Get Up, Stand Up

Bob Mar­ley & The Wail­ers (1973)

Q (UK) - - 50 Greatest Revolutionary Songs -

Open­ing Burnin’, the Wail­ers’ sec­ond Is­land al­bum, the righ­teous ral­ly­ing cry of Get Up, Stand Up was a key plank in the la­bel’s strat­egy to break Mar­ley as an in­ter­na­tional out­law star. With echoes of Bob Dy­lan’s Talkin’ World War III Blues in its “all the peo­ple all the time” lines, it would go on to be cov­ered af­ter his death by artists as iconic (and di­verse) as Bruce Spring­steen and Nina Si­mone. Es­ther An­der­son, one of Mar­ley’s girl­friends in the early ’ 70s, claimed that he wrote the song while tour­ing in Haiti, shocked that com­pa­ra­ble poverty and de­pri­va­tion ex­isted else­where in the world, be­sides Trench Town. It was the fi­nal song Mar­ley ever per­formed on­stage, clos­ing his last show, in Pitts­burg on 23 Septem­ber, 1980.

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