Well this should be easy for Song Lyric Sunday participants because it’s Reggae Week! I was torn as to what to share today because one of my favorite songs by Bob Marley and the Wailers is ‘Redemption Song’. It was his last recording before his death in 1981. However, as it is Reggae week, I have chosen two different songs to share. I am starting with a song written by Peter Frampton. ‘Baby I love Your Way’. Frampton does a great performance of the song but I prefer the reggae version by Big Mountain. To me the wonderful lyrics sound better in this style. My second choice is Marley’s beautifully haunting Redemption Song.
Hope you enjoy both of my selections for today and my fingers are crossed that the videos are watchable on the other side of the Pond. I know there are some versions that cannot be opened there.
The Song – Baby I Love Your Way
This is a very romantic love ballad. Frampton is telling his girl that he loves everything about her and wants to be with her day and night.
This went nowhere when Frampton first released it as a single in 1975. The next year, he included it on his live album, Frampton Comes Alive, and it helped the album become a huge hit. The live version was the second single released from the album, after “Show Me The Way” and before “Do You Feel Like We Do.”
Lisa Bonet sings this in the 2000 movie High Fidelity. John Cusack’s character hates the song until he hears her sing it.
In 1988, the group Will To Power had a US #1 hit with a medley of this and “Free Bird.” That medley earned substantial royalties for Frampton.
Big Mountain hit #6 in the US with this in 1994. Their version was on the soundtrack to Reality Bites.
In The Office episode “Pam’s Replacement,” Andy, Darryl, and Kevin perform this outside the warehouse after being ousted from their own band. It was also used on the TV shows Cold Case (“Yo, Adrian” – 2005) and Friday Night Lights(“Tomorrow Blues” – 2009).
Shadows grow so long before my eyes And they're moving across the page Suddenly the day turns into night Far away from the city but don't hesitate 'Cause your love won't wait hey Ooh baby I love your way every day Want to tell you I love your way every day Want to be with you night and day Moon appears to shine and light the sky With the help of some fireflies I wonder how they have the power shine shine shine I can see them under the pines But don't hesitate 'cause your love won't wait hey Ooh baby I love your way every day Want to tell you I love your way every day Want to be with you night and day uh yeah But don't hesitate 'cause your love won't wait I can see the sunset in your eyes Brown and grey and blue besides Clouds are stalking islands in the sun Wish I could buy one out of season But don't hesitate 'cause your love won't wait hey Ooh baby I love your way every day Want to tell you I love your way uuhh Want to be with you night and day Ooh baby I love your way every day Want to tell you I love your way uuhh Want to be with you night and day Writer/s: Peter Kenneth Frampton Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
The Song – Redemption Song
This was Marley’s last single before his death on May 11, 1981. It sums up his life and what he stood for in his songs: freedom and redemption. Marley was a very spiritual singer who gave hope to the downtrodden in his native Jamaica, and whose message spread to the United States and around the world when he became a star.
Marley completed the Uprising album (his last) in the summer of 1980. He was suffering from the cancer that would eventually kill him at age 36, but was very productive in his later years. He refused traditional medicine because of his Rastafarian beliefs and chose to make music and perform as long as he could.
This song drew from the works of the civil-rights campaigner Marcus Garvey, who in a 1937 speech said:”We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”This can be heard in Marley’s lyric:
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Garvey’s 1923 book The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey contains this preface, which is likely where Marley got the idea for “Redemption,” which he used in the title:”Dedicated to the true and loyal members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the cause of African redemption.”
This is much more of a folk song than a reggae number. Very unusual for Marley, it is just his voice accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Marley first recorded it with his group The Wailers, but his producer Chris Blackwell suggested he try a solo acoustic version, and that’s what stuck.
Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer both covered this song.
This plays over the credits for the 2007 movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith. It was also sung by the character Sawyer in the season finale of the first season of the show Lost on ABC.
Barbadian singer Rihanna covered this for the Haiti Relief Fund after the earthquake that devastated the country. Urging fans to download the track she said: “This song for me, growing up, anytime there was a difficult situation, I always listened to this song because it was so liberating. Even now I listen to it when my back is up against the wall. I feel like the people of Haiti need to hear something inspiring.”
Rihanna performed an acoustic version live on the Oprah Winfrey Show on January 20, 2010.
French artists Octave Marsal and Theo De Gueltzl created an animated video for the song using 2,747 original drawings. Their black-and-white clip was released on February 6, 2020, on what would have been Bob Marley’s 75th birthday. “From the history of Slavery and Jamaica, Rastafarian culture, legacy of prophets (Haile Selassie the 1st, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X), as well as Bob’s personal life, we take the audience on a journey through allegories and representations,” Marsal and De Gueltzl explained of the visual.
Courtesy of Songfacts
Both played fine here in the UK. I’ve always loved the Frampton one (and records he made going back to his days in The Herd) but I’d never heard a reggae version before. It works really well, doesn’t it. And what else is there to say about Bob Marley? A very special musician.
I’ve always liked the first one, and this cover is wonderful to hear.
Bob Marley’s song was new to me and I like it so much. The animation is awesome, too. 🙂
Big Mountain did a nice cover, and they added their own style to it. Bob Marley was a genius.
Thanks Jim. Great prompt today. Reggae always makes me happy 😊
Oh I remember that Big Mountain track being hugely popular. Great picks!
Happy you enjoyed them Mel ☺️💕
Hi Christine, both of these songs are great. I do really like both and Peter Franpton …just an amazing artist!
I love Frampton too and I’ve always liked this song.
Yes it’s brilliant 💜