
Pickin’ up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin’ (protect us!) up now?
Pickin’ up?
Are you pickin’ up now?

[*Sleeve notes give this line as “Vibes, got to have a good vibe”.]