Bob Marley‘s birthday was yesterday.
I don’t have Bob on playlists for classes I teach.
Can’t do yoga and listen to Bob.
I do, obviously. Hear a Bob Marley song while doing an asana practice, I mean. Never responsible though, for perpetrating the crime.
Inevitably, you’re in Warrior I pelvis squared off, back foot planted and Jammin’ comes on. I cannot help but screw up my lips, let my head do a blunted bop as my hips drop in time with the beat…
I won’t judge you if you don’t do this.
Who are we kidding? I will, but won’t say anything about it because we are cyberspace friends…Just don’t let me catch you in class dissin’ Bob.
Even then, I probably wouldn’t judge you out in the open, mostly because it’s politically incorrect and bad form. But because I can’t believe you’re not jamming to Bob Marley, I will assume that there is something deeply, deeply, deeply wrong with you. I’m guessing most people would.
There are people who love Bob Marley.
And there is everyone else.
Do you remember your first Bob Marley song?
Oh- I do.
I remember it better than that other yada yada….
14 and searching baby. Searching for my place in a new neighborhood. Searching for my place as a budding teenager.
God, I was awkward as hell and full of more emotions than I can describe.
It was weird being me.
Guess every teenager feels like that. I was alone (like every teenager).
Until I was introduced to Bob Marley’s Legend.
I could groove to Bob Marley and not have my parents freak out. I liked hip-hop but ‘talking street’ in the Mays’ household was frowned upon. It makes me laugh thinking about it. I was not what you would call a tough kid, my love of Tears for Fears, UB40 and General Public notwithstanding.
But it was okay to listen to Bob. He was after all, political. And being political was always okay in the Mays’ household.
And Regggae music was mellow (we will not discuss the herbal refreshments….thank you Bob…)
You do not forget your first Bob Marley song.
Not if you’re legit. That first song moves you. Stays with you like a tattoo.
It makes you feel.
Feel like a grown-up stirring feelings of love. Stirring feelings of injustice.
It makes you remember. Remember a struggle that you are too young to know, but old enough to know you fight.
It makes you wish. Wish for a life that is like Marley’s. One full of struggle. Full of chances to change the world by singing a line…
Redemption songs…these songs of freedom
Waiting in Vain was my first. Wow. It still makes me sigh…Probably because I was in love with some boy that I can’t remember. But I remember the feelings of longing and the one-two rhythm of reggae music that made me sway in ways that I didn’t understand and made my heart thump in time with the lyrics…
Tears in my eyes burn…
Tears in my eyes burn,
While I’m waiting, while I’m waiting for my turn
Is there anything more romantic than your first musical crush?
It shapes you. Waiting in Vain may have been my first Bob song, but I was also forever changed by buffalo soldiers, redemption songs, choruses about Kaya and misty mornings…
I jammed until the jam was through. Natty was my ride or die dude.
I liked bootlegs of bootlegs and since this was before the days on mp3s, those of you in the know, know of what I speak. No
3 o’clock roadblock was keeping from rebel music and pimps paradises. I was sussed out but not in doubt of what his lyrics did. They impacted generations and made me want to fight.
Bob stretched my brain and preconceived notions of the world.
Made me want to dance for change. I didn’t know that fighting the power could be done with a stereo and liner notes. Not in some silly girlie girl way but in some Buffalo Springfield kind of way. For what’s it’s worth.
I was committed. For real. In a way that a girl who loves a movement is committed. The way that a girl who discovers that her crush fought for people before she was born was committed.
He was my original guru. Man, now that I think about it. Bob had me practicing yoga waaaaaaay before I found a mat.
He makes me feel alright, like a sweepstakes winner.
This is yoga. And it’s like winning the lottery. Thanks Bob for satisfying my soul.