Bob Marley performing in concert, circa 1980.
|Birth name||Nesta Robert Marley|
|Born||6 February 1945(1945-02-06) |
Nine Mile, Saint Ann, Jamaica
|Died||11 May 1981(1981-05-11) (aged 36) |
Miami, Florida, United States
|Genres||Reggae, ska, rocksteady|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, percussion|
|Labels||Studio One, Upsetter, Tuff Gong|
|Associated acts||The Wailers, Wailers Band, The Upsetters, I Threes, Bob Marley & The Wailers|
"Buffalo Soldier" is a reggae song co-written by Bob Marley and Noel G. "King Sport" Williams from Marley's final recording sessions in 1980. It did not appear on record until the 1983 posthumous release of Confrontation, when it became a big hit (No. 4 in UK) and one of Marley's best-known songs.
The title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as "Buffalo Soldiers", that fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. Marley likened their fight to a fight for survival, and recasts it as a symbol of black resistance. The song's bridge, with the lyrics woy! yoy! yoy!, is similar to the chorus of the Banana Splits' "The Tra-La-La Song", the 1968 theme from their TV show, written by N. B. Winkless, Jr.; The Dickies had a #7 hit in the UK in 1979 with a cover of the song. Critics[who?] disagree on whether the complexity of the section is strong enough to be considered plagiarism; the melodic run of 8-6-5 is common on the simple pentatonic scale. There has never been any litigation connected to the similarity.
The song has been covered by many artists, including Cultura Profética (on their album Tribute to the Legend: Bob Marley) and Vanilla Ice (on his 2008 album Vanilla Ice Is Back!)
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