Jim Adams, our host of Song Lyric Sunday, has handed over the prompt reins today to Di from the blog Pensitivity. She has asked us to find songs with Army, Soldier or War in the title or lyrics. I have chosen Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier. I hope you enjoy it.
The Buffalo Soldiers were a segregated regiment of black cavalry fighters during the American campaign to rid the West of “Indians” so that “civilized” white people could gain the lands used by Native Americans. Ironically, many of the soldiers were slaves taken from Africa. Bob Marley gives a small history lesson as a protest song about the black man’s role in building the country that continues to oppress him.
Released two years after Marley’s death, this song was one of the last that he recorded. Issued as a single, it reached #4 on the UK charts, where Marley had as much success posthumously as he did when he was alive: seven more released charted after this one.
The song was included on Confrontation (1983), which was the first Bob Marley album released after his death, and also on the hits collection Legend (1984), which became the best-selling reggae album of all time.
Marley wrote this song with fellow Jamaican, Noel Williams, who went by the name King Sporty. Williams was an inventive creator of dance music, blending reggae and disco on his 1975 track “Music Maker,” and impelling the Miami bass sound as a producer of tracks like “Funky Fresh Beat” by Youth MC’s, released in 1986.
Courtesy of Songfacts
Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta There was a Buffalo Soldier In the heart of America Stolen from Africa, brought to America Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival If you know your history Then you would know where you coming from Then you wouldn't have to ask me Who the heck do I think I am I'm just a Buffalo Soldier In the heart of America Stolen from Africa, brought to America Said he was fighting on arrival Fighting for survival Said he was a Buffalo Soldier Win the war for America Said he, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo Buffalo Soldier, troddin' through the land woah Said he wanna ran, then you wanna hand Troddin' through the land, yeah, yeah Said he was a Buffalo Soldier Win the war for America Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival Driven from the mainland To the heart of the Caribbean Singing, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Bob Marley / Noel Williams Buffalo Soldier lyrics © Music Sales Corporation, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC