Poetry – Strife

Strife

All my life is strife

Until I achieve my aims.

For my philosophy has energy

With which to play the games.

Equality and frivolity

Go hand in hand;

Connecting a great wisdom

To the zest of the gland.

Freedom we feed on

As we strive to be heard.

For the power of a bomb

Is less than that of a single word.

Tolerance is no offence

It is the basis of what is right.

To impose your will on others

Is not even polite.

Peace, love and happiness –

A cliché it is true.

But one on which to base a life;

A future for this world and you.

There is no rest

Until all wrongs are right.

Until that day

All life is a fight.

Opher 13.7.2015

Strife

I was listening to Bob Marley on the radio. It seemed to me that he made equality, freedom and justice the centre of his being and expressed it in all he did.

It was inspiring.

You can live your life happily and express your philosophy in all you do, with a smile.

For love, smiling and friendliness is not weakness and some things are even worth putting your life at risk for.

Tolerance, freedom, justice, equality and fairness are merely words. They implicitly carry respect and responsibility within their compass. But when those words are put into practice they produce happiness, harmony and love.

That’s the future I fight for with every word.

I won’t impose my views on you if you refrain from imposing yours. To argue is good. To listen is better. To respect each other is necessary.

I want freedom with a smile; tolerance with respect and no indoctrination.

I want humans living in harmony with the planet.

That seems worth basing your philosophy on.

Today’s Music to keep me SsSsAaANNnneEee in Isolation – Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration.

Stewart reminded me of this gem of an album. ‘War’ must be one of the best tracks ever. I’ll enjoy listening to this! Are you picking up now??

Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration 1976 Full Album – YouTube

Bob Marley – Zimbabwe – lyrics written for the independence of Zimbabwe.

Bob Marley – Zimbabwe – lyrics written for the independence of Zimbabwe.

When Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, gained its independence from Britain there was a great feeling of optimism. This was a new start with black rule in a highly prosperous country. Big things were expected.

Bob Marley was invited to go across to play at the inaugural ceremony. This song came out of that.

It had been a long struggle to shake off colonial rule.

At first things went OK. Rhodesia had been the main agricultural producer in Africa. Unfortunately, under Mugabe, the white farmers were ousted violently and the country declined into mismanagement and corruption. The optimism proved ill-founded. Let us hope that Mugabe’s successor (it can’t be long) will rectify the mistakes.

“Zimbabwe”

Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgement there is no partiality.
So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.Brother, you’re right, you’re right,
You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
We gon’ fight (we gon’ fight), we’ll have to fight (we gon’ fight),
We gonna fight (we gon’ fight), fight for our rights!Natty Dread it in-a (Zimbabwe);
Set it up in (Zimbabwe);
Mash it up-a in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate (Zimbabwe), yeah.

No more internal power struggle;
We come together to overcome the little trouble.
Soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionary,
‘Cause I don’t want my people to be contrary.

And, brother, you’re right, you’re right,
You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), we gonna fight (we gon’ fight)
We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

Mash it up in-a (Zimbabwe);
Natty trash it in-a (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
I’n’I a-liberate Zimbabwe.

(Brother, you’re right,) you’re right,
You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
We gon’ fight (we gon’ fight), we’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight),
We gonna fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

To divide and rule could only tear us apart;
In everyman chest, mm – there beats a heart.
So soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionaries;
And I don’t want my people to be tricked by mercenaries.

Brother, you’re right, you’re right,
You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), we gonna fight (we gon’ fight),
We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

Natty trash it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Mash it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Set it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Natty dub it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

Set it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Every man got a right to decide his own destiny.

Bob Marley – Africa Unite – A Rasta song about the black Rastas returning to their homeland in Africa.

Bob Marley – Africa Unite – A Rasta song about the black Rastas returning to their homeland in Africa.

I like this song even though it is rather daft. One of the tenets of the Rastafarian religion was the migration of all black people back to Africa. It’s a very naïve idea and will never happen. Most black people are quite settled and integrated into the cultures of their own countries. They would find Africa a very different place to what they are used to. Then there are the numbers to consider.

It is however a nice romantic idea to have a spiritual affinity to the land that your forefathers came from. Ultimately all human beings came from Ethiopia so we, black, brown, red, yellow or pink, can all identify with the sentiment. I, as a white man, felt a tremendous affinity with Africa. We can’t, all 7 billion of us, all live there though.

From my perspective Rastafarianism was quite a hotch-potch of various religious, political and secular aspects brought together to create a rather strange new ‘religion’. The sacrament of ganga, the politics of Marcus Garvey, the dreadlocks, the deification of Haile Selassie and idea of Ethiopia as a homeland, reggae music, the old testament and black god. I could see the value for black self-esteem and cultural identity, it gave the poor blacks of Jamaica something to adhere to, it also proved attractive as an image to many blacks outside of Jamaica, but it was all so contrived. It is probably how all religions emerge.

“Africa Unite”

Ziya-po ya-ya, pa-pa-ya-pa!
Ti-da-lee, na po-po pu-du-loo!
Ste-na-peh na-na po po-ro po!
Africa unite:
‘Cause we’re moving right out of Babylon,
And we’re going to our Father’s land, yea-ea.

How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, yea-eah! –
To see the unification of all Africans, yeah! –
As it’s been said a’ready, let it be done, yeah!
We are the children of the Rastaman;
We are the children of the Iyaman.

So-o, Africa unite:
‘Cause the children (Africa unite) wanna come home.
Africa unite:
‘Cause we’re moving right out of Babylon, yea,
And we’re grooving to our Father’s land, yea-ea.

How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man
To see the unification of all Rastaman, yeah.
As it’s been said a’ready, let it be done!
I tell you who we are under the sun:
We are the children of the Rastaman;
We are the children of the Iyaman.

So-o: Africa unite,
Afri – Africa unite, yeah!
Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) for the benefit of your people!
Unite for it’s later (Africa unite) than you think!
Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) of my children!
Unite for it’s later (Africa uniting) than you think!
Africa awaits (Africa unite) its creators!
Africa awaiting (Africa uniting) its Creator!
Africa, you’re my (Africa unite) forefather cornerstone!
Unite for the Africans (Africa uniting) abroad
Unite for the Africans (Africa unite) a yard! [fadeout]

Bob Marley – Get up Stand up – lyrics about speaking up for your rights as a human being.

Bob Marley – Get up Stand up – lyrics about speaking up for your rights as a human being.

Nobody will do it for you.

All human beings are equal. No right that we have has been achieved without a fight. People have had to stand up in the face of violence and intimidation. History is littered with the causes.

Democracy was fought for long and hard. The vote was won in blood.

The Enlightenment was the result of brave people standing up and speaking out for the right to believe in whatever god or none.

The injustices in the world will not just go away. No god will come from the sky to make things right, there will be no heaven to rectify the injustices, no karma to reward or punish actions; we have to do it ourselves.

Equality and freedom are powerful words. Whether it is the economic injustice created by unfair systems, the political injustices of tyrants or the religious fanaticism and intolerance of ISIS; it has to be opposed.

We have to make our voices heard if we want to make the world a fairer, harmonious place.

That does not require violence; it only needs brother and sisterhood, one voice and a democratic vote.

Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up Lyrics

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right (3 times)
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight

Preacher man don’t tell me heaven is under the earth
I know you don’t know what life is really worth
Is not all that glitters in gold and
Half the story has never been told
So now you see the light, aay
Stand up for your right. Come on

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight
(Repeat)

Most people think great God will come from the sky
Take away ev’rything, and make ev’rybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your right, yeah!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight
Get up, stand up. Life is your right
So we can’t give up the fight
Stand up for your right, Lord, Lord
Get up, stand up. Keep on struggling on
Don’t give up the fight

We’re sick and tired of your ism and skism game
Die and go to heaven in Jesus’ name, Lord
We know when we understand
Almighty God is a living man
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our right

So you’d better get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight
Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight

 

“No More Trouble” – Bob Marley – An Anthem for the New Year!

We need more love and understanding! No more trouble!

I thought that was a great sentiment to start the new year with!

“No More Trouble”

(We don’t need) No, we don’t need (no more trouble) no more trouble!
(We don’t need no more trouble)

Wo! Oh-oh-oh!
(We don’t need) We don’t need no (no more) trouble!
We don’t need no trouble!

(We don’t need no more trouble)
Make love and not war! ‘Cause we don’t need no trouble.
What we need is love (love)
To guide and protect us on. (on)
If you hope good down from above, (love)
Help the weak if you are strong now. (love)

We don’t need no trouble;
What we need is love. Oh, no!
We don’t need – we don’t need – no more trouble!
Lord knows, we don’t need no trouble!

(We don’t need) We don’t need trouble (no more trouble) –
no more trouble – no more trouble!
Seek happiness! (…) Oh, …!
Come on, you all and speak of love. (…) Oh, yeah!

We don’t need no trouble;
What we need is love, now. (What we need is love!)
(We don’t need) Oh, we don’t need no more trouble!
We don’t need, no – we don’t need no trouble!
We don’t (need) – no, brothers and sisters … (no more trouble!)

We don’t need no trouble; we don’t need no trouble!
We don’t need no trouble!
What we need is love!

We don’t need – we don’t need no more – we don’t need –
no more trouble – we don’t need no more trouble!
Trouble we don’t need (we don’t need),
(We don’t need) Lord, knows! –
we don’t need no more war (no more trouble).
No more trouble – we don’t need no more – more trouble!

Stiff Little Fingers/Bob Marley – Johnny Was

I love this Stiff Little Fingers version of a great Bob Marley song.

Bob set it in Jamaica – an innocent victim of the gangster rude boys. Stiff Little Fingers transferred it to Ireland in the midst of the bloody troubles.

Both highlighted the supercharged emotion of a mother who has just lost her son to a senseless killing. It could be about any city, any gang-related murder. So tragic. So stupid. So unnecessary.

Bob Marley’s version was more mellow and laid back. He poured his emotion into the song. It was full of sorrow. Stiff Little Fingers added anger.

For me the strident duelling guitars and military drumbeat heighten the emotional impact. When are people going to grow up and get above this madness?

JOHNNY WAS(Marley)

Woman hold her head and cry
Cause her son had been shot down in the street and died
From a stray bullet

Woman hold her head and cry
Accompanying her was a passerby
Who saw the woman cry

Wondering can she work it out
Now she knows that the wages of sin is death
The gift of God is life

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Johnny was a good man
oh yeah

Woman hold her head and cry
Cause her son had been shot down in the street and died
Just because of the system

Woman hold her head and cry
Comforting her I was passing by
And I saw the woman cry

She cried, oh, oh, oh, oh
Johnny was a good man
Never did a thing wrong

Take it down

Johnny went out on a Saturday night
Never hurt anybody never started no bar room fight
Johnny never did nobody no wrong
Never hurt anybody never hurt anybody
Johnny was a good man
Johnny, Johnny, Johnny…

Johnny was a good man
(Repeat)

In a top floor flat in the middle of the night
There’s a man with rifle and Johnny in his sight,
I said oh no, we can’t let that kind of thing happen here no more
Oh no
Johnny, Johnny, Johnny…

A single shot rings out in a Belfast night and I said oh
Johnny was a good man

Can a woman’s tender care
Cease towards the child she bears

Johnny (Repeat)

 

If The Cap Fits – for Trolls everywhere!

There are always those who are keen to drag you down. There are those who would rather destroy than build.

The cowards who hide behind multiple personas. Hypocrites and psychopaths. Schizo maniacs.

To all the nasty minded scum lurking out there – here’s Bob Marley for you. You know who you are – proud of yourself?

“Who The Cap Fit”

Man to man is so unjust, children:
Ya don’t know who to trust.
Your worst enemy could be your best friend,
And your best friend your worse enemy.Some will eat and drink with you,
Then behind them su-su ‘pon you.
Only your friend know your secrets,
So only he could reveal it.
And who the cap fit, let them wear it!
Who the cap fit, let them wear it!
Said I throw me corn, me no call no fowl;
I saying, “Cook-cook-cook, cluk-cluk-cluk.”

Some will hate you, pretend they love you now,
Then behind they try to eliminate you.
But who Jah bless, no one curse;
Thank God, we’re past the worse.
Hypocrites and parasites
Will come up and take a bite.
And if your night should turn to day,
A lot of people would run away.
And who the stock fit let them wear it!
Who the (cap fit) let them (wear it)!

And then a-gonna throw me corn,
And then a-gonna call no fowl,
And then a-gonna “Cook-cook-cook, cluk-cluk-cluk.”

[Instrumental break]

Some will eat and drink with you,
Then behind them su-su ‘pon you, yeah!
And if night should turn to day, now,
A lot of people would run away, yeah!
And who the cap fit, let them wear it!
Who the cap fit, let them wear it!
Throw me corn, me no call no fowl;
A-saying: “Cook-cook-cook, cluk-cluk-cluk.”
… : “Cook-cook-cook, cluk-cluk-cluk.”
Throw me corn (cook-cook-cook);
Me call no fowl (cluk-cluk-cluk)

Bob Marley – Redemption Song – a critique.

I love Bob Marley. His death was a tragedy that could have been avoided. If only he had taken his doctor’s advice.

Redemption song is one of my favourite Marley songs. I find it poignant and uplifting. Though I do have some problems with aspects of the sentiments and lyrics.

I thought I’d take the song apart and explain my feelings about it.

“Redemption Song”

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
Triumphantly.
It starts with the harking back to the terrible days of slavery. In a sense I don’t have a problem with this but in another sense I do. The narrative is that the terrible white slavers did this to the black people. Yes they did. But it wasn’t quite as simple as that. Slavery was in reality a black, brown and white problem. It was black tribes who captured members of other black tribes and sold them to Arab traders who then sold them to the white merchants. They were all implicit in the terrible treatment. Does the song simplify it too much?
Then there is the God thing. No. It wasn’t God that stopped slavery or emancipated the black people. It was the work of people like Wilberforce who strove hard to decry the obscenity of slavery and have it banned. It was the hard work and courage of the civil rights workers, some of whom – like King himself and Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman – laid down their lives for it.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.
Yes I will definitely join in the singing of redemption songs and any songs of freedom.
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.
Yes we do have to free ourselves of the attitudes and limitations that create racism, xenophobia and oppression. We shouldn’t be oppressed by racism or negative attitudes.
But we do have to fear for atomic energy. We must allow progress but not allow it to run rampant over everyone. Only by being vigilant can we stop the capitalists selling the planet for their own selfish gain.
Yes we have to stop them killing the people who speak out against injustice. We have to speak out. But no it is not ordained in any book.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.[Guitar break]

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! 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.
 
So yes I will join in singing this great song. I want freedom and equality. But I don’t want religion or fatalism. And I don’t want to reinforce the negatives of the past. I want to move on towards a new age of equality and freedom.

A Bob Marley Day!!

In a week I will be signing off and taking a break from blogging! In the meantime I aim at making my voice heard. I shall focus on the genius of others! My heroes who stood up and shouted against oppression and inequality.

Bob Marley was one of those. He was prepared to put his life on the block for what he believed. He didn’t pussy-foot around. He was shot for his trouble and he still stood up and told it how he saw it. An inspiration to us all.

The world is alight with a rejuvenated right-wing. Fascists are marching again in Europe and America. The Right-wing extremists have taken power in Britain and the USA and could do so across Europe. White supremacists, Ku Klux Klan and terror groups are rising in power. Women and ethnic minorities are under attack.

Time to stand up and unite!!