Bob Marley Day: Attention, un progressisme peut en cacher un autre ! (Looking back at the 50 greatest conservative rock songs)

MarleyLe défi de la modernité consiste à vivre sans illusions, sans pour autant devenir désabusé. Antonio Gramsci
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery/None but ourselves can free our mind. Bob Marley
We gonna be burning an a-looting tonight (…) burning all illusion tonight … Bob Marley
It’s not really talk about burnin out the city, or burning down. But burnin out certain things in our minds to live in I-one harmony. Bob Marley
Won’t Get Fooled Again, There’s nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss. The Who
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street / If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat / If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.” The song closes with a humorous jab at death taxes: “Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes. The Beatles
Gloria / In te domine / Gloria / Exultate. U2
He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He’s the neighborhood bully. Bob Dylan
You keep all your smart modern writers / Give me William Shakespeare / You keep all your smart modern painters / I’ll take Rembrandt, Titian, da Vinci, and Gainsborough. . . . I was born in a welfare state / Ruled by bureaucracy / Controlled by civil servants / And people dressed in grey / Got no privacy got no liberty / ’Cause the 20th-century people / Took it all away from me. The Kinks
There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism / There’s nothing wrong with free enterprise. . . . You’re just a middle class, socialist brat / From a suburban family and you never really had to work. Oingo Boingo
There was a man in the jungle / Trying to make ends meet / Found himself one day with an axe in his hand / When a voice said ‘Buddy can you spare that tree / We gotta save the world — starting with your land’ / It was a rock ’n’ roll millionaire from the USA / Doing three to the gallon in a big white car / And he sang and he sang ’til he polluted the air / And he blew a lot of smoke from a Cuban cigar. Joe Jackson
And I went down to the demonstration To get my fair share of abuse Singing, « We’re gonna vent our frustration If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse » You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometimes well you just might find You get what you need. The Rolling Stones
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.  And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain. Creedance Clearwater
Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land / Just work on harmony and diction / Play your banjo well / And if you have political convictions, keep them to yourself. Johnny Cash
On first glance, rock ’n’ roll music isn’t very conservative. It doesn’t fare much better on second or third glance (or listen), either. Neil Young has a new song called “Let’s Impeach the President.” Last year, the Rolling Stones made news with “Sweet Neo Con,” another anti-Bush ditty. For conservatives who enjoy rock, it isn’t hard to agree with the opinion Johnny Cash expressed in “The One on the Right Is on the Left”: “Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land / Just work on harmony and diction / Play your banjo well / And if you have political convictions, keep them to yourself.” In other words: Shut up and sing. But some rock songs really are conservative — and there are more of them than you might think. (…) What makes a great conservative rock song? The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values. And, to be sure, it must be a great rock song. We’re biased in favor of songs that are already popular, but have tossed in a few little-known gems. In several cases, the musicians are outspoken liberals. Others are notorious libertines. For the purposes of this list, however, we don’t hold any of this against them. Finally, it would have been easy to include half a dozen songs by both the Kinks and Rush, but we’ve made an effort to cast a wide net. Who ever said diversity isn’t a conservative principle? John J. Miller
The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this [“Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who] could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naïve idealism once and for all. “There’s nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend’s ringing guitar, Keith Moon’s pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey’s wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives. John J. Miller

Attention: un progressisme peut en cacher un autre !

“Won’t Get Fooled Again, “Taxman,” “Sympathy for the Devil »,  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Gloria”, “Revolution”,“Bodies”,“Don’t Tread on Me”,  “20th Century Man”, “The Trees”, “Neighborhood Bully”, “Rock the Casbah”, “Capitalism” (Oingo Boingo), “Obvious Song,” (Joe Jackson) …

En cette journée où, progressisme oblige et entre lapons, maoris et jamaïcains, ce ne sont pas moins de trois peuples « martyrs de la colonisation » (dont le dernier via leur chanteur national) qui  célèbrent leurs quasi-fêtes nationales

Et à l’heure où, entre Rockin’ in the Free world » (Neil Young), « It’s end of the world as we know it » (REM) et « Rolling in the Deep » (Adele), ce ne sont pas moins de trois chansons qui sont l’objet  de contentieux entre leurs auteurs et le candidat républicain Donal Trump …

Retour, avec la revue conservatrice américaine National Review qui vient d’ailleurs d’excommunier le candidat républicain et milliardaire un peu trop excentrique Donald Trump …

Sur les 50 meilleures chansons rock conservatrices de l’histoire …

Où, avec le scepticisme salutaire du gouvernement et le soutien des valeurs traditionnelles du classique des classiques « Won’t get fooled again » (The Who) …

Mais aussi, étrange oubli de la revue conservatrice,  de deux classiques du reggae incarné Bob Marley comme « Burnin and lootin  » ou « Redemption songs » …

Et contre l’image habituelle de vacuité facile ou de totale irresponsabilité généralement associée à la gauche …

On découvre que le vrai progressisme, comme le vrai rock, n’est pas toujours là où on le croit …

Rockin’ the Right
The 50 greatest conservative rock songs.

John J. Miller

National Review on line

May 26, 2006

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week on NRO, we’ve been rolling out the first five and now all 50 songs from a list John J. Miller compiled that appears in the June 5 issue of National Review . Here’s a look at #1 and get the whole list–complete with purchasing links–here.

On first glance, rock ’n’ roll music isn’t very conservative. It doesn’t fare much better on second or third glance (or listen), either. Neil Young has a new song called “Let’s Impeach the President.” Last year, the Rolling Stones made news with “Sweet Neo Con,” another anti-Bush ditty. For conservatives who enjoy rock, it isn’t hard to agree with the opinion Johnny Cash expressed in “The One on the Right Is on the Left”: “Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land / Just work on harmony and diction / Play your banjo well / And if you have political convictions, keep them to yourself.” In other words: Shut up and sing.

But some rock songs really are conservative — and there are more of them than you might think. Last year, I asked readers of National Review Online to nominate conservative rock songs. Hundreds of suggestions poured in. I’ve sifted through them all, downloaded scores of mp3s, and puzzled over a lot of lyrics. What follows is a list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs of all time, as determined by me and a few others. The result is of course arbitrary, though we did apply a handful of criteria.

What makes a great conservative rock song? The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values. And, to be sure, it must be a great rock song. We’re biased in favor of songs that are already popular, but have tossed in a few little-known gems. In several cases, the musicians are outspoken liberals. Others are notorious libertines. For the purposes of this list, however, we don’t hold any of this against them. Finally, it would have been easy to include half a dozen songs by both the Kinks and Rush, but we’ve made an effort to cast a wide net. Who ever said diversity isn’t a conservative principle?

So here are NR’s top 50 conservative rock songs of all time. Go ahead and quibble with the rankings, complain about what we put on, and send us outraged letters and e-mails about what we left off. In the end, though, we hope you’ll admit that it’s a pretty cool playlist for your iPod.

1. “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naïve idealism once and for all. “There’s nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend’s ringing guitar, Keith Moon’s pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey’s wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives.

2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles. buy CD on Amazon.com
A George Harrison masterpiece with a famous guitar riff (which was actually played by Paul McCartney): “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street / If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat / If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.” The song closes with a humorous jab at death taxes: “Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes.”

3. “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Don’t be misled by the title; this song is The Screwtape Letters of rock. The devil is a tempter who leans hard on moral relativism — he will try to make you think that “every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints.” What’s more, he is the sinister inspiration for the cruelties of Bolshevism: “I stuck around St. Petersburg / When I saw it was a time for a change / Killed the czar and his ministers / Anastasia screamed in vain.”

4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A tribute to the region of America that liberals love to loathe, taking a shot at Neil Young’s Canadian arrogance along the way: “A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.”

5. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” by The Beach Boys. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Pro-abstinence and pro-marriage: “Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true / Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do / We could be married / And then we’d be happy.”

6. “Gloria,” by U2. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Just because a rock song is about faith doesn’t mean that it’s conservative. But what about a rock song that’s about faith and whose chorus is in Latin? That’s beautifully reactionary: “Gloria / In te domine / Gloria / Exultate.”

7. “Revolution,” by The Beatles. buy CD on Amazon.com
“You say you want a revolution / Well you know / We all want to change the world . . . Don’t you know you can count me out?” What’s more, Communism isn’t even cool: “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.” (Someone tell the Che Guevara crowd.)

8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Violent and vulgar, but also a searing anti-abortion anthem by the quintessential punk band: “It’s not an animal / It’s an abortion.”

9. “Don’t Tread on Me,” by Metallica. buy CD on Amazon.com
A head-banging tribute to the doctrine of peace through strength, written in response to the first Gulf War: “So be it / Threaten no more / To secure peace is to prepare for war.”

10. “20th Century Man,” by The Kinks. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“You keep all your smart modern writers / Give me William Shakespeare / You keep all your smart modern painters / I’ll take Rembrandt, Titian, da Vinci, and Gainsborough. . . . I was born in a welfare state / Ruled by bureaucracy / Controlled by civil servants / And people dressed in grey / Got no privacy got no liberty / ’Cause the 20th-century people / Took it all away from me.”

11. “The Trees,” by Rush. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Before there was Rush Limbaugh, there was Rush, a Canadian band whose lyrics are often libertarian. What happens in a forest when equal rights become equal outcomes? “The trees are all kept equal / By hatchet, axe, and saw.”

12. “Neighborhood Bully,” by Bob Dylan. ; buy CD on Amazon.com A pro-Israel song released in 1983, two years after the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, this ironic number could be a theme song for the Bush Doctrine: “He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He’s the neighborhood bully.”

13. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh’s radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change: “I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride.”

14. “Right Here, Right Now,” by Jesus Jones. buy CD on Amazon.com
The words are vague, but they’re also about the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War: “I was alive and I waited for this. . . . Watching the world wake up from history.”

15. “I Fought the Law,” by The Crickets. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The original law-and-order classic, made famous in 1965 by The Bobby Fuller Four and covered by just about everyone since then.

16. “Get Over It,” by The Eagles. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Against the culture of grievance: “The big, bad world doesn’t owe you a thing.” There’s also this nice line: “I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass.”

17. “Stay Together for the Kids,” by Blink 182. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A eulogy for family values by an alt-rock band whose members were raised in a generation without enough of them: “So here’s your holiday / Hope you enjoy it this time / You gave it all away. . . . It’s not right.”

18. “Cult of Personality,” by Living Colour. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A hard-rocking critique of state power, whacking Mussolini, Stalin, and even JFK: “I exploit you, still you love me / I tell you one and one makes three / I’m the cult of personality.”

19. “Kicks,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
An anti-drug song that is also anti-utopian: “Well, you think you’re gonna find yourself a little piece of paradise / But it ain’t happened yet, so girl you better think twice.”

20. “Rock the Casbah,” by The Clash. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
After 9/11, American radio stations were urged not to play this 1982 song, one of the biggest hits by a seminal punk band, because it was seen as too provocative. Meanwhile, British Forces Broadcasting Service (the radio station for British troops serving in Iraq) has said that this is one of its most requested tunes.

21. “Heroes,” by David Bowie. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A Cold War love song about a man and a woman divided by the Berlin Wall. No moral equivalence here: “I can remember / Standing / By the wall / And the guns / Shot above our heads / And we kissed / As though nothing could fall / And the shame / Was on the other side / Oh we can beat them / For ever and ever.”

22. “Red Barchetta,” by Rush. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
In a time of “the Motor Law,” presumably legislated by green extremists, the singer describes family reunion and the thrill of driving a fast car — an act that is his “weekly crime.”

23. “Brick,” by Ben Folds Five. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Written from the perspective of a man who takes his young girlfriend to an abortion clinic, this song describes the emotional scars of “reproductive freedom”: “Now she’s feeling more alone / Than she ever has before. . . . As weeks went by / It showed that she was not fine.”

24. “Der Kommissar,” by After the Fire. buy CD on Amazon.com
On the misery of East German life: “Don’t turn around, uh-oh / Der Kommissar’s in town, uh-oh / He’s got the power / And you’re so weak / And your frustration / Will not let you speak.” Also a hit song for Falco, who wrote it.

25. “The Battle of Evermore,” by Led Zeppelin. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The lyrics are straight out of Robert Plant’s Middle Earth period — there are lines about “ring wraiths” and “magic runes” — but for a song released in 1971, it’s hard to miss the Cold War metaphor: “The tyrant’s face is red.”

26. “Capitalism,” by Oingo Boingo. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism / There’s nothing wrong with free enterprise. . . . You’re just a middle class, socialist brat / From a suburban family and you never really had to work.”

27. “Obvious Song,” by Joe Jackson. buy CD on Amazon.com
For property rights and economic development, and against liberal hypocrisy: “There was a man in the jungle / Trying to make ends meet / Found himself one day with an axe in his hand / When a voice said ‘Buddy can you spare that tree / We gotta save the world — starting with your land’ / It was a rock ’n’ roll millionaire from the USA / Doing three to the gallon in a big white car / And he sang and he sang ’til he polluted the air / And he blew a lot of smoke from a Cuban cigar.”

28. “Janie’s Got a Gun,” by Aerosmith. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
How the right to bear arms can protect women from sexual predators: “What did her daddy do? / It’s Janie’s last I.O.U. / She had to take him down easy / And put a bullet in his brain / She said ’cause nobody believes me / The man was such a sleaze / He ain’t never gonna be the same.”

29. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Iron Maiden. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A heavy-metal classic inspired by a literary classic. How many other rock songs quote directly from Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

30. “You Can’t Be Too Strong,” by Graham Parker. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Although it’s not explicitly pro-life, this tune describes the horror of abortion with bracing honesty: “Did they tear it out with talons of steel, and give you a shot so that you wouldn’t feel?”

31. “Small Town,” by John Mellencamp. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A Burkean rocker: “No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from / I cannot forget the people who love me.”

32. “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” by The Georgia Satellites. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
An outstanding vocal performance, with lyrics that affirm old-time sexual mores: “She said no huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding vow.”

33. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” by The Rolling Stones. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
You can “[go] down to the demonstration” and vent your frustration, but you must understand that there’s no such thing as a perfect society — there are merely decent and free ones.

34. “Godzilla,” by Blue öyster Cult. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A 1977 classic about a big green monster — and more: “History shows again and again / How nature points up the folly of men.”

35. “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Written as an anti–Vietnam War song, this tune nevertheless is pessimistic about activism and takes a dim view of both Communism and liberalism: “Five-year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains . . .”

36. “Government Cheese,” by The Rainmakers. buy CD on Amazon.com
A protest song against the welfare state by a Kansas City band that deserved more success than it got. The first line: “Give a man a free house and he’ll bust out the windows.”

37. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” by The Band. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Despite its sins, the American South always has been about more than racism — this song captures its pride and tradition.

38. “I Can’t Drive 55,” by Sammy Hagar. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A rocker’s objection to the nanny state. (See also Hagar’s pro-America song “VOA.”)

39. “Property Line,” by The Marshall Tucker Band. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The secret to happiness, according to these southern-rock heavyweights, is life, liberty, and property: “Well my idea of a good time / Is walkin’ my property line / And knowin’ the mud on my boots is mine.”

40. “Wake Up Little Susie,” by The Everly Brothers. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A smash hit in 1957, back when high-school social pressures were rather different from what they have become: “We fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot.”

41. “The Icicle Melts,” by The Cranberries. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A pro-life tune sung by Irish warbler Dolores O’Riordan: “I don’t know what’s happening to people today / When a child, he was taken away . . . ’Cause nine months is too long.”

42. “Everybody’s a Victim,” by The Proclaimers. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Best known for their smash hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” this Scottish band also recorded a catchy song about the problem of suspending moral judgment: “It doesn’t matter what I do / You have to say it’s all right . . . Everybody’s a victim / We’re becoming like the USA.”

43. “Wonderful,” by Everclear. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A child’s take on divorce: “I don’t wanna hear you say / That I will understand someday / No, no, no, no / I don’t wanna hear you say / You both have grown in a different way / No, no, no, no / I don’t wanna meet your friends / And I don’t wanna start over again / I just want my life to be the same / Just like it used to be.”

44. “Two Sisters,” by The Kinks. buy CD on Amazon.com
Why the “drudgery of being wed” is more rewarding than bohemian life.

45. “Taxman, Mr. Thief,” by Cheap Trick. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
An anti-tax protest song: “You work hard, you went hungry / Now the taxman is out to get you. . . . He hates you, he loves money.”

46. “Wind of Change,” by The Scorpions. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A German hard-rock group’s optimistic power ballad about the end of the Cold War and national reunification: “The world is closing in / Did you ever think / That we could be so close, like brothers / The future’s in the air / I can feel it everywhere / Blowing with the wind of change.”

47. “One,” by Creed. ; buy CD on Amazon.com Against racial preferences: “Society blind by color / Why hold down one to raise another / Discrimination now on both sides / Seeds of hate blossom further.”

48. “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” by The Offspring. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The lyrics aren’t exactly Shakespearean, but they’re refreshingly blunt and they capture a motive force behind welfare reform.

49. “Abortion,” by Kid Rock. buy CD on Amazon.com
A plaintive song sung by a man who confronts his unborn child’s abortion: “I know your brothers and your sister and your mother too / Man I wish you could see them too.”

50. “Stand By Your Man,” by Tammy Wynette. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Hillary trashed it — isn’t that enough? If you’re worried that Wynette’s original is too country, then check out the cover version by Motörhead.

Après Neil Young et R.E.M., Adele s’oppose l’utilisation de sa musique par Donald Trump
Focus Vif Rédaction en ligne
02/02/16

Source: Afp

La diva britannique Adele, artiste au sommet des palmarès avec sa chanson « Hello », s’est opposée lundi à la diffusion de l’une des chansons lors des rassemblements du candidat républicain à la Maison Blanche Donald Trump.

Le milliardaire américain, un fan présumé d’Adele qu’il avait vue en spectacle récemment à New York, fait jouer régulièrement le tube « Rolling in the Deep » dans ses meetings politiques au grand dam de la principale intéressée.

Lundi, au premier jour du marathon des primaires américaines, au cours duquel les partisans des partis démocrate et républicain devront choisir leur candidat respectif à la présidentielle de novembre, Adele s’est dissociée du candidat Trump sans le nommer.

« Adele n’a pas donné son autorisation à l’usage de ses chansons dans des rassemblements politiques », a souligné dans un communiqué le porte-parole de l’artiste qui a atteint le plus rapidement le milliard de vues sur YouTube avec sa ballade romantique « Hello », un clip réalisé par le cinéaste québécois Xavier Dolan.

La chanteuse avait déjà fait état de ses sympathies envers le Labour, le grand parti de centre-gauche britannique, mais s’est aussi prononcée contre des impôts trop élevés pour les riches depuis qu’elle a connu la gloire, une mesure aussi décriée sur la scène américaine par Donald Trump.

Aux Etats-Unis, la classe politique, et plus souvent la droite, a souvent été critiquée pour jouer des oeuvres musicales lors de ses rassemblements sans le consentement des artistes concernés.

Plus tôt dans la course à l’investiture républicaine, Donald Trump avait d’ailleurs utilisé « Rockin’ in the Free world » de Neil Young et « It’s the world as we know it » du trio REM, suscitant l’ire de ces artistes qui ne veulent pas être associés, de près comme de loin, à sa campagne.

Voir également:
« The National Review », un magazine conservateur, prend position contre Trump
Le Monde.fr | 22.01.2016 à 09h53 • Mis à jour le 26.01.2016 à 10h30

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image: http://s2.lemde.fr/image/2016/01/22/534×0/4851677_3_150d_d-apres-les-enquetes-d-opinion-donald_902cc2f567cb62b8b5210ca7297651f5.jpg
Dans un éditorial publié jeudi 21 janvier, à dix jours de l’ouverture du cycle des caucus et primaires dans l’Iowa, un influent magazine conservateur, la National Review, invite les électeurs républicains à se rassembler contre la candidature de Donald Trump.

Intitulé « Against Trump » (« Contre Trump »), le texte estime que « Trump est un opportuniste politique sans ancrage philosophique qui détruira le large consensus idéologique conservateur au sein du GOP [acronyme de Grand Old Party – le Parti républicain, en français] en faveur d’un populisme débridé avec des sous-entendus d’homme fort ».

Ces arguments ont déjà été maintes fois exposés par les rivaux de Donald Trump dans la course à l’investiture du Parti républicain pour l’élection présidentielle de novembre 2016. Cela n’empêche pas l’homme d’affaires et star de la télé-réalité de caracoler depuis l’été en tête des sondages au niveau national.

La National Review, magazine bimensuel fondé en 1955 par le célèbre essayiste conservateur William F. Buckley Jr., rappelle que Trump s’est déjà prononcé par le passé en faveur de l’avortement, du contrôle des armes à feu ou de la hausse des impôts pour les plus riches, autant de mesures auxquelles s’oppose la droite américaine.

Railleries de Trump
Sur son compte, Donald Trump a moqué le magazine dans une série de tweets déclarant notamment : « Feu le grand William F. Buckley aurait eu honte de ce qui arrive à son précieux bien, l’agonisante National Review. »

D’après les enquêtes d’opinion, Donald Trump serait en position de l’emporter non seulement dans le caucus de l’Iowa, qui aura lieu le 1er février, mais aussi dans la primaire du New Hampshire, le 9 février.

Selon un sondage CNN-ORC publié jeudi, Trump aurait pris une solide avance sur son principal adversaire dans l’Iowa, le sénateur du Texas Ted Cruz, avec 37 % des voix contre 26 %. Ted Cruz devance en revanche Trump dans les autres sondages.

http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2016/01/22/the-national-review-un-magazine-conservateur-prend-position-contre-trump_4851680_3222.html#QBIhhvkYvP6drXcm.99

« Religion and Revolution in the Lyrics of Bob Marley »
Jan DeCosmo, Asst. Professor of Humanities
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida
Caribbean Studies Assn. Conference,
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, May 1994
(working copy, not for publication)
In one of his many interviews, Bob Marley made the statement that reggae music had always
been there, and that what made his music important was the lyrics. « Yes, it’s necessary to
understand the lyrics, » he insisted
[Time Will Tell
1992]. One connection of roots reggae to an
earlier Caribbean tradition–specifically, calypso–is this emphasis on meaningful lyrics.
According to Billy Bergman in his book,
Hot Sauces: Pop, Reggae and Latin,
this partiality for
meaningful lyrics can be traced back to the African griot. He writes:
Africans, brought as slaves to the island of TrinicW—the birthplace of calpyso–found
the griot tradition a useful way of saying things that were not to be broadcoast in other
ways. Diatribes against their oppressors could be couched in verse. The African tradition
of ridicule songs was also maintained in after-work song sessions in which different
work gangs praised themselves and made fun of others. . . .
[Later] . . . the political and social happenings of the Eastern Caribbean, and the world,
were composed and commented upon in calypso lyrics. World wars were discussed, and
legendary figures such as Roosevelt praised or condemned according to the views of the
singers. Black news from around the world was especially noted. . . .
The living newspaper tradition of calypso continues to this day. . . . [Bergman 1985:57]
After reading this description, I was struck by a comment I remembered Marley had made to an
interviewer about his music: « Reggae music » he said, « is a people music. Reggae music is
news. Is news about your own self, your own history, things that they wouldn’t teach you in a
school . . »
[Time Will Tell
1992].
When I first heard Marley’s music I was captivated by its rhythms, its poetry, and its spirit. As
Marley said, with reggae « you getting three in one music, you know. You getting a happy
rhythm with a sad sound with a good vibration [Whitney 1982:87]. » But I was even more
compelled by its spiritual and political messages. Because of my background in philosophy and
religion–more specifically, cultural values and social change–I found the music full of seeming
contradictions. Is it political or is it religious? Is it, to use sociologist Max Weber’s terms, this-
worldly or other-worldly [Weber 1958]? Is it escapist.or revolutionary? Does his religiosity
entail an immanent or transcendent view of the divine?
As I studied Marley’s lyrics, I found that besides their connection to the African tradition of
social commentary, his prophetic pronuncements and advocacy for the oppressed–as well as his
mystical inspiration from Rastafari–have a close affinity with ancient Judaism and first-century
Christianity, as well as with later Jewish mystical movements (specifically, Lurianic Kabbalism,
Sabbatianism, and Hasidism). In fact, because secular society has a tendency to uproot everyone,
Jewish history–which is largely the story of a people in exile–is very relevant to an
understanding of the African Diaspora as well as modernity in general. Thus Jewish
alienation–and I would argue that Jewish religion is primarily a religion of alienation–can be
seen as a paradigm for the tendency of the modernization process to uproot all human beings.
It is no accident that Rastafarians have been called « Black Jews » and refer to themselves as the
true Israelites. In fact, Rastafari is closer to the essence of Biblical religion and has grasped the
Biblical message more authentically than modern European versions. Authentic Biblical
religion–not what developed after the first century–involves a profound and intense rejection
of the oppressive power structures in this world and the prevailing status quo. Unlike
Christianity, which developed into a religion of a people with roots and with power, Rastafari is
more like ancient Judaism, which was the religion of a people facing powerlessness and
landlessness.
One can study religion employing a theological analysis, or one can offer a socio-cultural and
political interpretation of religious beliefs. What I want to do is the latter. In other words, I
want to look at why Marley believed the way he did, not offer criticism of
what
he believed. By
looking at the social location and historical circumstances of the Rastas, one can determine the
primary influences on the formation of their value system. And by asking « what are the social
and historical causes. of Rastas being what they are? » it is possible to de-mystify and make
rational sense of the Rastafarian experience and of Bob Marley’s enigmatic lyrics and
interviews.
Lasting changes in religious belief, and new religions, come about not because of arguments or
persuasion, but because of vast social transformations and dislocationsne of the causes of
Rastafari is the reaction to catastrophe: the disastrous experiences of slavery and colonialism, as
well as the calamitous experience of mass unemployment and of being regarded as
economically surplus, or superfluous [Campbell 1987, DeCosmo 1994)]. Living the life of a
marginalized ghetto youth, Marley was in tune to the consequences of the social
transformations and dislocations that Jamaica had experienced. And even though Rastafari
arises from a specific culture and specific historical circumstances, because it returns to the roots
of Biblical religion and grants dignity to those individuals in whose hearts Jah resides, it speaks
to all oppressed groups of people and has universal significance, just as does Marley’s music.
Marley’s songs can be divided into two types: 1) they are either political, religious, or a mixture
of the two; oiq they are love songs or dance tunes without a political or religious message. In a
count of eleven `OfMarley’s albums, beginning with
Catch a Fire
in 1973; and continuing with
Burnin’
(1973);
Natty Dread
(1974);
Rastaman Vibration
(1976);
Exodus
(1977);
Kaya
(1978);
Survival
(1979);
Uprising
(1980); and ending with three posthumous albums,
Confrontation
(1983),
Rebel Music
(1986), and
Talking Blues
(1991), there were 87 songs of the first type and 21
of the second. (The specific breakdown is as follows:
Catch a Fire,
7 songs-#1; 2 songs-#2;
Burnin,
9 songs-#1; 1 song-#2;
Natty Dread, 7
songs-#1; 2 songs-#2;
Rastaman Vibration,
9
songs-#1; 1 song-#2;
Exodus,
6 songs-#1; 4 songs-#2;
Kaya,
2 songs-#1; 8 songs-#2;
Survival,
10
songs-#1;
Uprising,
9 songs-#1; 1 song-#2;
Confrontation,
10 songs-#1;
Rebel Music,
10 songs-#1;
Talkin Blues,
8 songs-#1; 2 songs-#2.)
In those tunes with a political or religious message, I have identified three biblical themes
Marley, as a Rasta, stressed: 1) the prophetic command to demand justice from power elites; 2)
the theme of exile and return; and 3) the idea of tolerance, rather than condemnation, of the
shortcomings of those individuals who are not part of the power structure. An example of the
latter would be his response to an interviewer who remarked that many people claimed to be
Rasta who were not._ He said, « I don’t come to judge a man. . . . Him say him a Rasta. Who is
him to say, when Jah say leave all judgement unto Him?
[Bob Marley Interviews]. »
Within Rastafari are points of contact with numerous ideologies, as Rex Nettleford claims
[Owens 1976:xix].Marley has alternately been called mystic, prophet, priest, apostle, poet,
shaman, rebel, revorutionary, Black nationalist, democratic socialist, folk hero, reggae king,
messiah, and Pan-Africanist. (During Marley’s induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in
January of this year, U2’s Bono Called him « prophet, soul rebel, Rastaman, herbsman, wildman,
a natural mystic man, ladies man, island man, family man, Rita’s man, soccerman, showman,
shaman, human, Jamaican
[Reggae Report
1994:14]. ») Thus, depending on the person
describing him, Marley’s music appeals on many different levels.
There are those, especially with a Marxist perspective, who would prefer to ignore Marley’s
many references in his music and his interviews to Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie as Jah. Yet
Marley continued until the end of his life to talk about his identity and inspiration as a Rasta.
Before and after every concert
he
would praise Jah Rastafari. And he always performed in front
of a scrim of Haile Selassie’s image. Furthermore, in one of his last interviews the year before
he died (and five years. after the death of Haile Selassie) he stated:
We know that there is a God Jah Rastafari, Selassie I. I believe in Selassie I more than I
believe in myself. And I believe in myself. I do everything for Selassie I. I sing for
Selassie I. If I eat a grape [Marley paused and dramatically reached for and ate a grape] I do
it because Selassie I wills it. Jesus Christ came to earth and said « In two-thousand years I
will come again. » Well, two-thousand years have come and Selassie I is on earth. Now
is the time [O’Neill 1980:23].
When asked how he wrote his music, Marley claimed that « it just happen, it Jah inspiration
come through, man
[Bob Marley Interviews]. »
Some admirers simply refuse to accept that
Marley and the Rastas–in a very literal way–affirm that Selassie is the Almighty. In their
refusal to see religion as anything other than the « opiate of the people, » they see Marley as a
political rebel and freedom fighter, largely ignoring his religion or even denying that he had
one.
On the other hand, some critics deny the political and revolutionary potential of Marley and
Rastafari in general, dismissing it as an unrealistic apocalyptical, millenarian messianism.
They see Rastas as yet another example of a people escaping into mysticism who are powerless
realistically to change things escaping into mysticism. And it is true historically that whenever
people are without political power, they tend to organize around the church. Jt is in the nature
of human beings to attempt to make their situation meaningful, either in politics or religion.
So if they have no viable political or economic role, often a new religious movement–and
sometimes a mystical or millenarian one–will make its appearance. But these types of mystical
religious movements can be conservative or revolutionary. Rastafari, I argued in last year’s
paper for this conference, is an example of the latter [DeCosmo 1994]. It is possible for politically
powerless people to use means other than political action and turn them into effective means
for liberation.
Rastafari is thus not an « escapist » millenarian religion but a form of cultural and, increasingly,
political resistance
based upon a foundation of mystical belief.
As Horace Campbell and
Mervyn Alleyne argue, religion and rebellion have always been linked in Jamaica. As Alleyne
writes, « From the very inception of the slave society . . . religion and rebellion became
associated in a symbiotic relationship. . . . [T]his association between revolt and religion
remained important throughout Jamaican history [1988:83]. »
What did Marley himself have to say about religion? In one interview he claimed, « I don’t
have a religion, ya know. I am what I am, you know, and I am a Rastaman. So, this is not
religion. This is the life
[Time Will Tell].
And in another he said, « Me don’t have a religion . .
me natural, not a religion, just a natural thing you suppose to have [Whitney 1982:86]. » I
would like to argue that Marley was using a very specific definition of religion. What Marley
saw as religion is a set of doctrines that legitimate the status quo with its concomitant
exploitation, suffering, and oppression. It is not surprising, therefore, that Rastas reject what
they call religion as a colonial relic. As one Rasta put it, « We don’t business with religion! A
colonial thing that! That is what the white man bring down here to enslave the black man!
[Owens 1976:82]. » And, as Joseph Owens argues, many fail to see « how radically different is
Rastafarianism from everything else that Jamaicans call ‘religion.’
[1976:254]. »
What Rastas are contending is that traditional religious institutions no longer have any
validity. But their criticism itself comes from a religious perspective. To put it in sociologist
Peter Berger’s terms: « . . . religious perspectives may withdraw the status of sanctity from
institutions that were previously assigned this status by means of religious legitimation
[1969:98]. » Before the face of God, these invalid institutions are
seen
to be human constructions.
By the way, this same outlook was what set off Israel from the surrounding cultures of the
ancient Near East.
Most of the religions in today’s religious marketplace are standardized, secularized, and
privatized, and are considered by increasing numbers of people to be irrelevant to economic or
political realities. This is largely due to the secularization process, which Berger defines as « the
process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious
institutions and symbols [Berger 1969:107]. » Because of secularization, religion has ceased to
refer to the cosmos or to history, and increasingly pertains only to individual psychology. It has
become a private choice, applies only to one’s private life, and manifests itself in public life only
as rhetoric. As Berger claims, « religious traditions have lost their character as overarching
symbols for society at large, which must find its integrating symbolism elsewhere [1969:153]. »
It is only because no one seems to know how to create new religious forms and institutions that
we keep using old ones. But, as many academics have noted, it’s not professors but prophets
who create new religions or religious movements. And those prophets are bound to come, to
use one of Marley’s terms, from « low places » rather than high ones. As Berger claims,
religiosity is the strongest « on the margins of modern industrial society, both in terms of
marginal classes (such as the remnants of old petty bourgeoisies) and marginal individuals
(such as those eliminated from the work process) [1969:108]. » And, we might want to remind
ourselves that, in the time of Jesus, 90% of the Jews were illiterate. Moreover, those who
became Christians were, from the point of view of the Romans, the followers of a despised
Galilean rebel against Rome, a criminal and a nobody.
Religion can be a world-maintaining or a world-shaking force; Marley criticized the former and
exemplified the latter, despite what he said about not being religious. If one accepts a broad
definition of religion, then one can accept the idea that Marley’s music, as well as his life, was
highly religious. Although Marley himself was a theist, the broad definition which I propose
does not even have to entail theism. Religion is what one believes about the nature of reality
adopted home in the Caribbean, the Rastafari, as part of the black population of Europe, yearned
for a land which they could call their home [1987:8]. »

V
As
a Rasta, Marley’s lyrics often describe a state of exile, a feeling of being a sojourner in a
4trange land. He expressed what was essentially his homelessness to an interviewer « My
home is always where I am. My home is in my head. My home is what I think about
[Time
Will Tell]. »
He often wrote of being enslaved and in exile. In « Concrete Jungle, » for instance,
he wrote, « No chains around my feet but I’m not free/I know I am bound here in
captivity/Darkness has covered my light/And turned my day into night. » Or in « Slave Driver »
he wrote: « Every time I hear the crack of the whip my bloods cold/I remember on the slave
ship how they brutalized my very soul [Whitney 1982:200]. » In « Burnin’ and Lootin » he wrote:
« This morning I woke up in a curfew/Lord knows, I was a prisoner too [Whitney 1982:47]. »
And lastly, in « Redemption Song » he indicated once again that exile could be a state of mind
when he sang, « Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery/None but ourselves can free our
mind [Whitney 1982:200]. »
Every religion must face what religious scholars call the problem of theodicy; that is, how to
affirm God’s justice and righteousness in the face of great suffering and oppression. Consistent
with Judeo-Christian theodicy, Rastafarians maintain that Africans of the Diaspora had been
taken into slavery and scattered by Jah for turning their backs on Him. Therefore, it is
encumbent upon them, as Owens contends, to « strive to be ever more faithful to their God, in
the hope that he will release them from their torment and lead them to the new Jerusalem
[Owens 1976:40]. » In « Exodus » Marley proclaimed the need for « another brother Moses » to
deliver his people, the Rastas, and asserted that « Jah come to break downpression, rule
equality/wipe away transgression/and set the captives free. »
Thus, in light of the above, I must disagree with those who claim that Marley’s inspiration
from Rastafari was not central and refuse to admit its significance. When Marley said he was
not religious in an attempt to disassociate himself from the predominant versions of Biblical
religion in the West as they have evolved through the centuries, his point is well taken.
Nevertheless, I would argue that his criticism itself came from a religious perspective.
Now we’ll turn to the third the in Marley’s music, the prophetic command to demand
justice from power elites and to challenge the system. Whereas some suffering is for past sins,
there is also a type of suffering which is undeserved, and that occurs when Rastas are
persecuted for doing what is right and good. In the case of the latter, you must « stand up
for
your rights » and « don’t give up the fight » because
« life is your right » to
quote from what is
perhaps the Wailers’ most well-known song, « Get Up, Stand Up. » To understand in what way
Marley conceived himself to be engaged in the struggle against Babylon, we must turn to the
second idea contained in the title of this paper, the concept of revolution. He used the words
« soul rebel » and « revolutionary » to describe himself. And the lyrics to his song « Revolution »
read: « It takes a revolution to make a solution/Too much frustration, so much confusion. »
What did Marley mean by the word? He did not mean that Rastas should take up arms and
overthrow the government in Jamaica. When he was asked whether or not he believed in
violence, he replied: « Rasta don’t believe in violence, man. Rasta don’t believe, Rasta
know
[Bob Marley Interviews]. »
And Marley told an interviewer that he « really [felt] sick in the heart » when he saw the youth
fighting the youth in Jamaica simply because they were hungry, couldn’t find jobs, and were
beine used by politicians
FTime Will Tell].
As early as the 1965 song, « Simmer Down, » Marley
had been preaching to the youth to quit killing each other. Later, in « Coming In from the Cold »
he asked: « Would you let the system make you kill your brotherman/No dread no/Would you
make the system get on top your head again/ No dread no. » When an interviewer asked him
whether he ever felt like getting violent, he answered: « One time I feel like I shall take up my
arms you know and do a thing, but Jah say, no youth, be cool . . . too much wickedness out
there, you know
[Bob Marley Interviews]. »
And when Marley was attacked for having lapsed from his militancy by including eight
love/dance tunes on
Kaya
(an album put out the year after an attempt was made on his life), he
replied:
People don’t understand that we live in this earth too. We don’t sing these songs and
live in the sky. I don’t have an army behind me–if I did, I wouldn’t care, I’d just get
more militant! Because I’d know, well, I have 50,000 armed youth and when I talk, I talk
from strength. But you have to know how you’re dealing. Maybe if I’d tried to make a
heavier tune than Kaya they would have tried to assassinate me because I would have
come too hard. I have to know how to run my life, because that’s what I have, and
nobody can tell me to put it on the line, you dig? Because no one understands these
things. These things are heavier than anyone can understand. People that aren’t
involved don’t know it, it’s my work, and I know it
outside in. I know when I’m
in
danger and what to do to get out. I know when everything is cool, and I know when I
tremble, do you understand? [Boot 1983:16]
Although most Rastas are pacifists, when asked if they would take up arms when the time
came to repatriate to Africa and the authorities tried to prevent it, according to Owens, Rastas
consistently answered that they would do what they had to do if Jah so commanded. As one
Rasta said, « We don’t really have to fight to go home. Rasta don’t make war. Rasta don’t fight
war. Yet if it come to a war to go home, I-n-I have to war to go home! If it come to a literal
fight, I-n-I have to put I-n-I shoulder to the wheel, and fight our way out of Jamaica! [Owens
1976:210]. »
In addition, the desire to avoid guns and violence does not necessarily mean that Rastas will
not exact vengeance of a sort, at least in fantasy. In the 1977 Jamaican film,
Rockers: It’s
Dangerous,
a bunch of Rastas who were having their meager possessions ripped off by a
wealthy restaurant owner found out where the warehouse was in which he was stashing the
stolen property. Instead of calling the police or becoming violent, they did something very
clever. They proceeded to find all the vehicles they could–mostly broken-down trucks in
serious need of repair–and formed a midnight caravan which journeyed into the fenced-off
compound containing the warehouse. They tied the security men up, broke into the
warehouse, and loaded the stolen goods into the trucks. Then they delivered television sets,
radios, stereos, furniture, refrigerators, stoves, bicycles, and motorbikes to the streets so that by
early the next morning, Christmas had arrived in the ghetto!
Marley often used what sociologist Patricia Hill Collins has called « fighting words’;_ed
warnings and made threats
in
his music. For instance, in « Crazy Baldheads » he warned: « I and
I build the cabin/I and I plant the corn/Didn’t my people before me/Slave for this
country/Now you look at me with such scorn/Then you eat up all my corn/We gonna chase
those crazy baldheads outta the town [Whitney 1982:30]. » And the original demo of « Chant
Down Babylon » recorded in 1978 under Lee Perry’s supervision used the words « burn down
Babylon » rather than « chant down Babylon [Davis 1990:205]. » Marley had also used the word
« burn » in an earlier song, « Burnin’ and Lootin,' » but said later that the song was « not really
about burning down the city but burnin down certain things out of our mind fe live in one
harmony
[Time will Tell]. »
And lastly, in « Babylon System » he urged: « We’ve been trodding
on the winepress much too long/Rebel, rebel [Whitney 1982:126]. »
But rebellion can take many different forms. It can safely be concluded that Marley was not an
absolutist about violence. How the battle was to be fought depended on the historical situation
one found oneself in. He told an interviewer:
I expect if you’re living by the gun, if gun is the fight, then FIRE gun. If where you come
from, you fight with sticks and stones, then fight with sticks and stones. If the fight is
spiritual, then fight spiritual, because everywhere the
fight goes on. We don’t have any
alternatives. . . . A lot of people defend South Africa, some secretly, some openly. A lot
of white people defend South Africa, and when you keep the black man down in South
Africa you keep him down all over the earth. Because Africa is Solomon’s goldmine.
So–war! Either I and I lives, or no-one lives. You know what the big fight is? It’s that
black people–and only black people–mustn’t say the truth about Rasta… Just imagine
being a Rasta in this world which doesn’t like Rasta. We could be enjoying being
something else, but no [Boot 1983:17].
I would compare Marley’s position to that of Malcolm X, who never used a gun against anyone
but who said after his house had been bombed if he had had a gun in his hand and had
the
perpetrators in the line of fire, he would have used it. Similarly, in « I Shot the Sheriff, » Marley
sang that he shot the sheriff down after he saw him « aiming to shoot [him] down. »
The Rastas also appear to share Marx’s view of violence. That is, even in an absence of armed
conflict, when political and economic systems cause great oppression and suffering, then that is
a type of systematic violence that is being done to a people. In addition, the Rastas seemed to be
aware that war would be an unfortunate necessity until many evils had been overcome.
Marley’s 1976 song, « War, » based on Haile Selassie’s 1968 speech to the United Nations says it
all:
Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and
permanently discredited and abandoned
Until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes
Until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race . . .
Until the ignoble and unhappy regime that now hold our brothers in Angola, in
Mozambique, South Africa in sub-human bondage, have been toppled and utterly
destroyed …
Until that day . . . everywhere is war! [Whitney 1982:117 ]
There were rumors that Marley had a hand in supplying guns to Africa, which is difficult to
prove [Boot 1983:17]. But he did visit Africa and met with guerilla fighters in Zimbabwe,
inspiring them with the song by the same name [Davis 1990:217]. In « Zimbabwe » he did not
mince words about fighting. He wrote: « So arm in arm, with arms/ We will fight this little
struggle/’Cause that’s the only way/ We can overcome a little trouble . . . We gonna
fight/ We’ll have to fight . . . /Fight for our rights . . . /So soon we’ll find out who is the real
revolutionary . . . [Whitney 1982:129]. »
According to Owens, revolution for the Rastas is a very broad term, meaning more than just
toppling the system. It can also mean « a change of heart and mind, such as indicated by the
cultivation of locks. » As one Rasta told him, « When you wear the locks, you are a
revolutionist [Owens 1976:208]. » It is my contention that Marley’s understanding of revolution
cannot be understood apart from his faith_ ip Jah.
,
_,HeAndicated that, in addition to resistance
against the system, the revolution would be at4iritital-one. As he wrote in « So Much Things
to Say »: « I and I no come to fight flesh and blood/But spiritual wickedness in high and low
places/So while they fight we down/Stand firm and give Jah thanks and praises [Whitney
1982:105]. » And he told an interviewer, « What we want is some people power, and the only
people power is Rastafari
[Legend]. »
The goal, as he said in the song by the same name, was
« survival. » More specifically, black survival.
The only way blacks would survive, Marley maintained (and the reason he wanted a larger
black audience for his work) was to unify. The cause of unity was the most important aim of
what he called his « peace work » He declared: « This work, this peace work–it don’t stop. It
never stop. We know it never stop. That mean we the youth got our work to do
[Time Will
Tell]. »
As he wrote in « Israel Vibration, » « We’ve all got to sing the same song [Whitney
1982:114]. » By singing « redemption songs, » Marley knew he could change the world.
Therefore, he declared himself to be a revolutionary whose arms were his songs. He said:
Me see myself as a revolutionary who don’t have no help and not take no bribe from no
one. Me fighting singlehanded with music. . . . This music you can put up in your house
on a placard as one of the vehicles that help free the people from these chain and
bondage of oppression
[Legend].
There are numerous instances in Marley’s songs where the idea is conveyed that the music
itself is a way of bringing down the system. In the song « One Drop, » we hear: « So feel this
drumbeat . . ./Feel your heart playing a rhythm/ And you know it’s resisting against ism and
schism/I know Jah would never let us down [Whitney 1982: 166]. » In « Rastaman Chant » the
words are: « Said I hear the words of the Rasta man seh/Babylon your throne gone down gone
down/Babylon your throne gone down [Davis 1990:114]. » And Marley advised that even if a
particular battle was lost, don’t give up the fight, because « he who fights and runs away, lives to
fight another day (« Heathen, » on the
Exodus
album). »
To
unify the sufferers through singing or chanting happens through a phenomenon called
word-power. For both Rastas and for Marley, words
are extremely significant and have a
mystical power. According to Owens, « the pacifism of the Rastas would be incomprehensible
without the conception of the Word as a far mightier agent of change than the force of arms . .
. » As one Rasta told him, « ‘The Word is God, because the greatest weapon is the creation of
words. Words! Words is the greatest weapon that man ever have within [Owens 1976:179].' »
And another Rasta told Owens, « our arms is truth [1976:206]. »
This emphasis on the power of words probably
has origins in
African philosophy as well as
biblical religion. In Genesis God simply speaks, and creation begins. And the gospel of John
says the Word was God, and the Word became flesh. Accordingly, a Rasta hymn reads as
follows: « Glory to Word, glory to Sound, glory to Power, glory be unto the name of the dreadful

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