Marley Was Missed! Bob Marley Would Have Been At Obama’s Inauguration!
Marley would have been there! I KNOW Marley would have been there!
Those words were stuck in my head as I watched “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” Sunday, January 18 as televised on HBO from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. I know Bob would have been invited and how thrilled he would have been to perform with a host of other top international stars.
Marley’s One Love melody rung pure and true from the Three Little Birds of Herbie Hancock, Sheryl Crow and Will I am. But could you not envision Marley rocking that stage in true Buffalo Solidier reggae royalty by the King of Reggae himself? Yes, I Can!
It’s a natural fit to not only celebrate Marley’s birthday in February, but February is also the official celebration of Black History month in the
U.S.A. We celebrate the birthday of The Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, O.M., on Friday, February 6. Marley would have been 64 years of age.
With the ushering in of a new era in America’s political landscape of the first African America President, Barack Hussein Obama this celebration becomes even more poignant as was seen by the tremendous outpouring of emotions by Americans and people worldwide regarding such an achievement.
Marley’s music like Obama’s politics of - change we can believe in – and “Yes I Can” has the natural respect of the international community. The timeless reggae rhythms and inspiring lyrics of One Love resounded across the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Mall where the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke and a Marian Anderson held a concert after being denied to sing during a previous Inauguration because of race and told to us that evening by Queen Latifah.
I reflected on this awe-inspiring time in history as voiced by Jamaica’s first National Hero, The Rt. Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey where he preached racial equality to the African American people in decades past and the entire diaspora of African ancestry.
At the We Are One Concert, the panoramic lens of the camera provided us with wide and medium shots of the stage, the Biden and Obama families, then zooming into close ups of Barack Obama and his wife, Michele Obama. At one point they were seen jamming to the One Love riddims as their heads bobbed from side to side in reggae joy and my high octane Jamaican pride welled up inside. Our wonderful musical gift of reggae given to us by The Most High was there in its rightful place.
Watching the likes of a Bono from U2 who has praised Bob and in his speech given at the induction of Marley in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame he expounded, “He wanted everything at the same time and he was everything at the same time ..prophet, soul rebel, rastaman, herbsman….wildman, a natural mystic man….shaman, human, JAMAICAN.”