I love this song… and am currently trying to learn the lyrics and play it on the guitar. I first heard it when I was little, many years ago and it always stayed me. To me it was symbolic of Bob Marley.
There’s a bunch of people who have performed this song and I was wondering if this really was a Bob Marley original. Turns out that it is though Wikipedia says that it might be a friend of his who actually wrote it. This friend ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown.
“Though Bob Marley likely wrote the song himself, songwriter credits were given to “V. Ford”. Vincent Ford was a friend of Marley’s who ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up. The royalty cheques received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen”
In any case, for some reason, this song transports me to my childhood where growing up on sea ports in India (Bombay and Vishakapatnam (Vizag)) my friends and I would find ourselves sitting on deserted naval jetties, watching boats and ship and also sailing little boats in the sea. Really no connection but I think it’s the line “I remember when we used to sit in a government yard in Trenchtown”.
With all respect to Bob Marley, there’s something about songs like these which makes them bigger than their creators. Another song in this category is “Imagine” by John Lennon.
One of my favorite renditions of this songs is by Boney M… they just dont make bands like that any more… I love the way Liz Mitchell (I think) swings to the groove of this song… it’s simple and beautiful. Here it is
and here is the one and only Bob Marley (respect) doin’ it.