What does Redemption Song mean?

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Bob Marley: Redemption Song Meaning

Song Released: 1980

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Redemption Song Lyrics

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
Won’t you help to...


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    Feb 24th, 2013 2:25am report

    To me Bob was tryn to remember how is ancestors were treated because he imagined the way and the manner they were treated then.But the message he was tyn to bring out is that we as an individual should liberate ourselves from any form of slavery.Not a RACIST


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    Sep 13th, 2007 9:45pm report

    I think this song transcends consumerism. it speaks about how a people's history has been stripped from them when they were "robbed" by "old pirates," meaning taken from their families and sold into slavery, then traded like hard goods all over the globe. he then calls to these people to "emancipate" themselves from "mental slavery," meaning to remember your history, and free your minds--get educated, self-advocate, and earn equality. remember the time and place this song was written in, and its context: it really wasn't that long ago.


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    Nov 10th, 2008 11:02pm report

    I don't think Bob Marley's songs talked about specific things all that much,but rather about timeless lessons. this specific song is a reflection on time,slavery and all the things associated with them. time is god's creation, god is stronger than man, therfore no man made force can stop the progress of the universe(or the time). " have no fear from atomic energy...". this song also talks about slavery,although it mentions the slavery in which one man is bound to another, it regarads to it as a form oh slavery which our generation has abolished. nevertheless, as time passes, other form of slavery emerge,in today's world a man is a slave of his mind. essentialy I think that Bob Marley ment that slavery(in all its form) is a product of man's dark desire to overcome god's power,and many men see it as a natural part of history "some say its just a part of it, we've gotta fulfill the book" but it is not. The true form of man as god intented it bo is the form of freedom, and Marley as a religious man will sing songs of freedom untill those who believe that they have to fulfill time with slavery realize that slavery is artificial while freedom is divine.


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    May 31st, 2018 5:28am report

    Old pirates, yes, they rob I
    Sold I to the merchant ships

    refers to birth certificate
    so maritime law a ship dat comes into a harbor must present a certificate of it merchandise there bringing into the country this is a ship at berth samething as child birth a ship comes in through a canal same as a baby yes dem pirates robbed ya from ya true self your not the name on da certificate there's alot more to be said about this but look it up you'll see in fact check your birth cert is it original or a copy somewhere on it will say that that the person presenting it may or may not be the person presenting it

    Minutes after they took I
    From the bottomless pit (your mother's womb)

    But my hand was made strong
    By the hand of the Almighty (knowing himself)
    We forward in this generation
    Triumphantly (self explains)

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

    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
    (Many think this is slavery days but its now days mary are not aware of being enslaved because the truth was not told to dem emancipate key word look up the meaning

    None but ourselves can free our minds (Only you can break free from mental slavery)

    Have no fear for atomic energy
    'Cause none of them can stop the time (fear nothing but the almighty) we all gonna die at some time time keeps going

    How long shall they kill our prophets
    While we stand aside and look? (there have been many prophets but this is a question how long are we gonna sit back and let dem kill remember fear nothing as the prophets did United we ate strong)

    Some say it's just a part of it
    We've got to fulfill the Book
    (Well he went to find answers about the corruption in the world conclusion we've got to let it be)

    but in da mean time help change things by singin song that free people

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

    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
    None but ourselves can free our minds
    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 have to sing
    These songs of freedom?
    'Cause all I ever had
    Redemption songs
    All I ever had
    Redemption songs
    These songs of freedom


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    May 7th, 2014 5:55pm report

    FIRST OF ALL you are all right, there is multiple meanings not just one specific one.

    The one that really stands out to me is the one about "don't worry about atomic energy and not stopping the time; this is very powerful statement about fear, of govt, politics, laws, and of course a nuclear war. That as hard as the elite etc try to control the people of less education that they cannot control the earth spinning and as long as its spinning we can overcome because we only live for so long and to pass integrity to the next generation so they can help humanity or keep in going from where we left off but we must do something. stand for something or you can be on your knees for nothing. its up to you but we must try...Rasta Love is what time is also refers , love cannot be bought, made, only feel , they cannot control our feelings..


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    Dec 5th, 2011 12:59am report

    Did Bob Marley just claim to be religious just to be 'ironic'? Most of his songs have religious, God related lyrics, n I doubt these were all meant tbe irony.


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    Jul 12th, 2011 7:24pm report

    it is about liberating our minds.stop believing what we were told n live together.stop thinking that some races r better than others. also we shold stop limiting ourselves to what we believe is where we blong


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    May 27th, 2011 5:19am report

    I take this song to be a metaphor for the mental slavery of religion itself. Minutes after being saved from the bottomless pit (hell), the old pirates of religious thinking seize your mind for their own with no reasoning whatsoever. References to the almighty are ironic and suggest this.

    'Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery'.... 'have no fear of atomic energy'....

    Bob Marley was ahead of his time and saw the exodus of rational people from religion, instigated by science.


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    Feb 22nd, 2011 2:58am report

    This song is about the enslavement that we are all in. He also touched upon this in Top Rankin, its the world elite, the same people who killed him, with a pair of boots, which had a bio weapon in there. isn't it funny how they "kill our prophets while we standa aside and look". Look at JFK, Gandhi, Lennon, Michael Jackson. He's asking us too look outside of the matrix, and see whats really going on in this world. To look at the enslavement that we are all under in the name of "terrorism". Wake up sheeple, look up New World Order, Illuminati, and look at what patriots like Alex Jones, David Icke and many others are now saying and have been saying for years. 9/11, 7/7, 21/7 were all carried out by intelligence services, the Pentagon (Pentagram) was hit by a missile for crying out loud. We are all slaves, this world is a prison planet. Our "leaders" the elite (wealthy) are all related by ancient bloodlines (Bush/Clinton/ all the presidents of the US are related to the british royal family), look it up for yourself. David Cameron is a direct descendent of William of Orange, Kate Middleton is a direct royal descendent and so are they all. They "keep it in the family" so as to keep the wealth and power to themselves. They are selfish, lying, manipulative devil worshippers. Yes folks they all worship the devil. UFO's and the "dead" relatives that you talk to, are all evil spirits. All these pointless "deaths" (Bob, Lennon etc..) were sacrifices, and they are looking to put in place a one world government or also known as a new world order with all "citizens" wearing an RFID chip (look it up on youtube). They have control of political, military, scientific and the media, basically they control everything, including the news that you watch. YOU need to be aware of this, this is you and your families future we are talking about... . Either that or go back to watching American Idol or Britains got Talent!


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    Nov 14th, 2010 11:22pm report

    This song has a profound lesson. It teaches and shows us how history and time has changed. The merchant ships at first where loaded with slaves which were bound to serve a a person of money.As time passes we see how humans have altered the innocence of another being, making him able to see that slavery is something normal, and we must obey no matter what, even if threated by nuclear bombs. When he says the book must be fulfilled, he clearly mentions the bible as events are happening according to the bible. Nowadays Bob Marley declares that slavery is within our minds, and we must overcome this with the help of a higher authority... god the almighty.


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    May 31st, 2010 5:43pm report

    Wo! have no fear for atomic energy,
    ’cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.

    This part is about the voodo religion in Jamaica. At least is what the biograph I'm reading says.


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    Nov 9th, 2009 11:17am report

    i think bob marley saw the bigger picture that is becoming more and more evident now, he was against the people who propagate war, the privilaged few who sit on top manipulating things to make sure the rest of us are kept on our knees(check peter pumpkin head lyrics), the people who kill our prophets (jews christian and muslim)that propagate religion where people are considered equal any time a person propagates peace he is brought down, taken out or his name gets slandered. those who think they have power above god, who keep us all their slaves.... he saw it and spoke through song...


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    Oct 20th, 2009 10:23pm report

    wow hes talking to white people? no hes talking about people like YOU who do nothing but judge to make themselves fell better. hes sing about peace with yourselves and others not just "your kind of people" if i was you i would start listening to his music more maybe you'll get.


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    May 9th, 2009 5:21pm report

    being that i am fron dey islands as well. Pretty much everybody down there knows what most of his songs are talking about. So if i were white I'd stop singing his songs, because he's talking about ya'll. DUHHHHHHHHH!


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    Nov 18th, 2008 11:59am report

    This simple, yet beautiful song, is not necessarily about the slavery of one person by another, but the slavery we force upon ourselves. It's a cry to free ourselves of all this hate and confusion, and to seek out the things that will improve our souls and love for our fellow man. Bob is trying to say that we have but one life, and it is short, so don't waste it worrying about the things of the world. Focus on the things that really matter like love, family, etc.


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    May 6th, 2008 5:46pm report

    This song is about colonialism. Marley was known for admiring many non-violent contemporaries of the time who had been leading their nations to freedom from colonialism and taking control of their countries from the white nationalists. He has been quoted in interviews regarding Jamaica's need for forging of its own government through generations of its own people. Hence comes songs of freedom paralleling negro spirituals and moving on from oppression people still face even after being considered "free". The line about killing prophets refers to the murder of many contemporaries in Africa who were seen as threatening keeping this opression and exploitation in place of the British.


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    Apr 27th, 2008 4:27am report

    Bob Marley was not a "sell out" he sang because it was what he loved.


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    Apr 8th, 2008 4:22pm report

    IT is a reflection of the past and wise advise for future... It is about slavery/mistakes of all kind ... as someone said: "mental liberation". So inspiring...

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