About 10 years ago, my old colleagues and I put together a list of our favorite songs of all time. It was an interesting challenge when we each revealed our listthere was at least one or two songs of overlap among each of us, and, as you'd imagine, there were lots of head slapping, "I can't believe I forgot that one" moments.
One song that two of my colleagues and I had on our list was Bob Marley's Redemption Song. Honestly, I think it is one of the most poetically beautiful songs I've ever heard, and one of the true "slam dunks" on my listwhich at some point I'll have to resurrect. Marley wrote it in 1979, after he was suffering from the cancer that would take his life.
And we're not alone in our worship of the songRolling Stone, in 2004, ranked it as #66 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Beyond Marley's voice, what I love about this song is the continued relevance of its lyrics.
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds"
"How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look? Some say it's just a part of it; we've got to fulfill the book."
Many celebrities and musicians have covered this song. For me, the most memorable cover of the song was when I heard Toad the Wet Sprocket perform it in concert when I saw them in the mid-90s. Of course, I've never been able to find a copy of that version anywhere. If only mp3 recorders existed then...
Here's one of Marley's performances of the song. Because it's from YouTube, you'll need to endure a montage of video and lyrics, but just let the song mesmerize you.