“Redemption Song” Analysis
“Redemption Song,” a magnificently composed song by Bob Marley relates to oppression and deliverance of African slaves, who were brought from Africa to Jamaica. The general theme of this song is the beauty of the redemption of people after oppression. Support of this theme is found in Bob Marley’s connotation and tone.
Connotation, the diction of words, is the most significant aspect of this song that supports the theme. Bob Marley’s terminology is responsible for creating a truly entrancing song. Bob initiates the song on a delicate level by describing the obliteration of the African people by slavery; “Oh pirates yes they rob I; / Sold I to the merchant ships, / Minutes after they took I / From the bottomless pit. (Marley 1-4). These very lines portray the appalling technique used to take Africans from their homeland to toil for others. The next line, “But my hand was made strong / By the hand of the Almighty. / We forward in this generation/ Triumphantly,” (Marley 5-8) illustrates the authority given to the slaves by God. Through His hand, the present generation has been capable of moving onward and prospering. The most eminent lines of the song, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our minds” sustains thought that it is not the responsibility of the oppressors to free the oppressed; this assignment can only be completed by the oppressed themselves.
Through the complete song, Bob Marley maintains an optimistic tone. He appears to believe that through all the pain and agony of slaves his generation will be able to formulate a difference. Evidence of this is found in the lines “We forward in the generation / Triumphantly” (Marley 3-4). This strictly means that descendents of Africans have been given an opportunity to right and improve the prospects their ancestors never had.
Overall, “Redemption Song” is a incredibly stunning song that relates to not only African slaves but all others that have been oppressed. Bob Marley’s main purpose of this song is that, in the end, it is up to the oppressed to determine their freedom and destiny.
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