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“Marcus Garvey” – Burning Spear

Burning Spear is yet ANOTHER incredible reggae talent that hails from Saint Ann, Jamaica.  This list includes Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and a number of other people.  The list of great reggae musicians from this ghetto in the jungle of Jamaica is very long, strangely so.  Must be in the water…

The band is comprised of Winston Rodney, who began singing in 1969.  The band was named after a military award given by Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya, and originally included bass singer Rupert Willington.  After meeting Bob Marley at Clement Dodd’s farm, and having told him that he wanted to get into the music business, Marley advised him to start at Dodd’s Studio One label.  Reggae singer Larry Marshall claimed that it was he, while visiting St. Ann’s Bay with Jackie Mittoo, who was approached by Rodney, and gave him this advice, and arranged the introduction.

Burning Spear Played in Jamaica for years, finding major success immediately at home with their first three albums.  The bnd has toured extensively for decades, playing all over the world and producing numerous live albums.  Although most of Rodney’s lyrics are about Rastafarian values and beliefs, “Marcus Garvey” has become one of the bands greatest hits.  The song praises the work of Garvey, who was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements.  Garvey was also born in Saint Ann, adding to the prestigious list of Jamaicans from the town.  If you have a moment read about Garvey, he was a truly great man.

The song is quintessential reggae in it’s sound, relaxing and moving.  Enjoy, and have a great Sunday!

Lyrics here.

More about Burning Spear here.

Marcus Garvey - Chant Down Babylon: The Island Anthology

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