None But Ourselves Can Free Our Mind

The sixth of February holds a special meaning for me each year and today is no different. The birthday of the legend that is Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley is this day and it strikes a chord with me unlike any other. Marley was a Catholic and later converted to becoming a Rasta, so he had a very unique set of beliefs. I truly believe, however, that we can learn an immense amount from his words and what better day than today to acknowledge them?

Marley recorded four songs with the Wailers originally, one of which was Judge Not. The title alone is something our world needs today. The lyrics proclaim, “I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be. So before you point your fingers, be sure your hands are clean.” Another song that follows this mentality is So Much Trouble In The World. So many people compare their lives to other people: celebrities, friends, enemies, colleagues. A common way of making us feel better about our lives is to put other people’s down or claim what they are doing is not up to par. If we would take a look at our own lives, I know that we would see that they are not perfect either. Everyone makes mistakes. No one life is exactly what they want it to be. Focus on yourself and your own life before jumping into judging someone else’s.


I Shot the Sheriff seemed mistakenly innocent, yet there was huge meaning behind it. Marley originally wanted the lyrics to be “I shot the police…,” however he later stated that “the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.” Marley lived in a time with racial prejudice and injustice. He became a verbal leader through his music for equality and peace and this song was just one more way of him proving that. Today’s world, while improved in some senses, is still incredibly prejudice among select groups of people whether it be based on race, ethnicity, religion or even gender orientation. Marley also released Get Up, Stand Up to encourage people to fight for their rights. He saw the injustice in the world and wanted to shed light onto it and that it just what he did. Using his words to demand peace proved to be a better solution than any fighting could have.

When his album Exodus was released, a song entitled Three Little Birds was a major hit. This song has continuously made its way into people’s hearts and souls since its release. The lyrics are simple but powerful, plus the music of this song is joyful and happy. This song personally hits home for me. Each of our lives have had and will have trials. There are days where we feel that going on is simply unbearable. Losing someone we love or making major life decisions are examples of days where we feel we cannot manage. These lyrics speak to people in every facet of their troubles. “Don’t worry about a thing cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” No matter what you are going through, fate will bring you to exactly where you need to be and everything will work out just as planned.


The last song that I feel is extremely worth noting is my personal favorite. Redemption Song has spoken the purest words and made the biggest impact on our world out of any song, in my opinion. Marley took the things he saw around him that were hurting people or causing pain and strung this song together based on a speech given by Marcus Garvey on Pan-Africanism.  This movement sought to uplift the people of African descent. At a time with such hate in the world, this song made an incredible impact. When Marley wrote this song, he was already deep into his diagnosis with cancer and dealing with the thoughts of death that clearly appear through the lyrics in this song. Redemption Song has been called “the most influential recording in Jamaican music history.” The lyrics state to “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.” This line is my favorite of any song. We become fixated on becoming the perfect person and through this we obtain a “mental slavery,” which only we can break.


The legacy that Bob Marley left in this world is one that will never be forgotten. His words still hold true meaning and his life remains one that people everywhere respect and admire. Rest in Peace, Bob Marley, and Happy 70th Birthday…we know the Sun is Shining.


Musical Genius

Everybody has their own taste in music and their favorites could remain forever, or change every day. While I’m packing up for school, I made a playlists of my favorites of the moment or of all-time so I could have a pick-me-up if I got stressed or sad about leaving. Hence the title, music really is genius at changing any mood. Enjoy!*

  •  The Cave by Mumford and Sons I love M&S and the regular version of this song, but the live version from Shepherd’s Bush Empire is one hundred times better. To hear how many people were singing with them and clapping really makes this one of the best versions I’ve heard.
  • Hollywood by RAC ft. Penguin Prison The beat of this song is really what gets me. It’s so fun and retro that it’s almost impossible not to sing along with this one.
  • Welcome Home by Radical Face This song is really different and a little less upbeat, but the climactic energy and the build up in each verse is unmatched. I would recommend this for sure.
  • Better Than Love by Griffin House This is hands down one of the most precious songs I’ve heard in a long time.  It’s a pretty sappy love song, but you can’t help but to smile when you listen to it.
  • Bad (Remix) by Wale ft. Rihanna Yeah, I know, super sexual song, but it is just so good. You can’t not listen to this song. Wale is an amazing rapper and to add someone like Rihanna into a song like this is musical perfection.
  • Boy With a Coin by Iron and Wine I’m not sure what it is about this song, but the Indie vibe from it and their voices together make it one of my favorites at the moment. I wouldn’t say it’s a dancing song by any means, but definitely one to listen to.
  • Stubborn Love by The Lumineers This is one of my all-time favorite songs. It will probably never get old to me and the lyrics are amazingly strung together. This is one I will never get sick of.
  • Go Your Own Way by Lissie This song is in the trailer of Safe Haven and that’s where I first fell in love with it. The passion in the music is amazing and her voice is the perfect rendition of this Fleetwood Mac 1977 single.
  • Aw Naw by Chris Young I haven’t decided if this is just one of my “favorites for now” or not, but every time it comes on, I can’t stop singing. It has such a fun, country feel and I think we’ve all been in the position of “I should leave the bar, but maybe after this drink” so it’s totally relatable.
  • Wake Me Up by Avicii I think every single person has fallen in love with this song. It’s such a cool mix of the guitar and house music and I love the free-spirit nature of the lyrics. Avicii never really fails for feel good music. Shoutout to my Arizona Phi’s during 2011 serenade.
  • Whatever She’s Got by David Nail The day someone sings this song to me, I swear, is the day I accept a marriage proposal. He absolutely adores the girl in these lyrics even though she isn’t perfect and it’s how every girl would love to feel, so why not pretend it’s about you?
  • Dayum, Baby by Florida-Georgia Line Everyone knows my Florida-Georgia line obsession, so it was hard to pick just one song, but this is ususally my go-to. It’s sexy and fun and BK and Ty really know how to get to a girl’s attention with this one.
  • Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute This song will always hold a spot in my heart because it reminds me of the most perfect time in my life. I love the lyrics and how they apply to that time for me, but even if you’re just listening for the first time, its such a feel-good love song.
  • Kick It In The Sticks by Brantley Gilbert Probably one of the most bad-ass country songs that I know. It really makes you want to go to some small town, back road town in the south and party all night.
  • Into The Night by Santana Love. Love. Love. I heard this song years ago and haven’t been able to get over it. Santana is a musical genius and adding Chad Kroeger’s raspy voice into this makes you want to push repeat and dance until you can’t stand up anymore.
  • Age of Worry by John Mayer John Mayer is always perfect, but this song is really cool. It really makes you embrace the moment you’re in and the times in your life and stay young and wild as long as possible.
  • Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen Oldie, but such a goodie. I love Bruce and this is definitely my favorite song by him. I first heard it driving down the coast of California with an old friend of mine, so it brings me back to him and that day every single time I hear it.
  • Hell on the Heart by Eric Church Eric Church is definitely my favorite country singer, but this song is probably true about every girl. His lyrics and his voice are a perfect combination in this song.
  • Dangerous Connection by OAR OAR is a huge Chicago favorite, but I chose the Live at Red Rocks version of this one. If you know OAR, you know that this is probably their best venue so naturally the version is great. Their lyrics are so original and the addition of Jerry on the sax and Marc’s voice are awesome.
  • Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov Another relaxing song and a little on the long side, but I love it! I hadn’t heard of him before this song and as soon as I heard it, I was searching every song he had. It’s definitely one worth hearing!
  • All I Have by Mat Kearney Last, but not least. I love Mat Kearney. His voice is so beautiful and his songs are totally applicable. You can feel the passion in this song and almost see the pictures happening and still want to sing along with every word.


*I do not own the rights to any of these videos. They were only posted to help my readers hear the songs.