Bob Marley’s message of peace and love continues to leave a lasting impact on the world even among our leaders.
Legendary Reggae singer Bob Marley was well known for his efforts at trying to bring peace to the world as he hoped to show his fans around the globe what he felt was a better way of life. One of the most iconic moments for the reggae star was when he joined the hands of political rivals Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP).
That moment came at the revered One Love Concert held on April 22, 1978, at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica which was held during a political civil war in Jamaica between opposing parties Jamaican Labour Party and the People’s National Party.
Over four decades later and his message remains true and is still being used by some in power to try and encourage peace. One of his most well-known tracks, “So Much Trouble in the World,” was used last Friday, June 10, by charismatic Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who quoted the late reggae legend as she said, “There is so much trouble in the world.”
She was speaking at the Ninth Summit of the Americas, which took place from June 6 to 10. The conference was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA., with the theme, “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future.” Leaders from the North, South, and Central Americas and the Caribbean gathered to tackle issues of instability across the various regions.
While Mia Mottley admitted that she was not a follower of Bob Marley’s lifestyle, she explained that she used the track because his music is a constant reminder of the day-to-day reality of “our people and of our citizens.”
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It’s not the first time that Mottley has used Bob Marley’s wisdom-filled lyrics to convey her point on the political stage. In September 2021, she used some of the lyrics of “Get Up, Stand Up” in her United Nations address as she called out the organization for being too slow in the delivery of programs to help the disenfranchised in the Caribbean.
During last weekend’s speech, she passionately opened with: “Bless my eyes this morning, Jah sun is on the rise again. The way earthly things are going, anything can happen. Mr. Secretary, there is so much trouble in the world, Excellencies, there is so much trouble in the world, Heads of government, there is so much trouble in the world, Heads of State, there is so much trouble in the world.”
She questioned those gathered as to how much more evidence they needed to start acting towards peace and helping to provide stability to the region. She continued on with Marley’s lyrics as she once again quoted him saying that men were sailing on their ego trip and blasting off on their spaceship because they have “No care for you. No care for me.”
Mottley added that while the music may induce dancing at the summit, her point was to ensure that the leaders join the Caribbean region in the chorus of action that needs to happen for the people.
The Summit of the Americas, led by US President Joe Biden, is another of his attempts to enhance economic ties and cooperation on migration.
Another Marley enthusiast, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was chairing the session, joined in with an impromptu medley of Bob Marley lyrics, including tracks like “No woman, No cry,” before adding, “Don’t shed no tears. Let’s act. We can sing a redemption song together.”