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
Another song of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption song

We sing a song for emancipation
The words fill your soul, your every frame
Out with the day with anticipation
We harmonize on the very same song
Won't you sing along
We still so far, we are, we are
(?)
Redemption song

Won't you help to sing
Another song of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have (all I ever have)
Redemption song

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
(?)
(?)
(?)
(?)

Won't you help to sing
Another song of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have ('cause all I ever have)
Redemption song

Won't you help to sing
Another song of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption song

Redemption song
Redemption song
Redemption song
Redemption song


Lyrics submitted by kevin

Redemption Song Lyrics as written by Bob Marley

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Redemption Song song meanings
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87 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    I think there have been some good comments on here, but I would like to center on two lines of the song I believe to be improperly treated and, in fact, related in an interesting way. The lines are: "emancipate yourselves from mental slavery..." "we've got to fulfill the book"

    Here Bob is engaged in what's called reification critique. That is, he's challenging people to think critically about their surroundings and stop taking as "natural" or "inevitable" events or situations that are products of human agency.

    Why would people make such a mistake?
    Well, according to (some interpretations of) Marx, the working class, or proletariat, suffers from "false consciousness." This false consciousness causes them to see capitalist expropriation as an inevitable outgrowth of material conditions, and even to identify with their oppressors in one way or another. The proletariat is much stronger than the bourgeoisie, but, because of this false consciousness, the proletariat fails to realize its revolutionary potential.

    In other words, in order to achieve political emancipation, the proletariat must first achieve mental emancipation. And only they can do that.

    I believe that Bob is referring to Christian eschatology in the second part. The book he is referring to is The Bible, specifically Revelation. There are those that would remain defeated when their leaders are murdered - or might even praise it in a strange way. This is because Revelation predicts things must get much worse before they get better - ie. Jesus returns. Thus, any attempt to better one's position is to go against God's will. One should welcome persecution, because that means The End - and Christian redemption - is nigh.

    Bob clearly does not like this attitude.

    So, there it is, in both of these lines, he's addressing arguments against a revolution of the proletariat. Get Up, Stand up!

    gnomeklptoon April 24, 2011   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning

    I think that the book Bob is referring to is a supposed lost, second part of the Bible. Basically what it boils down to is that Rastas believe that Ethiopians are descendents of the exiled people of Isreal, and that the coronation of Haile Selassie was predicted in the Bible, and that he is Jesus reincarnated (there is a lot of cool stuff you can read about how they justify this, Google "Lion of Judah" and "Rastafari" to get a better sense of it, I am no expert I'm just giving the gist of it). They believe that among the exiled peoples of Isreal, one of the tribes carried the Arc of the Covenant. According to Rastas, in the Arc of the Covenant is an additional holy book which contains a wealth of African-specific wisdom and spiritual truth.

    I've read quite a few comments that claim that Bob was anti-religious. This is so false, he was not only spiritual but extremely religious: a complete zealot of Rastafari. Ratsafarians believe that over history and through many translations that the Bible has been corrupted and anglicized, changed to marginalize Africans and pander to Europeans. They contend that since we know the human species originated in Africa, that Adam and Eve were Africans, and the Garden of Eden and Mount Zion must be in Africa. So when Bob denounces religion (which he does do pretty often, like in "Get Up, Stand Up") he is criticizing the modern, white-washed version of Christianity.

    I don't really know how this all fits into the whole song, but I am pretty sure that the book is a lost portion of the bible. I think that "We've got to fulfill the book" is an argument AGAINST "Some say it's just a part of it". In other words, I think he is saying that Africans shouldn't just accept oppression as a part of life, but that they should live up to the ideals of the true message of the bible, a message that has been diluted and corrupted over the course of human history.

    brimah87on June 21, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    The song is incredible, coming from a man who was as white as he was black makes it even better.

    The first verse describes the struggle for freedom from the 400 years slavery the black race suffered and savors the victory calling on all men to celebrate with him, with us.

    The second verse addresses a new threat to all men, a slavery perhaps worse than any type ever seen before...Mental slavery. While freedom fighters championed the fight for black emancipation, every man must be his own hero in the fight for freedom from mental slavery. You have to be your own Martin Luther King, your own Malcolm X and your own Marcus Garvey all rolled into one... In this age of ideas men were and are getting enslaved by them. Communism vs Capitalism, Islam vs Christianity/ Atheism, Feminism vs The rest of the world.. Its all slavery. In life there are only those who want to make a difference and those who dont, All those isms dont matter.

    The nuclear holocaust will come when it must, the bible says so.. Flee fear of nuclear war and focus on living with a mind that is free. All who teach this suffer persecution (Was Marley not shot in his own home) they are the prophets that are being killed while we stand aside and look.

    Dgwonon August 24, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It has come to me trough te Ziggy Marley and The Chieftains version. I think it should be an anthem for all the lost people in this lost generation.

    donjoseon March 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It has come to me trough te Ziggy Marley and The Chieftains version. I think it should be an anthem for all the lost people in this lost generation.

    donjoseon March 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    My favorite lines from this song are "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds" Bob wasn't just a gnarley stoner, he was a prophet.

    NattyDreadon April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    hey natty i think it refers to bob's view of religion and man. that despite man's atomic power it is ultimately the higher being that dictates, that man can't cause the end of creation, because its not in his hands.

    H-bombon April 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    what the heck are yo talking about jews killing jesus?

    angelgarbageon May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    you*

    angelgarbageon May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song serves as Bob's farewell to the world while dying of cancer.

    OceanOfChaoson May 08, 2002   Link

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