Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up

This was the last song Bob Marley performed live. He sang it from a stool at a show in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980. He had cancer and it near the end. He would die on May 11, 1981.

It was released in 1973 on the Wailers album Burnin’. It’s a great song to start taking action to avoid oppression. Marley wrote it with Peter Tosh, and the song was influenced by their upbringing in Jamaica, where they had to fight for respect and acceptance for their Rastafarian religion.

 

From Songfacts

The music is based on the song “Slippin’ Into Darkness” by the band War. Marley was friends with members of the band, and encouraged them to come to Jamaica.

The Burnin’ album, where this song first appeared, was released by Marley’s group The Wailers. In 1974, The Wailers broke up but Marley continued to tour and record as “Bob Marley & The Wailers,” even though he was the only original Wailer in the group.

Mick Jagger says that this is his favorite reggae song. The Rolling Stones frontman met Marley at the studio when Marley was working on his 1973 Catch a Fire album. The Stones would later dip their toes in the genre, covering the reggae song “Cherry Oh Baby” on their 1976 album Black And Blue

This was the last song Marley performed; he sang it from a stool at a show in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980. Marley’s cancer had spread to his brain and it was surprising he could perform at all, but he did a 20-song set that night, closing with a 6-minute rendition of “Get Up, Stand Up,” and collapsing soon after the show. He would die on May 11, 1981.

Get Up, Stand Up

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights! 
Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights! 
Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights! 
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!

Preacher man, don’t tell me
Heaven is under the earth
I know you don’t know
What life is really worth
It’s not all that glitters is gold
‘Alf the story has never been told
So now you see the light, eh!
Stand up for your rights. Come on!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!
Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!

Most people think,
Great God will come from the skies
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You will look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your rights. Jah!

Get up, stand up! (Jah, Jah!)
Stand up for your rights! (Oh-hoo!)
Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
Don’t give up the fight! (Life is your right!)
Get up, stand up! (So we can’t give up the fight!)
Stand up for your rights! (Lord, Lord!)
Get up, stand up! (Keep on struggling on!)
Don’t give up the fight! (Yeah!)

We sick an’ tired of-a your ism-skism game
Dyin’ ‘n’ goin’ to heaven in-a Jesus’ name, Lord
We know when we understand
Almighty God is a living man
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?)
We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So you better
Get up, stand up! (In the morning! Git it up!)
Stand up for your rights! (Stand up for our rights!)
Get up, stand up!
Don’t give up the fight! (Don’t give it up, don’t give it up!)
Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
Stand up for your rights! (Get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! 
Don’t give up the fight! (Get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up!
Stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up!
Don’t give up the fight!

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up”

  1. That is one concert that came to Pittsburgh that I wish I had went to. At the time I knew who Bob Marley was but wasn’t that familiar with the music. Great selection

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve read where he refused treatment so it probably was not known. From what I read it could have been stopped at a certain point… he was young

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes…you are right. That is what I remember.

        Off topic… incredible weekend for a Dodger fan… 3 walk off homeruns…all by rookies. Love seeing them contribute.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not a competition! I kept finding his Island albums for NZ $5 in the pawn show so kept buying them, but never listened to them much, so just kept Exodus and made myself a Legend with the others before I re-sold them. Maybe I should revisit them all on Spotify one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I know man…after re-reading what I wrote….What I meant was…since the mid nineties I haven’t listened to complete albums like I did before. I’m in the process of going back to vinyl… started with some Beatles and Dylan that I picked up a few months ago. I want to get some Joni Mitchell, Marley and a few others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Catchy tune and an anthem for activism. I love the line, “We sick an’ tired of-a your ism-skism game.” As much weed as Marley reportedly smoked, I’m kind of shocked he came up with cancer, as it’s known as an anti-carcinogen.

    Liked by 1 person

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