Best Bob Marley Quotes!

117 famous Bob Marley quotes!

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Bob Marley (1945-1981) Jamaican Jah-loving singer-songwriter and musician

Bob Marley was born as Nesta Robert Marley on February 6, 1945, in a small village in Jamaica. His mother was Cedella Booker, an 18-year-old Afro-Jamaican; his father was Captain Norval Marley, a 50-year-old Caucasian-Jamaican of English descent, a captain in the Royal Marines and a plantation overseer.

Bob’s mixed racial origins caused him to face racial prejudice as a youth and questions about his racial identity throughout his life.

Although the captain provided financial support, he seldom saw his son, as he was often away on trips. Bob grew up in rural Jamaica and when he was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack.

Barely into his teens, Bob moved to Kingston in the late 1950s, and settled with his mother in Trench Town, the worst of western Kingston’s shantytowns.

Bob left school at 14, took a job in a welding shop, and with his friend Bunny, spent all his free time perfecting his singing abilities. During their informal lessons with a local singer and devout Rastafari, they met Peter McIntosh, another youth with big musical ambitions.

In 1962 Bob cut a few tracks as a solo singer that went nowhere. He decided to form a group. He linked up with Bunny and Peter to form The Wailing Wailers.

The Wailing Wailers released their first single during the last weeks of 1963. By the following January it was number one in the Jamaican charts, a position it held for the next two months. The group was big news and began recording regularly as The Wailers.

Bob met Rita Anderson and they married in February 1966. They relocated for eight months near Bob’s mother's new home in Delaware in the United States. Bob worked as a DuPont lab assistant and on the assembly line at a Chrysler plant to finance his real ambition: music.

On returning to Jamaica in October 1966, Bob became a member of the Rastafari movement, and started wearing his trademark dreadlocks. His music reflected his new beliefs, with a growing focus on spiritual and social issues.

The seventies

At the start of the seventies, The Wailers had an extraordinary reputation throughout the Caribbean, but internationally they were unknown. In the summer of 1971, U.S. singer-songwriter Johnny Nash invited Bob to accompany him to Sweden. While in Europe, Bob got a recording contract with CBS. In the spring of 1972, The Wailers went to London to promote their CBS single. Instead, they found themselves stranded in Britain.

With nothing to lose, Bob walked into the studios of Island Records and asked to see the founder, Chris Blackwell. Fortunately, Blackwell knew of Bob's Jamaican reputation. He advanced The Wailers a whopping £4,000 to make an album and gave them, for the first time, access to the best recording facilities.

As if to signal the official international arrival of reggae music, The Wailers' first album, Catch A Fire, was beautifully packaged and heavily promoted. Island also decided The Wailers should tour both Britain and America, something until then unheard of for a reggae band.

Bob and the band came to London in April 1973 for a club tour that honed The Wailers as a live group.

The American tour drew packed houses and even included a weekend gig as opening band for a young Bruce Springsteen. An autumn tour was arranged with 17 dates as support to Sly & The Family Stone, the number one band in black American music at that time. Four shows into the tour, however, The Wailers were cancelled, for being too good.

Also in 1973, The Wailers released their second album, Burnin' which included the songs Get Up, Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff. Eric Clapton covered I Shot the Sheriff in 1974. It became a worldwide hit and reached number one in the U.S. singles' chart, raising Bob Marley's international profile.

International success

In 1975, Bob broke through internationally in his own right with his first hit outside Jamaica—No Woman, No Cry from the Natty Dread album. A breakthrough album in the U.S., Rastaman Vibration, followed in 1976, with four weeks on the Billboard charts' Top Ten.

International success cemented Bob's growing political importance in Jamaica. He decided to play Smile Jamaica, a free concert to emphasize the need for peace between the violent warring factions in the Kingston slums.

Just after the concert was announced, the government called an election. Ghetto warfare intensified, and on the eve of the concert, gunmen broke into Bob's house. They shot and wounded Bob, his manager and his wife Rita.

Bob nevertheless came on stage on December 5, and played a brief set in defiance of the violence. After the show he left Jamaica to live in London during early 1977, where he recorded his next album, Exodus.

Released in the summer of that year, Exodus stayed on the U.K. charts for 56 straight weeks, with four huge singles hits—Exodus, Waiting In Vain, One Love and Jamming. Bob was also arrested while travelling in London and convicted for possession of a small quantity of the drug cannabis.(He was hugely into cannabis.)

In 1978, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ album Kaya hit number four in the UK the week after its release. Three more significant events occurred that year.

In April, Bob returned to Jamaica to play the One Love Peace Concert, with both Prime Minister Michael Manley and his rival, the Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga, present. In another effort to calm warring sides, at Bob's request, Manley and Seaga joined each other on stage near the end of the show, and shook hands.

In June the United Nations invited Bob to New York to receive the organization's Peace Medal of the Third World. And at the end of the year he visited Africa for the first time, going first to Kenya and then to Ethiopia, the spiritual home of Rastafari.

Now much more than just a musician, Bob’s appearance at the Amandla Festival in Boston in July 1979 showed his strong opposition to apartheid in South Africa. As a testament to Bob and The Wailers’ significance in the Third World, they received an official invitation from the government of liberated Zimbabwe to play at the country's Independence Ceremony in April 1980.

The eighties

Bob Marley and The Wailers embarked on a major European tour, breaking festival records throughout the continent, including a crowd of 100,000 fans in Milan, the biggest show in the band's history. At the end of the European tour, The Wailers went to America. They played two shows at Madison Square Garden, but then Bob collapsed while jogging in New York City's Central Park.

Three years earlier, in London, Bob hurt his toe while playing football. The wound became cancerous, but he refused to have it amputated because of the Rastafari belief that the body must be whole. By 1980 the cancer had spread to his brain, lungs, liver and stomach.

After playing one more concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in September 1980, Bob went for controversial non-toxic treatment in line with his religious dietary beliefs, to Dr. Joseph Issels, in Bavaria. Although in the terminal stages of cancer, Bob’s condition seemed to stabilize.

At the start of May 1981, he left Germany for his Jamaican home. But he became ill, and had to land in Miami. Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital on Monday, May 11, 1981, at the age of 36.

The previous month, Jamaica awarded Bob the Order Of Merit, the country's third highest honour, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s culture. And so on May 21, 1981, the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley O.M. received the pomp and circumstance of a state funeral. Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition attended the service, after which Bob's body and his Fender Stratocaster guitar were buried in a chapel near his birthplace.

In 1984, three years after his death, the compilation album Legend - The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers became reggae's biggest-selling album, going 10 times Platinum (Diamond) in the U.S., and selling 20 million copies worldwide.

Bob Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1999, Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as Album of the Century. The BBC named Bob’s song One Love the song of the millennium.


Bob Marley Quotes about Action

- Help the weak if you are strong now.

- Takes a revolution to make a solution.

Short Bob Marley Quote about Africa

- How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, to see the unification of all Africans.

Long Bob Marley Quote about Africa

- Africa is the best. Africa for Africans, at home and abroad. African can be developed man. Africa have sea, river, everything. And clean. You have more land, more everything. You have good, good everything. The best climate. The best land. You have the best everything! That's why today, His Majesty God more than yesterday, you know. Because we see that His Majesty never sell out to Russia, nor sell out to America. HIM uphold black dignity, see? So tell them you can proudly say RASTAFARI, and not deal with no traitor. That the sweet part about it.

Really Short Bob Marley Quotes about Attitude

- Wake up and live!

- You have to be someone.

- No weak heart shall prosper.

- Don't forget your history nor your destiny.

- Where there's a will, there's always a way.

- Truth is the light so you never give up the fight.

Short Bob Marley Quotes about Attitude

- Don't worry about a thing, 'cos every little thing is gonna be all right.

- If you think it's the dress you wear that makes you a lady, get that out of your mind.

- Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights! Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

- Why do you look so sad and forsaken? When one door is closed, don't you know other is open?

- Say you just can't live that negative way. You know what I mean. Make way for the positive day ‘cause it's a new day.

Really Short Bob Marley Quotes about Behaviour

- Tell the children the truth.

- Never play with people’s minds.

Short Bob Marley Quotes about Behaviour

- He who hide the wrong he did surely did the wrong thing still.

- Ya running and ya running, but ya can't run away from yourself.

- How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?

- If you get down and quarrel everyday, you're saying prayers to the devil, I say.

Longer Bob Marley Quote about Behaviour

- So you want all for yourself alone and you don't think about the other man. Let me tell you my friend, if you gonna live this life it's not good for you to build strife.

Bob Marley Quote about Black People

- It looks simple but it's true. RASTA FOR THE PEOPLE! Rastafari! For the people, see? Capitalism and communism are finished. It Rasta now! The black man way of life.

Long Bob Marley Quotes about Black People

- Exodus means coming together... the movement of Africa, of black people. Exodus from Babylon—we're in Babylon—and then a physical exodus to Home. But what we really say is that, we want black people to unite, with one another, see? Now, the only way we can unite is to deal with truth. The truth is that King Solomon and King David is the root and if we gonna deal with roots, we have to deal from King Solomon and King David time, Lion of Tribe of Judah, you know? So, this is what I-and-I say: Time for unity! Cause we're a people, we have something... and we have to deal with it, see?

- When I come here (America) I want, I really desire, to really get through to the people. I don't want to come here for joke! When I leave I want to see people dreadlock, or say, “I'm Rasta,” and get the thing rebellious. That, we can't live, y’know, we can't continue going through this same thing, over, over and over again, when the problem is, our people must be united. And then all problem solve, and then every problem solve. 'Cause if the black man check it, him have the knowledge, wisdom and understanding enough to do it. See? While the next one get the gift of technology, and the next one get the gift of this and that, black man get the rootical gift. Him maintain the God business, that’s the purpose why Earth was created. I-and-I have to maintain that.

Really Long Bob Marley Quote about Black People

- Give the black man his way of life now. Make him show you how government run and how people care for people. Who you think have the Love? Who sing the tune in the church? Black people sing them, y’know. Who’s the spiritual people on Earth? The black people. They deal with God. And God no let them down. God always there. And God say them for unite! Because when you unite, that is the power of God, y’know. God love Love, which is unity. So when you unite, you get the whole power of God. That's what Him want. Until black people unite... if the black people don't unite, the world, no one, no one can live good. ‘Cause the white man not living good, you know. The China man not live good, either. Why? Because the black man is not united. Because the black man, him are the cornerstone on Earth! When time him shaky, the whole Earth shaky. You see? When him solid, everything solid. And it a long while since we have been solid. You know. It's been a long, long time. So you find out how much war, fight and them things, go on. You know where they fight? In Africa! Our motherland.

Bob Marley Quotes about Divisiveness

- To divide and rule could only tear us apart; in everyman chest, there beats a heart. So soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionaries. And I don't want my people to be tricked by mercenaries.

- See them fighting for power, but they know not the hour. So they bribing with their guns, spare-parts and money, trying to belittle our integrity now. They say what we know is just what they teach us. And we're so ignorant, 'cause every time they can reach us through political strategy. They keep us hungry, and when you gonna get some food, your brother got to be your enemy.

Bob Marley Quote about Drugs

- All them drugs gonna make you slow.

Bob Marley Quote about Fear

- Have no fear for atomic energy, 'cause none of them can stop the time.

Bob Marley Quotes about Freedom

- Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.

- Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.

- Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.

Really Short Bob Marley Quotes about Himself

- If I was educated, I`d be a damn fool.

- I'm a man of God and me come to do God's work.

- I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated.

- I don't plan life. Because when man plan, Jah wipe out.

- I handle fame by not being famous… I’m not famous to me.

- Me don't swim too tough so me don't go in the water too deep.

Short Bob Marley Quotes about Himself

- I don't see I self as being Jamaican. I see I self as a Rasta being Rasta!

- I personally know my heart can be hard as a stone, and yet soft as water.

- I can’t just witness a truth and then shut my eyes like I don’t know what’s going on.

- The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?

- I don't stand for the black man's side, I don' t stand for the white man's side. I stand for God's side.

Longer Bob Marley Quotes about Himself

- I pledged to work for righteousness. God's given me inspiration. God's the boss, he tell me what to do.

- I will never be a politician or even think political. Me just deal with life and nature. That is the greatest thing to me.

- Every time I hear the crack of a whip, my blood runs cold. I remember on the slave ship, how they brutalize the very souls.

- Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together—black, white, Chinese, everyone—that's all.

- People want to listen to a message, word from Jah. This could be passed through me or anybody. I am not a leader. Messenger. The words of the songs, not the person, is what attracts people.

Long Bob Marley Quotes about Himself

- I don't have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.

- The first thing you must know about me is that I always stand what I stand for. Good? The second thing you must know about yourself listening to me is that words are tricky. So when you know what me a stand for, when me explain a thing to you, you must never try to look 'pon it in a different way from what me a stand for.

Bob Marley Quotes about Jamaica

- Sometimes the real problem is our Queen still run Jamaica. After we have independence everybody pretend, like say Jamaica run itself.Underneath they take order from the Queen. That is one of the big nasty thing, why Jamaica riot, and much violence and otherwise, because people just don’t care again.

- Jamaica is a little nice great place. Me really love Jamaica, because me walk plenty stone land in Jamaica and plenty hills. But I think we really need a direction. Not a big ol' signing up this and signing up that, but a direction in your own country. What happens to the earth. And means we have to till the soil. An' it no call for slavery to do that. It just calls for understanding.

- When you Rasta, you fight against the Queen, you no serve the Queen. This brainwashing business and all of this "God Save the Queen," you know what I mean? Because the police, the whole police force deal with the Queen, what the Queen tell them from that time. Then for after a while them have independence—you go to this big police place it’s the Queen’s portrait still hanging there.

Bob Marley Quotes about Judging

- I no come for judge a man. Jah say leave all judgement unto him.

- Judge not, before you judge yourself. Judge not, if you're not ready for judgement.

- Now some people are devil and some people are angel. Dig! Jah say leave all judgement unto him. Dig! So you know, is certain, is plenty things, a man have to keep to himself and try source it out for himself.

Short Bob Marley Quotes about Life

- They say: only the fittest of the fittest shall survive; stay alive!

- Open your eyes and look within: Are you satisfied with the life you're living?

Longer Bob Marley Quotes about Life

- Who are you to judge the life I live? I'm not perfect and I don't live to be. But before you start pointing fingers make sure your hand is clean.

- We're the survivors in this age of technological inhumanity, scientific atrocity, atomic misphilosophy, nuclear misenergy: It's a world that forces lifelong insecurity.

Long Bob Marley Quotes about Life

- Many a time I sit and wonder why this race so, so very hard to run. Then I say to my soul: Take courage, battle to be won, like a ship that's tossed and driven, battered by the angry sea.

- Life is one big road with lots of signs, so when you riding through the ruts, don't you complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy! Don't bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality.

- 'Cause just like a tree planted, planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruits, bringeth forth fruits in due season, everything in life got its purpose, find its reason in every season, forever.

- 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.

Bob Marley Quotes about Love

- Love would never leave us alone.

- Conquer the devils with a little thing called love!

- One love, one heart; let's get together and feel all right.

- If puss and dog can get together, why can’t we love one another?

- Make love and not war! 'Cause we don't need no trouble. What we need is love to guide and protect us on.

Bob Marley Quotes about Music

- Sometimes you have to fight with music.

- To make music is a life that I have to live.

- One good thing about music, when it hits ya you feel no pain.

- My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die.

- Reggae is a music that has plenty fight. But only the music should fight, not the people.

- I see all my friends listen to jazz. It took me a long time before I could dig it. You know, Sun Ra, Coltrane, whatever.

- My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.

- I love the development of our music, that's what I really dig about the whole thing. How we've tried to develop, y'know? It grows. That's why every day people come forward with new songs. Music goes on forever.

- Positive vibrations man. That's what makes it work. That's reggae music. You can't look away because it's real. You listen to what I sing because I mean what I sing, there's no secret, no big deal. Just honesty, that's all.

- Me sing one of The Beatles song. Cover one of The Beatles songs—And I Love Her. “I give ya all my love, that's all I dooo.” The thing was we meet and shake hand and say great—them dude they nice. I really like meet them. They are bredrens. Jah just love roots. Those guys are roots. Them guys are all right, ya know. There is like a king and a queen, ya know—those guys are roots.

Philosophical Bob Marley Quotes

- The only law which is law is the law of life.

- Many shall be called, but only a few chosen.

- It is better to live on the housetop than to live in a house full of confusion.

- The power of philosophy floats through my head, light like a feather, heavy as lead.

Bob Marley Quote about Politics

- Politics no interest me. Them devil business... Them play with people’s minds.

Bob Marley Quotes about Prejudice

- We don’t really come from the inner prejudice world, ‘cause if you’re prejudiced you can’t come free.

- Prejudice is a chain, it can hold you. If you prejudice, you can't move, you keep prejudice for years. Never get nowhere with that.

- I've come to realize they really divide we in classes. Yes, and is true. They try to divide we in classes when me don't agree with. Because is wickedness. You can’t divide people. How can you divide the people? Some of them don’t have four feet.

Bob Marley Quotes about Religious Faith

- What does Rasta mean? Righteousness.

- There ain't no hiding place from the father of creation.

- Jah is Earth’s rightful ruler and him no run no wire fence.

- Man can't do without God. Just like you're thirsty, you have to drink water. You just can't go without God.

- I am sorry for the people who don't understand what we talk about. Because they bare great tribulations in times when they don't have to.

- Us free, the free earth great. The world rightfully His, His Imperial Majesty. The Bible said that. So the white guy no really accept Imperial Majesty as God.

- Life and Jah are one and the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah’s gift. What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth.

- It’s easy for the black man to look upon Imperial Majesty and say yes, because they’re black. It’s very hard for white man to say them black and Him God. But it’s very easy for the black man to say He’s black and He’s God, and it’s true, you know. Black man have to realize that He the greatest, He the King of Kings.

Long Bob Marley Quotes about Religious Faith

- I not do this thing for no money business. This thing, is Jah come into I heart and make it move, that I go into England, go say these things again. Or say these things in America, or Australia. I mean I have to go, because I personally is a servant of H.I.M. Not doing no hard work, just doing what Jah say I do. And through Him give I the power for playing music, and Him give I the Inspiration for saying these things, and make the people, who Him work through, see these things.

- Christ government shall rule the earth, ya know? And Christ is Rastafari! Over a period of time, people think, and have to get over thinking, that Christ was white. But Christ a black man! Just like the Bible tell ya, say Christ black; Solomon, say him black; Moses, tell ya, say him black; Jerimiah, say him black,; Haile Selassie black. So Christ no white, Christ black, you know? So that's how our people get tricked, them show us a white Christ. People say, what we want to deal with the Bible for, me know Christ no white. But the Bible say, Christ black. If the Afrikan think Christ white, that's dangerous. It's a waste of time.

Bob Marley Quotes about Unity

- No man can lead man, we have to have unity.

- We should really love each other in peace and harmony, instead we’re fussin’ and fighting like we ain’t supposed to.

- They don't want us to unite. All they want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting. They don't want to see us live together. All they want us to do is keep on killing one another.

Bob Marley Quotes about Vegetarianism

- I tell you, man, me stop eat meat, me can feel different. It feels different.

- In the beginning Jah created everythin', givin' man dominion over all things. But now it's too late. You see, men has lost their faith; eating up all the flesh from off the earth.

- Now you check the cow and say "beef." Everybody eat beef. You can have more tender meaning toward a cow. The cow give milk. I mean, should not really kill a cow to eat the cow. Because I feel them can drink the milk and then you have other things what you can get to eat to get the same things like meat protein. Well, you can eat other things that is the same thing. I don’t exactly like big dead flesh in front of me.

Bob Marley Quote about The Wailers

- The group is The Wailers. Well for some reason them say Bob Marley and The Wailers. I never tell anyone to say that, from no time at all. But maybe for some reason why they do it.

Bob Marley Quotes about War

- Anybody can see that war will start over here in America, man. REAL war.

- Until the philosophy that hold one people higher than the other one is no more; then if it continue, ya gwanna have war! When it done, problem over, see?

Bob Marley Quotes about Wealth

- Your life is worth much more than gold.

- Money can't buy you life. (Final words to his son Stephen)

- Don't gain the world and lose your soul. Wisdom is better than silver and gold.

Wise Bob Marley Quotes

- Every need got an ego to feed.

- A hungry mob is an angry mob.

- In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty.

- The biggest man you ever did see was once a baby.

- You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry.

- You can fool some people sometimes but you can't fool all the people all the time.

- Stiff-necked fools, you think you are cool to deny me for simplicity. Yes, you have gone for so long with your love for vanity now. Yes, you have got the wrong interpretation mixed up with vain imagination.

~ End of Bob Marley quotes ~

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