May 6, 2015

Bob Marley

You can't choose what inspires you.

I saw the most interesting thing one Sunday afternoon while I was in the metro (subway) station. There was a man singing Bob Marley's One Love, asking for change. While I was sitting and waiting for the train, two young men and two young girls approached the nearby area. The girls looked to be the daughters of the young men. The young guys were talking and the two girls were entertaining themselves. I caught sight of one of the young girls mouthing, lip synching to borderline singing the lyrics of the song. She sang to her friend who may not have known the lyrics as well as her. They grabbed hands and danced a little around their fathers' legs. Mini-Britney saw me looking and stopped cold. I turned away and saw her picking up where she left off. I had seen enough for it to have inspired me to write. 

For the young girl to know the lyrics to any Bob Marley song must mean she had already been exposed to his music on numerous occasions for it to have stuck in her mind.
When I was roughly the girls' age, I used to see reggae as old people's music and wanted no part of it. They weren't Michael Jackson, Lionel RIchie, Prince or Duran Duran for that matter. Reggae was for old people and therefore just not cool.

Bob Marley's music used to be played on Sunday afternoons in my house. My mother would ask to use my Toshiba boombox to play a tape of Bob Marley tracks. Not knowing any better, being possessive of my boombox, pseudo serving as program director for the house and just being a boy, I would put up resistance until she finally made me relinquish the boombox for her use.
It took years for me to realize how musically vital Bob Marley is. When I was old enough to buy music for myself, I made sure to get the Songs of Freedom collection to take in more of his tunes.

I would not put up any form of resistance if someone wanted to play Bob Marley now. I'm thankful to have been introduced to his music at a young age. I may not have been as receptive, appreciative or expressive as Lil' Britney, but it proves one thing. The timeless and positive vibes of Marley's music transcends generations, culture, race, gender and age.
In parting, this is to me a visual that is almost as beautiful as the ballad itself. This is footage of the band, as I know them, performing in unison prior to their parting ways. 

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