29 May 2013

Music, My Teacher My Fortress

#29 of Blog Every Day in May is share:

Five Songs or Pieces of Music That Speak to You or Bring Back Memories

This is another personal prompt for me because music, just like my writing, is my refuge. Music has taught me, music is my fortress when I need a place to find my peace of mind. I love all kind of music genre but I cherish music that has a narrative.

Bob Marley, the legend, the unique master of Reggae. I love the fact that his music is full of light and meaningful message.

One Love by Bob Marley on Grooveshark

One Love. I remember this song and I think I was about 8 years old when I first heard it. I wanted to marry the little boy in the video. ha ha. I wasn’t interested in the message until later years. Now these lines are the same I repeat as I go by my days

“Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One love)
There is one question I'd really love to ask (One heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?”

No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley & The Wailers on Grooveshark

No Woman No Cry. I love this music in it entirety. Who doesn’t love this song. And who doesn’t love a man who gets a woman? Just shake to the beat.

Say, say, said I remember when we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown
Obba, obba, serving the hypocrites
As the would mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost
Along the way
In this great future,
You can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I say
No woman no cry, no woman no cry
Little darling, don't she'd no tears, no woman no cry
Say, say, said I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
And then Georgie would make the fire light
As it was, love would burn on through the night
Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
Of which I'll share with you
My fear is my only courage
So I've got to push on thru
Oh, while I'm gone

Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley & The Wailers on Grooveshark

Buffalo Soldier. Before I studied African History, this song taught me:

“How the dreadlock rasta was the buffalo soldier,
And he was taken from africa, brought to america,
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.
Said he was a buffalo soldier, dreadlock rasta -
Buffalo soldier in the heart of america.
If you know your history,
Then you would know where you coming from,
Then you wouldn't have to ask me,
Who the 'eck do I think I am.
I'm just a buffalo soldier in the heart of america,
Stolen from africa, brought to america,
Said he was fighting on arrival, fighting for survival;
Said he was a buffalo soldier win the war for america.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers on Grooveshark

Three Little Birds. I remember driving to Blaine lake, few months before I gave birth, when this song was playing AMI and I started talking about our worries as future parents. AMI rewind this song and told me “We will make her listen to Bob Marley if she needs some answers.”

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Lucky Dube was not just a musician but a true storyteller – I am so sad he was brutally murdered in 2007. He was my very first teacher in the history of South Africa. As a little girl I remember watching the black and white images of people crying and dying on the dirty ground but I didn’t know about the story behind. It was just later years, when I turned about thirteen and found the Reggae music that I started to learn the history of brutality towards humankind. His music is history and political in verse.

House Of Exile by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

House od Exile. I love the soft beat of this music. Whenever I hear the message in this song I go back to my thirteen years old self in my mom’s room kneeled on her bed crying, out of sight, for those who suffered in the Apartheid and now I cry for those you are still fighting for their rights as human beings. I love these lines, such power images

“Sun went down on the mountain
Birds flew back to their hiding places
Leaving him standing there like a telephone pole
In the still of the night
You and I dream
Dreaming of Romeo & Juliet
All he dreams about is the freedom of the nation
When every man will be equal In the eyes of the law”

It's Not Easy by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

It’s Not Easy. This song touches my soul because, though I’ve never being through such situation, it teaches me to be humble and love my husband as the first day we met. To respect him and cherish him without ever breaking his heart and I pray he return all the above.

The song tells me how divorce sucks.

Victims by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

Victims. This is another powerful song that tells the story of how Apartheid reduced its victims to become perpetrators themselves. These lines captures “the bitterness of a nation at war with itself”

Bob Marley said
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look
But little did he know that
Eventually the enemy
Will stand aside and look
While we slash and kill
Our own brothers
Knowing that already
They are the victims of the situation

Still licking wounds from brutality
Still licking wounds from humiliation
She said all these words and the
Wrinkles on her face became
Perfect trails for the tears and she said;
Chorus: (x3)
We are the victims everytime
We got double trouble everytime

Steel Bars by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

Prisoner by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

Steel Bars and Prisoner. I always listen those two songs together.

“I'm a prisoner, I'm a prisoner, I'm a prisoner
Dear lord

I asked the policeman and said
How much must I pay for my freedom?
He said to me, son
They won't build no schools anymore
They won't build no hospitals [x2]
All they'll build will be prison, prison [x4]

the above lines capture how an institution can reduce its people to nothing 

Remember Me by Lucky Dube on Grooveshark

Remember Me. This story is a little bit like the story of my life. However, my father didn’t leave for the city, it was my mother who left to go to abroad and though as a young girl I blamed her for the death of my father I know that my daddy died due to his own health conditions. In later years, when I moved to live with her in Italy, her partner was cruel to us. And I always prayed that my daddy will remember us. This was my message I cried to him

“Daddy where ever you are remember me
In what ever you do I love you
Daddy where ever you are remember me
In what ever you do I love you”

I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner on Grooveshark

I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner. This is what I sung by the corner in the flat in Via Cappuccini, I put the song on the repeat and cry questioning the love of a father who was no longer there. Though he was dead, I knew he could show me the fatherly love I so needed through his spirit. In those delicate moments I could feel his presence, I would hug my shoulders and feel the embrace. He his my guardian angel, and I still feel his love.

After a heavy load of music and recalling of many sad moments, I want to share couple of my many favourite songs by Bryan Adams.

Black Pearl by Bryan Adams on Grooveshark

How I wish Bryan Adams wrote this song for me. But he didn’t because my mother had me when she was 27 years in Ghana not at 17 years in Mississippi. But no matter that, I feel like a Black Pearl.

Heaven by Bryan Adams on Grooveshark

My wedding song, do I need to say more.


I can’t believe my love story with Bryan Adams never picked off. Well. our children will become play mates one day.


  1. I love your selections. Its took me years to get into the Bob Marley and Luck Dube. I didn't have the maturity to trult appreciate their music. I'm just getting it

  2. Ah man, I love Lucky Dube and Bob Marley!!!!L love reggae, period! My Dad played their music all through our childhood and it turns out my Hubby is a die hard BM fan...he has ALL his music!!!! I love your taste in music.

  3. If I could only listen to Bob Marley for the rest of my life, I think I could die a happy woman. B has introduced me to so much reggae, all of which I love.

  4. I love Bob Marley (and Bryan Adams). I saw his son's and Nas play a concert a few years back. (Marley Brothers & NAS).


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