"Redemption Song" as written by Edwin Hawkins and Bob Marley....
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 hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Won't you help to sing
These 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 fulfill the book

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom
Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Whoa! 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 fulfill the book
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom
Cause all I ever had
Redemption songs
All I ever had
Redemption songs
These songs of freedom
Songs of freedom


Lyrics submitted by jackfrost

"Redemption Song" as written by Edwin R. Hawkins Edwin Hawkins

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Redemption Song song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthis is a bob marley song that a lot of bands have done. the one strummer did was originally with johnny cash.

    oldskoolpunker23, i think you're wrong. i think it's basically a peace/unity/hope song with a lot of religous connotation to it.
    goodbaron December 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this is Joe's epitaph. This song was released on his posthumous album Streetcore, and to me, it's Joe having his final say. He didn't know he was going to die, but hearing this, it doesn't matter. He's left us with something to think about.
    He wrote protest music when he was with The Clash - he was always politcially minded, but this song feels like the words of a man who knows he's too old (or in Bob Marley's case, too sick) to stomp around angrily, but who hasn't finished saying what he wanted to say.

    They should have put these words on his gravestone:
    "Won't you help to sing
    These songs of freedom
    'Cause all I ever had
    Redemption songs
    All I ever had
    Redemption songs
    These songs of freedom
    These songs of freedom"

    And so now it's up to everyone else. Keep singing the songs of freedom. Keep fighting the good fight. Continue Joe and Bob's (and everyone else's) good work.
    Arianrhodon January 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentah, I Love this song, His and Johnny's Verison I thought was better, Two Legends meeting in a song by another legend, all ascending from diffrent kinds of music. Joe and Cash kinda had similar attitudes if you think about it
    Staticburn89on February 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI downloaded a video of this. The video was a tribute to Joe and had a man painting a huge picture of him on a wall as onlookers watched. Then laid candles, it ended with shots of Joe in full flight at concerts. I showed to my brother who's not much of a Clash or Strummer fan he watched walked abot a meter and broke in tears.
    He brings a song to a whole new leval. If you wana see the video you can see it on Wikipedia it is on Joe Strummer's page there under sound sample here's the address en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… a really recomend espeically for strummer fans.
    Cpt-Sensibleon January 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with static burn, this is a wonderfull song love strummers version as well as him and cash's version. they put a lot of soul behind this song and make it compare with imagine by john lennon. as for the meaning it is very obvious, join me in the quest for love and peace on earth.
    Lord_Hypnoson January 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe joe strummer and J cash version is much better than marly's song, in my opinion. Their vocals really um..click, if that makes sense. Bob's just doesnt feel as real to my ears.

    hearing this song done by them, puts shivers down my spine. rest in peace to the men in black.
    durham-redon February 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis version and the one with Johnny are the same take, with a different instrumental mix. You can hear it in Joe's delivery. Both are great but for some reaon Joe on his own is the more emotional for me. With the video, it had me in tears. I'm forever kicking myself that I didn't see him at his last gig in Liverpool when I had the chance but I suppose I always thought there would be another time.
    freestuieon April 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI never got a chance to see him he died before i realised he excisted that still makes me sad. Oh well guese i just gota try to play awesome music so i can at least do decent tribute to him at some stage. He my hero his songs have actually lifted me from depressions minor ones but still i was down i listened to one of his songs (this is England) and by halfway i ahd a smile on my face.
    Cpt-Sensibleon April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJesus christ. It's a Bob Marley song and it's CLEARLY about slavery:

    "Old pirate yes they rob I,
    Sold I to the merchant ships"

    I also think it's about people joining together against emancipation etc.

    I love Strummers's version of this song, it's really simple and beautiful. He's one of the few white singers that could get away with doing a cover of this because of all of his Rock Against Racism work.


    oldskoolpunker23: Just... oh my god. This song is about slavery and you said you're cutting yourself because your parents are fighting. I hate you.
    enkrailon September 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite songs done by one of my favorite artist. RIP Joe
    irondogson February 10, 2011   Link

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