17 Sept. 2012
Uniting the Nation of Jamaica
The album “Survival”, released in 1979 by the great reggae musician Bob Marley, might be one of the most defiant albums ever created, expressing resistance to oppression and the belief in acting against governments, politicians, and other organizations that wield great power. To analyze the message in his album “Survival”, one must understand that Marley was not just an illustrious musician, but also a poet, a revolutionary, and a peace activist who was influential to millions of people during his lifetime and whose music still lives on to influence people today. According to the Bob Marley biography called “Life and Legacy” on ...view middle of the document...
In June 1976, due to the extreme amount of violence and the rumors about the JLP plotting to overthrow his government, Manley declared a state of emergency (Poupeye 165). The Bob Marley website stated that the rapidly increasing popularity of the Reggae sensation Bob Marley resulted in both the PNP and the JLP wanting him on their side to help persuade Jamaicans to join a political alliance (Life and Legacy). Marley did not choose a side. Instead, he chose to use his popularity and influence to promote unity and peace among the masses.
Don Taylor, a native Jamaican and Marley’s manager during the 70’s, wrote a book called “Marley and Me”. He quotes Marley when he was talking about the violence in 1976 after Manley declared the state of emergency. Marley said, “And I know it is politicians doing it. It’s the youth that catches the place afire, but it is the politicians influence” (Taylor 136). Marley saw both parties to be deceiving and did not trust either of their intentions. “Survival” was written by Marley in an attempt to persuade the Jamaican people to unite as Jamaicans and resist against the political propaganda that caused the violence in Jamaica.
During the peak of civil unrest in his home country of Jamaica, Bob Marley decided to headline a free, non-partisan concert in Kingston on December 5, 1976 in an attempt to ease the growing tension between the supporters of the Peoples National Party, and the Jamaica Labor Party (BobMarley.com). On the night of December 3rd, two days before the show, gunshots were blasted into Marley’s home by a group of gunmen who seemingly wanted Marley dead to prevent the concert from happening. Don Taylor, who was shot five times during the shooting, wrote that nobody was killed and Marley only suffered a minor gunshot wound to his chest (Taylor 150). Marley wrote the song “Ambush in the Night” about this assassination attempt. The common thought was that the attempt to assassinate Bob Marley was due to his revolutionary views towards the politics in Jamaica. “Ambush in the Night” established Marley’s logos because he was expressing the fact that he had experienced being victimized by the violent effects that the politicians had on society. In the song he writes, “Yeah, This ambush in the night. Planned by society. Ambush in the night, They tryin' to conquer me”. Marley also gained credibility and strengthened his ethos by writing this song and putting it on the “Survival” album. Marley had almost lost his life because of political unrest and then he had written an album dedicated to voicing more of his views on politics and humanity. The Jamaican people must have given Marley more respect for further risking his life and releasing such a revolutionary album to spread his message for the benefit of others.
Bob Marley appealed greatly to pathos in “Ambush in the Night”, which is proven in a few lines. He starts off the song with, “See them fighting for power”. By understanding the time period in which...