Redemption Song – 5 June 2021

To summarise: We turned left before we should of – the result was we ended up in the township and were hopelessly lost – we persevered through mud and an ever narrowing mud track between houses – when Garmin said turn right – there was no right. We were in a dead end.

It was about then when Barry said ” Well we had better ask for done angelic help” – and the angel appeared in the form of a slightly inebriated local gent who saw our predicament, convinced to turn around and then that he must get in to guide us out – he duly did and start giving hand signals – Barry & Julie had no Swahili and the Angel had no English – so hand signals it was.

When our guide saw the radio system he asked for music – there are many Bob Marley images on trucks & til tiks so we played the only Bob Marley song we had – redemption song.

So after Redemption song started playing and Barry started singing along there was great joy in the car – with fist pumps and all of us singing along trundling through these very narrow roads.(my there are songs in this too – the long & winding… or is it stay on these roads…)

We got back to tarred road and then turned left and then left where a policeman was directing traffic. We were then told to pull off the road – we switched off Bob Marley and waited

The policeman came to the car asked what was happening – he recognised the man –  we explained the situation.

The policeman then told him to get out the car and asked if we had given him any money. (No )

The policeman asked if we wanted to (Yes – so we did – TZS5000 (R31)

The policeman then said he will come with us as he was going back to the police station in Utengule and he would show us the way.

So the policeman got into the car – just picture the scene the first occupant was a short, thin slightly built man. The policeman was twice the size in height and width.

Jules was “sitting” on the gear shift for at least 10km

We dropped off the friendly policeman and proceeded along the dusty dark road following a truck in order to try miss the potholes – well …

that wasn’t so clever as we then missed the sign – in spite garmin trying to communicate..

We soon had garmin insisting on safe u-turns and the like so we relented in our pursuit of the truck (to miss the holes) and turned back

At last got to Utengule Coffee estate – which will be in the next post … it was very dark

This post is dedicated to that very kind angel – whose name has been forgotten and The Redemption Song.

Why is Bob Marley known and revered in Tanzania?

Well it is related to the Slave Trade – Over several centuries countless East Africans were sold as slaves by Muslim Arabs to the Middle East and other places via the Sahara desert and Indian Ocean. The sale of African slaves can be traced back to antiquity. It became popular in the seventh century when Islam was gaining strength in North Africa. This was seven centuries before Europeans explored the continent and ten centuries before West Africans were sold across the Atlantic to America. It was not until 1909 that slavery was finally abolished in East Africa.

Slavery still continues today – You can read more in this articles

So what has Bob Marley’s Catchy Redemption Song got to do with Slavery?

The words (without the repeated sections) are:

Redemption Song”

Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
TriumphantlyWon’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songsEmancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it
We’ve got to fulfill the bookWon’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
The lyrics actually start off in the past, with Bob making a reference to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Read more at:
“Old pirates, yes, they rob I -Sold I to the merchant ships ” – Slaves were bought by pirates in Africa and resold to merchant ships in Europe/Caribbean and then resold “Minutes after they took I – From the bottomless pits”  where slave were kept , punished
“But my hand was made strong – By the hand of the Almighty” – Belief in God/Jesus as Redeemers
“We forward in this generation Triumphantly” – We are going to win and overthrow our oppressors, this generation
Chorus: ” Won’t you help to sing These songs of freedom. ‘Cause all I ever have. Redemption songs” – asking others to join in a song for freedom no more regret and judgement no more need for sorrow

At the beginning of the second verse is where Bob Marley uses words of Marcus Garvey with the famous “emancipate yourself from mental slavery…” line. Marcus Garvey was an early-0th century Black leader and holds the distinction, even up to a century later, of leading “the largest mass movement in African-American history”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.