The winds of change are always blowing, but sometimes another breeze tries to extinguish the candle.
The flames are in politics, poetry and music. We must always keep the torch lit and always follow the light.
“We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning.”
Billy Joel said that… It’s a great lyric… It’s an idea that has found itself in work songs, protest songs, pop, rock and reggae.
It shows the absolute power of music.
Music has been around for amazing and major historical changes. It has been on the fields of battle and in the camps and on the farms of hippies.
So let us listen to some music.
Today we hopefully stop and honor Martin Luther King. For many of us it is simply a day off… a holiday. For others it is a day to remember… a day to celebrate… a day to realize that the voice of one can inspire the voices of the many.
By all means we should enjoy the day off. We should use it wisely… use it well… but let us also think upon this great man and let his leadership continue to show us how far we have come and how far we still need to go.
The Wailers – Burnin’
There were many songs and artists and albums that popped into my head… Dylan and of course “Chimes of Freedom”… Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie and almost anything… Fela Kuti and of course, Bob Marley…
I have already done Uprising and Exodus… two of my favorite records, but for today, this was the one that grabbed me… both musically and politically.
What an album!!! The original release had 10 tracks… The Deluxe Edition… which for the Marley albums are so worth it… has 15 tracks on Disc 1, and 12 tracks on Disc 2… And yes, this version can be found on Spotify!
The year is 1973… As an aside, this is the year we should have really put our noses to the grindstone and come up with a real and workable energy policy… If we would have truly started to move off fossil fuels back then, or at least worked our tails off for a plan… during the last major gas crisis, think about where we might be now… Sigh…
This is the fourth album by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. After this one Peter and Bunny would pursue solo careers and the band would become Bob Marley & The Wailers.
This one is a classic with new songs and re-recordings of tracks like “Duppy Conqueror”, “Small Axe”, “Put It On” and “Pass It On” that were all earlier songs.
It’s hard to ignore the calls to violence and frustration in songs like “Burnin’ And Lootin'” and “I Shot the Sheriff”, which perhaps make this an odd choice to honor MLK, but Jamaica was a tough place… It still is a tough place…
I have never been, but my friend Rich tells me stories of crime and violence that are just beyond what we can imagine… It’s sad…
I guess the main reason I grabbed onto this one was for “Get Up, Stand Up”.
Confrontational? Yes. Violent? I guess, but not overtly… They are saying that you need to get involved and stand up for yourself… Do not solely rely on the almighty… take control…
“Most people think,
Great god will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. Jah!”
“In 2007 the album was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for its historical and cultural significance.”
Obviously Martin Luther King had a strong faith in the almighty, but he also put himself on the line. He got up and he stood up… and he marched forward… always moving forward.
Long live The Wailers… Long live Bob Marley… and long live Martin Luther King. We will always have their words, their voices and their spirits.