Rare video of Bob Marley singing acoustic ‘Redemption Song’ months before his death is phenomenal
29 October 2020, 13:57 | Updated: 23 November 2020, 16:17
Vintage video of Bob Marley singing a stripped back acoustic version of 'Redemption Song' in 1980 shows the Reggae star's voice in all of its glory.
Few stars come close to Bob Marley's quiet charisma, and footage of the star showcases once again what a natural performer the Jamaican singer really was.
Filmed playing a blue acoustic guitar in 1980, the rare footage shows Bob Marley, 35, singing 'Redemption Song', the last track from his final album, Uprising, released a year before his death.
'Redemption Song' is one of Bob Marley's most inspiring and popular songs, its lyrics derived from a speech by the Pan-Africanist speaker Marcus Garvey called 'The Work That Has Been Done'.
When he wrote it, Bob Marley had been diagnosed with cancer and according to Rita Marley: "He was already secretly in a lot of pain and dealt with his own mortality, a feature that is clearly apparent in the album, particularly in this song".
Bob Marley is of the most legendary artists of all time, who helped bring reggae music to the mainstream.
He died from a form of skin cancer in 1981, when he was just 36-years-old.
Marley first discovered the melanoma while playing football in 1977. A foot injury seemed worse than usual, and got worse over time. After doctors discovered it was cancer, he was advised to have his toe amputated.
However, he refused as his Rastafarian faith considers it a sin to have any part of the body ‘temple’ removed. Instead, he agreed to a skin graft, but sadly this didn’t stop the disease spreading throughout his body by 1980.
After eight months of unsuccessful treatment in Germany, his condition worsened and upon his return to the states he was rushed to hospital in Miami. He died there on May 11, 1981.
Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica on May 21, 1981 with the eulogy given by Prime Minister Edward Seaga.
The leader said: "His voice was an omnipresent cry in our electronic world. His sharp features, majestic looks, and prancing style a vivid etching on the landscape of our minds.
"Bob Marley was never seen. He was an experience which left an indelible imprint with each encounter. Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation."
40 years later, Bob Marley is regarded as a worldwide icon and his legacy of music and spirituality lives on.
On his deathbed, Marley's reported final words to his son Ziggy were "Money can't buy life."