Musician, singer and actor, Jimmy Cliff, has amassed an impressive legacy of music during a career that began at the age of 14 with his hit “Hurricane Hatty.” He starred in the Jamaican hit film “The Harder the Come” with a hit song of the same name. His music encompassed ska, reggae and rock-steady. Born James Chambers in St. James, Jamaica, he’s one of only two Order of Merit winners that are currently living.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, Cliff’s warm and soulful tenor is like a warm wrap on a chilly night. While not embracing any particular religion, his common sense approach to life was evident in his words and embraced by audiences worldwide. Some of his most compelling commentary on life, family and social justice are the following.
- “Good thinking brings good feeling and good feeling brings good thinking.”
- “I’d rather be a free man in my grave than living as a puppet or a slave.”
- “It’s important for me to go back into the ghetto, where I’m from. I still get my oxygen from there. I don’t live in the ghetto anymore, but every time I go back, I’m still seeing the same things that I lived.”
- “Basically, I’m motivated to write about sociopolitical issues as well as relationships. I think those themes have stayed with me throughout my life.”
- “I grew up in the church and had always questioned what they were telling me.”
- “Rastafari means to live in nature, to see the Creator in the wind, sea and storm. Other religions pointed to the sky, and while we were looking in the sky, they dug up all the gold and diamonds and went away with them.”
- “Got your mind set on a dream, you can get it though how hard it may seem.”
- “People in the Hall of Fame tend to clap their hands and say, ‘Okay, I’ve done it all,’ but for me, it was a new beginning.”
- “Beyond everything else, that’s one of the things that kept us going, that keeps me going, you know, the eternal love, knowing that I am in the love of the all and all love is within me.”
- “Everyone needs to realize why am I here? It comes in everyone’s life; you ask why am I here? What am I doing? Once you are able to answer that question for yourself, honestly, you have smooth sailing.”
Photo Source: Jimmy Cliff Facebook