One of the world’s greatest songwriters was recently remembered on the IRT #4 subway en route to Brooklyn by musician “General”, a/k/a Iyare Uwaifos.  The melodic music of an acoustic guitar could be heard over the roar of the train as mournful lyrics of Redemption Song resounded throughout the subway car.  The General skillfully performed just one stanza of the song partly taken from Marcus Garvey’s 1937 Nova Scotia speech in which Garvey stated that “none but ourselves have the power to free our minds from being mentally enslaved.”   Awesome memories of the many Marley hay day concerts and parties flooded in. 

The General


                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


                Won’t you help to sing

                This songs of freedom

                ‘Cause all I ever have:

                Redemption songs;

                Redemption songs.


Bob Marley’s music spanned cultures and generations.  I remember my father asking me to get “I shot the Sheriff” for a party he was giving!  And, Marley reassuring me with these lyrics, “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is going to be all right.”

What a timely, thoroughly entertaining mini salute during Black History Month to the memory of this giant performer who sung about love, life and redemption.  Long live the Bob Marley legacy!


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